Back Pain, Uncertainty, And Another Musical Treat

A great deal of uncertainty rests in the air at the moment. The UK will return to normality on Monday, 19th July – so our Prime Minister insists – but I have my doubts and reservations.

COVID aside, Britain seems so full of anger and spontaneous violence, especially here in London.

Meanwhile, extreme weather has caused chaos in places around the world, and many believe that worse will follow over the coming decades.

As for me, my back has started giving me problems. It’s worrying.


To cheer myself up and give something back to the world, I did a piano recording this evening and converted the mp3 to video. Alexander Scriabin wrote a number of solo piano works. In the video, I have included the slow Etude in C-sharp minor, reminiscent of bells tolling in the distance.

Happy listening, and till next time!

A Perfect Day In Dorset

a single decker bus back to the bay,
along the coastal route,
past tea places and an empty fair marquee,
country lanes flanked by ancient gnarled tree trunks,
sun-parched fields, lone cottages standing back from a road,

signposts for a farm appear,
cows in a field, gaze ahead with fixed expressions.
a tall fence,
an orchard,

approaching the coast,
a line of cliffs stretching east,
giftshops selling postcard racks,
Buckets and Spades,
holidaymakers ambling towards the seawall by the promenade,

children eating ice cream,
boat huts on the shore,

the sea slips into the horizon,
out of sight,
the sun sets,
night.

© Lawrence Estrey 2021      

Poetry

Chopin – Waltz in B Minor op 69

Tonight, England beat Germany.

I was busy doing something else, though. Making another piano recording from my flat using a Zoom Handy Recorder and various online apps designed to covert MP3s to videos.

After a busy week of piano practise and recordings, I offer you the Waltz in B Minor by Chopin.

I hope to resume recording projects in a week or so – but until then, happy listening!

Another Musical Treat, Joplin Again

After some weeks of intensive piano practise, I finally plucked up the courage to connect a professional recording device to the piano at home this Wednesday, and record.

Tonight, I decided to have a go at Scott Joplin’s New Rag.

I’ve always loved Ragtime, ever since I heard the Entertainer as a young boy.

I hope you will enjoy my performance of the New Rag.

The Magic Of Music

Uncertainty rules at the moment. Delta strain. Delta Plus. The economy. Job losses. Mental health.

Life has returned to a degree of normality, but no one really knows whether Covid will spiral out of control again. I had both doses of the vaccine, yet remain uneasy. Viruses are more powerful than politicians, especially in the UK.

I stay busy, of course. Piano practice occupies my thoughts. Languages, too.

This morning, I recorded a couple of Chopin works – the Waltz in A-flat, op 69 and the Prelude no 13 in F-Sharp. I attach the video link below:

Happy listening, and stay safe!

Thirst, An English Desert

Parched grass.

A walk across fields and mounds where branches and weeds lie unconcealed, waiting to take thirsty hikers by surprise.

The midday heat bears down on the hiker, raw and unrelenting.

Fields surround the trail, each like the last, so that north and south and east and west merge, teasing the hiker with countless possibilities.


Dry rocks and sand-like dust. The grass has burnt away.

The temperature soars, but the journey goes on without an end in sight.

The hiker doesn’t know which way to go.

He takes another sip of water from his pouch and studies the map.

Everywhere is identical and bleak, a desert in the middle of English countryside.


© Lawrence Estrey 2021

poetry

These Strange Times

I haven’t written much about myself for a while. The easing of Lockdown presented numerous challenges last year and I struggled to adapt to the so-called New Normal.

I remain busy with piano practise, recordings and various videos. And the languages, of course. French. German. Russian.

I’ve discovered a fascinating podcast series that gets people speaking German. The teacher, Manuel, deals primarily with constructing sentences in an easy and logical manner. It’s excellent. For more details, check out Herr Professor


On Monday, I will have my second dose of the AstraZeneca. The NHS invited me to attend an earlier appointment, but I had to rearrange due to complex issues.


Finally, for those who might have missed my two latest piano videos recorded from my flat during Lockdown, here goes:

Happy listening, and stay safe!

When Thoughts Are Enough

a man and a woman walk through sand dunes
alone, with the whisper of the sea nearby
companions, neither speaking

the evening sun settles on the water, a mysterious glow,
a dying fire painting the sky scarlet and magenta
the couple reach a footpath and walk back to the town,
silent still

another summer day


© Lawrence Estrey 2021

Poetry

Spring Scenery

Sand, water, salt and sky
Blue oceanic laughter
The ice cream van
Bleating seagulls
Clusters of rocks
The solitary garden at the foot of the cliff

Church bells ring
Chimes from far away
Fanfares, near whispers
A choir of angels

Sounds carrying over the water
Through fields
As the sun sets
Painting the sky magenta


© Lawrence Estrey 2021

Poetry