It’s 11:15 PM on a Monday much like this one. I’m on the third floor of Frist, trying to get a head start on the week’s reading. I’m a few pages in when, all the sudden, the din begins. BANGBANGBANG.
Who decided to put a piano in Frist? How is it that one individual can be allowed to impose his sonic stylings on hundreds of unconsenting listeners? What kind of person chooses to do this? Who hurt this person, long ago, when he was young and more easily hurtable, and why must he respond by hurting my ears? Can you ever really play the pain away?
Unanswerable questions, perhaps. But of one thing I am certain: If Frist Piano Player gets to interrupt my studying, I get to interrupt his piano playing. With an interview!
HEY FRIST PIANO PLAYER! How long have you been playin’ piano?
Since I was six.
Since you were six? Who taught you?
A whole bunch of different teachers. I don’t actually have any now.
Are you learning a new piece? What is it?
This is Debussy. I’ve been looking at it for a while.
Is Debussy one of your favorites?
He’s interesting, so… [tries to turn away].
What goes through your mind when you’re playing the piano? Does it go blank? I wouldn’t know because I’m not a very musical person.
It’s a lot like solving a puzzle, figuring out what your muscles and your skeletal structure should do. And the intellectual challenge.
Why is piano important to your life?
I don’t know… it’s music. Why is music important?
Why IS music important?
[Long pause] Oh, you’re asking me.