Some of the best memories I have are not recorded on photo, audio, or video. For this reason, I blog as a kind of bookmark — to trigger the memories and to never forget. How could I forget sitting at the piano, playing the Brahms horn trio, the Mendelssohn piano trios, and Piazzolla piano trio versions of his Four Seasons?
That afternoon of Thursday 15th July 2010 was a special one for me.
I called it “Completing the trio.” I just needed a violinist to complete my duo with French horn and my duo with cellist. The Dutch violinist who opened the music gates for us in Taiwan was returning to the Netherlands for a short vacation. I decided to make an event of it.
Once we started playing the trios, I realised that it was the most wonderful thing to play and experience chamber music. The sound was overwhelming and all encompassing. Had I discovered chamber music earlier, I would majored in music instead of engineering. Chamber music didn’t exist in my childhood on Okinawa. The closest thing was quatre main — piano duets. I played the keyboard in various bands, but that was not chamber music.
To entice the musicians to come to this “Completing the Trio” event, I organised a barbecue. I marinated spareribs in a special spicy Asian mix. I defrosted several dozen giant tiger prawns. I prepared Chinese cold noodles in the fridge. It was just a get-together for my indulgence in music — not a concert by any means.
I wanted to keep it small, intimate, and manageable. Just the 3 musicians plus me and Robert, that way I could focus on the music.
I tried to resist inviting others to this indulgent day of music and barbecue. I failed.
In the end, I invited my friend Kristen from Atlanta whom I hadn’t seen in 2 years. I invited a Hawaiian artist and his Dutch partner, both of whom I had never met but was very curious after reading his art catalogue.
The phone rang unexpectedly that afternoon. “I heard you’re having a rehearsal. We’d like to come to hear you. There are five of us. May we come to hear you?” News leaked of our musical gathering. “It’s a rehearsal,” I said. “Not a concert. Bring some chicken for the barbecue.”
The guest list of 3 expanded to 12. There were 14 of us that day enjoying the music, the barbecue, and the acrobatics.