Friday, January 11, 2013

recordings on pianosociety

Some of my recordings are on Pianosociety.com now. Pianosociety is a wonderful place. Pianists including advanced amateurs and concert pianists have contributed recordings which the public may access for free. The people who operate Pianosociety are incredibly dedicated volunteers and they run a wonderful project. http://www.pianosociety.com (I am now on the left under "Artists")

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Practice videos?

I've been thinking about making a video of what practicing is really like. Not a full 3-hour slog through one of my practice sessions, of course, but a short montage put together over the process of learning a piece, with timestamps and captions that say what issues I'm working on at the time. Then a "finished product" performance at the end.

There are tons of piano performance videos out there especially since the advent of YouTube, but even the ones that say "practice" are pretty much top-to-bottom performances of the piece. Would it be useful for students to see how pianists go through the practicing process? (Would it be reassuring for non-musicians to see that it isn't as easy as it looks in performance?)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

beautiful cacaphony

In the prayers this morning Pastor Williams used the phrase "a beautiful cacaphony of voices all saying different things together." He was talking about the church. What a great way to understand diversity and even argument within the church, not as a bad thing, but as something that sustains us. Kind of like music -- if you have too much of the same thing it's boring. You need dissonance in order to make things interesting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In the night

I've been working through Schumann's Fantasiest├╝cke Op. 12. They are a group of very interesting character pieces, short, but not really miniatures as they are quite substantial. My favorite so far is "In der Nacht" (In the Night). It's an interesting change from the blocky style of Schumann that I've been familiar with thus far. The sound rushes up and down and the harmonies are often augmented chords that don't quite resolve, or don't resolve satisfactorily.

Schumann wrote that after he wrote "In der Nacht" he noticed some similarities with the story of Hero and Leander. In Greek mythology Leander is a young man who falls in love with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, and swims across the strait of Abydos every night to come visit her. You can certainly hear the dark waves and the longing sound, with moments of peace and happiness but none that last for very long.