My obsession with accordions began at a young age.
I really thought I wanted to play accordion, and my parents bought my twin sister and me identical tiny accordions. Tiny accordions for our tiny fingers. Our small house was not rich or fancy, but it was filled with two of the richest things that this world has to offer: books and musical instruments.
I still remember strapping the accordion onto my shoulders and pretending I could play.
My discovery of Julieta Venegas came later (here is her Tiny Desk Concert at NPR). She is tiny and bursting with talent, and she masterfully demonstrates the art of traversing several different instruments during her all of concerts. The accordion always made me feel like it could transport me to another place, another time. It makes me explore the curious paradox of playful seriousness, and the feeling of sitting outside a cafe, or participating as an onlooker to a parade.
Then came Argentine tango. Along the shores of the Seine river at night, I sat in front of the bandoneon player, and listened until dawn. I’m not sure whether the movement or the music lulled me into believing I’d dance tango one day. Perhaps it was the water, or the Parisian night.
I still get lost in the accordion notes. They seem a little bit naughty, but every part innocent. Pushes, pulls, pressing, bellowing, resonating.