For: piano solo
Duration: approx. 9:45 min.
Brainshake is the literal translation of the Dutch word for concussion (hersenschudding) to English. On December 10th 2019 – I suffered a concussion after being attacked by two strangers (consecutively) at my job as a custodian at the local shopping centre.
On Dec. 10th 2019 at 18:19 hrs my phone call to the police, reporting the first incident, is brutally disconneted by the second incident. This must mean that at that time I got the first hit by the guy whom attacked me ‘kickbox style’ from behind. At the time it was unknow to me if the connection remained as the phone fell tot he ground, but less then a minute after the connection was severed I redailed the police number. Now I know the entire conversation and part of the incident were recorded by the police, not enough they say for presecution.
This piece reflects a meditative finger practise at the piano, which I every so often, improvise. It is a simple repetition of broken (arpeggio) chords with extentions to all 10 fingers, playing differend or succesive chords between the hands.
Days after the incident I was very restless and scared and tried to calm myself down, so I started to connect my keyboard to the pc and try to find some melodies and record them. Instead I fell back into practising some of the above described finger practises because I could hardly play anything at all (and I’m already not a very good performer) with my mind wandering and dozing off and the endless pain and feeling the world spins around you. In the end I ended up recording in midi what I did and I studied it and found a large section of it might serve as a piece worhty of writing out in full piano score and eventually I did. Theraputic for one but also a statement that out of such horror something creative (not persé beautiful) could come and to remind me that ‘things’ happen for a reason, and in this particular case that whitout the incident this piece would never have been composed, a statement of both anger and satisfaction, two so astranged emotions.
In my notes I wrote: “The demanding sections of this piece might be horror for those striving for acuracy, strive for it but don’t kill yourself over it. My personal sense of rhythm might just be too off beat for for people to follow to the letter, euh… note.
Of course with a piece like this any mistake in it, eighter composed or performed, could be attributed to the concussion, but unfortunately that only works in the romantic sense of the word.”
Bar 20 through 28/31 (see image below) resemble that moment when I got first hit by the guy ‘kickbox style’ in the second incident, it really is the moment that still is burned in my mind.