“There’s this stupid quote from The Simpsons where Homer says ‘Alcohol is the cause of and solution to all my problems’ and that’s how I feel about piano,” he said to me laughing. He went on to explain that when he was in middle school, before he was diagnosed with depression, the only thing that gave him any real comfort was listening to different recordings of classical pianists. Later he says he would pick the most challenging pieces he could find to throw himself into. He’d pick one and just say to himself “I’m gonna do it”, and then he did.
Throughout elementary, middle school and high school he learned to play the violin, saxophone, clarinet, euphonium, and trombone, all while continuing to play the piano. However, he was mostly self taught, the few lessons he did have taught him how to play a specific songs. But they left out dynamics, ornamentation, and so much more. He told me they taught him how to play a song not the instrument. He compared it to learning to read, “Anyone can read a book, but someone has to teach you how to understand it.”
That all changed when he came to UCSC though. His first year he focused completely on his computer science classes, but realized it became overwhelming to have lost his outlet, so he decided to minor in it. He laughs still telling me that it has become as much as a stress inducer as a stress reliever, but for him playing the piano is his outlet, his way to relax, and his way to convey emotion. At the end of his interview I asked, “Wait, why the piano?” and with a shrug he just said, “It was always my instrument.”
Jessica Thrironet | Staff Editor
Photo credit to: Micaela Accardi-Krown
YouTube video and music credit to: Alexander Oliver