Piano Meditations Podcast

Welcome to Piano Meditations Podcast. Each week I will be hosting a listening session, exploring the keyboard in whatever way feels right that evening. It may be meditative, or meandering, or energetic, even chaotic, but most important, not just safe and predictable.

Episode 121, 7-8-20

July 8th, 2020

I lost an episode in there somewhere, so I called this one #121 so it lines up with the official podcast count. Just played live for my wonderful wife tonight, but it's encouraging knowing people are also listening from home! Tonight's music kept to relatively familiar territory; hopefully explored in a fresh way. Enjoy.

Episode 119, 6-30-20

July 1st, 2020

Had some new guests who enjoyed the music from the front yard. They brought dinner! Can't beat that. The rain began just as the last chord was fading away. Tonight the music was in a major mood. Some upbeat, some mellow, a conversation about Bruce Hornsby inspired a riff from "The Way it Is". There was another quote at the end, but I still don't know what what I was quoting. If you hear it, help me out! I think it was a song from the 50s. 

Episode 118, 6-24-20

June 24th, 2020

 Big night; three guests! Rather than have everyone in the living room they sat outside on the grass and I had the windows wide open. Side benefit; apparently they were dancing! I had a little Latin feel to one piece, and "Maria" from West Side Story crept in somehow. Enjoy.

Episode 117, 6-17-20

June 17th, 2020

Thank you for the amazing tuning, Victor LaGamma! It's funny, the last couple of weeks I felt I hadn't been really listening deeply as I played, and sure enough, with everything in such alignment tonight, it felt like the notes were just lining up in the order they should be played, and all I had to do was drop them in their spots. I leaned into more of a jazz feel at the beginning, then did a little contrapuntal ditty, then a drone/melody thing, and finished with a dainty waltz. Enjoy.

Episode 116, 6-10-20

June 10th, 2020

Had our first guests inside the house since the beginning of quarantine. Keeping it small, just two friends, kept our distance, opened windows, and it felt great to connect again! I was playing with major and minor for most of the evening, with a little nod to a Chopin Polonaise, and maybe "Where or When" towards the end. Enjoy!

Episode 115, 6-3-20

June 3rd, 2020

I had some auditory enhancements tonight in the form of night birds and a gentle thunderstorm! I couldn't help but focus on quiet tones and high notes. Of course, while I'm playing our dog Bear is pacing around and panting with anxiety. You may hear some other knocking around in the mix. Enjoy!

Episode 114, 5-27-20

May 27th, 2020

Just working on getting into a groove and seeing where it goes. It helps to get a little repeating pattern going, then expand it a bit until it wants to bust out. Not spending much energy on creating a more classical structure of theme, second theme, development and recap. I think that's ok... Enjoy!

Episode 113, 5-2-20

May 20th, 2020

Had a little blues, a little broadway, a little folk, a little pop, tonight was just a romp. The piano is pretty out of tune, but it just had a new humidity control system put in and it needs a few more weeks before it can be brought back to its sonorous magnificence. In the meanwhile, we have a cool idea for local friends; while we are still staying safe from covid-19, feel free to come spread a blanket on our yard and hear the piano outside the living room! It's warming up now, and we tested it; it sounds really nice!

Episode 112, 5-13-20

May 13th, 2020

After all these episodes, it certainly doesn't feel "new", but it does still feel "fresh". I couldn't have hoped for more! It is truly fascinating how much comes out that that has a certain "style" (one could say "voice") but still isn't a complete rehash of old ideas. I guess it's like language; you can always find a different way to say the same thing; but then again, sometimes what you've said before is exactly what's called for in the moment. Go figure.

Episode 111, 5-6-20

May 6th, 2020

Once again making music tonight to benefit our local www.gullottahouse.org; the organization has done essential assistance for years helping those in need, but has stepped up like never before during this crisis. They help both people in need of food and restaurants in need of customers. Please consider donating if you have enjoyed the music tonight. I played a couple standards tonight; All the Things You Are and Black Orpheus. Otherwise just grooving on whatever tones were stopping by! 

 
 
 
 

Episode 110, 4-29-20

April 29th, 2020

Had some new listeners tonight because on the Facebook Live stream we asked for donations to www.gullottahouse.org. They are a local non-profit bringing food to people in need before and during this crisis. It's fun to be making up a melody and suddenly a composed melody emerges. Tonight the music fell into Send in the Clowns and the Game of Thrones theme. (Actually, full disclosure, my wife asked me to weave it in somewhere!) Thanks for listening!

Episode 109, 4-22-20

April 22nd, 2020

Staying home, waiting out the pandemic, cooking great meals that my wife and I share (with no guests), cleaning up, and then it's time to play music. I have to admit enjoying a cocktail or two before setting up the microphones... But then, the music starts, I have no idea what's coming next, but the music takes its own direction, and, although my fingers may be somewhat compromised from those cocktails, still it takes me somewhere. wherever it goes, I hope you enjoy the direction it takes!

