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Night in Shanghai
The forgotten story of black musicians in the Chinese jazz age, and a...
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What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?

Created: 01/11/15

Replies: 3

Posted Jan. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?

Jazz musician Charlie Parker said, "Music is your experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?


Posted Jan. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?

Thomas had received classical training in piano from his mother and was rigidly dependent on sight reading sheet music. He neither improvised nor was able to play from mastering and memorizing scores. The music was apart from him. After playing with a number of jazz musicians and observing their creative drive and tentatively stretching his wings, he loosened up, fell in love deeply for the first time and began to live. When he was forced to earn his pay, first as a street musician, then playing for tips with his friends, particularly David Epstein, he found his self-assurance and the music became a part of his being. His creativity soared as did his capacity to care for others and survive. Playing in hotels and ensuring David's family was fed expanded his nurturing skills. He came to Shanghai with technical skill and learned to play well as he learned to live fully.


Posted Jan. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 58

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RE: What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?

Being a trained classical musician, Thomas had learned to respect the rules. And though discriminated against even when played by the rules, he wanted the respect and recognition of someone who played by the rules. When first in Shanghai, Thomas was the living the life, his mother expected of him and he wanted to ensure playing by the rules would honor his memory of his mother. But through the various situations and encounters that Thomas had in Shanghai - he began to break out of the tethers that bound him and freed him from those emotional bonds. He was now able to "relate" to others and begin to put his own expression into his music. This expressed this pain from his past, his despair for the present, and the hope for the future.


Posted Jan. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 86

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RE: What living does Thomas have to accomplish before he can finally throw off his fetters at the piano? What makes it possible for him?

I agree with all comments above, and I would add that Thomas needed to feel more, to feel the heights and passions of love, the depths of loss, the thrills and lows of life to truly give himself to his music. He needed to let go of his inhibitions, his restraint, let people into his life and heart. Music is passion!


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