Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Geppetto's Muse

I recently had the opportunity to explore a local accordion store Victoria. When I got there, I was surprised by the largeness of the store, and the number and different sizes of accordions lining the walls (800 in total, I found out later). But what most stands out about this visit was the owner. When I got there, a tiny, grey-haired man emerged from a dully lit room in the back. He was wearing a leather tool-belt that carried curious, clinking instruments on it. He blinked up at me from behind round, wire-rimmed glasses and asked  in a European accent if there was anything he could do for me. I said I was looking for a full-size accordion. His face lit up, and he asked me what kind, and before I could answer, he began to talk lovingly about different kinds of accordions: the various sizes of accordions, the sounds, feels, weights, and brands of accordions. He talked about the colours of accordions and the spacing of the keys. Then there were the European accordions that had a special tone to their notes--the "muse," he called this tone. He gazed a little dreamily into space as he talked about it. This was a man in love with accordions.

He took me into a small side room where there were about 20 accordions on the wall that you could test out. He told me to play away, and then he disappeared into a back room. I took a quick peek in there on my way out, and it was amazing! A Geppetto's workshop, the room was filled with little tools, spare accordion parts, and partly assembled instruments that he was working away at. I couldn't help but thinking after I left that if we were all as in love with our work as this man was, we'd be very fortunate!

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