My Piano, November 2010 Update

I need to keep a record of what’s been happening with my piano, as every time someone comes to look at it, I forget what work has been done!

My 15 year old Alex Steinbach piano got it’s first tuning in about 4 or 5 years this week, which is a bit sad. I had left it to wallow for that time while I had other things on my mind, like sorting out my life! For the record, I bought my piano new in 1994 or 1995 for $3995, and it was shipped to Darwin from Tasmania. While in Darwin I looked after it pretty well, getting it tuned every year, sometimes twice due to the monsoonal humidity. After I separated from my husband, the piano sat at my friend Nikki’s house for a year or so, from there the piano was trucked to Brisbane around 2005 for the cost of $880.

While living on the north-side of Brisbane I got it tuned once, and I vaguely remember that tuner saying something about silverfish and a broken string, he left some insect repellents in there which was removed this time around. I started looking for a south-side piano tuner about 12 months ago and it’s taken me this long to get up the courage to get someone in. I narrowed my search to tuners registered at the APTTA site for Queensland. I really wanted to get it done before I was 20 weeks pregnant, because that’s when the baby can hear in the womb, but I am 28 weeks now so I have left it a bit late.

So last week the piano tuner I had decided upon, a local musician called Martin Holmes, comes in and says it’s not worth tuning because all the felts on the keys have been eaten, probably by silverfish, and need to be replaced first. This of course tripled the price and really threw me at the time, although in hindsight it shouldn’t have surprised me that much. It has been sitting idle for a long time, afterall.  I was very nervous that this man unknown to me was taking out all my keys, to take away and refit some new felts, which apparently is a very fine and detailed job to do, and would take more than the weekend to complete. I had to utilise several anti-worry techniques that I’ve been taught this year  by my counsellor to get through the week, lol!

So this time around, the key bushes have been re-felted by hand. A string has broken and will need to be replaced when the part arrives in a week or two. There is a spare broken string wound up in the bottom of the piano which might have been the original of another string which had been replaced at some earlier date. The piano has been vacuumed out, so next time we can see any new dust. Thankfully, the piano is sounding very nice again, I think Martin has done a good job, and I can’t wait to get stuck back into my playing.

Now it’s finally done, and I can start with my planned repertoire of children’s songs, a basic piano course and some improvisation. As long as I don’t need that bottom A with the broken string too much over the next fortnight, I should be right!

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Free Jazz and Shiraz Concert

I’ve heard of Outdoor Wednesday, which is another tag-along blog which would be good for me to participate in. Go to “A Southern Daydreamer” for more details.

Every week I would like to write about my progress with getting back outside to do stuff on my own again, and I’m happy to say last week has been a good start! The highlight of out-of-the-house activities for me last week was the free Jazz and Shiraz concert put on by the Logan City Council at the Kingston Butter Factory. I had so much fun! Although of course I didn’t go on my own, David came with me.

The mellow crowd were just our style, the food was better than your usual hotdogs and hamburgers, and shiraz was for sale by the glass so I got two! We had oven-fired pizza which was made with a portable pizza oven right before our eyes! We also tried the “roo on a stick”, which was a succulent sample of kangaroo fillet skewered and cooked to perfection. This was particularly good for me, it’s been very hard to get good kangaroo steak since moving to Brisbane. The outdoor event reminded me of Darwin, but thankfully no real home-sickness to speak of, although these kinds of concerts  are something I do miss from my old home. Even though the food was a little on the expensive side, it was well worth it, and the concert itself was free so it was a cheap night out all up.

Then of course, there was the music. We only got to see three of the four acts, we saw all of the performance by The West End Composers Collective, which funnily enough isn’t mentioned on their website. It’s a pity as I was trying to find out the name of the vocalist, with whom I was very impressed and that doesn’t happen often with vocalists! I figure if I can sing something, its a bit ‘meh’ for me, but in all my time singing, even at my most prime, I Never sounded as good as this vocalist. Her quality of tone was outstanding, like liquid honey, and she was very apt at the jazz scat, which I found hard to do myself when studying it. I thought her name was Holly something… but maybe it was Hannah? I’m not sure, but well worth the effort to get out of the house to hear this live! Another good thing about this trip was that we tried out our new Go Cards for the first time when we caught the train, and my verdict is that it was terrific! I’ll be getting back on the trains on my own in no time, I’m sure!
Thanks for listening ❤ ❤ ❤