• The lost song from a Steinway.

(Album update: everything is at the CD plant. Expecting a mid-September release!)
Over the weekend, Catherine and I drove about an hour north of Virginia Beach to Yorktown, where we had booked a room at a B&B and planned to complete our tour of The Historic Triangle, billed as the birthplace of America. We’d already scene Williamsburg a few weeks before, so this time our sights were set on Yorktown and Jamestown. As we pulled into the B&B we could see in the near distance, across a wide, green field, the Yorktown Victory Monument, which commemorates the last battle of the American Revolution. The B&B itself is a 1934 Colonial-style house that has been restored to near new. We entered and after a few quick greetings, we headed into the living room where two pianos dominated the decor. One was a Baldwin, but the other was a Steinway. I headed straight for it to inspect the keys, hoping against hope that they would be real ivory, just so I could finally see such a thing (importing ivory into the US has been illegal since 1989).

The cracks in the keys were a sure giveaway, as was their ever so slightly yellowed color. I was looking at the real deal, a Steinway with genuine ebony and ivory keys and though a few simple chords revealed severe tuning and hammer problems, no matter, I can’t play anyway and the thrill of being in the presence of such an instrument was enough. By chance, we were the inaugural guests of the hotel, the guinea guests, and several members of the family that owns that B&B were on-hand to see how everything went. I got into a conversation with one of them about the piano and he told me it was a Steinway 33 M and had been purchased new in 1933 or 4 and had been in the house ever since. Years of hot summers and cold winters and wreaked some havoc, and a piano repair service figured that several thousand dollars of work would be necessary to fully restore the piano. He said they were leaning toward paying for the necessary repairs, but since no one in the family played seriously and the Baldwin was fine, he thought they might also just leave it be. I, of course, urged him to fix the thing!

That night, I thought of an idea for a song but was too tired to rouse myself and write it down. What a shame. For I am positive that the song was a gift from the Steinway, a piano too long neglected and happy to have gotten some love.