WMMN-TV Presents: Recital Video: the Amusingly Serious One!

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I’m sure I’m not the only composer who periodically takes stock of her collected works, as a way to glean whatever insight may come from looking at where she’s been, where she is now, and where she might be going. I did that as part of the planning process for this recital, I was amused by what I saw. That’s probably due to the fact that my sense of humor has improved enormously over time. I was one serious little whippersnapper back in the day! It was all part of the temperamental artiste thing; I was in thrall to the romantic archetype of the tortured, angst-ridden soul who is happy to suffer for art. But over time I realized that, glamorous as it appeared, as a way of life it was downright unsustainable.

I also noticed that I’m a far more pragmatic composer now than I was while I was in school. When you get out in the real world, you discover that idealism is expensive! Hence, the piece I’m performing in the video below is the longest and most difficult one on the program. I know better than to make life so hard for myself now, I’ll tell you what! πŸ˜‰

I still love the piece, though, and re-learning it after many years was a challenging and rewarding experience. It was a little bit terrifying too, I confess — I almost cut the crazy thing a few days before the performance, because practicing it was making me want to tear my hair out. But in the end I was really pleased with how it went, so I’m glad I didn’t. (Cut the piece or tear my hair out, that is!) In fact, I’m looking forward to playing it again!

In my spoken intro to the piece, I mention a Gershwin tune I had in my head while writing it. Here’s a full version of it — it’s a great tune!

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WMMN-TV Presents: Recital Video: With a Little Help From My Friend

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One of the drawbacks of being a pianist is that you can spend an awful lot of time playing alone, unlike other instrumentalists who, almost by definition, play in orchestras, bands, or chamber ensembles most of the time. I didn’t discover chamber music until I got to college, and it made me want to just… sing!

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for musical collaboration if you put yourself in the right place at the right time!

I especially love accompanying singers. This video is the first of two songs on my recital, where I was joined by the wonderful singer, and my good friend, Peter Terry. The song is a setting of a text from the Song of Solomon (adapted by yours truly). As I mention in the video, it was performed at McDoc’s and my wedding ceremony (but not by me!). Enjoy!

More to come… πŸ™‚

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WMMN-TV Presents: Recital Video: the Technical Ones!

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While working out the order for this recital, I split the pieces from the 30 Days Project into two sets and alternated them with other selections, because I think it can get tedious to listen to a very long list of short pieces without at least a snack break or something. Hey, there’s an idea — I should serve milk and cookies at my next recital! Mmm, cookies… Oh, okay, and the audience can have some, too. πŸ˜‰

I enjoy creating categories and putting things in them. These three pieces are what I call The Technical Ones; each one is built around a particular music-theoretical conceit. Other categories include The Pretty Ones and The Whimsical Ones. Actually, I like to think that any of the pieces could fit in any of the categories — it’s all just a matter of emphasis.

Herewith, I give you:

Enjoy!

More to come… πŸ™‚

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