Piano: The Broken-Chord Waltz

This is a new composition I’ve been working on for the past week. It’s very basic: it’s in the key of C with no black notes at all. But I think I came up with a good tune that’s fun to listen to and to play.

The song is mostly broken C, F, and G chords with a small A minor section and some interesting melodies and embellishments.

Download synthesized MP3 (2:35, 2.5MB)
Download sheet music (PDF, 3 pg., 30KB)
Download MIDI sequence (2:35, 7KB)

The MP3 above is synthesized. I can play this on the piano but I don’t have a good microphone. Call me if you want me to play it for you. :cool:

Daytona State College 2009 Talent Show

I just played piano at the Daytona State College Talent Show at the News-Journal Center, 221 N. Beach St., Daytona Beach, FL 32114. The show was 8-10pm Fri. Oct. 2 (tonight) and it’s 10:45 now.

We had a full house… there were probably 800 people in the audience. It was great and I actually performed better than in the rehearsal. I was the opening act at 8pm, playing The Entertainer by Scott Joplin on the baby grand piano while a slideshow of 58 of my photos played including all 30 in my portfolio. The Rebel got a laugh from the audience.

I was also running for Mr. Daytona State against Jerred T. Mason, Zach Smith, and Tad Jennings. Jerred won with his monologue on overcoming obstacles in life and reaching your dreams, which is a lot of what I wrote last year in personal development. Michelle Underwood and Shawana Brown were running for Ms. Daytona State, and Michelle won with her improvised comedy act.

The show as very good. It was much better than the rehearsal Mon. and Thu. I told dozens of people about it at Daytona State College all this week and it seemed no one knew about it. I was only expecting a couple hundred people but Dad estimated there were 800-1000 students in the audience.

I took about 300 photos with my DSLR and my Dad filmed my performance. I’ll cull and edit everything by Sunday and post it then. It’s almost 11pm and I need some sleep. Update: video of my piano playing (fast forward to 2:30), photos above. Everything is posted!

Have a nice weekend everyone! Please leave your comments about the show on this blog post.

I also published this on DaytonaState.org.

Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi

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I’ve been playing the piano again recently. Found this song, Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi by a French composer, Yann Tiersen. It translates to “Nursery Rhyme of Another Summer: The Afternoon.” I wouldn’t have titled it that, but it’s an appealing melancholy song nonetheless.

The song is famous for appearing in the movie Amélie. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds interesting / thought-provoking.

It just took me two days to learn this, which is faster than normal. As soon as I abandoned the score and played it from memory, I was able to play much better because I could watch my hands instead of guessing or looking back and forth. That’s a step many musicians don’t reach, because they’ve been taught since childhood that you should not look at your hands and just read from the sheets. Phooey. It’s good to know how to read notes to learn new songs, but after practicing for days you should memorize every note. If it doesn’t happen, you’ve got a hard song so change that to weeks. Don’t try to memorize a song; if it doesn’t happen naturally play it more often, and if it still isn’t burned in your mind maybe you can’t memorize songs (!). Keep practicing always, as long as piano holds your interest.

The hard part is the arpeggios in the right hand, mainly because you have to balance them with the accompaniment in the left hand. The accompaniment is eighth notes and the arpeggios are sixteenths, so you have to play them twice as fast, alongside and synchronized. Your mind doesn’t like that and wants both hands to be moving at the same pace, but if you can disconnect your left brain from your fingers by spacing out, it becomes easy. Then polish it by regaining conscious control of your fingers but continuing with the rhythm. You’ll need this skill, particularly in ragtime.

My camera’s audio isn’t great, but you can download a higher-quality MP3 of my performance. Enjoy.

Piano: Turkish Rondo, Rustles of Spring, and The Entertainer

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Songs by me on the piano at a recital on 2008-01-04. I’ve been playing for five years; Rustles of Spring is the newest one, which I started on a year ago. I still can’t play the middle part at tempo, but it’s coming along. The Entertainer is quite entertaining, and I’ve perfected an abridged version of Turkish Rondo (Alla Turca); the beginning is cut off as my Dad started recording too late.

Turkish Rondo, abridged [Mozart]
Rustles of Spring [Christian Sinding]
The Entertainer [Scott Joplin]