Monday, July 9, 2012

Nine fingers

I feel a little guilty that my blog is "Yarn" heavy, and "Ivories" doesn't get equal time, but that's life around here.  As I think about it, I've had ivories in my life since 1954, and yarn... hard to pinpoint, but it came a little later (still, it was in the late '50's).
Now I have news about "Ivories" since 5 weeks ago I started using nine fingers instead of ten.  It's been a long standing habit I've created for myself, of using and depending on ten fingers but I've amazed myself at making nine work.
Yesterday I played 4 hymns (and 15 verses), a prelude (Battle Hymn Tribute, pictured above), an offertory (Elegy), and a short postlude (short variations on hymn tunes).  This was all on organ where notes need to be connected one to the other by slipping from one note to the next, holding them down until the next is played, and since my left pinky is out of commission, the pedals cover nicely the lower notes.  It works!!  I particularly liked the Battle Hymn Tribute by Behnke because it starts and ends with Amazing Grace.  People like it because they have to like one of the two tunes, and if they like quiet music or loud, it has both.
Yesterday was also my debut playing piano (haven't played since early May and never with nine fingers).  I originally said-- NO WAY!  Then I tried the piece for women's ensemble, and it wasn't half bad.  A minimum of octaves (pictured below) and the last verse was "a capella", my favorite!!  I cheated skirted around most octaves to begin with, but by the third service (and third performance) I got braver and found I was reaching more notes.

I've come to grips with how old my hands look... so I'm leaving this untouched photo in.  Not all hand shots are this flattering... :)
One amusing glitch yesterday:  As I was turning a page with my left hand (and covering music with my other appendages) I made a loud cracking noise as my plastic splint hit the music desk.  It startled me, but I guess I was playing loudly and no one else noticed!

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