John’s Story

John Luckey

For me music is like magic. I don’t really understand how I create it. I started playing my family’s old upright piano when I was 10 years old. I recall simply playing around on the keys, even from the beginning. I didn’t seem to have a lot of interest in the piano other than to “play around”. I wasn’t interested in learning how to play, at least not from others.

My father, Robert Luckey, also had a natural inclination towards the piano and could play very elaborate musical pieces completely by “ear”. He also was not trained. Stories I heard about my grandfather were similar. His instrument of choice was the violin.

My father mostly played music that he had heard. I, on the other hand, remember being a bit bored doing that and tended to make up my own music. I did try to take a lesson, but my compulsion was to change everything I learned to make it my own. This, naturally, made it frustrating for my teachers. I could already play somewhat elaborate pieces by ear so the lessons seemed a bit pointless. Music is about “passion”. I never heard about it this way that is what it always seemed from my young perspective. I was creating music almost from my first touch of the keys. It really did seem simple and for the most part effortless.

So the years go by. I continue to find opportunities to play but also many years go by were I don’t play at all. For me, playing was mostly a way to lose myself into a world of sound. It was a way to separate myself from the struggles of everyday life.

The piano, over time, eventually turned into a musical electronic keyboard/synthesizer. This, I found, had even more potential for expression as compared to single dimensional piano.

Now as the decades have come and gone. I have discovered, at long last, that my music is unique. I now believe that my natural inclination to create music should be shared. I am still not formally trained but my self-training has given me an understanding of my own ability to create. Nearly all of my music is created in a single sitting, as improvisation. For me, music is still a little like magic

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Musical Expression Through Unique Improvisational imagery