Re-Learning Piano

The weekend was actually chilly, and it's starting to feel like full-on fall in Providence. Last week we had some wonderful shows with Bent Knee. It was a particularly special experience to play at OBERON in Cambridge for the first time. Huge room, great sound. Our band has a big sonic footprint, so it's really a treat to play in a big rooms like OBERON that can hold us in without it becoming an compression of soundwaves. 

 A peek from September 16th @ AS 220

A peek from September 16th @ AS 220

 A peek from September 17th @ OBERON

A peek from September 17th @ OBERON

I started something I haven't done in a while, which is piano lessons! It feels pretty odd to be signing up for lessons considering how much I used to dread them, and how much I hated practicing. Over the summer, I was extremely inspired by Tigran Hamasyan's record 'Mockroot', and I'm trying to step-up my pianist game a bit. I've never been interested in jazz before, so I'm excited at the perspective of learning a new style and a new musical language. (I guess styles would be more of a dialect of music as opposed to a whole different language?)

I was assigned Chopin's Etude #1 in C Major as a technique piece; it's a fun one, but oh boy! Here's a video of Vladimir Ashkenazy performing it; the focus and precision is incredibly intense. My stomach felt tense just from watching him play, and in a strange way it reminded me why I strayed from the path of classical piano. Also, every time I reference any professional classical pianist playing any etude (Czerny, Cramer-Buleau, Chopin, etc), they always seem to be playing it at non-human speeds. At least 10 or 20 BPM faster than my max speed. What's up with that? It just seems like it becomes a sport after a certain point!