A Voice For Animals


27 APRIL 2020 BLOG 17

When I was in schoolgirl, I listened to the only record I owned. I can’t recall how I acquired it. It was one of those bendable vinyl records with one song. It was the songs of whales. I could listen to that music all day. I loved listening to the sounds of nature as well. My other favourites were opera and classical music. Then, in my twenties, when I moved to Vancouver, my boyfriend Brent introduced me to R&B and Rock and Roll.  I immediately loved R&B. But I had listened to Rock and Roll in front of Brent and my dear friend, Theresa. We only ever listened to Rock and Roll music. Her brother took me to my first Rock and Rock concert with Theresa – Black Sabbath.

            I was 16. It was an interesting night. I didn’t even like the music. I never did, nor did I want to hear it. I just didn’t care for it. I experienced no emotional impact from this band, not like I had with the whale music or the sounds of nature, or classical music, or opera.

I also loved the piano, violin and that family of instruments. However, those around me growing up and even my friends didn’t like that, and they made sure to tell me in various ways.

The adults in my life violently squashed any dream I had for music. Especially my desire of becoming a pianist. The fact that my friends laughed at me for listening to whale music didn’t help either. When I walked on a path other than my own, all was good in their world. I now made sense to them. They could relate to me. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for myself. I didn’t make sense to myself, and I couldn’t relate to myself.

             However, one day, while visiting one of my aunts who was a schoolteacher and could play the piano, she taught me how to play one song. I remember sitting next to her on the piano bench. I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old. My feet dangled over the piano bench. My fingers were small on the ivories. That day, I learned how to play the piano. I had no resistance. No reason to believe that I couldn’t learn to play the piano, and no reason to believe that playing the piano couldn’t be for and was reserved for ‘other people’, but not for me. That day, I learned how to play En roulant ma boule ma boule, en roulant ma toute ronde. It was just a few keys…but I will never forget it. I don’t know what happened after that. There was no more piano in my life after that.

            Then, while at college in Vancouver, I moved into a house that already had a piano. I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to play it again. On the piano were music books on how to learn to read music, and play the piano. Oddly enough, the books were in Japanese, but my roommate was not Japanese. He was a White man. I know that there was some English in the music books. I figured out how to teach myself and finally played a song. I eventually recognized the song, the more I practiced it. But that too was short-lived. It was only for one school semester. I had to move out of that house because my roommate was a creep. It simply wasn’t a safe place for me to live. I moved out at warp speed with the help of a classmate. Now, that was the end of my piano days. I can’t even give a reason why I never continued to play the piano after that.