⟨ Object ⟩

Glenn Gould And His Chair

It’s A Complicated Relationship

Words / 夏侯露茜
Illustration / Furze Chan

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.” 
– Toni Morrison, Beloved

你很迅速地從側門鑽進攝影棚,
頭戴貝雷帽,身穿厚重長褸,
攜著殘舊摺椅的姿勢如同拖著老妻的手。
我靜悄悄坐在一角,看你走到鋼琴前,
動作很快地除掉手套,把缺了座墊的摺椅攤開,
一屁股坐了下去,完全就是亮閃閃又非一般的鋼琴師。
正要開始演奏,一位電視節目主持很不識趣,
指著摺椅趨前詢問:「古爾德先生,一定要用這個嗎?」
你不慌不忙回答:「它是最親密的伴侶啊,跟我形影不離。」
指頭旋即降落在黑與白之間,按出一群任性的音符。
我用耳朵盛載樂曲,再一派輕鬆地將心房打開,
容許音符們跌跌撞撞跑了進來。
我裝作若無其事問:「你倆算是什麼關係呢?」
臉頰滾燙,眼睛只敢瞪著摺椅看。
你的嘴巴立即掛上不可思議的微笑:
「你來坐坐看,便懂了。」

*註:被譽為二十世紀最著名古典鋼琴家之一的格倫.古爾德(Glenn Gould),生前有不少怪癖,其中一樣就是堅持只會坐在他父親為他改造的矮小木摺椅上彈奏鋼琴。即使後來座墊鬆脫,椅腳又會吱吱作響,古爾德還是跟它不離不棄。


Walking swiftly, you entered the studio from its side door, 
Accompanied by a heavy winter coat and a beret. 
The way you carried your shabby folding chair reminded me of a husband holding his old wife’s hand.
I sat quietly in a corner and watched as you approached the piano. 
You quickly pulled off your gloves and opened that chair (with a missing seat cushion).
And once you sat on it, you were the pianist, outstanding and bright.
Right before you started to play, an insensible TV presenter interrupted. 
Pointing at the chair, he moved forward and asked, “Mr. Gould, must you use this?”
You gently said, “It’s a boon companion. We never separate.” 
A bunch of fickle notes bounced out as your fingers landed on the black and white keys. 
I let the music pour into my ears, opening my heart as calmly as possible. 
All those whimsical notes stumbled right in. 
“What is between the two of you?” I pretended to be casual.
My cheeks felt hot; my eyes stayed with the chair.
You lit up with an incredible smile, 
“Come and sit for a while. You will see.” 

*Note: Known as one of the most famous classical pianist of the 20th century, Glenn Gould had lots of quirks, including his obsession of the wooden folding chair modified by his father, on which he never performed without. Even though the chair had become so worn out that the seat cushion fell off and its legs squeaked whenever he sat on it, Gould never parted with it.