One of my goals last year was to record 50 piano improvisation sessions. It stretched me, not only in its quantity, but in the discipline of capturing what I create, imperfect as it may be. I’ve carried forward this practice, and I often listen to past recordings and smile (or cringe).
But there is one improv session that brings me hope.
A few months ago I was with my brother at the hospital. In the lobby, as I wheeled him out, I saw a piano. “How about a song?” I asked. Now I am neither a performer nor a pianist, and I didn’t have anything planned or prepared. Nevertheless, I sat down right there and created a song for him to express a love that is difficult to put into words.
In design, I have often said that the most courageous act is putting the pen to the paper. It’s not in planning or in sharing our work or asking for help, but in the unripe actualization.
Meaningful things emerge there. However, because he faces true adversity, my brother lives each day on that courageous edge of uncertainty, and yet he chooses to make the day good. It is his courage that makes this song meaningful to me.
About the Recording
The audio was recorded that day with my iPhone using Voice Record Pro, and I did minimal enhancements with Adobe Audition (trimming, compression, fades, etc.).
About the Visualization
To make it more entertaining, I added an audio visualization using http://do.adive.in/music/
About the Picture
The picture above was taken from my brother’s hospital room.