July 14, 2007

Astor Piazzolla – Cafe 1930


Went for a jog this evening, running my usual route to the Bedok Jetty, and somehow Piazzolla’s Cafe 1930 from his Historie du Tango just started playing in my head as I was sitting at the jetty. Perhaps its the effect of studying the piece recently? Or maybe it was today’s practice session. I was brought back to the times I spent at the Jetty. My first long-distance cycling trip with mum when I was ten. When I sat at the jetty crying after not getting a distinction for my violin exam back in secondary one.

The violin singing its sad, melancholic melody, accompanied by the guitar setting the mood… I remembered the beautiful evening, where we sat in thoughtful silence, each having our own mess of thoughts and staring at the ships in the distance. Or perhaps it was an attempt to clear the thoughts of Wagner from our mind from the early afternoon’s study. The myraid of shimmering stars in the sky provided a stark contrast to the bright glow of the Shenton Way city skyline in the distance.

The mood changes to a more positive one, when the guitar plays chords, accompanied by a sweetly singing violin melody above. The feeling of lightness and nostalgia comes, as if leaving our weight with the sea and just sitting in silence on the stone bench, staring through the corroded metal bars at the lapping waves. Hope, like a faint light at the end of a dark tunnel.

The sad tune in E minor returns. Resignation, coupled with the image of a snuffed-out candle come to mind. Leaving the jetty and strolling back, I feel the weight of the problems slowly creeping back, and reality taking its place. Oh well…

In music therapy training we learnt that music can be conditioned and attached to different memories. I guess this piece has touched me in a profound way, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Wrong notes and bad intonation aside, we’re going to play this piece. And when we do….. I know it’ll be magical 🙂

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