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    Default Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    So, as some of you may know, I play the Piano. A lot. It's actually my living, as it were (probably not the most financially sound option, but hey, it's fun). And, as any good performer should, I enjoy having an audience. And while I'm not prepared to drop a full fledged recital on your laps, I'm still perfectly willing to record a few songs here and there (ask nicely and I might even do a request now and then). And so, I have made this thread. I record music (which I like doing), and you listen (which I hope you like doing). If you're so inclined, give some feedback. I'm always looking to improve.

    To kick things off, here are a few samples off of the top of my music stack.

    Might as well start on a strong note. I probably should have made another take, but I thought that the joke at the beginning was too funny to record twice.

    Here's a fun little jazz tune I've been working on these past few days.

    And here's some pretty post-tonal music.
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-06-06 at 10:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Here, to lighten your day, is some post-tonal silliness.

    While I'm on a roll, here's some more music from the same composer.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Nice playing, man! What's the name of that third piece?
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Thanks! That one's just called Minuetto, if I recall correctly. I found it in a book by Casella called 'Children's Pieces.'

    I assume that he means 'pieces for children to listen to,' and not 'pieces for children to play.' Some of the chords in those things are just nasty to play.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    So, I was rummaging around in my music stack, and I happened across a book of songs from West Side Story. As it happened, these were significantly reduced piano arrangements. I went through, found one that was both pretty and sight-readable, and recorded it.

    Here is One Hand, One Heart by Leonard Bernstein

    I'm currently learning an arrangement of Moon River for piano that I found yesterday. I'll probably have it record worthy by tomorrow.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Okay, I lied. Still, here's Moon River. Which, incidentally, is a very uncomfortable song to play. Lots of ninths.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Here's a recording I made a while ago for fun. The song should be easily recognizable.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Everybody loves Henry Mancini, right? Here's The Baby Elephant Walk.

    Yes, it is as silly as the name suggests.

    So, I've found that most of these songs take me about three days to get to the level I'm playing them at in these recordings. My basic goal right now is to be recording a new song each day- in all probability, I'll get better as time goes on (I'm not very used to learning songs so quickly. I'm usually either spending a month on them or sight reading it on the stage).
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-06-11 at 01:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    HOW DID I NOT FIND THIS THREAD SOONER!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, as a fellow musician, props. I shall endeavor to listen to all of them and if you would like any feedback I would be more than happy to give it to you.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Thanks! Any feedback you care to give is appreciated.

    EDIT: Until I can find the Peter Gunn theme written out, this'll be the last Mancini that I'll play for a while. Hope you like it- The Pink Panther
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-06-12 at 02:52 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Feedback: The dynamics are not coming through as well as they must have been played, so you may not have to correct the dynamic things I'm hearing at all.

    The first one: relax. You keep pushing the melody, which is why it gets choppy. Play it like its an improvisation, and let the melody breathe more by being less strict with the tempo (although don't rush), and letting the grace-note/lead-ins take a bit extra time. I've found that you need to practice transitions far more than phrases because your brain is trying to handle so many things at once, rather than just focusing on the melody. Also, to push it farther, a little more use of dynamics could really boost this, but it would need some time to figure out what you want. It's really close to being great, but it needs a tough of polish as it stands right now.

    Second one: I'd say make stronger beats. It has a weird rhythm, and its a bit unsettling trying to find the beat a few spots. In this case, I'd actually tighten the lead-ins/grace notes, as I think that's part of the problem. To reach the next level, which I understand if you don't want to, you need to even out the quick embellishments in your right hand by playing them slower until you can play them evenly without thinking about it, then speed it up to tempo.

    The third one sounds lovely. I love the dynamics. I will admit I'm a fan of stretching tempos a lot, at least when its not marches or the like. I personally would take some more time in places, but others might say not, so its up to your interpretation.

    Love the fourth. Honestly your transitions could have been better, but I love what you have done with it otherwise.

    I just want to see what that fifth piece sounds like faster. It may not be right, or may only be right for some of it, or I may be wrong, but I feel like it could do a lot more by being faster.

