In the Your Accompanist office, the technical team are big fans of the xkcd webcomics, so when we showed Randall Munroe‘s Simple Writer – a text editor restricted to the 1000 most common English words – to Michael, he did an amazing thing with it: he described his life as a piano accompanist in the simplest possible terms… here it is!
“I read music and I can also hear it in my head when I see it on paper. I can do this without playing it on anything.
“Sometimes I hear new sounds in my head and I can write them on paper. This is for other people to play. I can play it too and hear if I wrote what I heard in my head.
“I also play music that helps people because they want to make music with their voice but need some music to work with that I have made. They can buy this from me and play it on their computer. These songs last for ever.
“Sometimes I also go to other places to play music for people to listen to. I play songs from back in the day as well as more up to date songs. When I play these songs I play them in a way which goes well with the place I am playing. People like me to play a song which they like best and when I am going to a place to play, I like to ask people to tell me what they would like to hear.
“Sometimes I play music for movies with no talking. I watch the picture and make up happy songs if the movie is happy, or sad ones if it is sad. The movies are very old and in black and white and people still like them. Some young people have not seen them before and they are sometimes surprised that they like them. People often come and say nice things about the music.
“My days are nice because they are all about music. I like to share my music with all people.”
Michael, Composer, Pianist, Accompanist and sometimes Theatre Organist
Randall Munroe has a new book out written entirely using this technique. It’s called The Thing Explainer – Complicated stuff in simple words [amazon]