When I think of my childhood, one particular thing will always pop into my head: the piano… also known as the [pain]ano. It was the source of much needed confidence, tears, and a whole lot of frustration.
“Joanna. How would you like to play piano? It’s going to be really fun.”
Being the ignorant four year old that I was, I perceived piano as some sort of game, a challenge with something sweet at the end. Preferably candy. And it was in that instant that I sold the rest of my childhood to this instrument. While the other children were playing in the streets, I found myself indoors, with only a dusty piano and some sheet music to keep me company.
But in actuality, it was something that I grew to love. I could do anything that I wanted to with just the simple touch of a key. Mad? Bang the keys a couple of times. Sad? Play the music softly and slowly. That was all it took.
As I grew older, piano became something other than anger or sorrow or happiness. It was music. It became a way for me to express the emotions I found too hard to express, or unable to express. Music became a way of breathing for me. It was a way to soothe, to rage, to cheer, and to cry.
Because music isn’t just a bunch of words and melodies and instruments strung together. For me, it makes the struggle of life seem just a bit easier. It’s an art that speaks. It’s so many things. Too many things. It’s a melody, a song, and most of all, it’s a voice.
Music is the greatest creation of man which touches the soul and helps people manifest their unspoken desire and humanity itself. It is something capable of breaking boundaries, uniting people from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different situations.
These beautiful portraits are created by Erika Iris Simmons who reconfigured sheet music as her medium to create these illustrations. Personally, I love these images because it conveys the importance of music. It is these little notes and chords that create the larger portrait itself, suggesting that muse is the core of life.
Because music completes me in every way that nothing else ever will. It saves me everyday, gives my life purpose, and defines who I am.