It’s only fitting to talk about pianos on day #88 (because pianos typically have 88 keys). I was fortunate enough to play tonight’s gig on a little baby grand that was tuned yesterday. Not only that, it was in a beautiful room with a lovely audience. Seems the very definition of harmonious.
It tickles my fancy when I play a Sarabande that at one stage it was illegal. Bach’s Sarabande – the one I play is part of the fifth French suite – is a beautiful, restrained piece of baroque keyboard music. It doesn’t get much more refined that this in the classical musical world. However … in the 16th century things were different. Having it’s origins in folk music and dance in Latin America, the Zarabanda was considered “so lascivious in its words, so ugly in its movements, that it is enough to inflame even very honest people.” (Juan de Mariana). Public performance was punishable by two hundred lashes!
I’ll be playing the whole suite and telling tales of Versailles tomorrow night in Castlemaine if you’re in the mood for a little once-inflammatory entertainment.
If there’s one way to feel a sense of accomplishment, it’s through successful plumbing repairs. Today I successfully changed the washers in not one, but three dripping taps. I am filled with a sense of achievement and a new calm permeates the house in the absence of drips interrupting the aural environment.
I’m making an 18th century costume for my new show, Les Femmes de Versailles (The Women of Versailles), which has its first outing next weekend in Castlemaine. The dress has been quite a process – making hips, a giant skirt, stomacher (the fluffy bit that covers the front), jacket, and ruffles, lots of ruffles. I’ve been finishing it off today and am reminded how much I like sewing – hand or machine, I like them both. It’s a very calm and satisfying activity, and I can’t help thinking perhaps I should have spent all those years sewing instead of phd-ing.
There’s something very satisfying about waking up feeling like you’ve slept well. I never get enough hours, but I love it when I’m physically exhausted and wake up in exactly the same position as I went to sleep in. As though I fell asleep the instant my head hit the pillow and I didn’t budge until morning.
I’m not sure how well I would sleep in the quasi-public surroundings that the queens at Versailles were subjected to. All those seats were for people to watch her majesty get dressed every morning.