A moment ago I intuitively proclaimed the success of another thing done. And while I cannot honestly now recall the details of the favourable result, it was nonetheless an instant emotional reaction to what must have been a perceived prosperity. I can only speculate why I am in the least concerned about getting anything done. We’ve already achieved the imperatives of humanity; namely, food and shelter. Whatever else it is that engages itself seems beyond life and death and therefore less than critical. At this particular juncture in my life it is a given that one shouldn’t worry about things that are done. Yet the prevalence of the virtue (that is, “getting things done”) has made its effect memorable to the point of psychotic. At the very least habitual.
On a whim yesterday I traveled to Ottawa to frequent the well-reputed music store of Kenny Lauzon on Richmond Road. To my utter surprise he was seated at his desk when I arrived. After settling our respective ages and sharing a tolerable physical report, we waded into the deeper waters of acoustic and digital pianos.
Lauzon Music was established in 1945 by Larry and Dorothy Lauzon as a family business specializing in piano reconditioning and restoration. During the 50’s, the company expanded their inventory to include new pianos, guitars, amplifiers and electric organs.
In 1974, Lauzon Music entered into its second generation under the direction of Ken Lauzon. The business had grown so much that musical instruments were displayed on two floors in the family owned building on Wellington Street in Ottawa’s west end. Today the store is run by third generation family member Dave Lauzon.
To this day Lauzon Music continues to leave a mark as a destination for high quality instruments and uncompromising service. In 2015 Lauzon Music was appointed the authorized dealership of the world famous Seiler pianos of Germany for the National Capital Region.
There were no longer any Steinway pianos to be seen on the shoppe floor. Apparently the manufacturer has been bought by a hedge fund devoted solely to price. The last time I played a Steinway piano was in Kenny’s store about 8 years ago, at a time when a salon grand such as the one I once owned (purchased decades before for $35,000) then retailed for in excess of $106,000. Kenny and I agreed that the price is beyond the capacity of most amateur pianists. Reportedly Kenny abandoned the once distinctive Steinway authorized dealership (which I believe significantly included eastern Canada from Toronto and Montréal to Halifax). The replacement brands of acoustic pianos (which I understand are made in Indonesia) are impressive looking pieces of furniture but were frankly just as disappointing as the Casio number I also inspected on the digital side. Neither had the depth of sound emitted by a Steinway grand piano nor anything approaching the touch. It was perhaps that simple recognition (acknowledgment of the importance of sound and touch) which sparked my utterance, “Another thing done!” because until that moment the prospect of getting a new piano (digital or acoustic) had forever lingered in my mind. The longer I sustained my imaginery interest, the higher I had elevated the retail necessity. The yearning had translated to the mesmerizing value of artistic expression.
The trouble however is that the artistry of my expression is, like the rest of me, on the wane. Luckily I have retained copies of recordings of some of my signature pieces. With the added benefit of electronic amplification I have been able to revive some of my erstwhile musical pleasure. But I must willingly confess the limitations. Maybe even the absence of a martini! So many of my so-called productions were rendered in the context of an evening meal (candlelight and wine) followed by Porto and Cognac. The shimmering quality of the initial stream of alcohol within one’s system is not to be diminished. Such is the nature of memory.
And while memory of things past is naturally at times colourful, there is no logic in persisting to revitalize what is done. Indeed I view the process as entirely evolutionary and progressive. Just one more thing that is done and out of the way! Off the chart, shall I say.
The diminution of my ambitions is not to be misinterpreted as other than mere distillation of the initial product. I am narrowing my focus. It’s now all about refinement (which admittedly I use to dignify my sparsity of expression). Unquestionably I have been allured by a wealth of things and opportunities. With some of them I have profitably engaged; sometimes even to the point of vulgarity through the acquisition of multiple examples of the inaugural discovery. Seldom is repetition an answer to quality. Instead I have learned to capture the best and to forget the rest. Otherwise there is merely wasted duplication.