Music Reflections

Piano Album Recording Session #3 of 4

»Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Music Reflections | 0 comments

Piano Album Recording Session #3 of 4

Another season, another recording session for my 2015 solo piano album. It was a pretty hot fall day, even though the summer was technically over. In our 1928 house, this meant that between every few takes we had to cool off by blasting the window air conditioning unit and turning on a cavalry of small fans. This being the third session of the year, I was glad to note that my targets were more modest (and realistic) in terms of how many songs we were going to get down per day and how long it would take! I’d also come to terms with the fact that at some point, it would be best to just stop for the day. No matter how many times I keep pushing for a good take, after 6 or 7 hours straight the performance quality simply won’t be high enough. So this...

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Recording for Upcoming Solo Piano Album

»Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Albums, Music Reflections | 0 comments

Recording for Upcoming Solo Piano Album

Two weekends ago we completed the second recording session for my 2015 solo piano album. It was smoother than our first session in January, mostly I think because I knew better what to expect in terms of recording on my own piano … and also because we didn’t have any surprise piano issues (The first session brought with it some mysterious clicks and a double-hitting note!) I’m also appreciating how the recording process is making me a better musician. The thing is, the music sounds different when you’re playing compared to when you listen to the playback. But after going back and forth enough, I’m starting to be able to hear how the recording sounds WHEN I’m playing instead of only afterwards. That is helpful. The other aspect...

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Traditional Wedding Music

»Posted by on Jul 6, 2014 in Music Reflections | 0 comments

Traditional Wedding Music

This is my go-to list for traditional wedding music. When the couple asks for typical or classic wedding music but has no particular requests, I draw from the following list and make sure that it fits the timing of the ceremony. I may sometimes work in contemporary wedding music if I need additional last-minute material. This list comes from The Perfect Wedding Songbook, and the songs should be easy to find online. (One of my future projects is to record my versions of each of these, which I’ll be sure to link to here as soon as it’s ready.) As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, and best of luck with your ceremony and wedding day! Wedding Prelude Music Air (Water Music Suite) Pachelbel’s Canon in D Jesu, Joy Of Man’s...

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Making a Solo Piano Jazz Setlist

»Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Music Reflections, Piano Gigs | 0 comments

Making a Solo Piano Jazz Setlist

For my regular weekend gig I play about an hour of jazz standards (mostly) as background music at a restaurant while people eat dinner. After making setlists for weddings, Christmas parties, and stage events, I initially thought that coming up with a setlist for an hour of background music would be easy. It was easier than other types of performances, but it required more thought than I expected. Music contributes to the ambiance of the room and people – whether or not they are paying you their full attention for the hour – are taking it in. They appreciate hearing a few songs that they recognize, such as old favorites that they don’t hear often, showtunes and movie themes, cool piano versions of great folk/rock songs, or jazzy takes on...

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Wedding Music

»Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Music Reflections | 0 comments

Wedding Music

Some brides and grooms know exactly what wedding music they want to have played for their ceremony … and others are focused on the millions of other details that go into planning such an event! No matter where you are on your wedding music ideas, these suggestions may be helpful. There are certainly many more options, but these are pieces that I often use and they work very well. They aren’t well-known enough to distract or inadvertently hint a theme: just pleasant piano music appropriate for the occasion. Inspirational/Contemporary Piano Wedding Music The followings songs are ones that I typically play for wedding preludes and postludes if the soon-to-be-weds don’t have anything specific in mind. John Tesh April Song The Key of Love In a...

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Extracurricular Music at John Adams in Alexandria

»Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Concerts, Music Reflections | 0 comments

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and John Adams Elementary School are launching a program of music education inspired by el Sistema, which has enriched the lives of thousands of children beginning in Venezuela and now, through private funding, in schools in dozens of cities throughout the United States. Last month, John Adams Elementary hosted a week-long workshop for local students to get a taste of the music program. For part of the final concert, the organizers brought in an older el Sistema-inspired student group from Baltimore, the OrchKids, who have been playing together for five years. Seeing the kids was amazing. Each group of student musicians had matching t-shirts, and they beat sticks together on overturned buckets creating different tones and...

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