A Special Experience to Share

At home practising Bach on Glenn’s other chair. (September, 2017).

A few years ago, I helped put together a show for The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga. The event was part of the Canada 150 celebrations back in 2017 and served not only to celebrate Canada’s birthday, but also the twentieth birthday of CMSM and the would-be eighty-fifth birthday of Glenn Gould.

As part of Glenn Gould 905: A Triple Birthday Multi-Media Celebration, we had a number of special guests including Glenn’s close friend and CBC recording technician, Lorne Tulk. Kindly, Lorne agreed to loan us use of Glenn’s piano chair, not the famous black one he took with him to his performances and recording sessions, but rather, the other chair, the spare chair, if you will. This chair we placed on the side of the stage for the duration of the show.

Shortly after the show, I wrote a post entitled, Taking Care of Glenn’s Chair. In that post, I shared the story, as per Lorne’s own words, about how the chair came to be. I also described the impact of the experience of having had with me in my own home, if only for a few days, Glenn’s other chair.

I had thought that, with that post, I would be done writing about the time I took care of Glenn’s other chair. Never did I think that there would be a global pandemic which, among other things, would mean the cancellation of most of my work (presentations, performances, adjudication and some teaching) and which would see me having to get more tech-savvy with regards to working from home and doing almost everything online.

Seeing now that normal, as we knew it, will likely not be back any time soon and that people like me, who are in the arts, will need to find new and creative ways of sharing our work or else risk going under, I have been going through old notebooks, recordings and videos. Thank goodness I save everything!

Earlier this week, as I was sifting through videos, I found one from when I had at home with me, Glenn’s chair. At the time, I had thought of sharing the video, but decided against it as it was too personal an experience to share on Facebook and I wanted to keep it to myself. Given where we’re at with the current global crisis, however and the joy that seeing this video again made me feel, I thought it an ideal time to share. You’ll note, however, that I am not sharing this video on YouTube. My blog space feels more personal to me than YouTube and I am comfortable sharing it here with you.

The video is from September of 2017 and was made in the bedroom of my tiny little townhouse in Mississauga, where, at the time, I’d been living for the past few years. While I no longer live in Mississauga (I moved to St. Catharines earlier this year due to horrible ongoing issues with my upstairs neighbours and am I ever glad that I did, because I now have a lovely little house with a beautiful yard and room for a grand piano) the memory of having played some of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Glenn’s chair with me will always be.

On a lighter note, those who know me, know that I have a number of stuffed animals. At the time of the video, my newest stuffed friend was a pig puppet that I named Piggly Wiggly. He is pretty cute and when you squeeze him he grunts. Piggly Wiggly wants to share this picture with you. Oink!

Piggly Wiggly on Glenn’s chair.

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