Humming (electric piano)

I recorded Humming to an audio cassette back in February during a busy period of work and only recently rediscovered the recording. Since working on Humming I’d developed an interest in incorporating sounds from the medium of recording which in this case was an audio cassette recorder. For better or for worse, this method added noise, static and pops to the track, which I ultimately decided to work with as material in their own right.

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Feeling Blue in San Francisco

We got here by train
It runs the tracks
Wednesday nights

I’m feeling blue
in San Francisco
My brother says
The city pulls
Me by the collar

A white man in the station
Sang a song for me
And my tape recorder
But I didn’t press
The right button

A Black man played
An electric keyboard
Three stations south
Right as the train
Slid behind him
At least I got Rodger’s
Music on tape

We’re all feeling blue
In San Francisco
A city with no name
Painted in Crayola colors

Don’t just sit there
Brother, sit here
Take a water
With your coffee
And roll a smoke
For the fairy
That offered you a massage

Tonight we’ll
Drink and walk to
City Lights
And ask to see
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
We’ll sing him a song
Called The Blues of San Francisco
And hit the honky-tonk ivories
On a splintered park piano
That one next to the house
That fell over
When the earthquake
Hit in 1906

Now we’re in a city
That floats in the water

Squeeze a penny
Out of me
I’ve got a few
That’ll fall through
My pocket
If you don’t

I don’t mind because
I’m blue so blue
In San Francisco

It’s been worse before
Without the static
Now it’s smoother
With the feedback

Wish I had a pen
On me
To take down your name
And address because
Lord in heaven
You’re singing a
Beautiful song called
The Blues of San Francisco

Go ahead and liven me up,

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Harrison’s Song (muted, ambient piano)

Harrison’s Song is a piece dedicated to a remarkable artist, friend, and brother, who himself makes an appearance in the first few seconds of the recording. The piano was recorded the day after Harrison graduated from high school with high academic honors.

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So Long As We Like That Place (ambient piano)

So Long As We Like That Place is a muted/prepared piano piece that includes a brief interaction between me and my father at his home in Sacramento, California, where I played his upright piano (where a majority of my pieces for solo piano are recorded).

The idea of being put in another, preferably kind place, has been relevant to much of my work recently, particularly in my working with field recordings and stereo imaging designed to both disorient and encourage spatial awareness. While this doesn’t feature these qualities (this work has yet to be finished and released) it does certainly contain an artifact of these interests.

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Propositional (electronics and piano)

I came across an old recording from a period where my audio interface was on the fritz and producing a great deal of static, which I sampled and organized inĀ 2:24:17 837 AM, which inspired an interest in Propositional after its rather accidental creation.

The idea of incorporating artifacts from performance and recording has always struck me as interesting and effectual, and I’ve recently begun to mike instruments in certain places to capture the ambient noise that accompanies the music, largely on the piano (both electric and acoustic).

Propositional contains such an artifact, produced by a shoddy XLR connected to one of the microphones recording the piano.

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Turntable in motion

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Imprompt (ambient piano)

Imprompt is a small ambient piano piece recorded on a prepared and muted piano, pairing well with In the Trees, Music for Clogged Sinks and Playing a Used Piano, which were also recorded in Sacramento like Imprompt.

The piano itself was miked with a studio pair close to the hammers and preparations, with the unintended but welcome consequence of also picking up the sounds of my feet depressing the sustain pedal and the sounds of the action hitting the wood at the bottom of the piano.

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