Sunday, December 20, 2020

Piano Talk -- Original Compositions and Thoughts About Self and World

Maybe not everyone reading this blog knows that, in addition to botanizing and nonprofit leading, I've been a professional jazz musician and composer since college days. Though my main instruments are saxophone and clarinet, I started studying piano in my 20s and got good enough at it to compose music, and even taught piano for awhile to beginners/intermediates in Ann Arbor and later in Durham, NC. 

I've composed hundreds of tunes--ranging from jazz to latin, classical, and blues--and some of the shorter piano pieces I've started recording along with some thoughts on how the tunes work and what they mean to me. With the music comes personal stories, like how I started playing jazz, and thoughts on how the music speaks to our time. The videos are recorded in the unglamorous milieu of my "mancave", where decade-old newspapers are still waiting to be read.

Four of them can be found on my youtube station. Their names are Palindrome, which is built on a musical palindrome, Why Am I So Happy?, which explores how music can simultaneously carry happiness and sadness, Con-tin-u-ing, which is a musical portrayal of long unsolved problems in our world, and The Daughter's Song, which sounded when I wrote it like the theme for a daughter in a play about climate change. 

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