18. 11. 2016
Nikki Carson – Memoirs
Though not born in this Bordertown, I moved here with my family when I was nine years old. My father’s home town, my extended family have a long history in the area. I began playing the piano at a very young age, thanks to my father, who would sit and play and sing nursery rhymes with me from the moment I could crawl to the piano to harass him. I had a passion for music and in particular for the piano for as long as I can remember.
Growing up in Bordertown as an artist and musician is a very lonely sentence; to be a romantic amongst a small community that fears non conformity soon either makes you an outcast, or you submit. Unable to fit, try as I might, I spent a lot of time alone with my piano and my thoughts. Rachmaninoff was my friend – able to express the inexpressible that spoke to me and wordlessly, formlessly, capture the pain and anguish in my soul. I played and wrote music through high school, often composing for strings as I found the most soul piercing harmonies could be made with these instruments. My piano compositions were usually impulsive expressions of something I couldn’t otherwise articulate, which is the beauty of the arts.
“Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts, and especially in the art of words. If music has one advantage over the other media through which a person can represent the impressions of the soul, it owes this to its supreme capacity to make each inner impulse audible without the assistance of reason. Music presents at once the intensity and the expression of feeling. It is the embodied and intelligible essence of feeling, capable of being apprehended by our senses. It permeates them like a dart, like a ray, like a mist, like a spirit, and fills our soul.”
Franz Joseph Liszt
It has been a little over ten years since I composed anything. When asked to contribute to this project I stayed shut off and offered a flippant piece for strings, (again), trained through many years of adversity not to allow the vulnerability of sharing my affair with piano music, as it had caused me much grief in the past. In fact, my relationship with music in general had become bitter and strained, as I found being an eccentric artist a sentence of exile. These borders were shot to pieces when Naomi challenged me to write for piano, as I was chosen for that purpose. Utterly terrified, I trusted the only other artist I knew and sat at my piano. Being put on the spot, my head whirled into expressing a lot of pent up grief related to many life changing hardships over the past ten years. With this forgotten channel of expression, I began to play. Terrifyingly weird, exciting and made vulnerable again. A few days later, I had the bones of my Memoirs written down in a minor.