Reginald Robinson won a MacArthur Fellowship grant in 2004 for his original ragtime compositions, but has found it difficult to reach the public. "Even with the MacArthur 'genius' title … I'm invisible." [more inside]
Clavilux 2000 - Interactive instrument for generative music visualization. The music visualization consists of a digital piano with 88 keys and midi output, a computer running a vvvv patch and a vertical projection above the keyboard. How it works. [more inside]
Viktoriya Yermolyeva plays Metallica's "Master of Puppets", Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", and Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss" the way they were meant to be heard - on the piano.
A favorite of John Cage and Gyorgy Ligeti, the latter describing his music as "so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...the best of any composer living today," Conlon Nancarrow's musical ideas were nevertheless too complex and technically demanding for human performers, and his political ideas too radical and leftist for McCarthy-era America. Expatriated to Mexico, the Texarkana-born avant-gardeist lived most of his life in isolation, in a cluttered, dusty studio surrounded by records, piles of books, empty Vodka bottles, newspapers, cigarette cartons, and the tools of his trade: 2 old player pianos and a custom-built piano roll press. [more inside]
Three-time Gramophone Award winner, Dame of the Empire, and, by consensus, the world's greatest living performer of Mozart's keyboard works, Mitsuko Uchida also gives great piano face. [more inside]
Herbie Hancock delivers a TED Talk. Not much talking, plenty of jamming. Marcus Miller and Harvey Mason accompany Hancock. Check out the monster Watermelon Man that starts around fourteen minutes in.
Nobuyuki Tsujii is a 21 year old blind Japanese pianist. Van Cliburn has this to say about Nobuyuki "Miracle is the only word to describe him. This is truly an act of God." [more inside]
Glenn Gould plays Clavier Ubung bestehend in einer ARIA mit verschiedenen Veraenderungen vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen - also known as the Goldberg Variations. (previously)
2010 is the bicentennial of the birth of Frédéric François Chopin - a reluctant instrumental virtuoso, an immortal Romantic composer, and all-around bastard. [more inside]
Sure, the site around it is not in English but since Music is a language we can all appreciate, the Keyboard Piano is a ton of fun. (Requires Silverlight) [more inside]
The closing 4 pages are so cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done — the harmony bites like nitric acid — the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God... [more inside]
The Speaking Piano, and Transforming Audio to MIDI - Austrian Composer Peter Ablinger has transformed a child speaking so that it can be played as MIDI events on a mechanically-controlled piano, making the piano a kind of speech speaker.
Mindaugas Piečaitis has performed his "CATcerto," an original score written to accompany Nora The Piano Cat's piano improvisation. Here's the video of kitty with orchestra. [more inside]
Emily Loizeau's Je Suis Jalouse was for me the kind of song that immediately makes you want more. Emily's debut album L'autre bout du monde (The Other Side of the World) was released in 2006. She began studying piano at the age of 5, and cites Georges Brassens, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles as her primary influences. Listen to more wonderfulness with Sister, Je Ne Sais Pas Choisir, or the title track from her debut album. More listening if you are at last.fm
Light-paint Piano Player, a short video by Ryan Cashman. (SLVimeo) (Via this small anthology of videos, which would have been the main link if so many of the best ones hadn't already appeared on the blue. Also: previously featured light painting.)
Imogen Heap (previously video) has been having loads of fun recording her newest record, Ellipse. She's putting up half hour long sessions of her playing piano, having album art contests, and losing her keys. Oh and beatboxing.
Pianist, producer, and songwriter Gonzales (real name Jason Charles Beck) is currently attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest solo concert. He's aiming for 27 hours, and at time of writing has around six hours left to go. You can follow the attempt live online. [more inside]
"Maybe, just maybe, we've found the next Mozart." Not just a six year old virtuoso, but a composer as well, Emily Bear seems likely to keep us listening longer than most precocious child pianists. As one tv talk show host has learned, as a composer Emily is both speedy and prolific.
Fans of video game music and/or piano aficionados, I present three pieces from the Super Mario Bros series: Super Mario World's Air Platform rag, SMB2 overworld theme, and SMB1 overworld theme, expertly played "blind" by ragtime pianist Tom Brier. [more inside]
Lafayette Gilchrist is one of my favorite piano players. Featured on a Down Beat cover a few months ago (with Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran), he has released a half-dozen or so albums with his group, New Volcanoes, and he's the regular piano player in saxophonist David Murray's quartet. His playing and composition styles are informed by funk, go-go and hip-hop. And he's from Baltimore. Of course, you might also know him from his appearance on the soundtrack to The Wire.
29 year old Hiromi Uehara first mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind. 4 albums later she continues to astonish and inspire. On February 3rd, she released the album Duet, a collaboration with Chick Corea, having first played with Corea at age 17. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Hiromi tours relentlessly with her crack band. I defy your jaw not to drop at their performances here, here, and here. [more inside]
Deep in the Heart of Jersey you'll find "Uncle Floyd" Vivino, roaming the streets of various towns and cities, kibbitzing with the locals. In Belleville. Nutley. Bloomfield Avenue and Ferry Street in Newark. Kearny. Cliffside Park. Main Street, Paterson. An abandoned lot in Paterson. What, you never heard of Uncle Floyd? [more inside]
Pendle Poucher is a UK based composer, sound designer and lover of funny noises who has written, produced and performed soundtracks for every major UK TV station. He has devised large scale public art projects and written chart-topping dance music. However, what I find most interesting, he is also one of relatively few musicians within the UK who owns a dulcitone. Poucher claims that his Dulcitone 1884 is the world's first multi-sampled dulcitone. [more inside]
Leopold Godowsky's technique was such that Arthur Rubinstein wrote, "It would take me 500 years to get a mechanism like [his]." Which came in handy playing his 53 Studies on Chopin's Etudes - which are often nominated as the most difficult pieces in the repertoire.
