Imagine her surprise when you say, “we don’t need a stereo – I have an accordion.”

I love music as much as I love paint. Both have the magical ability to change the mood of a mind or a room with a beautiful melody or a few strokes of a brush (or roller). Elements in our environment like colors, bright and dark, smell and sounds, will trigger changing emotions and feelings within us as do the different musical genres. Personally I love the jazz/blues mix and that is ordinarily what will be playing on Jango (google it, and thank me later) in the suite when guests arrive.

Accordions are the German equivalent of bagpipes in my opinion, and there is no middle ground, you either love them or hate them. As a youngster I was given two choices of instrument to learn, accordion or organ. I chose organ. My weekly accordion lessons became part of the routine as did practicing every day, and after a year or two I was fairly adept at the old squeeze box. I’m pretty sure that the organ was never really on the table, my folks were just checking to see how dominant my German genes were. Our neighbors had a son, Edward, and man could he work his accordion, it really was impressive. For the first time in my life, up until then anyways, I was more than happy to have someone be better at something than I was, I mean really happy. There was, however, one very brief moment I felt proud of this rather rare ability of mine when John Mellancamp popularized the sound. It all seems like a lifetime ago, but to this day I can still read music and play a keyboard, albeit not well.

When putting the suite together, I decided early on that we needed some form of musical instrument to make at least some of my musically inclined guests happy, particularly those who travelled here from overseas and were often away from home for many weeks, I settled on an acoustic guitar. I can’t tell you how it warms my heart when I see a face light up when first seeing it, or to hear someone play it whether it be in the suite on a cold winter day, or around the fire pit in the warmth of summer, it definitely sets a mood: a warm, content, happy mood.

My son has been playing guitar since he was 18, he’s now 35 and has taken to building the electric version. The process is quite amazing to watch unfold, and I am hoping that one day in the near future I will be able to offer a creation of his in the suite for my home sick, guitar loving guests. We have so many original items made by BC artisans here, and I would be more than proud to showcase a masterpiece of his.

Most of us can relate to the power of music, how it can exert such a passionate influence on us. It can lift the lowest mood, put a smile on the sternest of faces, make every fibre of your being want to dance, or take you deep into the memories of a time long ago. Where words fail, music speaks…and I think accordions speak German…

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