    Number six: Bernstein. I'd recommend making sure the accompaniment gets soft enough fast enough. The tail ends of your melodic lines are getting lost, and it messes with the resolutions.

    Moon River: Its really good. It could really have some oomph if you do a little more with phrasing, but other than that I think you just about have it. Ninths such indeed.

    I like it. I don't really have much else to say about that one. The tune is actually well hidden with all the dissonance in there, but I like the contrast.

    I love this song. Played it way back in middle school band. Maybe a touch more dynamic phrasing, but otherwise well done.

    Don't be afraid to hesitate a bit in jazz-style music, as jazz sounds improvisatory, and so the music rarely flows perfectly, but its imperfection that can really add character to the music (although don't stop trying for all the right notes. This is certainly not that kind of jazz).

    I'd like to add that these are all constructive criticism, and if something isn't mentioned here, it was not bad. I would never want to discourage a fellow musician, especially one doing as well as you are.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Thanks for the feedback! And no offense taken- you're only good if you keep getting better.

    I think one of the main issues is that I'm not entirely comfortable with the songs that I'm playing here, mostly because I don't really have them down. Most of these I learned a day or two before I recorded them, so there are moments (particularly in the transitions) when I'm a bit uncertain, which can mess up the melody a bit. It's also probably the cause of the stifness/pushing you're noticing. It's not exactly performance anxiety, but it's there and I'm trying to get rid of it. That's actually a big reason that I'm doing this in the first place- to get more comfortable with music that I don't have perfectly memorized.

    Oh, before I forget, I found some sheet music for the Lord of the Rings thing yesterday. I'll see if I can get that up soon.
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-06-13 at 10:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Well, relax. And I know its hard to just relax by telling yourself that, so you do need to clear your mind and release your tension one body part at a time. Also, try playing for an audience. It's different, and you can feel the energy of the performance a lot better that way. By finding that energy, you will be more in tune with the performance and be able to put even more heart into it (I'm not saying you aren't already, so don't think that). And I will admit I'm not quite that good at piano right now, although I would like to be someday. Still, it is easier to hear things in another's music than your own, and I hope I can give you good advice.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Omeganaut View Post
    Well, relax. And I know its hard to just relax by telling yourself that, so you do need to clear your mind and release your tension one body part at a time. Also, try playing for an audience. It's different, and you can feel the energy of the performance a lot better that way. By finding that energy, you will be more in tune with the performance and be able to put even more heart into it (I'm not saying you aren't already, so don't think that). And I will admit I'm not quite that good at piano right now, although I would like to be someday. Still, it is easier to hear things in another's music than your own, and I hope I can give you good advice.
    Thanks for the advice. I do play for audiences fairly regularly, but it's always behind a few other musicians. I'm not terribly experienced with just performing solo piano. They're whole different monsters.

    On an unrelated note, Tom Lehrer songs are nowhere near as easy as he makes them look. I've spent about half a week on one of them and I've barely got the first part down. In the mean time, here's some music from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Hey, been a while. I've been working on a few really hard pieces, so I haven't had the time to keep up with this. Expect less frequent updates of higher quality for the time being.

    In much the same vein, here's the first of a few Tom Lehrer songs I've been looking at- Smut.

    As you might guess from the title, the lyrics are board inappropriate (in a satirical, light-hearted way), but I do suggest you look at them for an extra laugh. Or listen to Tom Lehrer performing it himself.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    You're a great player. One thing I noticed, especially in the LOTR music, is that you take breaks a lot more than is good for the music... dadadaa dada,dadada.
    It might be a stylistic choice. I don't know. Apart from that though, you sound amazing.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuthalion View Post
    You're a great player. One thing I noticed, especially in the LOTR music, is that you take breaks a lot more than is good for the music... dadadaa dada,dadada.
    It might be a stylistic choice. I don't know. Apart from that though, you sound amazing.
    Thanks! And I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that those are the times when I look up to check the music. I was trying to learn and post as many pieces in a short time as possible, so I tended to fall a bit short of having them memorized.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    So, I just remembered this today and set off in a frenzy to find something to record. Sorry.

