As a child you’re not really supposed to like your parent’s choice of music. My parents were quite into folk music and one of their favourite albums was ‘Watermark’ by the Irish artist Enya.
Not long after I started playing piano I spotted the book in a second-hand piano store, and knew I had to buy it.
The title track is an instrumental and is the first complete piece of music that I learnt. I have recently started playing it again, and it still holds a special place in my repertoire. There are a few fond memories associated with it.
4 years ago we went on holiday to Cornwall and took a look round the National Trust’s ‘Lanhydrock’. The NT had just changed their policy to try to make the houses more accessible and friendly. As a result of this they are now happy for people to play the instruments in the house. In the long gallery there was an old ‘Steinway and Sons’ grand piano. It was too good an opportunity to miss. Although I had only just learnt the piece, and didn’t have the sheet music (who takes sheet music with them round NT houses?) I still wanted to have a go. It started well but then halfway through the nerves kicked in and I lost my place and couldn’t find it again. I felt very self-conscious and was slightly dissapointed that the nerves had got the better of me, but still it was a great experience, and one of the other visitors came up to me afterwards to compliment me.
Last year I was having a wander round the Bristol piano shop of Mickleburgh and saw a brand new Steinway for sale for £50,000. Although I had no intention of buying, (nor the means to do so, even if I had the intentions) it would have been rude not to have a go on it. Again I chose Watermark to play. Working in the store, was a blind piano tuner who commented afterwards that “it just goes to show that some of the simplest music can be the most beautiful”.
I have gone on to learn the rest of the tunes from the book and they are all great pieces, of particular note are ‘On your shore’,’Exile’ and ‘Evening falls’. However for the me the title track is the best of the album.
It is also a great one for beginners as it is relatively easy to play but a beautiful piece.
Below is a youtube link of some-one else playing the same arrangement that is included in the book, for you to hear how it sounds.