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Album of my own music! (Read 2152 times)

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Album of my own music!
« on: August 27, 2018, 12:14:05 PM »
I'm delighted to be able to make available an album of my own compositions (recorded live) and improvisations. All the material has been studio treated and digitally enhanced. I won't bore you with the details, as you would never trust any recordings again...  ;D

I'm really happy with this album. I think it is very much representative of my beliefs as to how the piano should be played. It also seems to be my third disc! How time flies.

Here is a little promo video, with brief extracts from the tracks. The album is available from the CD Baby link in the video description; for those of you who might wish to stream tracks, I'll have Spotify and iTunes links in a few days, and will post them here, once the album is fully digitally distributed to CD Baby's associates.

I thoroughly appreciate the encouragement I've received, both on and off this forum, regarding my efforts :)


Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 02:39:36 PM »
Here's the Spotify link:
https://open.spotify.com/album/5WlQ5D6W9n0vD99ZoDN8S9?nd=1

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H3JGDH1

See also here - sample track, the final one of the album, live recording with sheet music.




Offline pencilart3

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 08:08:34 PM »
I guess 1:29 is a s/o to transcendental etude #4
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 08:23:54 PM »
I guess 1:29 is a s/o to transcendental etude #4

Not specifically, it's a figure that's so common in Lisztís virtuoso pieces that I wasn't missing the opportunity to use it to transition to the next variation ;)

Offline ted

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #4 on: September 07, 2018, 07:45:27 AM »
I remember that I had said I would comment on this CD but had not put finger to keyboard. I shall not mention specific musical detail but rather hazard a few guesses as to why I find your command of this idiom special. That is not to say the actual notes and keyboard playing forms are unimportant, the lyrical octave phrases, to take one example, are strongly evocative, but evocative of what exactly ? I think the first and major quality of your creations and your playing in this idiom is that I do not feel, as I do with some other similar music, perhaps including most of my own early efforts, that I am receiving astigmatic glimpses of cameos through a bottle glass window into the nineteenth century. It is not translated or refracted passion, of the sort I embraced in my twenties, acquired through lack of experience of real passion and reading a surfeit of stories by Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant. Now that sort of vicarious transportation is by no means necessarily invalid as an artistic stimulus, as the popularity of dozens of epic television sagas shows. However, I think your playing embodies real passion of today, here and now, but in your case it happens to be expressed through your ingrained command of nineteenth century musical language.

Busoni once said that Liszt's Ricordanza seemed to him to resemble a pile of faded love letters. That remark is obviously and at once, laudatory and deprecatory in the two precise senses I am trying to distinguish here, and who knows which he really meant ? The point is that your music does not resemble a faded romantic relic from granddad's mouldy trunk any more than a rag by David Thomas Roberts is stringhalted by association with a Sedalia bawdy house.

I like the warmup and the appassionata best, but that will probably not surprise you. Keep improvising and keep recording it.

    
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 09:34:00 PM »
The easy bit first.. I think the improvisations on the album represent probably the best of the numerous ones I've recorded over the past few years. The Appassionata one is a complete accident in that it happened spontaneously after recording one of the other tracks and then playing through some of my repertoire pieces. What pleases me is the improvisation which I consider one of the weakest ones [track 3] was something I thought pretty good when I originally did it! I think the Chorale is the strongest improvisation and tbh it's the closest I've ever reached to improvising a finished composition on the spot.

Of the actual bona fide compositions I think the last movement of the Concerto is the best thing I've ever written, but we've discussed this before. I'm pleased I was able to edit it in such a manner that it improved upon what I already thought to be a good live performance, but maybe it's best not to flaunt digital jiggery-pokery.. ;)

Your point about, paraphrasing, whether I'm channeling my influences or reframing them in my own manner is an interesting one. I think improvisation, even when done with fluency, often does represent thinking in cliches absorbed from ones own influences. I guess that's why, personally, I think the Chorale is the best one: it's a moment of genuine inspiration (though perhaps that's not for me to say). Fwiw I like the Appassionata quite a bit too; it has some nice harmonic turns and moments, imo.

Anyway, thanks for listening and commenting. I'm not sure how clearly I can pass judgement on my own idiom but I will say (if it's not too self-aggrandising!) that it's a very "natural", musically honest set of recordings.

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 03:15:53 PM »
Maybe a dumb question: Will this be available on traditional CD (a CD that I can stick in my CD player)?  Where can I get it?  Thanks.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 03:33:14 PM »
Maybe a dumb question: Will this be available on traditional CD (a CD that I can stick in my CD player)?  Where can I get it?  Thanks.

At the moment it's digital distribution only, I'm afraid. This is because a. I've not yet sorted out professional private duplication (replication uses highest quality CDs, but you won't find anyone who'll replicate quantities under 500..) and b. the postage costs of repeatedly sending tiny quantities of CDs from the UK to the US warehouse was rendering the process almost futile. If / when I do get the master duplicated, if it's necessary that your copy is on CD, we could perhaps come to an arrangement through pm?

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 03:51:47 PM »
At the moment it's digital distribution only, I'm afraid. This is because a. I've not yet sorted out professional private duplication (replication uses highest quality CDs, but you won't find anyone who'll replicate quantities under 500..) and b. the postage costs of repeatedly sending tiny quantities of CDs from the UK to the US warehouse was rendering the process almost futile. If / when I do get the master duplicated, if it's necessary that your copy is on CD, we could perhaps come to an arrangement through pm?

