Monday April 10, 2017

Jeremy Elliott on Glenn Gould's search for the perfect piano

Drummer Jeremy Elliott works at the oldest piano store in Canada.

Drummer Jeremy Elliott works at the oldest piano store in Canada. (Emblem Editions)

Listen 1:39

Jeremy Elliott plays the drums for the Julian Taylor Band. He also works as a sales manager at Canada's oldest piano store, Paul Hahn & Co. Elliott is currently engrossed in reading A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano, by Katie Hefner. 

Julian Taylor Band

Toronto-based group Julian Taylor Band is currently on a spring tour. (Ryan Nolan)

Katie Hafner does a good job of storytelling. One of the things I have taken away from reading this book is that on the one hand, Glenn Gould was an elite concert pianist who was searching for the perfect piano to help express his art. But I think more broadly, it speaks to something that we all experience, which is love. What we don't often take into account is that there are so many moving parts that feed into that search. I think the piano is a really great way to think about that because the piano is very complex, mechanical. So to be looking for something that complex, thinking that all of those parts — 12,000 parts, half of them are moving — adds up to some whole, I think it's an interesting way to think about love. But I think what Katie Hafner writes about in a really interesting way is that it's not so much about the object we are seeking. It is the search itself, but also what that means in terms of ourselves.

Jeremy Elliott's comments have been edited and condensed.