On January 23, 2014 the Salish Sea Players performed at the Foss Home on Greenwood Avenue. We have happily become regulars there but the 23rd was our first time on the 2nd floor. Here are some of Olga’s impressions of the concert day. -lm
The concert at Foss Home today was in a somewhat smaller room than we are used to, and, despite a carpeted floor, the acoustic was delightfully warm and resonant. Most of the audience was in wheel chairs making it difficult for them to come up and talk with us, so after we played we went into the room and mingled a bit.
I spoke to a woman who had lived in a family that listened to music “all the time”. She had been 13 when her mother died of scarlet fever a day after giving birth to a baby girl. So she became a care giver at an early age, and as an adult she became a psychiatric nurse in a hospital, where the patients were routinely kept restrained with straps. She told me that one day her supervisor was overcome with the pressure of the job and had to go on leave. While she was away my friend, knowing how the doctor felt, removed all the straps! What strength and humanity she had!
We get to meet a lot of heroes!
We didn’t learn Alex’s story, except that he plays piano, violin and harmonica (at least those three!). A staff member told me that when she’d first met Alex, he whipped out his harmonica and played for ten minutes! The two tunes on his mind today were “Onward! Christian Soldiers” and “Silent Night”. It was clear he knew a thing or two (at least!), because when we improvised a bit of these tunes, he asked about the key. He was shy about trying the harpsichord, but after the concert Linda convinced him to try it and he wheeled himself up and tried to play. At first he didn’t get very far, but Fred suddenly realized that Alex couldn’t see well, and couldn’t tell that the colors of the keys were the reverse of what he was used to on the piano: the raised keys are light, and the C major scale is all black. Once he understood that, he was able to play his two tunes of the day!
I love the sound of hymns on the harpsichord!