Leo Ornstein is generally considered to have been one of the greatest pianists of the early twentieth century. His performances of works by avant-garde composers and his own innovative and even shocking pieces made him a cause célèbre on both sides of the Atlantic. By the mid-1920s, he had walked away from his fame and soon disappeared from popular memory. And although he passed away in 2002, the internet still remembers him and his amazing legacy of work. At this website dedicated to the artist and his work, you can read all about him as well as listen to many of his scores and MP3s-on-demand. There's also readable sheet music here at the International Music Score Library Project . And there's a register of archived documents spanning Leo's career over at Yale University's website. [more inside]
Winning the Gold Medal in Young International Piano Superstardom is Chinese pianist Lang Lang. The 26 year old former prodigy compares himself not to Glen Gould, but to Tiger Woods. Given his "star appeal" and numerous endorsements, it's an apt comparison. [more inside]
5 Year Old Adopted South Korean Blind Piano Prodigy Yoo Ye-eun can play songs after hearing them once. Watch her perform with Britain's Got Talent's Connie Talbot in a South Korean TV show called "Star King".
Smooth Jazz, also sometimes referred to as new adult contemporary music or instrumental pop, is generally described as a genre that utilizes instruments and improvisation traditionally associated with jazz and stylistic influences drawn from mostly R&B, but also funk and pop. Since the late 1980s and into the 1990s, it has become successful as a radio format. [source wikipedia] [more inside]
Monsieur, you vill not speak disrespectfully of a member of ze family! It is a boon travelling companion, without which I do not function, I cannot operate. It has been with me for 21 years, zis thing, this chair!Glenn Gould performed for 21 years seated in a folding card chair modified by his father to be height adjustable. That one chair accompanied him around the world in support of each of his recordings and performances, and now resides on a pedestal at the National Library of Canada. Luckily, exact replicas of the skeletal, cushion-less chair are available for only €990. [more inside]
Free Bird on piano [YouTube]. The 14-year-old musician, who calls himself UnclassicalPiano on YouTube, currently has 16 other selections, including Stairway To Heaven, Behind Blue Eyes, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Message In A Bottle and Black Sabbath's Paranoid (his main interest is metal), all of which he says he learned to play by ear.
Have these fellows whetted your appetite for Southern Hemispherical comic singer-songwriters who care about The Issues? Barefoot Australian Tim Minchin ought to satisfy that hunger with an environmental anthem and a peace anthem. But aside from his social activism, he's also vulgar, poignant, dark, and of course, rock. [more inside]
A day in the life of Abdullah Ibrahim, South-African composer and performer who creates hypnotic and softly singing grooves. To me, his recent piano trios are the highlights of his work, because they are both swinging and soulful. But his compositions do not sound bad in a big band setting -(or in an arrangement for guitar). His music is quiet and meditative but powerful, and has sometimes been used as a banner for freedom and equality. Now he likes to withdraw once in a while to the smallest scenes (french commentary with some english underneath), putting strong emphasis on necessary simplicity. Written portrait.
In 1956, Time Magazine wrote, "He is the summit of sex—the pinnacle of Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. Everything that He, She or It can ever want." (Wait. Seriously???) Behold the evolution of The Liberace Show: from dapper virtuoso to sequined, wacky showman. [more inside]
Sad, head-down legendary jazz piano. (Single-link YouTube) More Bill and the Wiki. [Previously] Hopefully more of a reminder than a double.
Rachmaninoff had big hands. (More from Igudesman and Joo (flash), former students of Yehudi Menuhin). [more inside]
Zenph Studios has developed a process (using high-resolution MIDI) which "re-performed" Glenn Gould's famous 1955 piano recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations in hybrid multichannel SA-CD format.
He's got Rhythm (single-link YouTube)
The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource is the place for songwriting tips, tools, interactivities and connecting with other songwriters around the world. See the section about musical instruments or get into the guitar player's guide. Start communicating with other musicians and songwriters in the forums and check out the music reviews. Lots to do, see, hear, learn, and most of all, enjoy.
At fourteen years old, Jennifer Lin is a shade better on the piano than most eighth-graders. (video) [via]
Regina Spektor is a Russian-born American singer-songwriter and pianist associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village. Incorporating "piano riffs and integrating moans, nonsense words, groans, gurglings, or warblings," Spektor has a pretty unique voice (Seattle P-I: "an instrument with the agility of an athlete and the flexibility of a yogi") and style which incorporates "beatbox-style flourishes in the middle of ballads, or the use of a drum stick to tap rhythms on the body of the piano or chair" (wiki). She's got a pretty unique voice and "Fidelity" is a very unusual and rather enjoyable music video. Someone to keep an eye on (although Mefites already had been doing so).