As I lay there in a sinus clogged haze, my brain addled with codine, I listen to Samantha struggle with "Reflections" (from Mulan) on the piano. The notes float from the strings of the piano, her small delicate fingers tentatively pressing the keys. The melody starts to take shape, then disappears. Two measures come together beautifully, the lilting sound hanging in the air, then the jarring wrong note.
I focus my eyes from across the room. I see Sam tense, her back arched, her eyes bare inches from the music. She is trying to "read" the music, breaking down the melody into individual "notes," her eyes transmitting black symbols on the page to her brain, which tries to process the scribble into a synaptic instruction to her fingers, hoping that what the finger does turns into music. All too often, it does not.
I think about our beloved timepiece hobby; how we try so hard to break a watch down into its individual components, to analyse it, to decompose it to its elemental parts - crown, case, minute chapters, hour hand, Breguet overcoil hairspring, glucydur balance, repeater rack, tourbillon cage...
"Samantha, that is beautiful. That is a beautiful piece, Sam. That is such a beautiful melody," is all I can repeat, over and over. I struggle up, now sitting on the sofa. I tell Samantha to stop. Stop, and just let the memory of the notes float in the air, fill her being...
"Close the score, please, and try to hear the melody in your mind," as I hum the notes as softly and gently as I can. "Can you hear it?"
"Yes, dad, I can."
"Ok, now just play it. Let the music you hear in your mind just flow from your fingers, let the reflective mezzopiano tenor just flow naturally..."
And some of the most incredibly beautiful music poured forth...
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