26 Shining Light: Jude Bird – The Piano Speaks

The Piano Speaks

Sure, sound had carved its beginnings into the black rings of my heart
but under your fingers
colours of deep longing break apart,
they spool, plunge
me back to the trembling touch
of leaf upon leaf

for as long as I can remember
my soul has been steeped in bells, birds,
the thrashing wind,
the still stars,
notes on wooden feet parade through its dark halls,
grow small, graceful, dance

but with you my soul pours,
it pours like milk.
I am young
I am old
I cannot end.
You burn through all my endings. 

Scriabin was a visionary, a true shining light ‘
I am an instant illuminating eternity’. Immersed in mysticism,  his ideas about the interconnectedness of every living being, his belief that all was vibration were  incredibly modern and his ambition to create multi-sensory performances predicted the multimedia platforms we now take for granted. Scriabin’s connection to the piano ran deep, as a child he was  preoccupied with making his own miniature pianos and would give them as gifts to family guests. 

However, the magic key for this poem came from the minds of the pianists themselves – Nafis who  described her piano as a living being and Sasha who told me that pianos in Soviet Russia were made in  furniture factories which reminded me about pianos being made from trees…

Jude Bird

Find out more about the performance of Scriabin’s Complete Piano Sonatas at Pushkin House on 23 October.

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