Monday, November 20, 2017

Classical Music Video

I'm not dead yet. In fact, quite the opposite. It was a rather productive summer, though not one when I wrote much. Instead I concentrated on recording. If you're familiar with my Studies and Inventions you'll know that they aren't studies in the traditional "if you do this you will learn to play better" sense, but rather more in the "I'm playing around sketching stuff with new techniques" sense that visual artists might use.

The first piece, Study No. 8: "Scherzo," plays with a heavy front loaded double dotted rhythm in the Russian style and some "black key/white key" games in something of the manner of early Stravinsky, which is to say the left hand and right hand aren't always in the same key precisely. Stravinsky sometimes called such pieces "scherzi" or jokes, so I've taken that title.

Next is Study No. 9: "French Moment." This one is a little more straightforward. It's mostly an experiment in modality, dancing between the Phrygian and Aeolian flavors of e. (Mostly settling on the former.)

At this point I started to get a bit more daring with my video production. (Marginally.) For the next piece, Study 10: "Something Jazzy," I decided to use that distinctly American style of splashy signage which is roughly coaeval with the music I wished to evoke.

I should, perhaps, confess that I actually shot this next video before the one above. But it is a much more complex and ambitious experiment. It accompanies a piece called Study 13: "Slate Grey Skies," to which end I felt obliged to play with light in more complicated ways. It doesn't precisely tell a story, but I hope it evokes a strong mood. I have particular adjectives in mind, but I will leave it to you, dear listener, to name them.

Lastly I wrap up with a simple but playful piece called Study 14: "Syncopated Rhythm." It's quite short, so there aren't any fancy cinema tricks here. Just a pianist. In a hat.


I did also record a few pieces by other composers. Since I, of course, play other people. Several of them can be found on the youtube channel. Along with other sorts of endeavors entirely. But I will wrap up there for now. Thank you for following along.

The Composer

Recording Poetry

Among other things I spent my summer and early fall experimenting with recording and crafting short videos of various sorts. Most were musical and told no story apart from a mood. But several were meant to accompany poetry, and this told a story of sorts. (Since I tend to tell a story with my poetry. Usually. Not always, but far more often than not.)

The videos aren't all that. Two are little more than glorified slide shows, really. But the third involved some location shooting and a bone-fide actor. Unpaid. Volunteer. Which is to say me. Fortunately, the acting was quite simple. (I walked. I can't do much, but I'm a reasonably competent walker.)

Without further ado, three poems:

a tiny flower

Westward Through September


All three can be found elsewhere on this blog, should you wish to see them in print. But I present them here more as they were intended to be experienced. As always, thank you for joining me.

The Composer