Episode 108, 4-15-20

April 15th, 2020

I was so busy with dinner I almost forgot to set up and play! I didn't warm up tonight beforehand, so I took it easy until I felt loose enough to stretch a bit. We are binge-watching Game of Thrones so it's inevitable that the theme would pop up at some point, and tonight was the night. Funny, my ear didn't let me play the theme straight out, even though I kind of wanted to dive into it; so, it stayed a mere reference. Enjoy.

Episode 107, 4-8-20

April 8th, 2020

I had designs of moving to a video podcast with multiple camera angles and a snazzy video intro, but got overwhelmed. It's for listening to, anyway!

In these virtual times, I hope the music can be a salve. Felt a little jazzy tonight, and fell into Brother Can You Spare a Dime and Round Midnight. I think Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas made an appearance, too. See if you can find them!

Episode 106, 3-25-20

March 25th, 2020

Almost ready to transition to video podcast. I recorded tonight with several cameras, but I don't know my way around Final Cut Pro yet! Really feeling the need to explore pleasant, pretty sounds at this time. So many are suffering right now. i started one piece with simple triads and it segued somehow into "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John, which made me think of my song "Circle of Life" which of course he has a song with the same title, so of course I had to play a little of that, too. once I was going down memory lane I felt the urge to play another song from that album, "Willow". Then, that reminded me of an old song from a very long time ago; "Starlight". So I guess tonight had a lot of personal nostalgia. Enjoy.

Episode 105, 3-18-20

March 18th, 2020

Thanks for tuning in. Let's all create for the love of it, and keep each other's virtual company as we wait out this Corona crisis. May we all be well, and for those who are not, may they all receive the care they need. 

Had some strange quotes show up in my fingers tonight; not sure how "Walk Like an Egyptian" or "Camptown Races" got in there, but there they were so I had to deal with them!

Episode 104, 3-11-20

March 11th, 2020

For some reason I felt like I was "copying myself" tonight; sometimes it's fun to go to favorite progressions, but other times it feels like there are no new ideas! Felt like the latter tonight. Part of the reason is that I keep wanting to add some looping and layering effects with the computer but I never get time to explore it. I'm also putting feelers out for other musicians to join me but it hasn't happened yet. In any case, hope you enjoy!

Episode 103. 3-4-20

March 4th, 2020

It's a good approach to remind myself to listen by playing just one or two notes at the beginning, then gradually build to see where it goes. If I start with a particular style or genre it kind of locks me in to that style, so it's harder to be "authentic" in terms of truly "following the music". In any case, it's a balance, so you take the highs with the lows! Enjoy.

Episode 102, 2-26-20

February 26th, 2020

Just my own family in the audience tonight, but at this point it's almost as if I just let the horse out and see where she goes! Tonight I just felt like having steady chords in the left hand and exploring free melody in the right hand. Also staying with very traditional key-center tonality, which in many ways is very freeing. Let me know what you think!

 

Episode 101, 2-19-20

February 19th, 2020

Back to the core group tonight. Even just one person (besides myself!) actively listening to the music makes a difference in the performance. I can't say exactly how, but their focus helps my focus, and it becomes a conversation, not a monologue! Tonight I was exploring contrapuntal harmony and multiple melodies. Had a little Joplin-esque jaunt at the end. Enjoy!

Episode 100, 2-12-20

February 12th, 2020

Episode 100! Definitely calls for a party. I invited anyone and everyone who came at least once since I began this project over two years ago. So many came! We had about 50 people. I usually ask people not to applaud at the end of a piece because it sounds kind of pitiful with two or three in the audience, but tonight it was game on! I'm actually a little stunned at the enthusiastic response! In any case, the evening felt great, and I hope you enjoy the music.

Episode 99, 2-5-20

February 5th, 2020

Penultimate episode to 100! Piano was just tuned by the incomparable Victor La Gamma. I'm always drawn to open harmonies with a fresh tuning. Except for a crazy atonal blues, most of the music tonight was centered on rich harmonies. 

Episode 98, 1-29-20

January 29th, 2020

New audience member tonight. Seems like the way to go deeper is to go more into the very sounds I like to hear anyway. It's probably a fool's errand to try and "stretch'; I only end up feeling artificial. Finding one's "voice" may be more about playing what's comfortable than trying to do something new or unusual. At least, that's how it felt tonight!

Episode 97, 1-22-20

January 22nd, 2020

Ok it's starting to feel a little tough to keep a fresh approach. After almost 100 episodes, it's safe to say I've got some sounds and pathways that I go to again and again. Tonight began with the sense that I was mimicking myself. I wasn't feeling like the music had any sense of direction or coherence. However, eventually an energy came into the piece and I was able to get into the groove.  Once there, it was a fun night as usual, and I feel satisfied with the overall episode. I wonder how long this project will continue!

Episode 96, 1-15-20

January 15th, 2020

I thought I'd be solo in my living room tonight, but by 8:00 there were five people here! 

I've been exploring simple pentatonic scales but tried layering patterns with rhythmic complexity; seems to make a nice combo. Also did a fractured waltz, and a take-off of the first few notes of "Where or When". Enjoy.