7.09.2009

playing with curves

{click on image to see better}

this piano once sat {or is it stood?} in my parents' home. now it resides in my twin sister's living room. i just now realized, everyone in my family of seven except for my father played {or still plays} the piano in some fashion. it's not that my dad was not musical. he was. but he played the trumpet. still, he loved the piano and had great appreciation for those who could play. he loved jazz pianists, marian mcpartland and oscar peterson. his favorite classical pianist was vladimir horowitz. his all-time favorite pianist was my mom. and i think he was very proud of his five kids' playing, as well as his granddaughter's.

i have fond memories of my dad playing trumpet while my mom played the piano in our home or at church. we almost always had a piano in the houses i grew up in. sometimes an upright, sometimes a console, and sometimes baby grands like this one.

my mom did not have room for this one in her new place after my dad died. so my twin sister took it, and it is perfect for the large, open corner of her living room. i'm so glad she has it. the last couple of times i was there, she was playing it while i sat in the guest room on the laptop. it brought me back to a very long time ago when all seven of us were together and my siblings and i would fight for a chance to sit at the bench and push down those ivories to make music. i also think of the times that all seven of us gathered around the piano to sing––whether at christmas or to practice for the song we were to sing at church on sunday or just for fun. good, good times.

trust me––my family was not perfect. so very far from it. but i would say that the strongest unifying cord between us––beside our faith––was music. i believe it is why it is still such a great love for each of the five children as adults. and of course, it continues to flow from my mother who is still writing music and still playing the piano, even after her partner has gone.

although i love the shape and the curves in the body of a baby grand piano, the title of this post actually came from something else. the interesting look that i achieved with this photo was arrived at by opening it in photoshop and playing with the curves. instead of doing a normal s-curve, i curved it way outside the norm, and sort of "blew out" the background until i got a really neat look that i liked.

this was not something i set out to do. it's something i achieved by playing around. it does not work with just any image––i know because i tried. but it happened to work well with the background and foreground of this shot. maybe it's not for everyone's taste, but i liked what i saw.

did you grow up in a musical family? was there a central spot for you where this music took place? was there a specific instrument or instruments that were/are special to your family? and if not music, was there some other pastime that was a sort of glue? i'd love to hear some about it.

and now, to end this post––an inside joke for any of my family members that are reading this... "here we are by the piano."

18 comments:

maccandace said...

Georgia, that's a totally cool look and very appropriate for this photo and this post. I've always wished I could play the piano.

I'm an only child so I don't have those sorts of memories of a big family gathered together like you do. Both my parents played instruments when young but didn't encourage me to do so, unfortunately. They liked music when I was growing up but it was not a big part of our life.

Now it's a pretty big part of my life as Tony is passionate about music and plays. I first really started appreciating it when I took a couple of music literature courses in college and got very acquainted with classical as well as jazz. Now we go to the symphony a couple of times a year and to chamber music several other times a year.

I love this quote by Walter Pater, "All art constantly aspires to the condition of music."

~Hurricane B~ said...

I am thinking that playing my the piano, singing at Christmas time sounds very movie like to me. I had a rough childhood growing up, my mom can sing just ...well wonderfully. I do remember in the happy times her singing good ole Pat Benetar, Classic 80;s some Melissa Ethridge and me longing to sing just like her. I sound better in Alto, while she can just sing it all. I wish she would have done something with it, but she has horrible stage fright,

Even with all the icky lemons life gave me, music...i just can not live without it. I had been in choir from kindergarten till my Junior year in high school. My 6th grade year I tried to play the flute, I wished I could play an instrument, and that seemed the best option. Umm yeah not so much,=) i can play mary had a little lamb, but other wise pretty much blew(no pun intended). I sing everywhere I can till this day.

BTW can I just say I love how you end your posts with questions. Great photo and I love the shady background, I would not have thought about the curving, I thought you shadowed it out. Have a great weekend. We are off to London tommorow.

Steve Gravano said...

I like the effect on the photo, especially the background. As a child I had piano, accordion and guitar lessons and the only thing I can play is the radio. Still, I love music.

CDScott said...

I love the piano image! And I love stories of your family's musical past. Thanks for sharing.

apriliniowa said...

