Tuesday, September 11, 2007

THOUGHTS ON IMPROVISING AT THE PIANO, IN A STUDIO...

My new CD is going to be quite different from my debut CD studio recording.

On that project I improvised on basic ideas I had in mind. When I say basic, I mean... "Post It" basic like the picture at the top of the page... :)

This time around, though, I'm going into the studio with complete & defined scores.
Why? It boils down to the some tricky pros & cons...

PROS OF IMPROVISING

1. Freedom: You start with a scribbled melody and belt it out. What comes out is remarkably unique and belongs to a special soundscape.
2. It's Natural: If an impromptu piano track is recorded right, it emanates an organic feel to it from every pore... ehm... note!

CONS OF IMPROVISING

1. - IT'S COSTLY! If you mess up a few notes in the middle of a sincere, 100% improvisation, chances are you can never "punch-in" and take it from where you messed up - mostly because you don't know where you were coming from. Sounds like a contradiction?

Well... Think of it: if I start playing and get 10 minutes into it, chances are I've already forgotten how i started. Of course I may improvise around a main post-it theme, but it's hard - almost impossible - to start re-recording the track and come up with the same notes, moods & patterns. If you do that.... well - you can't really say you're really improvising! :-)

2. - IT'S DIRTY: In some cases, once you start playing it's the music that begins leading you (and not you following the music!) So mess up a few notes and you've jeopardized the whole take, which when translated means = $$$ (or in my case €)



You can listen to some examples on my website, which features solo piano music.
Load the Flash stereo on the top right corner and you can listen to some examples.

The track "Whispering Thoughts" is 100% improvisation. It's the great example of a "clean" impromptu based on a fraction of a green Post It! It was recorded in a single take - at the end of which everyone present at the recording session realized something special just happened.

On the other hand, browse through some of the tracks recorded live during The Calx Project Guinness World Record attempt and you will hear some chipped notes here and there. (Of course I could argue that those were there because I was improvising non stop for 8 hour shifts, 15 minutes of break, for a total of 3 days and nights!) ;) In a live environment that's justified, but not so in a studio recording.

Follow this blog if you want to know what the CD is going to be about and how you can contribute to it!

In fact, if you register to my free newsletter, you can even receive free music tracks and new about concerts and other events! Just click here!

Ciao!

Monday, September 10, 2007

STARBUCKS MUSIC & COFFE...

I've been in a STARBUCKS joint near Orlando (Florida) while waiting for my wife to complete an all-day makeup course. What an experience! (I'm happy with little you may think?) :D

Their music selection is great - relaxing jazz and easy listening; most of which sounds like vintage 1940 recordings. Great sound, great songs. Great Coffee. Great green chair I've been sitting on for the last 2 hours.

Oh - and I also got a free Mocha Frappuccino. Delicious! Does it get any better?
In Rome (in all of Italy, for that matter) we are not exactly 'invited' to sit, sip on a coffee, lounge around, surf the web. It's more like "Pay - Drink - Leave". Most often it's "Pay - Leave - Drink".
Seriously.
As for me... I'll keep sinking in MY green chair while listening to Louis Armstrong singing "Wonderful World" and sipping my special coffee blend!

C!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

THANK YOU, GRAZIE, ASANTE SANA...

Whenever you read an article or a book and you feel like you really benefit from it, why not spend a few moments and thank the person who wrote it?

Taking the time to say thank you is a nice gift to people that know you, and an even bigger one to people that don't.

Very often this will provide a pleasant, unexpected surprise to those receiving your note and make ways for possible new contacts in your network.

Of course this only works if you're sincere about it. Never write to someone a fake "Thank you" note with the goal of butting into their lives and making them know you're there. "That was a great article! Can you hire me?" kind of thing...

This is easily perceived and will create the exact opposite effect you were hPublish Postoping in. A 'fake' note is always easy to identify and will just be rejected.

So be sincere and write that brief note when you feel like it.

As for me, some important twists in my musical life have happened because of expressing my sincere thoughts on something I read about. So, it's good to be sincere!

Ehm... Thank you! :D

C!

Labels: ,