She reminded me of myself ten years ago. I was living in a small single room. A colleague told me to visit this Singaporean lady living in Nottinghill. I visited her elaborate flat and got served dinner by her cook. She didn't seem any older than I, but how did she get so established, while I was still struggling?
I wanted so much to tell Yoka that it took me years to get to where I am. Even so, it could all disappear with the blink of an eye. Yes - snap - it could all disappear. All that glitters is not gold.
But there was no need to explain because we were here to play music. Figuring that she must be homesick, I cooked a simple Japanese meal of yaki-udon (fried thick noodles) and seaweed soup. We then proceeded to sightread flute and piano music.
Flutists (flautists) can read violin music, but play only as low as middle C. The violin is much more versatile. I had an arrangement for Pachelbel's Canon. We read the music from the movie Schindler's List. Then we moved to the well-known Concerto in C major for flute, harp, and orchestra. It was so Mozart. By the end of the third movement, we were craving for some dissonance and variety. So we attemped Poulenc's Sonata for flute and piano. What a fantastic piece! A Brazillian classmate introduced this piece to me almost ten years ago. But I haven't played it with anyone since.
In my senior year in college, I worked on three flute-piano pieces with a psychology major: Schubert, Walter Piston, and Olivier Messiaen. It was hard work - but it sounded great at her senior recital.
Some years back, I discovered a colleague had attained grade level 8 in flute - so I got him to sightread some pieces with me. But after playing my arrangement of the Titanic, he never wanted to play with me again.
So now I've discovered another flutist - competent and enthusiastic. And time just flew - we played until we ran out of music - two hours nonstop. The only remedy is to get more flute and piano music.
6 June 2001
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