“To play without passion is inexcusable” – Ludwig van Beethoven
I know. I’ve not written anything in more than two weeks, but I have a valid excuse, promise. For once I have not been procrastinating. For the past two weeks I have been working on my novel, though this last week would be more accurately described as staring with growing frustration at a computer screen that spitefully refuses to fill up with words. Still, I’m almost done with the first chapter and already have more than 3 000 words on paper. Not bad for two weeks, is it?
What does that have to do with the Beethoven quote above? I want to paraphrase Herr Beethoven and say to live without passion is inexcusable. Unfortunately that is exactly what most people are doing. That’s what I have been doing. For so long now I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to do that I have completely forgotten what it is that I truly love. That’s part of the reason why I quit my job – I am trying to rediscover what I’m passionate about. Hopefully, if all works out, I’ll find something that I enjoy more than anything that will also put food on the table. Writing a novel is bloody hard work, but thus far I’m enjoying it, mostly. And even if I don’t make a cent out of it, how many people can say that they have written a novel? At the very least I’ll be the first (as far as I know) in my entire extended family, in-laws included.
A few days ago I discovered the Piano Guys. Haven’t heard of them yet? Check out their website here. Basically, it’s a guy who plays piano, a guy who plays the cello, and three other guys who take care of the recording side of things. The two musicians of the group are immensely talented, taking popular and classical music and mashing it up to create a sound that’s having people who have never listened to a note of classical music in their lives (at least not willingly) dancing to the strains of Bach and Pachelbel and Fauré.
But while I immensely enjoy their music, that’s not the reason why I became one of their most devoted fans literally overnight. The Piano Guys got started as a YouTube phenomenon, in other words, they make videos. Sure, they’ve released an album and you can buy their MP3s on iTunes, but it’s their videos that has me completely and irrevocably hooked. They’re having so much fun while making their music. Their passion is evident in every second of film, and not just the two musicians, but the others as well. One cannot watch the videos and not be affected by their enthusiasm for what they do. Imagine five guys playing the same piano, but only one of them’s actually using the keys, and one’s using a bow, like for a violin. And speaking of bows, apparently you don’t need one to play a cello, in fact, you can do a full percussion set with a cello and a few electronic effects.
Their passion has started to fan a little flame in me as well. I had a terrible writing week, but their music and their love for what they do has given me a new source of inspiration. I want something that I love and enjoy that much. I want to achieve that level of excellence. It might not be writing, but that’s what I’m trying now. Go check them out, and let their passion infect you as well.
Right now I have to go beat the last few paragraphs of my first chapter into submission, so until later…