Saturday, November 15, 2014

More different something completely different.

Youkyoung Kim, also prominent in the post just below this, posted another Davytude and it's amazing. From memory.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

And now for something completely different

… but the same anyways.

The World Piano Competition happened in Cincinnati last month while I was staring at Lake Champlain a lot, and this year they instituted an American requirement — at least nine minutes of American music from a smorgasbord of their making was required to be performed by every contestant in the first round. I was part of that smorgasbord. As the competition was happening, they were throwing up snippet videos onto their YouTube page, including the two breathtaking performances of 'tudes of mine seen below. These performers rock, and they rock completely.

Also, the framing music is cute.

Fists of Fury. What the étude is about is pretty clear. One of these days this piece is going to be responsible for breaking a piano. Amy made the first video of this piece in 2001.

Absofunkinlutely. This is an exciting and dynamic performance, and it impresses me how very different every performance of this piece is. It's a barn-burner here, and a hell of a barn burner. And in case you like watching pages magically turn (she's using her mind), this is the video for you.

Amy made the first video of this piece in 2008.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Stone Tower speaks

The studio I was given at Yaddo is called the Acosta Nichols studio, or the Stone Tower. It's a repurposed failed ice house deep in the woods by the walking paths around the grounds. When my work for the day was done, I had a habit of opening the windows and playing music loudly for all residents taking their walks.

Finally the Stone Tower expressed its concerns.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

In the can! Part deux

So I left Yaddo a day early. I wrote 51 minutes of music there (I usually write 45 minutes in a year) and had nothing left to do, so instead of tooling around doing nothing, I came back home to grown-up internet (75M as compared to 768K at Yaddo), and I was able to upload — rather rapidly — all the remaining etude movies we made with Judy Sherman's sound layered in. Thus, as before, they are presented with minimal comment.

Chase for piano and celesta. Amy strapped a GoPro to her forehead for the take. Dramamine recommended.

Not for talking pianist, text by Rick Moody. Amy seems to be having some fun. Rick says the text is about the Bush era.

Ecco Eco, an echo étude. All the gestures echo, at different delay points, and some of them have Doppler effect. It's pretty hard.

Narcissitude is a fast mirror étude, in which, for most of the piece, the left hand is the exact mirror inversion of the right, and a sixteenth note later.

Diminishing Return is about fading repeated notes, and word on the streets is it's hard.

Quietude is a slow étude on dominant seventh chords dedicated to Gusty Thomas.

Solid Goldie is an étude in search of a lullaby on GCH ("Goldie Celeste Hunka") celebrating the birth of Marilyn Nonken's first daughter.

Friday, June 20, 2014

In the can!

Amy and I were in New York to record Études Volume 4 last week, and we got those 22 suckers into the can in which they belong (all of Books VIII and IX, Polkritude (#93) and Quietude (#97). Amy was so well-prepared that we only used 45 minutes of the third day of sessions, and we got to go home early. For me, that meant driving to Yaddo, where I had been, and where I type this right now.

Not evident is that I carried a toy piano to the sessions. But very evident is that I brought a GoPro camera. Bitchin.

Also, of course, we made some movies. Rather than comment at all, I'll just stack them here and you can go aah a lot. Or scratch your head, confused.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Counterpoint lesson

This is another one of those non sequiturs.

Phase 1a complete

The concerto is in the can. Those in the know place its launch toward the end of the current calendar year. Here is Amy during the session setup, as Joel Gordon, the recording engineer, contemplates Blue Ribbon Barbecue in Arlington.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Before the World Series trophy

"Make sure everybody puts their stuff on this side of the auditorium. We don't want the public trampling on all your stuff when they come in to see the World Series trophy."

Which is to say, BMOP's first rehearsal was just the opening act to the trophy's grand tour.

Meanwhile, Amy looked like this sometimes. The flowers didn't help that much.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Action shot

When I was trying to take a movie of Amy playing celesta and piano together (below), for some reason the movie camera took a still instead. And what a still! Hair swoosh!

Amy plays piano and celesta

This morning was the first rehearsal, and rocking was done by it and by all involved.

Before it started, Amy got to practice the two-keyboard stuff for the first time on an actual celesta. Let's watch.