SUNDAY, May 2, 2021

SUNDAY, May 2, 2021 – 12:13 AM

SUNDAY, May 2, 2021

Gershwin Prelude No. 2

This is old, by today’s standards. They were composed in 1926, nearly a century ago. Many people play this with almost a 1920 or 1930 feel, which I don’t like at all. Bernstein got much more of a modern feel. But I think jazz musicians over the years have gotten much better, and that style is much more freer and and somehow. At that time straight 8ths were often play straight, or straighter. Today there is a strong tendency to make things swing. That’s the way I heard even the center section, sometimes straight but with a hint of swing, and the out sections for me have to very free, very “bluesy”, and more like what happened later, with people like Ella, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and so many more.

On Golden Pond

There is a long story about this: The theme song in the movie and on the sound track is wonderful, but it is with full orchestra, so if you buy the sheet music for piano only, it’s very empty. One of the problems with 20th and 21st century notation is that we now live in an era where you can listen to perfect music, played by the best players you can imagine, but the composers do not bother to shape or perfect what they sell to pianists. It’s up to us, the players, to be free, imaginative and creative to make this music come fully alive. Many years ago – decades ago – I took the standard printed sheet music for On Golden Pond, as written for piano solo, and changed it considerably. My aim is never to change the feel or the “soul” of the music, but rather to take something for full orchestra and transcribe it so that it gets as close as possible to the atmosphere of the music written for a much larger ensemble.

Ballade Russe

 A good friend of mine, Jon Dzoba, wrote this a long time ago. I had in mind to write it out, do something with it, but I got stuck. It fell into that dark void filled with “things we meant to finish but never got to”. I did a bit more work on it today, and I hope I did it justice. It’s another one of those slow, expressive ballads that I like so much, and the chord structure is probably right in my wheel house.

Zankyou no terror OST – [ Fugl ]

The first is from an anime movie.

There is a long story behind this. I don’t remember how I ran across the music. Everything about the title is misleading. It looks like “Thank you”. In fact, that’s just romaji, meaning phonetic Roman letters for Japanese. In fact, this is about nuclear war. The original music is for piano and orchestra. Only the piano part seems to exist in notation, so I started with that and carefully added what is missing. It starts almost like a music box, then adds a counter melody. The middle section moves to more complicated chords and is much more complex. I added a little more intensity to the middle section for contrast.

Bert and Arty Blues

I wrote this a long time ago for a friend, and it’s just a silly little tune with a 1930s feel.

Dark Jazzy Minor

I wrote this two weeks. It uses jazz minor and other really important chords. I started it with theory in mind, but it took on a life of it’s own.

Grieg Nocturne

This often in method books for piano students, but it’s really quite hard. It is two against three, but if you play it well no one knows it is hard, or why.

William’s Song

This is a lovely tune written by Dave Brubeck and part of a whole book called “Nocturnes”. I have in mind to play all of them, so this is just the first of many to come, I hope.


6 thoughts on “SUNDAY, May 2, 2021

  1. Out of all of them, I think the anime track and and Bert and Arty Blues were my favorite. The anime ost just sounded nice and relaxing. Bert and Arty was really upbeat and had a nice tempo.

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