Week 135: “White Keys” by Chilly Gonzalez

Lots of people hate winter. It’s cold, it’s dark, and the novelty of snow quickly gives way to the unpleasant, salty reality of slush. Last winter, I tried denial. This winter I’d like to suggest a more optimistic approach, by focusing on what makes winter good, and the opportunities it provides us that summer cannot.

So in the spirit of winter optimism, here are some ways to make winter better:

  • Use a hair dryer to give your shoes/boots a quick hot blast before putting them on. Your feet will feel invincible as you walk out into the cold.
  • Buy an advent calendar midway through December. They’ll be on sale for cheap, and you will have the moral obligation to eat a whole bunch of chocolate to catch up.
  • In a public place (a bus stop would work nicely) start filling your jacket pockets with snow. If someone looks at you funny, give them a blank stare and say, “…it’s for my collection.”
  • Mint tea. I guarantee you will like it, even if you’re not a tea person. It’s got the magical quality of being hot and cold at the same time. If Queen Elizabeth had Santa over for crumpets, this is the beverage she would serve.
  • Once a week, listen to “White Keys” by Chilly Gonzalez, a talented pianist with a seasonally appropriate name.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The way he takes a simple pattern and moves it around the keyboard, using only (you guessed it) the white keys.

2. The way he begins the piece sticking strictly to eighth notes, but then after a while starts throwing notes in a bit earlier than expected.

3. The way the mic is so close, it occasionally picks up the sound of his fingernails on the keys.

Recommended listening activity:

Re-discovering the joy of snowpants.

Buy it here.