Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 2012 ABF recital

The beginners on Piano World have their November virtual recital (link1). My contribution is another original piece, Shimmer (link2).

My practice time has been about 20 minutes a day for the past couple of months. I am still enjoying it. I am considering the purchase of an upgraded instrument. I currently have a 61-key Yamaha NP11, and am consider the two new Casio models, the PX150 and PX350. The big difference would be hammer action and 88 keys.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Five early pieces

I uploaded five of my early pieces. I like them all, but if you only have time to listen to one, I suggest March to the Sea. More prose at the end of this post.

Long Stemmed Rose

March to the Sea

December Rain

Ribbon of Leaves

All the Kings Horses

Long Stemmed Rose was one of the first pieces I wrote. The first version used chords, I later added the arpeggio harmony as I learned that technique. March to the Sea has become a "goto" piece for me to play when I am tired, or am experiencing nerves. It is another simple piece with a nice sound. I can "lean into" the instrument when playing it (meaning play it loud). December Rain was inspired by lyrics from the Muse's Muse forum, and is a short mood piece. 

I spent six weeks writing and rewriting Ribbon of Leaves. All the Kings Horses started off with all arpeggios, adding the chords gives it more contrast, and makes for a prettier piece.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lucky Penny and Secret Rendezvous

I upload two new songs. Lucky Penny (link1) was inspired by SuziMuzi's lyrics from 50/90 (see the lyrics at link2). It is an upbeat tune in D major.

Secret Rendezvous (link3) was inspired by lyrics someone submitted to the MusesMuse August lyrics contest. It is a slow romantic tune, in E major. For both of these recordings I edited out some silent pauses using Audacity. I also used the High Pass filter.

I also upload a second version of Simply Beautiful (link4). This new version has the pedal, which adds to the echo, and the glissando.

For these recordings, I ran line out from the Yamaha NP11 to a splitter, then a patch cable to line in for the Sony PX312 voice recorder, and the second patch cable to a set of satellite speakers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Simply Beautiful (update 9-1-2012)

The inspiration came from a Piano World thread (link1) with a simple composition exercise from a book. The idea is to write a simple melody, using a simple rhythm. I contributed to that thread, but wasn't pleased with that one.

However it did inspire to write Simply Beautiful (link2) in the key of C major, with a black key glissando. It is an easy piece to play and I enjoy playing it.

I uploaded a second version (link3), it uses the pedal to add to the echo and glissando.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ashokan Farewell & Sunset

Ashokan Farewell (link1) was written in 1982 by Jay Unger at a music festival. It became popular as the theme for the PBS TV series on the Civil War. In my rendition, the ending isn't as it is written.

I spent 14 weeks, and did 25 recording takes, on the piece before getting a recording that I wanted to upload. The upload is one produced by directly connecting the Yamaha NP11 to the Sony voice recorder PX312, with no monitor, no audio feedback. The ending isn't as written.

The story behind Sunset is that I was reading some of the posts on the 50/90 site (link2). One of the lyric writers Deandratb had a link to her website, Inside the Song. The original lyrics to Sunset are copyright Toni Cerna and at link3.

My instrumental piano upload for Sunset is at link4. The song is about a depressed woman with low self-esteem that falls in love, then her lover tires of her moodiness and they break up. My abbreviated version of the lyrics follow:

Sunset in B minor (c# f#, though I use the C chord)
Original lyrics are copyright Toni Cerna

I always said \ that you were better off \ without me
and you always told me \ I was wrong
I always said \ that I feel broken
and you always told me \ we would find a way

the way you smile \ the way we dance
I fell in love \ I took a chance
Then one day, you said \
you're tired of my moods and darkness
so tired \ of the aches and pains
so tired \ of the lies and games

This is the end \ no more tears to cry

[- chorus -]
This is our sunset \ time to say goodbye
Not a movie ending \ no brilliant colored sky
Only faded grey \ as you walk away
[end chorus]

The sun is gone, the moon is empty
the sky is dark \ in shattered pieces

[pre-chorus ..]

[chorus ..]


Monday, August 13, 2012

Chapter One: Rainbow and Genie

Welcome to the new Sand Tiger piano blog. Sand Tiger is my screen name on the Piano World forum and the Muse's Muse forum. I wanted a place to link all my piano related uploads and write about my journey.

I started on piano keyboard in March 2012. I got interested because of an Android tablet app where you can tap a simulated keyboard on the tablet screen. I bought a Yahama NP11 keyboard, which is a lightweight digital with 61 keys. My music background is pennywhistle (over 10 years) and Irish flute (over 5 years). I am self taught, and am teaching myself piano keyboard. Mostly I compose and play my original music.

The first chapter of my journey involved writing several original pieces, and learning Somewhere Over the Rainbow by watching YouTube videos. Here is a link to YouTube of me playing Rainbow (link1). Rainbow was made famous by Judy Garland in the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

One of my early original piano pieces is called Bargain with a Genie (link2). It is in the key of B minor. There are three segments to the piece, wandering through the desert, talking to the genie, releasing the genie. That's it for this first post. More to come.