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Old 01-20-2019, 11:13 AM
AHunter3 is offline
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I've finished recording an album!


As an amateur composer, pianist and singer, I've done "albums" before, originally in the form of enough music to fill an audio cassette tape, later as CD tracks.

This is the first one I've done with YouTube in mind, with video as well as audio.


AlleyCat Life #7




All compositions are mine, and it's the compositions I'm primarily interested in showing off. I'm a better composer than I am a pianist and a better pianist than singer, but some of these do indeed have lyrics.


TRACK LIST

1. Nostalgia 6:47


2. Valkyrie Redemption 7:12


3. The Amy Tan Movie 5:53


4. If I Run Away 10:43


5. A City Sidewalk Walking Ditty 3:52


6. The Secrecy of Weeping 12:00


7. My Side of the Road 6:53


8. Adjusting Your Speed 9:27


9. Brother 9:02


10. Another One 5:35


11. Commuter Train 5:10


12. Cold Alleyway 6:51
  #2  
Old 01-20-2019, 12:45 PM
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Congratulations! I'll take a listen.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:40 PM
Musicat is offline
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OK, you're going to hate me for this, but I gotta say it; it's the first thing I hear in all the tracks I began to listen to.

Can you play anything without the sustain pedal? Unless you are going for a specific sound, the sustain pedal smears everything into an amorphous blob. It's an amateur's crutch. If it's reverb or echo you want, consider adding it later in post.

If I could get past that problem, I might like to hear the compositions.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:28 PM
AHunter3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
OK, you're going to hate me for this, but I gotta say it; it's the first thing I hear in all the tracks I began to listen to.

Can you play anything without the sustain pedal? Unless you are going for a specific sound, the sustain pedal smears everything into an amorphous blob. It's an amateur's crutch. If it's reverb or echo you want, consider adding it later in post.

If I could get past that problem, I might like to hear the compositions.
Try tracks 5 and 12 for less (not none at all) sustain pedal
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Try tracks 5 and 12 for less (not none at all) sustain pedal
Still way too much for my taste, but maybe it's just me.

Just for shits & giggles, try playing without any sustain pedal at all. This is how an organist has to play (on most organs). It does take a slight shift in technique, but it's good practice. Then decide where sustain can be used to best effect. A little bit goes a long way!
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:28 PM
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Not really the sound I'm interested in creating. I like the composite wall of sound that real strings, real hammers and a sounding board let me create; I use the damper to control how much and which portions of previously struck keys continue to resonate, and I depend on other strings to pick up on what's echoing and join the texture when they're invoked as part of the harmonics involved.

I don't pretend to any specific sophistication; I like what I like. You are of course entitled to dislike what you dislike.

I'm capable of composing stuff I don't have the pianist-chops to actually play. (I do that embarrassingly often in fact). But for the most part the sounds you hear are the ones I intended.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:32 PM
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^^^^ That sounds defensive, probably because I'm feeling defensive and stuff

This is the career that I didn't have, and it is entirely reasonable to say I didn't have the chops to have a serious go at it. I have fun with it. I do (admittedly) have my pretentions nonetheless; I like the sounds I can make.

There are a lot of different kinds of talents who can sit at the piano and make sounds that some other folks enjoy hearing; they arent equal in skill and sophistication. I just watched Green Book and yeah there's a decided difference between what it takes to play classical piano really well and what it takes to entertain bar patrons, but the latter isn't necessarily unworthy of acceptance for what it is. I don't pretend to be anything I'm not. (Well OK maybe I do and just don't realize it, but I don't pretend to be a virtuoso or a serious composer or anything). I hope some folks like the sounds that I make and how they conjure feelings for them. I'm strictly amateur calibre and I know it. I just like doing it.

Last edited by AHunter3; 01-20-2019 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:04 PM
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More thoughts after more time to process...

Quote:
the sustain pedal smears everything into an amorphous blob. It's an amateur's crutch
I'm just not on the same page here. I love layering sounds within the sustained space I can create with the damper pedal. I once had a sound tech guy record me, and he stuck the microphone inside the grand. I didn't like the effect at all: it amplified the individual clangs of hammers against strings at the expense of the resonating ongoing sound texture. I know the piano is technically a percussion instrument but this made it sound like one. I don't like it.

Here I am using both the damper and the sostenuto pedal to create an intentional auditory texture. The echoes and the rate of deterioration thereof are totally part of the deliberately created effect.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:41 AM
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Nostalgia sounds really similar to Be Thou My Vision.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:15 AM
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Yeah, definite similarities — they're both in 3/4 time, major, and with four-measure phrasing. (But not so similar as to be worrisome, fortunately)
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Just for shits & giggles, try playing without any sustain pedal at all. This is how an organist has to play (on most organs).
In most of the organ music I've listened to, the notes are sustained so long as the organist holds them down. I think there is a way to make the notes fade away rather than sustain, but it's a special setting.

Last edited by Allthegood; 01-21-2019 at 02:02 PM. Reason: ineptitude
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