2018. Playing the accordion with my husband at an open air concert in France.
The accordion is a heavy instrument to play and requires quite a hefty work out across my chest to get it singing. It has been silent for many months. " Never again would I be able to play it ", that was my thinking. Heart operations, lack of strength in my chest and everywhere else, these were my reasons for not lifting it out of its carrying case and strapping it to myself. I contented myself with playing the piano. My chest didn't mind that.
Being pushed along by the Universe.......: So my husband had a phone call: "Would you like to come along to our rehearsal next week. Our violinist is leaving us, so we wondered if you would like to fill his slot. We are the Gracechurch Historical Dancers, and put on exhibitions of English folk music."
It was settled...... He would be playing the violin and mandolin, and I would go along to support him. After all, I was still supposed to be in post recovery time and therefore 'delicate'.
Rehearsal over. My husband had acquitted himself well, as I knew he would. But this was only a rehearsal for the musicians of Gracechurch, and the next rehearsal would be in the local village hall with the dancers. I was quite content to go along and watch. I was, after all, still 'delicate'. "Not so" said The Universe.......
......... another rehearsal over.... the dancers did their folk dancing while the musicians played for them, and I watched and listened, thinking that at the next rehearsal I would bring my knitting to keep me occupied.
I heard my husband talking about the music we had played in France.
"So you play music as well?" said leader of the group to me.
"I did, but I had a operation recently .......", thinking that this was a good enough reason not to be involved.
"She plays the accordion......" my husband butted in.
In annoyance, because of my 'delicate' condition, I said " I don't anymore, and anyway the sound of the accordion would drown out all the other musicians", thinking that was the end of the conversation.
But no, I was not to be let go of so easily, because everyone has agreed that I shall play my electronic keyboard (piano) during future rehearsals. It was also agreed that I could learn the melodeon, which is to be loaned to me for the moment. A melodeon is a smaller and lighter accordion type of instrument, and therefore 'should be easier for my chest to handle', everyone said.
On the way home....I was very quiet, feeling as if I had been organised into doing too much too soon.
But if you me, what would you do as soon as the next day arrived? You would feel the excitement of a new challenge.......that is what you would do.
So.......I got the accordion out its carrying case, and lifted it up on to my chest meanwhile expecting horrendous things to happen in the chest itself, and started playing. I was out of practice, the fingers of my left hand had lost their positional map of the bass keys, while my right hand moaned about the awkward position it was held in. But no moaning came from my chest, or anything held within my chest.
Playing the accordion again is a huge milestone for me, and although it will take me a lot more practice before I can render a musical sound sufficient to satisfy my musicianship, this was a huge sign that I am getting better, and that my body is healing.
The accordion is still too strong and loud to be played with the Gracechurch players, but I have the piano keyboard, and maybe the melodeon if I can learn to play it. I am nervous about playing in public again, but I shall do it for me.
The Gracechurch players have an associated band called the Devil's Chair. We think they play Celtic / Medieval music. We have been invited to join them as well. As I say......being pushed along by the Universe!
Bye for now,
from a newly non-delicate Vx