I may need to rethink how I listen to music.  I have about 600 cdís.  Iím hoping they will still make CD players until I die or go deaf (whichever comes first).  Maybe I can start to change how I listen.  A) My computer is next to my dining table.  My comfortable chair is too far away for my headphones to reach.  B) I also listen to a lot in my car CD player.

How can I enjoy listening if Iím not in my comfortable chair?!?!?! 

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 04:06:19 PM »
It shouldn't be too hard to download the tracks and burn them to a blank cd. Doesn't look as nice of course! And not everyone is comfortable with operating newer technology.

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 06:02:18 PM »
It shouldn't be too hard to download the tracks and burn them to a blank cd. Doesn't look as nice of course! And not everyone is comfortable with operating newer technology.

Stupid question. So I understand:  I download your tracks and copy them to a computer cd then stick this in my cd player?  If this is all, then I will do it.  Sorry for my computer incompetence.

EDIT:
Is there 1 file per track and I copy all 10 or so files to the CD?  How does the CD player know the order of the tracks?  I just bought and setup a new desktop computer 1 month ago (Lenovo 520 24AST 23.8" touchscreen).  Luckily it has a cd burner.  Many new computers don't have this. I disabled the touchscreen because I don't like it. Thanks.


Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 06:52:37 PM »
You need CD burning software. Your pc may have it already installed, or else you'll need to download one (from a reputable source). Usually there will be a menu which allows you to drag tracks into a preview window and define their order, then burn to disc. Unfortunately this is one of those things which is easy once you know how and hard to explain. It wouldn't surprise me if there are demo videos on youtube of it being done.

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 06:59:12 PM »
You need CD burning software. Your pc may have it already installed, or else you'll need to download one (from a reputable source). Usually there will be a menu which allows you to drag tracks into a preview window and define their order, then burn to disc. Unfortunately this is one of those things which is easy once you know how and hard to explain. It wouldn't surprise me if there are demo videos on youtube of it being done.

I found this:




I'll give this a try.  If you don't hear from me - I had no luck.

If you lose a few listeners due to computer illiteracy, I don't think this will affect things much.  There aren't many like me.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 07:02:35 PM »
OK. Not watched the vid, but bear in mind you're burning an *audio* cd and not a data cd. Some cd players will play cds consisting of conventional (mp3 or wav) music files, but not all. Traditional CDs are structured differently.

Offline ted

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #14 on: September 09, 2018, 06:34:21 AM »
If you have a Mac I have always found iTunes does it very well, and you can change the order of tracks and print inserts if you wish. There are very many other free programs to write CDs and DVDs though.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #15 on: September 09, 2018, 02:19:42 PM »
If you have a Mac I have always found iTunes does it very well, and you can change the order of tracks and print inserts if you wish. There are very many other free programs to write CDs and DVDs though.


Thanks.  I have Windows 10 but I see that I can download iTunes for windows 10.  I will try to create the CD with iTunes in the next week or so.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 02:02:18 PM »
By coincidence, the album has just been distributed to iTunes.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/piano-impressions/1435252166

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #17 on: January 25, 2019, 05:42:05 PM »
A pretty positive review from MusicWeb!

I'm quite pleased, as it's difficult for albums to get reviews without industry backing.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2019/Jan/Wright_impressions.htm

I have a number of physical CDs now available; if anyone is interested in acquiring a copy please feel free to contact me privately via PM.

Offline ted

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #18 on: January 26, 2019, 12:45:03 AM »
Itís no more than you deserve, Andrew. I have told several people around here - meaning where I live, not the forum - about you. I donít mix with musicians generally but the reactions have been positive, as well they should.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #19 on: January 26, 2019, 10:12:31 PM »
Thanks, Ted. And it is appreciated that you have tried to spread the word around! In a way I've kept a promise to my former teacher, who had been adamant that I should release a collection of my own music. The review does remark on 'variable' pianos, which is fair comment, but the honest truth is that had I specifically set out to have everything completely optimal, the one thing I can't guarantee in that equation is spontaneous inspiration when I then improvise, so I think it's far better that i have picked the cream of my recorded improvisations. And the pianos are by no means bad: the recording quality on track 3 in particular seems very respectable to me (a Bosendorfer Imperial recorded with mics I used on both Operatic Pianist discs).

I think it is sad that few pianists will ever release a disc of this nature. Whether it is because of commercial considerations, or because classical improvisation is dangerously close to a lost art, I really can't say.

Offline georgey

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #20 on: January 28, 2019, 02:09:19 AM »
A pretty positive review from MusicWeb!

I'm quite pleased, as it's difficult for albums to get reviews without industry backing.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2019/Jan/Wright_impressions.htm

I have a number of physical CDs now available; if anyone is interested in acquiring a copy please feel free to contact me privately via PM.

I just bought copy of this CD.  Congratulations!  I did notice that the piano tuning and sound quality was a little off to my ear on some (Melancholia for example).  But not too much to effect my enjoyment.  Love the warmup.  When I saw this as the title, I immediately thought of the Liszt trans etude #1 that always sounded to me like I imagined Liszt playing when he warmed up.  Yours is quite a warm up! I'll enjoy hearing this album many times, including the great concerto.


Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Album of my own music!
«Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 11:31:30 AM »
Thanks! Yes, I agree, Melancholia is slightly suspect by audiophile standards. It's an occupational hazard in a way, when some of the material was recorded on a completely spur of the moment basis I was just using a portable recorder as I don't generally carry high quality mics with me! The warmup was prior to the recital where I performed the concerto and this was recorded with good equipment. All of the tracks were treated for noise reduction and digitally enhanced in other ways, so I have improved the audio quality in relation to the originals.