The piano is beautiful! I'm still waiting, somewhat patiently, for my childhood piano to make it to our home. Doubtful though.
With that, I'm liking the end product here. I've played around with this technique a bit myself and always love the gossamer ghost-like quality it adds. Nice touch to add a little of your family's history here as well. I have a Horowitz cd purchased in high school that I still love. I imagine I would have really liked your pops. Enjoy the day. :)

georgia b. said...

i'm pretty certain he would have like you too, H.
:)

Candace, i remember your post about you hubby's band. i love that they practice out in that little building. i love that you started a tradition of music, even though you did not have it growing up. and i really like the quote you added in your comment. i wish i had seen that earlier—it would have been a great addition to the post! thank you for sharing it.

Bridge, thanks for making a comment about adding the questions. i've always appreciated when other bloggers do it, because it opens up the convo. i don't always, because it's not always appropriate. but i do love to know about other people, especially on this topic. thanks for sharing and answering and reading my posts from beginning to end! :)

Steve, funny you should say that—i think my dad always said that too—about playing the radio. :)

CDScott, thanks!!

beth said...

I love what you did in photoshop...I love that you are all connected with music and I love that your sister has that piano in her home where all the memories can come pouring out of it.....

and me....HA....I can't carry a tune in the biggest bag I own or do I play an instrument...but I live for itunes and youtube music videos !

Dani said...

it's good to have those central memory places, i think. my in laws have a grand piano in their room right inside the door (not sure what to call that room?)...it's not something that gets played anymore, but is very beautiful!
ed played the guitar while i was growing up. his brother, jack, plays all sorts of instruments, mostly the guitar and banjo-he's here
http://www.youtube.com/JudyHenryandJack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPpsHGYc_7E
They love music...I didn't realize what an impact that would have on me now that I am grown up (kind of)...there's no gathering around ed while he plays wild thing, but i always have music on in the background. i am drawn to it.

Char said...

I grew up with a great appreciation for pop music as my mom and dad both loved it. Most of my very early days are remembered by hearing certain songs and remembering my mom playing them as she worked around the house. Only my sister was gifted with a decent singing voice (she played Rizzo in her high school play).

beautiful work with this shot.

Maisy said...

That is a very cool edit!

Caroline said...

Really love what you did with the photo! I am self taught in photography and playing around is how I learn!

My family loved music and we played records (none of us were musically inclined). My Mom was into all kinds of crazy stuff...mostly I remember playing the Beatles Yellow Submarine album over and over...and then there was Chic (70's R&B). My brother and I would fight over the turn table...I wanted to play Shaun Cassidy (da doo ron ron...remember that!?) and he wanted to play "The wreck of the Edmund Fitgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot...that song was like 15 minutes long...lol!!!

So yes, music played a huge role in my life...I fondly remember sitting in the living room playing records and looking at the album covers. There was something very tangible about that...

I may just have to youtube Shaun now...lol...haven't heard that song since 1976!!!

Meri said...

Photo play is tremendously entertaining. And yes, my family was musical. My mother started as a music major, but got her MRS. instead of a degree. She had a beautiful singing voice, but since throat surgery hasn't been a soloist in public/church. My father didn't play musical instruments, but also has a fine singing voice though he didn't do it often. I was dragged to piano lessons that I didn't appreciate at the time, but am grateful for now. One of the lovely gifts my ex gave me was a birthday present of a petite baby grand which graces my living room. One of my brothers is a fine guitarist, does some composing, and has a great voice. The other enjoys music but doesn't seem to have particular gifts in that area. Music IS a unifying force.

miz katie said...

What a beautiful entry. Happy to read the piano is still with your family.

Music was important in my household, too. I played piano, clarinet and drums. But, that was so long ago. I can't even remember how to read music now, sadly.

elk said...

music is life in our home....not always high caliber mind you but with feeling from the soul for sure!

great photo & your storytelling is so alive~elk

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Ooohhh this pictures does it. The light, the piano... Bet your dad would have loved it too.

Play him a song soon to remember the good old days. He will be there just by your side to listen and stroke your hear and fuzzle with it when you just sit there...

Be well and have a blessed weekend.

Liss said...

The processing has worked so well on this shot. It amazing.

Oliag said...

...my one regret of my childhood was that my parents had no musical interests and didn't encourage any of us to take up an instrument...as an adult I tried to take up flute, piano, guitar, recorder...but nothing took and I greatly admire those who have even a smidgen of talent...

I was sure to encourage my two girls to take musical lessons... which they did...but they didn't particularly like them:(

Puna said...

A wonderful memory and a wonderful photo.