akie dailyDose #9: How Long Has This Been Going On?

a few years back a friend and teacher handed me the idea of recording short & strange little compositions every day and putting them up on Myspace (did I say a *few* years?  I meant: half a dozen).  obviously, if you know me you know there is no way I was able to get a track up every day.  indeed, i barely did it every month for about a year.  typically, they’d be some unexceptional solo pieces or new songs sketches I was working on or just parts of interesting jams that to which I was privy.  rarely anything truly memorable, but often quite musically droll (if i do say so myself).

at any rate, I recently found myself with ten minutes to kill after a lesson and before a rehearsal up in Long Island City.  I closed the door in the big, echoey room at the music school and hit record and played the first song I could think of.  Actually, this song has been on my mind quite frequently of late.  Apart from being a gorgeous example of just how fine a Gershwin Ballad can be, it is also of significant emotional and developmental value.

“How Long Has This Been Going On?” is a tune that I had to play for a singer when I was a junior in college.  meaning, I could barely play the piano at all.  it was a song for which I had to go to my piano mentor- John Esposito — and ask, “how do you play this?”  But also, I learned the words of the song from the Bard jazz vocal teacher, Pamela Pentony — along with some of the tricky phrasing.  for me, this was on of my first pieces where I thought I was playing some real shit (even though, looking back, I’m sure it was hardly that good at the time).

and yet, in recent years, it has fallen out of favor with me.  of long ballads that start on the minor II chord, I’ve come to prefer Body & Soul.  And I’d gotten into more complex song-writers like Cole Porter or Stephen Sondheim.  but something in the air and in the water and in the Life has made me return to this song from when I was very much on the verge of musicianship.  when i was still working out the very basics of music and when this song had a somewhat mystical aura of love-song perfection to me.

singing it, as I did, alone in that long rail-road room (with its tumultuous reverb) on a summer’s eve brought all of that mysticism back to me.  perhaps more.  you will hear the sounds of cars out on the street and the 7-train  (which is right outside the window) goes by once or twice — but it all seems to fit perfectly into the scheme of things.

so, without further ado, i give to — after long hiatus in the hinterlands of my mid-twenties — a brand new akie dailyDose.  this being #9.

the gears of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine.

***

akie dailyDose #9: How Long Has This Been Going On? by Akie Bermiss

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About akiebermiss

pianist, composer, singer, writer. hater.
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