What happened during the Earthquake!

From Berkeley, California

At 3:19 a.m. I had just revisited my recently posted video of Bach’s Sarabande (French Suite in G)–a foreboding?

… when suddenly the wall I was leaning against, ( while seated at the piano), started swaying from side-to-side. (somewhat like swells to crescendo < with releases >)

Next, I felt a tremolo under my right pedal-ready foot, with a few erratic accents. Mother Nature wasn’t LISTENING..or did she HEAR it BEFORE it played out. A NO NO to begin with. Pianist/mentor Leon Fleisher would have agreed, in his riveting reiterations at Masterclasses:

“Don’t play until you know ahead of time what’s going to roll out.”

This temblor definitely ROLLED in waves once it got going–which seemed forever. You could attach a fermata to it:


The Ceiling lights were trilling, or perhaps flickering, a more fine-tuned description.

It was an overall shaky effect— a form of arrhythmia, best treated by a beating metronome.

Mine happened to tip over the edge during the ruckus, pulsating out of synch with Nature’s forces.


NATUR-ally, I stayed put on the piano bench, nervously praying that the treble staff metal sculpture above my head, would stay reinforced to the wall by its two, weakly affixed nails.

(You could surmise that I was living on borrowed time…in rubato style–a moment-to-moment existence, without measure-to-measure planning)

Frankly, when all was said and DONE, it was the longest interval of rumbling I’d experienced since an earthquake centered in Coalinga (land of crickets) shook up my former Central Valley piano room, sending old, tainted Urtext editions, in mudslide fashion off the shelves.

But it was no match for an event beamed in from Brazil by Skype: (Broken chords abounded in a frenzy to CLIMAX!) And then, helplessly, I stood by and imagined the carnage.


About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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