This afternoon I have another gig at an area home for seasoned citizenry. I recently signed up for a Pittsburgh program that does this, and played my first program last month.
You may have noticed I don't line my website with testimonies or a biography. You know, the kind of biographies that usually begin "so and so is one of the leading voices of his/her generation" and include adjectives like "in demand" and "active" or, if the pianist in question is writing for more general audiences (you did know we generally write our own bios right? Well, the secret's out now), phrases like "has dazzled audiences around the world from an early age." Or testimonies from excited customers who bought the product and it transformed their lives.
But here are a couple of things I wanted to share from my program two weeks ago. When I showed up, the piano was shoved into a corner so it wouldn't get in anybody's way. It was also going to be difficult to make myself heard from the rear corner of the room so I asked if I could move it. I could, and I did.
One member of the audience said gratefully, "nobody has ever moved the piano out of the corner of the room before!"
Now maybe that doesn't go up on the wall with the kinds of pretty adjectives critics in newspapers string together when you've given a laudable concert, but I didn't think it was half bad. Besides, there is a time for "boldly and surely" and "wonder to behold" and then there is the utility of just moving the piano so people can hear you better, see you better, and feel like you are trying to connect with them even if it requires the gargantuan step of moving furniture.
And when it was over, I was apparently voted "excellent" and the residents hoped I'd come back. I know because a gentleman sent me an email and told me the news and how much he appreciated the concert.
In ten days I'll be playing the organ for a room full of doctors. Before that there are a couple of church services. First I have this afternoon's gig. I have to go print out the program for it.
Maybe I'll include a bio. Starting with the line "Michael Hammer likes to connect with his audience so much he's willing to move furniture."
I don't much like to be repetitive, and I'll bet that's not something you'll see in many biographies.
But in its own way, it's pretty cool.