tales of a girl in the city

octobre 23, 2005


When he walked out on stage last night this is what his body language said:

In about forty-five minutes, every single person here is going to want to fuck me.

I didn't have anyone there to snort with--who is this Simon Trpceski person? Can you believe that strut? Instead, I looked around at all the old people next to me, all of whom were taking the moment to refasten their large rhinestone pins, or shift in their tweed suit coats. I was hoping that there'd be someone to exchange a knowing look, with: This guy's cocky, eh? Sadly, no one seemed to share my fascination with Mr. Trpceski's obvious bravado. So, I looked back at the stage, and delivered my own mental challenge to the pianist. Ok, little man. Bring it.

And he did.

It was Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor for anyone out there who cares about such things. For everyone else, it is the kind of piece the rain would play if it had fingers. Endless falling. The first movement is simple: a sparrow in a puddle. Then, gradually, it moves from drizzle to downpour. Drenching. Sound heightened the way a garden is heightened during a storm--greener, deeper, more red, more abundant--all the leaves sopping and swollen with water.

Rachmaninoff in Trpceski's fingers became the story of rain itself. An account of the journey from formlessness to form. One moment you are grey and undefined, a molecule that rests in the anonymity of a clouded sky. And the next you have become a bright, plummeting, separate thing. You are falling from the belly of thunder. Then impact; the piano scales are the rain encountering shape. Listen. Your rain-self breaks against a surface. You discover the miracle of texture with your rivulet hands: a shingle, a crevice, a paper cup, a pebble, the smoothness of a windowpane, the roof of a taxi, the lightning-rod tip of the Chrysler building. A tiny bit of skin just above someone's collar.

And then the last movement. Rachmaninoff's Finales-- after all the tiny, personalized flourishes, after all the piano's singular turns--always return to boundlessness. No more scales, no more droplets. Back to the whole clouded sky and the pounded thunder of octave reaches. The finales are about the rain's gift to the garden. They rise, they don't fall. They're the change. They're the growing.

I sat in my seat and let the sound break me open.