Tag Archives: accordion

Music was my first love…

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Outside, the snow is falling once again and I can’t help but being mesmerized – I could watch snow falling for hours. I’m not sure what it is about it but it calms me down, it’s soothing to see all those little flakes slowly piling up, decorating trees, and roofs, and us.

People back home asked whether I wasn’t tired of the snow yet. Do they ever get tired of the green grass, the summer sun and the fresh flowers? Then why should I get tired of this white blanket that undoes all the little imperfections in the landscape, and shimmers and shines in the morning sun? No, I haven’t got tired of the snow yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss it next year.

Though I’ll forget, of course.

See, I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of person. It is sad, sometimes, but that’s how I am. I can not hear from my parents or sister for weeks, and not a thought about them will cross my mind unless they contact me. It’s not that I don’t like them, or don’t care about them – I do. I just… seem to have a head full of other stuff. It’s the same with friends. Or work. Or anything else. I don’t see you, you won’t hear from me – it’s not written down, it won’t get done.

I forget.

And one of the forgotten things was my accordion. Well, not completely forgotten, obviously, since I did bring it with me to Sweden, in some feeble attempt to start playing again. It didn’t happen. I didn’t have the time and I didn’t feel like making it, either, to be honest.
Until last week, my sister’s best friend (which happens to be my best friend’s sister) called to ask if I would be willing to play the accordion at her wedding.

Ehm. Well. I guess… eh… yes?

Only – I haven’t played in 18 months. And I’ve only had the thing for a little over 3 years, so it’s not like I can just pick it up and start where I left – I didn’t have much in the first place. But I promised I’d try.

And I’m having so much fun!

It’s frustrating and all, obviously – I was never very good at it in the first place and it takes TIME to master a song, so after half an hour I generally call it a day, but boy how could I forget? Being able to play an instrument was a life-long dream (I wasn’t allowed to go to music school as a kid) so it was one of the first things I did once I graduated – it is just so great to be able to push the right button at the right time and hear the melody, coming out of yourself, as it were. How I could forget thís feeling I don’t know, but I’ll bet ya it won’t go away any time soon!

My precious...

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I hate coming back

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I hate coming back to Sweden.
Contrarily to what you might think it has nothing (or little) to do with the loneliness I sometimes (often…) suffer from here, as I do feel I’m slowly starting up bonds, connections, … some of which I hope will grow into friendships. It is a challenge for me, but one I feel I’m up to (at the moment, at least).

No, what I hate about arriving in Sweden is the unpacking.

This is my 3rd arrival in about a month, so you’d think I’d have it all together by now. Turns out there is so much more to be brought back here every time I board that plane. Chocolates, I had to bring this time, and my calculator. A multi plug, my kitchen herbs, and some more t-shirts. A sowing kit, and my winter duvet. My winter coat. Some Tupperware, my oil-and-vinegar flasks, my perfume. More kitchen towels. And my accordion.

MY accordion.

I haven’t played in over a year – ever since I quit music school (there was no way in combining the tough third year with finishing my PhD) my dear instrument has been sitting in its case, gathering dust. Which is a pity, because I genuinely liked to play – although I’m not particularly good at it – I love music and being a musician has been a long lived dream. I distinctively remember the frustration of not being able to convince my parents to let me learn to play the clarinet – I still hold it against them at times.

So when I finally had the time (and the money… and the courage…) to get myself together and inscribe for music school, I had only one problem left. Which instrument to pick?

The clarinet was quickly ruled out – not only does it take ages before anyone can get a decent note out of that straw (and contrarily to wide-held beliefs I am not the most patient person…), you can also not sing along. (NOTE: I cannot distinguish a re from a fa#. I cannot keep tune. In short: I cannot sing.) The violin was discarded for similar reasons, and in one go I decided to dismiss with all string instruments – given that I simply do not hear whether a sound is in or out of tune, I thought it unwise to start any instrument which needed to be tuned: so long guitar. I considered piano (it doesn’t need to be tuned every time you want to play… and you can pay people to do it for you), but then I wanted to be able to take the instrument with me. And thus the only viable option turned out to be… accordion. I haven’t regretted it for a moment (although a diatonic accordion might have been a better choice, since my chromatic may be portable, but only just).

I hesitated for long whether or not to bring it here – not in the least because I was very weary whether it would survive transport (I’m pretty sure I well exceeded the 8kgs hand luggage quote but there was no way in giving it into cargo), but also because the apartment walls aren’t exactly made of rocks – and I fully realize how annoying it is for neighbors having to listen to someone just learning to play… but I’ll play quietly, I promise. If necessary, I can offer Belgian chocolates as compensation.