Yesterday, I was riding in my car, and for a moment, my radio was tuned to one of the pop stations here in Nashville. (NPR or a mix-tape of sorts is usually on these days) I didn't think anything of it until I heard the sound of a solitary piano playing. Then, a voice started to sing. I swear, I could have been sitting by a lake all alone with no one else around. Whatever I was doing in that moment seemed to fade away as this song unraveled.
I wasn't sure who was singing until the chorus came in, and there was no doubt in my mind that it was Adele. Thankfully, it was her newest single, "Someone Like You". As a pianist and musician, I am absolutely in love with this song. It is incredibly gorgeous. Whoever decided not to add any other instrument to the production was a genius. The piano can be a symphony orchestra all by itself--handling rythmic, harmonic, and melodic responsibilities simultaneously. The intimacy you get with just a voice and a piano is like nothing else. It provides a huge contrast to the over-produced Euro-dance type of styles that have dominated pop music as of late.
As a human being whose made his own disastrous attempts at love, I could related completely to the lyrics. I could be wrong, but I think this will be Adele's biggest hit ever.
Here is a live performance of this heart-breaking work of art. It's just mesmerizing . . .
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Hope you have a sweet and lovely Sunday.
There happens to be one song in the world that served as a catalyst for me to pursue music as an on-going passion. Several years ago, a friend of mine had told me of a new artist named Fiona Apple. She mentioned that I might like her stuff and recommended that I check her out. Well, a few weeks later, I was in a record store and came across one of those listening booth/kiosks that had several different CD's that you could hear songs from. Fiona Apple's debut album called "Tidal", with those gargantuan blue eyes staring out at you, was one of them . . .
I remember picking up a copy and thinking "Oh, this is that girl that my friend told me about". After looking throught the song titles in the back of it, one title stood out to me. It was number 7--a song called "Never Is a Promise". I thought it was such a simple but poetically provocative name for a song.
In the middle of this very busy record store, I put the headphones on, went to #7, and was hopeful that I would like what I would hear. I can honestly say that this event changed the way I looked at music. I heard this song with all of its power, hopeful defiance, angst, and beauty, and I was so inspired. I could relate to every word and understand every nuance in the music. The delicate inflections in her voice, the sense of mounting urgency in the piano, the mournful violins, and that tender moment at the end when she sings "You'll say I need appeasing when I start to cry"--I was never the same after this. This song changed me in ways that I can't even begin to explain.
Every now and then, I actually play this song on the piano and sing it when I'm alone in my room. I just love to play it so much.
Christophe was moving his office and had to get rid of a piano. But one does not simply get rid of a piano. He and Todd concocted a plan to bring it to a public place so that it could be enjoyed by many. Locations were kicked around and Bernal Heights, an amazing park in San Francisco, won out.
I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't all that into the idea. I thought it was cool, but I'm trying to spend all of my time working on our startup, SETT. Still, there are some friends you'd help move a body, some friends you'd help move a piano, and Todd is both.
All together there were about six of us that night. We loaded the piano to and from the Ziptruck, pushed it on a dolly up the hill, and carried it over the guardrail and onto a perfect flat area Todd had scoped out that overlooks both bridges, the hills, and downtown. It was perfect.
We hung out for an hour or so, taking turns playing the piano and taking pictures, and then we left. Predictably, the piano was all over the Internet the next day.