Rarely have I experienced such a profound sensation while
listening to music
as I have with Maria Alice’s “Moment”. The format of
the recital was
unconventional and refreshing and I wish more musicians would really
perform as she has. Maria Alice took the audience and I along an amazing
journey that I will not soon forget. Lights were dimmed, candles were lighted and then, a story, a very spiritual one, was told. I think this kind of set up was essential to create the right kind of ambiance,
conducive to inspiration on the part of both pianist and the public. Maria Alice understands that music should be a shared experience, one in which both parties are active participants.
I have been to many recitals, private performances and concerts but rarely have I been so in tuned to the piece performed, so emotionally connected to the notes played. In fact, what I heard were not separate notes, or even movements, what I heard was the musical transcription of Maria’s feelings that she shared with us. What I felt when I heard this was very particular. At the beginning, I didn’t know the direction of my state of mind. The opening was enticing, mysterious and I felt as if I was gently being pushed to somewhere unknown. I felt as though I was really taken out of the context of UCLA, of Los Angeles, and transported to a ‘higher’ place, a more spiritual one. It is hard for me to explain without sounding
cliché, but this is the truth. It was quite an out-of-body experience. As Maria played on, I started to forge emotional ties with the piece, certain passages reminded me of how I felt at a certain times: happy, sad, confused, ecstatic, in and out of love... But more so, I felt as though all these emotions, when played out on the piano, were connected together to represent what life really is, buzzing with all this energy around and within us. Then I also started to bring in the story with the piece and it reminded me of the possibilities within each of us, of all the aspirations that I have about myself and what I hope to become and accomplish. As I listened on, I felt that this, at least for me, was the meaning of the piece. Maria’s expression, her movements on the piano, reflected the universal struggle, my own as well, that we have within ourselves everyday while we are living, battling and enjoying life. It is hard to remain true
to ourselves, to find our essence and develop our fullest potential. This struggle was for me the highest sensation I felt somewhere in the middle of the piece.
This realization combined with memories from my personal experience culminated together in a very surreal experience. These feelings were not resolved at the end, the hardship did not vanish into thin air. But, everything was a bit calmer, as if I was more at peace, more comfortable with myself and with these feelings before me, with this struggle that is life. When the lights were turned back on and reality was before me, I was shaken up and yet, I felt that it was all worth it because I knew it was to achieve a higher goal, even if that goal is still hidden. This is what I felt as I listened to Maria’s piece, an experience that surely lasted more than a “Moment”.