Last week we were listening to Lorie Line Pandora Radio and a song came up that I recorded years ago. I was getting ready upstairs and Tim was working in our office. A few songs later he came upstairs and asked if I heard it and said it sounded just beautiful. I responded, "funny you say that, because I thought it was terrible! I play so differently now."
I had been thinking about the song. It was too fast. It sounded "anxious" to me. The melody line dropped out. It didn't have the emotional Lorie Line phrasing that I have worked on for hours and hours and developed over the years. Why in the world did I play like that? I wished I could do it again.
And then it came to me. I played too fast because of the pressure I felt working with a fellow musician on the song. We just never had great personal chemistry and 30 years ago I might have felt I had something to prove. In any case, I overcompensated, and played the song how I felt that day. (It's funny . . . all these years later, and I still remember that feeling.)
I think this happens a lot in life . . you can't put your finger on it . . . but sometimes there's something going on that prohibits you from being your best self. Some people might have good intentions, but they prevent you from moving forward. I've been reflecting on this for a couple of years. Hearing that song put the pieces of the puzzle together for me.
During this past holiday tour a handful of my biggest fans wrote or spoke to me (not solicited, not knowing each other) and they all said they had been watching me for over 30 years, had come to almost every concert . . . and there was something different about me this year. In a good way. In fact, very good. They described me as happy . . . content . . . comfortable.
They were right. They are right.
And in my reflection, I know why.
It started eight years ago with The Living Room Series. I decided to simplify, just play the piano all by myself for a small crowd in my own home, tell a few stories, laugh and act silly, and talk and play to friends and fans who would sit up close, right next to me (like the Dayton's days). Performing all by myself in a small space and in a less formal gathering forced me to find myself. Musically, spiritually, and personally.
At first it was scary. Frightening. But then . . . I got my groove on. And then . . . I loved it. I knew I was (once again) onto something in my career (and in my personal life) that was taking me in a different direction. Moving me forward. So for eight years I have practiced being myself . . . all by myself.
And then I took this new-found freedom to the stage.
Nothing to prove, no anxiousness, no overcompensating, no bad chemistry.
"Happy, content, comfortable."
After over 30 years of performing, I have found my best self. And it's right where I first started.
All by myself.
Ms. Line now performs about 50 solo piano concerts a year. A handful of them are in her own living room.
This is the favorite time in her career.
This past year she featured a fabulous vocalist. They had great personal chemistry.
Photo taken by Tim at Mar-a-Lago, February, 2024. Ms. Line performed in the Grand Ballroom the previous night. All by herself.