Computers and Music
Friday, September 26, 2008
New Composition: Good to You
I wrote a new composition. It's a ballad called "Good to You". Please click below to hear a recording I made. I've also written lyrics which I've included below. Any singers out there who would like to record this?

> Good To You - Mp3 time 3:13 - (Geoff Peters solo piano, composition by Geoff Peters)


Money and greed
she ain't good to you.
But why do I keep
coming back to you.
Baby -
please don't forget
I've been good to you
She'll never change her ways.

Summer turns to fall,
Winter turns to spring.
Nice to know.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Classical music vs Jazz
I am currently working on the piano part to Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. If I'm lucky I'll get a chance to perform it with an orchestra in October! It made me realize again how different the experience of practicing is between classical music and jazz music.

In classical practicing I am trying to learn to play exactly the notes and rhythms the composer has written, with some degree of interpretation of the dynamics and articulation, but largely focusing on rendering into sound what is specified in the sheet music.

In jazz practicing I am trying to learn to play "tunes" and improvise. It involves discovering harmonies and melodies that I can work around the basic form of a piece. I am connecting my theoretical knowledge of jazz and my ability to physically play the piano with what I am hearing in my head, which in turn is influenced by the music I have been listening to.

I find that learning jazz has led me more naturally into thinking in a creative musical way, harmonically and compositionally, but that classical has given me a good foundation in technique.

But any music that I play or listen to, including classical, informs how I play in the many musical "worlds". I have found that I get a sense of freedom when switching back and forth between jazz and classical.

And that only covers two general "styles" or approaches to music. Playing in a folk band adds another dimension too!!!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Waltz for Debbie - Piano Practice Video
I made a video of myself practicing for 15 minutes on the beautiful Bill Evans tune, Waltz for Debbie. Click here to watch the video in or use the player below.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
New Recordings of Piano Jazz Radio
The awesome NPR Radio Program "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz" has some new shows available for listening on their web site (click here). These include musical interviews with Tony Bennett, Ahmad Jamal, Norah Jones, and Herbie Hancock.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Windows Vista is not so bad
I recently got a new Dell computer and it came with Windows Vista. I've been using it for about a week now and I've gotten used to it, and even am brave enough to say that I like it!! My computer is quite fast, so much that it could install Microsoft Office in just one minute! (Yes I bit the bullet and bought MS Office standard edition, so that I can sync my Pocket PC and Nokia cell phone with Google Calendar). Vista runs really smoothly and quickly. I notice a lot of really small improvements for XP annoyances which overall make using the computer much easier. Yes, dear Mac fans, I respect you, but please don't hate me for liking Microsoft and Vista!! :)
Sunday, September 07, 2008
New York Times article about "Digital Intimacy"
Clive Thompson has a great article in the New York Times (click here to read) where he examines the phenomenon of "Digital Intimacy": how social networks such as Facebook and Twitter allow people to continually exchange details of their daily lives. From the article:
[For "aggressively social people online"] constant online contact had made [strong relationship] ties immeasurably richer, but it hadn’t actually increased the number of them; deep relationships are still predicated on face time, and there are only so many hours in the day for that.

But where their sociality had truly exploded was in their “weak ties” — loose acquaintances, people they knew less well. It might be someone they met at a conference, or someone from high school who recently “friended” them on Facebook, or somebody from last year’s holiday party. In their pre-Internet lives, these sorts of acquaintances would have quickly faded from their attention. But when one of these far-flung people suddenly posts a personal note to your feed, it is essentially a reminder that they exist. I have noticed this effect myself. [...] This rapid growth of weak ties can be a very good thing. Sociologists have long found that “weak ties” greatly expand your ability to solve problems.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
The Bird and The Bee (Music Video)
The Bird and the Bee is a "jazz-influenced electro pop project" from Los Angeles, with Greg Kurstin ("bee") and Inara George ("bird").

View their Web site, their Myspace page, or their Wikipedia page.

Also check out a video (below) from their debut album which was released on the Blue Note label. I think the piano intro to this video is awesome!

Aaron Parks new jazz album
Aaron Parks, a twenty-something jazz pianist and composer from Seattle (now living in New York), has released his debut album on the Blue Note label. It's called Invisible Cinema and you can listen to tracks from the album on Aaron's myspace page (click here). The album also features Eric Harland on drums, Matt Penman on bass, and Mike Moreno on guitar.

Allmusicguide writes (click here to read review):
Melodic improvisation is the key in Parks' mysterious, strangely beautiful compositions, such as the elliptical, shapeshifting "Peaceful Warrior." Parks employs his elegant style to full effect, allowing his sense of restraint and economy to create tension and drama, which is pointedly accented by Moreno.
Peaceful Warrior is my favorite track from the album - it's really cinematic and inspiring.
Monday, September 01, 2008
New Composition: A Horrible Accident (Music for a Film)
Tonight I wrote a new piece, called "A Horrible Accident". Thankfully no horrible accident actually happened for me lately. This melody really jumped out at me (it's kind of classical), and I'm sure I've heard it before. I put some mysterious chords underneath and a simple major bridge to tie things together.

Please click below to listen, and let me know what you think!

> A Horrible Accident Mp3 Time 3:25 (Geoff Peters original composition, performed by Geoff Peters on piano)
Thoughts of an aspiring jazz musician and computer programmer.

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