What would you do about playing the piano [if you spent a winter north of the Arctic Circle]?
I don’t need to play it. But I’m sure the local bar has got a piano I could noodle on if necessary. Well, to be truthful, once a month or so I’ve literally got to touch the piano or I stop sleeping properly. That really is true. I was in Newfoundland last summer, just as a tourist, and after about a month I found that I was getting by on three and four hours a night, which seemed ridiculous, because I was doing reasonably energetic things like wandering up and down cliffs and beaches and cuing the surf for all sorts of imaginary documentaries… and this was insane, because I was getting more and more tired every day. And finally I realized that what was missing was the fact that I did need contact with the piano for an hour or so. And literally, that will do me for a month; that’s all that’s necessary. As it happened I knew of a delightful old German Steinway located at the CBC studios in St. John’s, which I discovered when I was down there doing The Latecomers four years before; I asked if I could have an hour with it, which they granted, and the next night, you know—sound as a baby.
—Jonathan Cott, Conversations With Glenn Gould
Boy, it was tough getting up this morning.