How many of you, my precious readers, have heard me play the piano? Hmm? Don’t be shy, raise your hands. That many, huh? OK, well all of you SUCK!
As I mentioned, I’m recording some music for my dear old Grammy so she can delude herself that I’m a much better piano player than I actually am. In my previous post, I complained about the pressures of nailing a piece in one take. Since then, I’ve discovered the magic of editing on my computer and it’s done wonders for my ego. There’s something cathartic about being able to delete your mistakes, if only for one small part of your life.
So I recorded a bunch of pieces and started editing last night. The problem started with a piece called Sarabande by Handel. The tempo is listed as “Grave” which is pretty much what it sounds like. Slow and stately. Well, substitute “slow” with “festive” and “stately” with “unnaturally giddy” and you have my version. It sounds like there should be &*$% circus bears prancing around. I followed it up with a version of Haydn’s Romance in F that would make Alvin and the Chipmunks proud then nailed one of Chopin’s Nocturnes, normally a five-minute piece, in less time than it takes Liza to recant for accusing me of forgetting her birthday (I couldn’t have planned that flower delivery better if I tried; Happy Birthday, Honey!).
My point is, I’ve obviously been playing like this for years. So where the hell were all of you armchair critics? Am I to assume that by “Sounds good, Kyle” you really mean, “I’d sing along but I’m not a Smurf”?
Of course, you say, why can’t I tell if I’m the one whose playing as if I desperately need to take a leak? Well, frankly, I don’t listen. I go through the motions. I press the keys I think I’m supposed to and do my best to hide mistakes but I don’t stop to hear what sounds are coming out of the piano. I do it ‘cause it’s fun, not to get any musical enjoyment out of it. I’ve been playing the Edelweiss Glide Waltz for nigh on twenty years and I doubt I could hum it in its entirety. Listening to it on the headphones, I’d forgotten what a beautiful piece it is.
The upshot of this is that I need to re-record about half the songs I’ve already recorded. Either that or re-think my repertoire.