Monday, June 25, 2012


We were nearing the end of our set at an indoor art festival when I felt it. Something in my throat. If I sang the next notes as I always did, the resulting sound would be a hacky train wreck. Even the people who weren't listening would notice.

I routed around whatever was in my throat. The hack-inducing thing went away. The mother of all clams was averted.

Everything before and after that moment went well too. We got a lot more positive attention than I would have expected, given that we were only there to enhance the ambience. Still, the thing I'm most proud of is the thing that didn't happen. Funny how that works.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stringing along

In preparation for the tuner's visit yesterday, I cleared off the junk that had accumulated on top of my piano over the course of a year. Then I played a little bit and noticed something weird.

For weeks, many of the keys had been hitting more than one string. But now most of them were working as they should. Some quick chromatic scales revealed that only three keys were showing signs of trouble, and not as markedly as before.

At first I thought I'd caused the improvement by removing all that junk. But that didn't make sense. Pianos are sturdy things. Putting stuff on top of them doesn't hurt them any.

Maybe it just wanted attention.

The piano tuner was as baffled by this turn of events as I was, but no matter. In spite of his dire predictions that I might need to buy a whole new piano, he was able to fix it for just $15 above the cost of the regular tune. And it doesn't just sound better now. It feels better to play. Practicing last night was a joy.

So, except for the weird suspicion that an inanimate object has been messing with my mind, everything is good now.

* * *

A little plug for the guy who made my piano (and me) very happy: Neal Flint has been tuning pianos in Tucson for over 30 years. He does good work and he's a heckuva nice guy. Of interest to some of my readers, he told me that he has a couple of clients with MCS. If you live in Tucson, have chemical sensitivities, and need a piano tuner, call Neal. He'll go fragrance-free if you need him to and he won't act like it's a big deal.