It’s terrible when a normal dream turns into an anxiety dream. At first everything is perfect. You’re sailing on a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by friends, Yanni is serenading you, the wine sparkles like the sea, the bust of Homer on the prow of the boat nods his head in gentle approval, everything is dandy.
But then it all goes bad. The sun starts crying, the boat somehow hits an iceberg, your elementary school bully speeds by on a sea-doo and throws lunch meat at you, Homer won’t stop singing Frere Jacques in a creepy stage whisper. Everything just goes south.
I’ve been having more than my fair share of anxiety dreams lately but, perhaps strangely, not so much about politics, although I did have a dream where I woke up and was in bed with Betsy DeVos and I never want to have that dream again. Never.
No, most of my anxiety dreams lately have been about the premiere of my piano concerto coming up on March 9. I’ve had dreams that the orchestra members turn into clowns and start mocking me, that the audience consists entirely of barnyard animals who, while well-mannered, don’t seem to have an ear for music and then, just last night, I dreamed that the orchestra wouldn’t stop playing Happy Birthday. I yelled and yelled at them to stop and get on with my piece but they never did.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about this premiere. This is just how I get. I’m a high-strung person and for me, having a piece played publicly creates a response in my body that is something like the fight-or-flight instinct but, like all of the fight-or-flight any humanoid creature on earth has ever experienced happening to me all at once. Plus butterflies.
So, yes, I’m always nervous before a big premiere but this one makes me especially nervous because this piece is a kind of musical self portrait. You know like visual artists do but with music instead of paint.
The piece is in four movements and each movement reflects a different aspect of myself, both the self I’d like to be and the self I’m stuck with. The title Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for seeking self knowledge.
The pianist is Marta Aznavoorian which is just amazing. I’m so happy. And nervous. I hope that you can come.
Thursday, March 9
Ganz Hall @ Roosevelt University
430 S Michigan Ave, 7th Floor, Chicago