Thursday, July 12, 2012
Virginia - Piano
One of the things which lessened the symptoms of Virginia's illness was to play the piano. In our talks she spoke about how living in the City had a variety of things, essentially sound pollution, which would cause her illness to become more pronounced. Sounds most City people don't hear anymore such as, believe it or not, an ambulance going by or cars honking and dogs barking. Personally, I still hear much of that noise which is what has made me into what my friends call an "Alley slink" because I find the noise and bustle of the main touristy streets annoying and generally travel everywhere one alley way north, south, east or west of the busy streets.
Virginia would hear much of the ambient sound of her City and it would trigger reactions and anxieties in her. One of the things which brought her reality back into balance was the soothing act of playing piano at her Church. Many of the piano pieces she recorded on cassette were original compositions as well. The sound is a bit tinny being on one of these tape recorders and the piano itself is out of tune but she has some great work.
When I listened to all the cassettes in some cases I would begin to visualize her in the house talking to the cassette player. Like on Christmas day humming to a song or attempting to organize her house. I tried to imagine what the actual scenes would look like if I were watching from the bushes. In this one there is quite a striking scene to visualize if we put the pieces together. Virginia is blind as I mentioned and each room in her house was covered with almost a thick drapery of cobwebs that had grown over 20 years or so. Her piano was situated amongst these cobwebs almost like on a stage with the curtains drawn back. Now imagine being outside her house as she is recording this particular tape. The house is dark as there are no lights on and as Virginia says in the machinima, there is a storm outside whose thunder may be heard on the piano recording. Imagine flashes of lightning illuminating the scene inside this house of Virginia as she is playing the piano in the dark shrouded in cobwebs. What I kind of shake my head at, is that should this scene exist in a Hollywood movie then I would have felt it to be far too dramatic and corny looking to be real.
May 26th 2008 is the date of this particular tape and I wonder what I was doing on that day. Perhaps building in SL. It was a Wednesday and the Harry Potter actor Rob Knox was stabbed to death in a pub protecting his little brother, a mass grave was discovered in Peru, a oil pipeline was blown up in Nigeria, there was talk of "carbon credits" and Switzerland's top court ruled that a convicted drug trafficker was entitled to keep the money. And in a remote house Virginia played the piano during a storm.