Today's Tuesday Tune is brought to you by a broken piano.
On Sundees I play the piano for the little folk at my church. It's quite fun. The most fun I've had at church ever. That's aside from when I had the Lost is Jacob gathering revelation, but that only took, like, three meetings to extract. I get to do the piano thing every week.
A few weeks ago, the piano playing gig became not so fun. The piano broke. It started with a squeaky sustain pedal that squawked every time it was pressed. It was loud. Louder than the lowest G. I cannot compete with louder than the lowest G. So I contact the authorities to inform them of the squeak. Told 'em my piano at home had the same problem and it's not a difficult procedure. He said, "Okay. I'll put it into the book."
The next week I returned to my hiding spot in the back of the room to begin the quiet-time music. I went to press that squeaky pedal first to see if it was still squeaky. It wasn't squeaky! I was so happy - except now the pedal didn't work at all! The pedal didn't engage the sustaining mechanism necessary for quiet-time music. Quiet-time music is impossible without that pedal - it all comes out sounding like Pizzicato Five. (Did you watch that video? Someone should buy that girl some groceries!)
I returned to the authorities and explained the situation. They said other piano players who share the building have complained as well. The next week I returned and the piano was still broken. The next week after that I returned and the piano was still broken. The next week after that, I returned to find a new old piano - meaning it was a new piano for the room, but definitely a piano older than me (that's old) and most definitely older than Spouse (who is even older than me.)
This new old piano had a sustain pedal that worked but it was annoyingly out of tune. I get my piano tuned once a year. Fer Christmas. It's like a Christmas present to myself except when my mom pays for it and then it's like a Christmas present from her. Having the piano tuned is a big priority. You keep that piano in tune and it will sound great for many years.
Well having the piano tuned is not a priority for my church, nor is repairing a piano. I found out later that the new old piano I was playing was one that was swapped from another room. Now someone else gets to deal with the broken piano. When I inquired about this swapping decision, the authorities told me there wasn't any money in the budget for piano repairs.
What the? Oh my mother would shame you! I shame you! No money for repairs? Cancel one of your Scout Camps I say! Let the youth stay home from ice skating! Make the Will-Eat society go without food fer once! This is a living, breathing, working piano that we're talking about!
My Sister's church, another affiliation altogether, has working, cared for instruments. And get this: My Sister's church pays their musicians. With cash. They pay the Sister each week to belt a tune or two. Heck, they even have some "anonymous" donor handing out specific cash just so the Sister will sing in church each week. (I say anonymous with quotes because we all know it's our mom again who's paying. Kidding! Had to say kidding to avoid the lightning.)
Now don't be thinking I've lumped myself into the same category as my Sister Opree, the Opera Star. There's really no comparison. I'm no musician. Opree's the musician. Classically trained and all. So naturally, I don't expect my church to pay me to play. Naturally I get to pay them. (Kidding again! Had to say kidding again to avoid the lightning again.)
Opree, with all of her musical intellect, can be quite intimidating. If you want to talk music with her, better bring yourself one of those music dictionary thingees to keep up for she'll throw all sorts of swanky terms your way. And then be prepared to stare blankly and say "uh hum" a lot.
During one of our swanky-term-blank-stare music conversations, she brought up Coldplay. Mostly she brought up Coldplay because her mePod was offering up a serving of Coldplay. I started to mumble something about Coldplay not being among my favorites because they need a different singer and the songs lack pizazz and they take too long to get to the point of the tune. But then I expressed how I do like that many Coldplay songs make me feel stuff. Many of those tunes bring calm and content with a side of groovy soothe.
"It's the chord progressions they use," Opree says. "Those chord progressions are genius. Coldplay uses augmented sixth chords or Neapolitans. Chopin uses them often. And Beethoven began to use augmented sixths towards the end of his life. That's when that period controversy started with Beethoven. His music spanned the Classical Period, which used traditional modulations, and the Romantic period which didn't care so much about modulating everything exactly."
"Oh" I said with that blank stare. Also notice that she refers to Chopin in the present. As if he's not dead. She just might have a problem bigger than my yarn problem. Don't you think? That Opree thinks Chopin is still alive! Someone should send her my Friday Flashback of 2/29/2008.
Anyway, this got me thinking. I want my church to commission some tunes from the Coldplay folks. They could get Coldplay to write the chord progressions, Janice Kapp Perry to fill in the extra notes and Craig Jessop to arrange these songs for organ and giant choir.
Questions is, who should write the lyrics? A tuffy, fer sure. While you ponder the answer to this question, please enjoy selections from Coldplay's Groovy Soothe repertoire:
Swallowed In The Sea
We Never Change
Cemeteries of London