Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Pianist, a Cellist

"Don't only practice your art but force your way into its secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the divine." Ludwig Von beethoven

We've had the tickets since December and finally the night arrived. We sat in Usana theater, outdoors, encompassed by blue sky, wispy clouds,--which gave way to darkness, the perfect summer breeze, and a full moon. We had come to see the Piano Guys. As they classify themselves: Four dorky Mormon Dads who love to make music--by blending the unexpected.

Blending the unexpected may mean airlifting a grand piano onto the Great Wall of China or onto a  Grand Canyon cliff, and blending the sounds of Mozart and Adele. But perhaps their greatest talent is the blending of themselves. The energy of individual talent, the energy of love, the energy and pureness of who each man really is, blended into a label that honored them with their first Gold Record.

Yes, last night it was a joyful moment when we, the audience, were included in the surprise presentation of a Gold Record. Two men walked onto the stage carrying concealed squares. Jon Schmidt announced the arrival of the two men from Sony Records. They had flown in especially that night to present, on stage, the coveted sign of recording success: A Gold Record.

As admirers of the Piano Guys, we were thrilled for them, and thrilled in their surprise. Then things got personal. The woman in front of us was ecstatic. She turned around and felt she had to explain her joy--not because she owed us an explanation, but because she wanted to share that joy.

"I'm his sister."

Ah...

She pointed to her right at on older gentleman. "That's our Dad. Our Mom's been gone since 1999."

Oh how she loved her brother, her father. This insight would become important as the concert progressed.

Foremost, the pianist, the cellist, the vocalist, and the producer, identify that their most important roles in life are being fathers. They proudly share that between the four of them, they have 16 children. This isn't a big deal in America, but when they share this information while performing in China, "The first ten rows of people faint."

Second, they share their spirituality. While in Rio de Janeiro, they stood at the foot of the Christ the Redeemer Statue on Mount Corcovado. They were in awe of the manmade work until they visited the Iguazu Falls. In this place they felt more of the spirit of God and pondered why. The conclusion was that Christ the Redeemer was created from man's love of God and Jesus, but Iguazu Falls was created by God from his love for mankind.

Third, the Piano Guys share their stories of failure and success. They share their passions. Steve, the cellist mentioned several times the challenges of his ADHD while growing up.

The concert ended with incredible footage from the Scottish Highlands, the pianist and the cellist playing on the grounds of an old Scottish castle ruin. They were accompanied by bagpipers and drummers. The closing song was a military, arousing, tearing rendition of Amazing Grace that made me feel grateful and strong; but Amazing Grace followed a tribute of some real life amazing grace.

For eighteen years, the cellist's father helped care for his wife who was inflicted with a brain tumor. Several years after her death, he remarried and his current wife is afflicted with a rare form of cancer. He told his son, he was blessed to care for his wife. This was amazing grace.

As we watched, listened to music that filled our hearts, we also watched the man, gray and aged, who was honored for his amazing grace.

Last night, I found that practicing one's art is not only about instruments, paints, and creation. Practicing "your art," is becoming oneself--embracing the unique thoughts, actions, and quirks to which we eventually accept as art! A human masterpiece you are.