Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank you Miriam

I sat at the piano today and played - something of a rare event over the last 10 years.  Our neighbour Graeme had given me a pile of his old music before he died last year and I have been saving it for such a day.  Among this dusty pile were quite a few pieces by dearly loved Australian composer Miriam Hyde.  It was the 100th anniversary of her birth last month and I had read a lovely blog post about her by music writer Rosalind Appleby so Miriam had recently been in my thoughts.  In the dusty pile of music I found a lovely little work called "Lullaby for Christine" with the dedication 'To my Baby Daughter'.  As I played through the piece I couldn't help but reflect on the struggle it would have been for Miriam Hyde to compose anything at all when caring for a baby.  I know I certainly struggled to compose anything very much for the first couple of years of our daughter's lives.  What a focussed, determined, tenacious and hugely talented woman she was.  Generations of Australian pianists (including me) grew up playing her pieces and I just took them for granted, not being aware of the circumstances in which they were written.  My two babies are now at school (Hoorah) and I can see my creative world opening up again - which is tremendously exciting.  All the more reason to appreciate and be inspired by the compositional efforts of all the composing mothers out there, past, present and future.  

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