Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hearing Again, and Feeling Better

I am reminded of a night about 30 years ago--can it really be that long?--sitting under my baby grand piano in a stinky nightclub, sitting on some nasty shag carpet on the stage and trying to get a little piezo pickup to attach to the underside of the piano. The piezo, about half the size of a penny, had a wire that lead to my amplifier. I normally used the piezo to amplify my violin. The vibrations somehow get turned into an electric current inside of it (who knows how)...

When my ears finally cleared up yesterday, I was skeptical, but today my hearing is pretty much back to normal. In fact, I'm feeling better all around. In just a short time, no doubt, I will forget about the whole thing and take my health completely for granted again.

The trick to using a piezo on the big bridge of a grand piano is to attach it with just the right amount of pressure; too much and the sound is stifled, too little and the vibrations don't get captured. I sat on the dirty carpet for the longest time, tightening and loosening the piezo under a screw on the bottom side of the piano.

We started playing for the night but I just couldn't tell if it sounded OK. Coincidentally, another piano player was there that night, and I asked him to sit in for a song so I could go into the crowd and listen. For grins he put on my jacket.

I remember it all very clearly. We were the house band at this club, and we'd been there for probably about one year at that time. I had never actually heard the band from off the stage.
But now I could see the band, and I could see someone at the piano, someone wearing my jacket, not me but might as well be me, someone sitting on a stinky stage in a stinky club. And it all hit me.

Thanksgiving is coming soon. I will try to remember to say thanks every day. Thanks that I don't have to sit in that stinky club anymore. Thanks for my health and hearing. Thanks that I have a wonderful wife and family, good friends and happy dogs.

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