Welcome to Roqué's Newsletter Where Pianos Roam (formerly Pianissimo).
Hello Friend. Start Here.
Here we are at the new hub for weekly newsletter at Substack.
Since this is essentially a reboot, I decided to switch back to an old name I used for my blog years ago. This title “Where Pianos Roam” (WPR) originates from a poem I wrote and reflects the broader scope of the creative work I will be doing in the future, while staying rooted in my work as a pianist and performer. You might occasionally notice different miniature pianos wandering around these parts.
All previous and current issues of WPR can now be accessed at www.wherepianosroam.com, in addition to appearing in your mailbox if you are a subscriber.
I will have a new submission every Friday. Moving forward, the writing in this newsletter will explore my sensibilities as someone who is deeply introverted but is also comfortable performing on a stage in front of hundreds of people. It is a strange duality that I do not entirely understand, but I suspect that they do not have to be mutually exclusive. Can a life of contemplation and introversion cultivate a freedom to be audacious and bold? I certainly hope so, and I want to fully embrace both of these parts of who I am.
Another significant theme will be the concept of shame and what I can do to overcome it. I experience my fair share of this state of mind on a daily basis—shame of my body, of being an immigrant, of my otherness and queerness, and if I am being honest, shame of my own skin color. If my music, art, and performances, can do anything, I hope they can help me work through this.
Here is what you can expect from my contemplative side:
Thoughtful essays about my slow approach to creativity, culture, and life in general
Posts about how I maintain balance between all of my priorities in life
Recommendations of books, music, films, and art that resonate with me
Musings about my life in the woods of Tennessee with my partner, our garden, and our cats
And from my audacious side:
New art and illustration
New short films
Updates about new film releases and performances
You might be curious about that last polka dot point. Well, I actually love to dance, but because of that specter of shame mentioned above, it is not something I have shared much with the world. The few people who have seen me truly dance have been thoroughly entertained. So, when it does happen, it will be an exercise in transforming my shame into something more liberating, and maybe, it will make you smile.
All of this, including my best work, will be made exclusively for this newsletter and for you for free. If you should decide to become a paid subscriber at any time, extra, in-depth, behind-the-scenes posts will be yours to feast upon, and your contributions will help me make more of my music, art, and films.
One primary motivation for moving into this blog/newsletter framework is to gain more autonomy from social media sites and the corporations behind them. There will be no advertising here and no claims upon your privacy. By concentrating my focus and energy toward this forum at Substack, I will be engaging a lot less in social media.
This will be a quiet, open space where trees yield gently to the wind, where rare flowers bloom, and where my ideas and art will have a home. You are welcome to continue to roam with me in this place or to unsubscribe at your discretion. This choice will always be yours to make.
Thanks again for your friendship. I promise to give you something meaningful in every issue because I value your time and attention.
For anyone interested in only receiving one monthly digest of these issues at the end of each month, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will add you to that separate list.
Otherwise, see you every Friday from now on.
A note about the art:
As one does, I like to draw pencil portraits of whimsical and strange flowers. I am growing an entire garden of them. They make me happy.
Where Pianos Roam is my reader-supported labor of love. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.