This is a series of posts about how SoundPrism came to be.
My name is Sebastian.
I was born in 1980 in former eastern Germany as the child of two opera singers. My middle name is Johannes.
Turn it around and you got Johannes Sebastian. Like Bach. Yeah, that’s what they had in mind.
So of course I had to learn to play the piano when I was 5 years old and of course I was to to be taught by a private piano teacher. For some reason still not quite clear to me it had to be a private teacher - music school was out of the question.
I loved playing the piano.
I didn’t really enjoy practicing to be able to play it well though.
It just took far too long to get to a point where I was able to play a piece well. So I made things up. I didn’t play everything as I should but I played by heart and tried to fake some of the parts that I didn’t really practice that much.
Which my teacher didn’t like at all. He was very strict with how things should be played and what could be omitted and what couldn’t and punctuation and that whole stuff.
So he put an end to my improvisation. And my joy.
He made me play everything exactly as it was meant to be played. Sheet music. Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Debussy, Beethoven, even Gershwin - everything was set in stone.
He also completely failed to explain to me what fun it is to compose. He taught me the basics of harmonic theory and made me accompany simple tunes with set in stone rules of tonic, subdominant and dominant. It was incredibly boring.
It never occurred to me to switch teachers because I didn’t know you could and I didn’t have any comparison. How was I to know what else was out there? I did my job (that’s what playing the piano was to me back then) and learned the stuff I was supposed to learn. My parents were happy because I was playing all that stuff so neatly. My teacher got paid so he was happy as well.
After twelve years of piano lessons I couldn’t play a single piece by heart.
So when my graduation from high school came (gymnasium in Germany) and I had to learn for my final exams I took a break from practicing to play the piano.
For twelve years.
It would have been forever if I wouldn’t have met Gabriel.
…to be continued.