On this page you can read some curious stories from my childhood. :)
And not only...
Where I was born
At the seaside. The flat I grew up in had a view of the sea. A narrow park stretched along the coast. So the view from my window was that of park and sea. I greeted the rise of the sun every morning. Day after day. Year after year. And the rise of the moon as well and so the enchanting full moon inhabits many of my poems. I still adore gazing at it. When I’m away from the sea I look at the glowing moon and imagine how its silvery beams plough a swaying path across the sea. I always imagine that...
My first encounter with music
As a baby, I was one of those infants who cried quite a good deal. Or so my mother would say. That I never stopped crying. I wouldn’t sleep even at night when everybody else had already dropped with fatigue. At some point the family no longer knew what to do with their screaming child but once her elder sister put a radio in her crib and suddenly the infant grew quiet. Music was playing on the radio. But when they spoke again, the baby recommenced her wailing. And so, little by little, they came to realize that the baby was relaxed when there was music on the radio and cried when the others talked around her. Is that so? – the family thought. From then on the problem with the sobbing child was forever solved – they would just put a record on the gramophone to play incessantly. And I’m still like that, Sally admits, laughing – music calms me down.
Where does it sound from?
When I was young they used to pamper me a lot. I must have been one of those children who always get their own way. I started speaking very early in life (which is probably why I am now the chatterbox I am). So when my mother took me out for a walk in my pram, I would often ask her to stop by a window with music coming from it. Mother would indulge me patiently. When I had had enough listening we would continue our walk.
The first language I spoke was German. My whole family was fluent speakers of German so we spoke only in German at home. For long years my grandfather had worked as a docent at a hospital in Munich, Germany. This is where my mother was born. My father, on the other hand, graduated from a German school. I started to pick up Bulgarian in the nursery and the kindergarten. Then I studied Russian at school. Everybody from my generation spoke Russian. You would hear it all the time. The same way you could nowadays hear English everywhere. I started studying English well into my mature years.
Ways of expression
As a child, I used to compose music. I enjoyed improvising at the piano. On classical pieces only. Mother recorded some of my compositions, but not all of them. (And yes, I did perform them at child talent competitions.) I still have these recordings in my childhood home. Nowadays I rarely improvise. When I feel the urge to express something, I usually put it in rhyme. This is my second-best way of expression, after music, of course. I believe these two arts, of music and of poetry, complement each other perfectly. I like combining things, you see. Playing the piano (for all those of us who play it) teaches us to combine things.
There are quite a lot of things a pianist should have in mind while playing. I’ll mention just a few of them – the volume and the timbre of the sound, the harmonic plan, each tone’s place in the phrase, each phrase’s place in the entire piece, the structure of the piece itself and a good deal more. Coordination of left and right hand, the succession of the fingers on the keyboard... So many components have to be combined... And here is why playing the piano is so fascinating! I often tell my young students that we players are like story-tellers. Only, besides, we also play each and every one of the characters as well. We play the wind, the rain and so on. And on top of that, we are also listeners to our own stories because a musician should always pay attention to what they are imparting to their audience and how they are imparting it.
Favourite colour, place, composer… :) Composer only
Lastly, I would like to mention my favourite composers. All my friends know who my most favourite one is, but I actually also like many others. Bach and all those from the Baroque, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Shuman, Shubert, Liszt etc. But when I play Beethoven the world transforms into a completely novel shape. I in no way claim him to be better than the others but he best agrees with me. I cannot really put it into words, perhaps because music begins where words fail, don’t you think? It feels as if water flows into me when I stand at the edge of the sea. And in the same way, Beethoven’s music flows into my veins, throbbing, when I’m playing it, when I’m listening to it...