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Can’t Help Myself – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday,, my peeps!  The sun is making a feeble appearance today.  Will it stay? It’s early-ish yet.  Oh wait, I just looked at the forecast.  Rain is coming in to help melt the snow… and cause more lakes and more ice and more… How about we forget the weather and tell a story instead?  Today, I have gone Rochellian in my attempt.  So thank you, Rochelle, for inspiring us to write better, in a more concise way.  This week, our leader has chosen a photo from Anshu Bhojnagarwala, so thank you, Anshu for allowing us to use your photo as inspiration.

©Anshu Bhojnagarwala

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Can’t Help Myself

“Glenn! You must stop humming while you play! The microphone is picking it up and ruining the recording.”

“Sorry. I’ll start again.”

“Good. Whenever you are ready.”

Bach’s Goldberg variations resumed as only he could play them.


“I know.  I don’t like it and I can’t stop it. Honestly, I would resent any other artist did it. I know it’s a terrible distraction.  But my playing will never be as good without a few vocal elaborations. I don’t see why anyone puts up with it. Shall we continue?”

Glenn Gould’s humming can be heard on most of his recordings.

An early recording of a young Glenn Gould.

In later years you needed a good set of earphones.  If you wish to take a glimpse of the older Glenn Gould, click here.

182 thoughts on “Can’t Help Myself – Friday Fictioneers

  1. For a moment you made me forget that your story is fiction, based on fact. Lovely writing, Dale. I knew of Glenn Gould, but not much and the humming is such an interesting story. Watching him communicate with the music is something special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Subroto. Yep. True. I have a few recordings and he can be heard. Glad you liked and took the time to go search further.


  2. I‘m not gonna read these zillions of comments but I fully understand the problem. My wonderful cello teacher of only a few years; he was, in his younger age, an early member of the Electric LIght Orchestra – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Edwards_(musician), a classic-turned Rock-turned clssic cello player with the kindest heart and broadest mind…. He played like a God and ‚snored‘ like a bear to every note he played on his wonderful Baroque cello, he drove everybody crazy and I often joked that he would be REALLY famous if only he could control his nose noises a bit more….. I didn‘t, at that time, know how TRULY famous he was!!!
    Thank you for these videos, very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, that 2nd one nearly killed me….. gosh, dear Mike was an innocent child in comparison to Glenn! 🙂
    And FINALLY, years later, I also understand the words, a friend of ours, himself an extremely talented and sensitive singer & musician, when, after a long discussions of Who plays Bach best (of course HE did…. lol), he was a bit negative on Glenn Gould, saying something that he couldn‘t play and ‚shut up‘ at the same time. I let it go then because our friend wasn‘t only very talented and had the highest standards, he also had a super developped sense of humour and I just thought he was telling a joke only he found funny…. 😉 NOW I KNOW

    Liked by 1 person

    • The second one? I’m going back to respond to your lovely comments on my posts about Mick.
      Mick was not an innocent child 😉 But he was a fun-loving guy whereas Glenn was almost hermit-like

      As for Glenn Gould, for many it’s a love/hate relationship! And yes, NOW YOU KNOW!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this, Dale! I love it when a musician is so into his music that he hums without thought behind it. And, yes, it does add to the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it was the other day, well okay, more like thirty years ago, CBC Radio did a radio play of a young women who took a job as Glenn Gould’s personal assistant. She mostly just talked to him (listened) and deciphered endless scribbled notes. It was wickedly good. And so was this. YO-u stretched the photograph to make a story. Looky looky that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that “Other day being thirty years ago” – I do that all the time. Did you ever see “32 Short Films About Glenn Gould”?
      I would have liked to see your wickedly good show…
      I take it, it turned out ok, my story? 😉


  6. I like that and as someone who hums to themselves all the time, I totally understand. It does give the music more character when he is humming along with it while he plays. Very Rochellian piece, to be sure. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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