I took some piano lessons when I was six or so. Was a bad student. But ever since then I've played a variety of intruments, on and off... play five years, not play five years, come back to it, take a break. Last few months I've felt the stirrings, and think I've found a way to make it work.
Roland has recently released their Virtual Accordion series in Chromatic Button style, and I've got an FR-3xb on order, will arrive next week. It's reedless, as is my Petosa, but it's self-contained without an external controller, and has a variety of Freebass systems available. Pretty wild... you can remap key layout on each side in software. It can run on AC, but also has an internal battery pack and two speakers. Can also be played silently with headphones, or to an amp. Now I'll be able to play classical music again.
Last few months I've had Bach come into my head at odd moments. This evening I pulled out my Bugari freebass and read through two voices of Fugue #1 in C-minor of The Well-Tempered Clavier. It was the tune that's been haunting me. Very satisfying to bring it back.
Been reading through old scores and albums, playing only one tune acoustic per evening, getting reacquainted. Musette, Texas Fiddle, Choro, Klezmer, Hank Williams, Irish, Ragtime & Tin Pan Alley... lots of things are embedded within me. I'm looking forward to being able to play, any time I wish, in both Stradella and Freebass, and with all the sonic possibilities that a modern electronic instrument can bring.
FR-3xb is heavier than I'd like, at 18 pounds. I don't think it'll work as a travel accordion, and maybe won't even work as an informal around-town accordion, but it definitely fits for in-house practice.
Mandarin has to stay my top priority, and I've got to keep daily Cantonese practice too. The accordion will be more a regular pleasure than a daily exercise, as it had been in the past. If there are many evening baseball games this season, I'm set for practice time.... ;-)
In the back of my mind is using music as a bridge in China... I have unique skills and experience in music, and although I haven't found a social setting for it here, believe I have something to offer there. I also have a background in legerdemain, with recurring study, even though I haven't performed since a teenager. Both means-of-expression are non-verbal and direct. I think there's something there, even though I don't see the full shape yet.
One more thing I've been thinking a lot about lately, is how most accordionists, most musicians, seem to push, to impress, to be forceful. The tune really takes place in the listener's ear, and there needs to be a balance of both predictability and surprise to really entice the listener.
It's nice to be regaining a key part of my personality.