Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chopped finger

Last Saturday afternoon I was due to play at a concert in the afternoon. I was to accompany a singer in a couple of my songs, as well as playing a couple of the piano pieces I'd written. It was a fundraiser for the Hospice.

On Saturday morning my wife and I were clearing out furniture and stuff from the other 'half' of the kitchen, the dining room part that didn't get renovated when we did the kitchen itself. Things were going along swimmingly until my older son arrived with his little boy. My son went into the bathroom, struggled a bit to shut the door (which has been sticking lately), shouted out about the it, and, in attempting to do something about the door - God alone knows what - I managed to catch my finger in it just as he was shutting it.

Fortunately I also managed to pull my finger back in time enough not to get it stuck. It would have been goodbye finger. However, the door sliced a quarter inch long piece off the middle finger on my left hand, up beside the nail, and there was blood everywhere in seconds.

The Concert
was pretty much all I could think about...

After huge apologies from my son (it hadn't actually been his fault at all) and much stinging and agony (particularly the latter) from my finger, we managed to get a couple of plasters onto it and stop the bleeding. My son told me to take Paracetamol straightaway because the initial adrenalin rush would quickly stop (children are so informative) and would leave me feeling very sorry for myself. And then he went out and got me a chocolate bar, supposedly because chocolate is good for pain. Sounds like a great theory.

Amazingly the finger survived the piano playing at the concert. It was still wrapped up in its plasters and didn't bleed all over the keyboard, but was a good excuse for any bum notes that occurred.

I've had plasters on ever since and only today let the finger try and survive without any cover. Typing on the computer keyboard is fine, but with piano playing there's a lot of accidental knocking of the fingers on the edges of the keys - it's quite normal, at least when I play - and so when I had a go at playing a piece by Jacques Ibert just now, I was feeling that I had to be a bit more cautious than usual. Didn't try anything requiring a lot of running around the keys, just something simple out of his histoires...

Which brings me to something about this publication of the histoires... Whoever did the editing seems to have thought that if a note has an accidental in the first bar, then a sharp or flat should also appear on any notes tied to it in the subsequent bars. This is contrary to normal practice and it's rather confusing to the eye. I don't think I've ever seen it done anywhere else, and I don't think it's just a French way of doing things - the Debussy music I've got is done in the normal fashion.

The set of pieces is published by Alphonse Leduc, of Paris. and the front cover and title page appear to be handwritten. Leduc is still going, incidentally; you can find their 2009 catalogue on the Net. They began in 1841, so they've had a long history.

The photo of a cut finger is the nearest I could find to one that looked like mine - it's actually a lot less gross a photo than a number of those on Flickr.com. Fuschia Foot took it.

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