Just Some Notes: Observing Some Pianists

September 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

For my piano lessons in college, one of the only assignments I had to do each semester was write up 3 concert reports. Any concerts that had a pianist in their ensemble was acceptable, and it wasn’t limited to just Classical concerts. In fact, it was a simple 2 page observation on the music, the atmosphere and of course the way a pianist plays. When I first started writing these concert reports, I hated it because I felt that taking notes during a concert was NOT the way to enjoy live music. Usually I loved just sitting back with my eyes closed, surround myself with the music and let the notes do their thing.

Of course, it wasn’t before long that I started to enjoy observing the different play styles and techniques of different pianists (cause I’m nerdy like that). For classical pianists, I developed a spectrum. On one end, you have Lang Lang, who is known for grandiose gestures and flourishes. On the other end, you have Horowitz, who is stoic and a minimalist in terms of movements. Most pianists fall somewhere in between on that spectrum.

Movie Poster for "The Pianist", the ultimate piano movie for Chopin lovers

The point of this written assignment for this class was for the student to be exposed to a wide range of pianists and examine the different techniques they applied. Some students that may have less movement (like myself) might find it beneficial to add more gestures to express the notes more, like raising your hand higher and let gravity help create a fortissimo sound (it helps a lot). 21 concert reports later, you kind of realize all the great pianists have more or less tailored a unique style of playing. There’s no “correct” or “incorrect” way of playing, there are just different ways that suit different people.

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Dustin O’Halloran

May 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

That feeling when you hear a new piece of music and you instantly fall in love:

His music has hints of Philip Glass, but somehow more expressive and human. All his pieces are just hauntingly beautiful and stirring.

Music adds soul to movies and images. It enhances and amplifies the emotion the image evokes. I love this music video for Opus 23 by  Italian director Marco Morandi; the animation is so simple and charming.

A Tribute to Nujabes

December 16, 2010 § 2 Comments

I know it’s the end of the year when I begin to get bombarded with “Top 10 ____ of the year” articles.  Although I love complaining about them and how most lists suck, I secretly find them interesting to read and a great way to kill time; Times Magazine has a Top 10 for everything.  While the people at Times Magazine have successfully taken me down the memory lane of 2010, I wanted to write a post about something that will never make a Top 10 list but had personally affected me this year.

Not many people know who Nujabes  is.  Tragically, the young underground hip-hop producer and DJ passed away February of this year and will likely quietly fade away in music history without further discussion.  Nujabes was a  secretive person and avoided the limelight while he was alive.  Similar in that regard to Daft Punk, he seemed to want the world to focus on the music and not the creator behind it.  He doesn’t need to come out for interviews and tv appearances;  his music speaks to those who listen.  It music captures and woos the listener into falling in love with what they hear.  At least, that’s what happened to me.

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Jónsi: New Piano Song [free download]

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sigur Rós lead singer Jónsi just released a new song on his website called “New Piano Song”.  It’s beautiful and available for download here.

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Ensemble: the style of music – Moxy Creative House

November 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Ensemble: The Style of Music - Moxy Creative House

Holy crap, just found some of the coolest and most original prints online just now!  It’s amazing how iconic certain outfits have become for some artists – you don’t even need see a face to guess who the outfit belongs to.  10/10

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Kanye West and “Runaway”

November 22, 2010 § 3 Comments


album art for 'runaway'

I have always been a huge Kanye West fan.  His debut album The College Dropout remains one of my favorite hiphop album to date.  I borrowed the CD from a friend in 9th grade and I couldn’t stop listening to the whole thing.  Woven together, the songs and interlude skits created a very solid concept album.  While everyone else was churning out the same formulaic pop song, hoping to score that one summer hit, Kanye West never seemed to see creating just one hit.  He makes his own path.  To this day, he has constantly reinvented himself and his music so that he stood out amongst all the others.  It’s a shame that his often questionable behavior has been magnified in the public eye, turning everyone’s focus on the VMAs or the George W Bush-Kanye feud instead of his work.  Kanye will probably always remain in the center of the music scene for his controversial behavior.  Then again, who is ever interested in someone who behaves the way they should?  His behavior and ego makes the music just so much more…his. « Read the rest of this entry »

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