Monday, December 5, 2011

Apologies All' Improviso

We had an improvisation workshop in my creative writing class today. This came out of it. Nothin' like some improv to fuel my creative writing.

I'm trying to be strategic. Ten stubby fingers dancing across eighty eight keys. This is what it feels like to be on display, I think, even though I'm in a stuffy closet filled with pianos, just me and my Asian piano teacher.

There are a million ways to go. Eighty eight times eighty eight amounts to 7744 possibilities, plus 7744 times 7744 more when you add in grace notes, trills, passing tones and suspensions. A million little hammers sending vibrations through a million little strings to create sound, as a million doors open to a million possibilities, all painted white and black, alternatively. It occurs to me that I'm not choosing any of them particularly well.

At some point, you just have to go. When everything comes to a halt, all of my blood cells and tendons at once resting, all six nameless figures in the dark room stopped, impulse takes over. A hand raises. A foot jolts forward. My fingers begin to dance.

"Fuck!" I scream when I mess up, and my piano teacher winces. One of the figures falls forward, all bones swathed in blue. A friend once suggested to me that I ought to own my mistakes, never apologizing for them but celebrating them instead. "I'm sorry," the blue figure inside of me says, as she recomposes herself off of the wooden floor that has risen out of itself. She heads toward another door...

Doors. Doors rise out of the floor now, long wooden panels bathed in black. And the figures inside of me are hastening to make their way through them, worlds of possibilities: a seventh chord here, an augmented chord now.

What would it be if we understood the world through music? All of our fingers dancing across black and white keys, constructing black walls from impulse, maneuvering around obstacles suddenly risen.
Creating worlds of harmonies and dissonances in spite of ourselves.
Never apologizing when we fall.

More improv-inspired writing after the jump.

If a tree falls in the woods with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

It's like asking, "Do you still exist if I can't see you?"

Because you're hiding behind walls of painted black that have on them the letters F-U-C-K  F-E-T. And you're lying bathed in gray on a floor of gray with painted hands and face such that I cannot see you.

You're suspended above the skyline, hanging from a string, from the sun.

You're rolling across the stage on a long board with arms outstretched and I can imagine you
but I can't actually see your figure
because you're hidden
with hands and face painted
behind walls of painted black.

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