Tuesday, January 18, 2011


What fun to perform again!  Sunday's concert was lots of fun.  Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church is beautiful and the Boston piano surprised me- was not expecting to like it but it was very sweet and filled the space beautifully.  Just listened to the concert recording and am very happy with the way it turned out.  I'm hoping to post some selections online for listening- but, alas my couple of hours of free time today are almost past.  So, soon!  The Ginastera especially turned out nicely, and will likely be one of the first things I record in my new recording studio at home.  As for originals, everything seemed so free and open to me.  River Dawn had more depth than I've heard myself give it before- probably something to do with all the Haydn I've been playing.  The Asymptote too had lots more intricasy.  Perhaps my favorite part though was the free improv.  I haven't done too many free improvs in solo concert before, but the ones I was doing at home and then for Red Leaf, Grey Sky in the studio gave me the confidence to accept what would come.  And, I liked it after the fact!  Actually, I liked it during the fact too.  What a joy to be enjoying playing.  What a joy to know the audience was appreciative. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Feeling Sleepy

Taken by CMC at Moosehead Lake, Maine
Well after our vacation and with the start of the school year and teaching I haven't really been improvising much since that huge hurrah a few weeks ago.  I was really dreading the start of the school year since I'd been spending so much time with the wee one, not really wanting to get out of our comfortable rhythm of our days - but now that a week with most of my students has gone by, I think it will be good for me to be thinking outside of myself again - but boy am I feeling pressured for time to practice-- I know I know it's the first week of teaching and everything will develop into a new rhythm... as it is the little guy seems to be slowly moving away from morning naps - so no more morning yoga for mommy, but every day is a new challenge and adventure to see what will be coming.

My January concert has been posted on the web, so I guess it's really official now (although the contract's been signed for a while).  I'm really hoping to play a movement of Keith Jarrett's Koeln Concert, and to that end I'm working on memorizing it.  It's so slow going so it's really hard to imagine how I will make it through it but I know I always seem to find a way to make it work.

Tonight I wanted to get back in the habit of improvising, so I did record myself.  I'll share it because it has sweet moments but the editor in me doesn't like it much - too improvisatory?  I'm pretty sleepy though so maybe I'll like it better another day.  But... you can decide for yourself:

p.s. update the next morning... I'm really liking this one now.  Funny what a night's sleep can do!

Monday, August 23, 2010

back from cape cod

Catherine Marie & son at Cape Cod
We had a lovely family vacation to Cape Cod last week, despite the fact that I was inbetween books and had no idea what to do with myself during the little one's naps - with no piano and no yoga props and not immersed in a book.  I was even out of magazines- did a crossword puzzle and browsed our hosts' bookshelves.  Learned a thing or two about homeopathy and natural cures for babies, also got to think a lot.  We're back home and today was a great day.  Got the yoga studio (i.e. my old office before I moved the computer to the piano studio) set up and even squeezed in a short yoga session.  Went to a new library and had fun picking out kids' books and several for me- even made my way through most of a book about organizing and throwing stuff out- physical and mental clutter.  Was a good affirmation for the work I've been doing to live in each moment and actually DO the stuff I want to be doing.  Tonight I had a great piano session - worked haltingly through a Hanon exercise in all 12 keys - lots of stumbles, but boy did it feel great to have warmed-up fingers- amazing what that one exercise can do.  Then improvised for a long time.  Lots of neat rhythms and patterns coming out from the Hanon and lots of sinking into old songs of mine (but ones I hadn't played in a long time, so old friends).  Recorded a bunch but nothing really in one smaller chunk that I feel like posting.  But, tomorrow is a new day! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

raining and giraffes

So I'm not actually expecting anyone to be listening to these as I'm now getting the feeling I will be posting a lot of them.  But, if you are inclined to do so, by all means, you are welcome here.  It's starting to rain this morning and we're moving a little slowly.  Baby was playing with the giraffe in the playpen next to the piano while I played.  This one has some really beautiful moments that I might actually go back and try to recreate to form a more polished piece that I could practice and take to concerts or a recording.  I really love some of the chord changes in here!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

putting it out there

So the improv I recorded on Sunday gave me great momentum and I decided to completely rearrange my piano studio and move my computer down from the office into the studio and actually hook up my keyboard and have a home for the playpen for the little guy... so now I can upload recordings right away and play piano while I'm waiting for stuff to load and have all the creative juices flowing in one place.  I was so motivated and a dangerous woman on a mission that I even managed to move the Steinway off of the casters by myself, whoaa.  Picture here was taken with my computer's webcam this afternoon... yay!  That means I might even be inspired to do some webcasting or recording some video.  In the meantime I recorded another improv tonight.  The editor in me wanted to "try again" and record another.  Well, not only do I not have the time because baby will need me soon, I figure that's not in the spirit of me letting go of the editor.  I almost didn't upload this file because it's not in "finished" state and wouldn't really be on a recording somewhere... but there are some really nice moments in it.  And I'm putting it out there.  baby calling gotta go.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Something about Babies and Mountains of Chores

I've really been yearning to play lately - have had writer's block for 6 years or something... gave a sermon at our UU church last week about piano passions and inspirations and have been on the nursing couch imagining how I will set up my piano studio for recording and update website, blah blah blah... but needed a kick in the butt... so I figured tonight as soon as baby was asleep I needed to get down at that piano darnit and record myself.  I think the key to getting myself to where I want to be is to turn OFF the editor and not care one bit what people think of my music and if anyone would buy it or book me or even like it, and not care if my piano is tuned (it's not) and where to set the mics (probably a bit bass heavy here) and not care if I actually eat dinner tonight (okay, well I probably should eat, but will work on that later).

So - here it is.  First recording of myself improvising in a few years or something.  Post classical concert last year, post baby, post sermon, post literally months of me not touching the piano, pre- new me?