#True story: Piano Man

(with audio) As a child I remember coming home from school to the sound of Mozart or Chopin being played on the piano. That was my dad. A talented composer and lover of classical music.

Capriccio Opening night at Rose Bay with music played by composer and classical pianist John L Grant

If you heard classical music  travelling down our long driveway you knew, before ‘popping your head around the door’, to wait. Wait til the last note before turning the key in the lock. It’s almost like we needed a stop sign on the door but hey, we all ‘knew the gig’. Sometimes you’d ‘tempt fate’ and tiptoe across the floorboards. You might get away with it or you might be met with the bellow of “Keep it down, can’t you see I’m trying to play the piano!” But he was always playing the piano it was his thing. He was our piano man.

Piano Man – 2003 – Dee Grant

When he was a kid he’d play pieces on my Nans old piano. I can just imagine it. The house was at the side of the train line. When I was young the ‘Red Rattlers’ would rattle past loudly with a clankity-clank clankity-clank as the carriages moved across the tracks. The windows of that house would rattle and shake. In the tiny lounge room, off the front of the house, stood Nan’s piano. This is where he would’ve originally played. I can just imagine him there ‘belting out a tune’.

My father believed that a true artist focuses completely on their craft. This is what he did. While he’d studied at ‘the Con’, as they affectionately called it, he wasn’t interested in fame or glory. It was all about composing and music. I have listened as his music has gone from ‘strength to strength’. My dad could dream a symphony, wake up and then start writing it out. He believed that if you apply your craft long enough you will dream your next creation.

Artandidioms Storyteller voiceover with musical composition(Aria) by John L Grant

*All music and art copyrighted

Idiom or Phrase

  • Popping your head around the door – looking inside the door to see if everything is OK.
  • Knew the gig – knew what was expected
  • Tempt fate – take a risk
  • Red Rattlers – old trains that were a red ochre colour
  • Belting out a tune – play music enthusiastically
  • The Con – Conservatorium of music

My dad could dream a symphony, wake up and then start writing it out. He believed that if you apply your craft long enough you will dream your next creation.

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