    Anyways, everything I've played so far has been written in its entirety by someone else- I've just been the performer. This generally isn't the case at most of my performances- for the most part, I just bring along a real book and play along. So, I decided, why not do that here, too?

    I opened my real book to a random page, and guess what? I ended up with My One and Only Love.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    You are fabulous! I throw my evening gloves at you as if you were Liszt.


    Do you like to play Bach at all? I have a request, if so, whose fulfillment I would bombast with such applause that the piano would need retuning.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    You are fabulous! I throw my evening gloves at you as if you were Liszt.


    Do you like to play Bach at all? I have a request, if so, whose fulfillment I would bombast with such applause that the piano would need retuning.
    Thanks! I haven't done too much classical music lately, but I'd be happy to hear your request!
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Thanks! I haven't done too much classical music lately, but I'd be happy to hear your request!
    Could you please play something from the Art of the Fugue? Preferably #9, but anything you have the time to learn would please me too.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    Could you please play something from the Art of the Fugue? Preferably #9, but anything you have the time to learn would please me too.
    Ooo, a fugue. This will be fun.

    Alright, it might take me a while, but I can try to get this down for you. If you happen to have an arrangement that you could share that uses Treble/Bass clef (rather than alto and tenor), that would speed things up considerably.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found a good one on IMSLP. I'll have it up as soon as my schedule permits.
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-08-23 at 08:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Ooo, a fugue. This will be fun.

    Alright, it might take me a while, but I can try to get this down for you. If you happen to have an arrangement that you could share that uses Treble/Bass clef (rather than alto and tenor), that would speed things up considerably.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found a good one on IMSLP. I'll have it up as soon as my schedule permits.
    I look patiently forwards to hearing it.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    In case it's ever occurred to anyone to wonder, fugues are really difficult to play. Probably wouldn't be as hard if I were trained classically, but I haven't done much besides jazz for a while.

    If I keep working daily, I'll probably have this ready for recording in about a week, give or take a day or two.

    EDIT: Hey, Kneenibble, do you have a preference for how fast I take this?
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-08-26 at 10:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    In case it's ever occurred to anyone to wonder, fugues are really difficult to play. Probably wouldn't be as hard if I were trained classically, but I haven't done much besides jazz for a while.

    If I keep working daily, I'll probably have this ready for recording in about a week, give or take a day or two.

    EDIT: Hey, Kneenibble, do you have a preference for how fast I take this?
    It's an ex caelo request, man, I understand even if you throw it out the window and say no. Take as long as you need and play what tempo you care. My esteem of your talent will go unshaken in any event.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    It's an ex caelo request, man, I understand even if you throw it out the window and say no. Take as long as you need and play what tempo you care. My esteem of your talent will go unshaken in any event.
    Oh, I have no intention of giving up. Stuff like this is actually great for technique- it would be a good idea to learn this if I hadn't been asked. I'm just wondering what your preference is for the performance, since I've heard pretty varying interpretations on tempo. I'm practicing at about 80 BPM in 2/2 right now.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Oh, I have no intention of giving up. Stuff like this is actually great for technique- it would be a good idea to learn this if I hadn't been asked. I'm just wondering what your preference is for the performance, since I've heard pretty varying interpretations on tempo. I'm practicing at about 80 BPM in 2/2 right now.
    80 in 2/2 sounds like a perfect tempo -- snappy enough but not so fast as to gloss over any voices.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Okay, I've got maybe 60% of the fugue learned, and about 30% completely down without music.

    I'd rather not keep everyone waiting until I can learn the whole thing, so here's something I picked up a few weeks ago- Harlem Nocturne.
    Last edited by Othesemo; 2012-08-30 at 05:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Featuring the Piano Playing of Othesemo, for your Listening Enjoyment

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Okay, I've got maybe 60% of the fugue learned, and about 30% completely down without music.

    I'd rather not keep everyone waiting until I can learn the whole thing, so here's something I picked up a few weeks ago- Harlem Nocturne.
    A lovely bittersweet piece.
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