Through a series of truly incredible scientific processes, earlier this month a duet between a piano and a star (yes, a star) was recorded and released. The star is from the constellation Camelopardalis and measurements have been taken over a number of years to show that the star’s surface actually vibrates and rings like a bell and gives off multiple frequencies.
Roli brings exciting new features to dgital pianos
Over the past few years a new innovation in digital pianos has been developed. A range of electronic keyboards produced by ROLI have started to appear on the market. Currently, they are rather pricey, so not easily accessible to the average Joe, however, the features they boast are evidence that the digital piano is an instrument to be watched and their popularity is unlikely to wane. With developments such as this, there are endless possibilities as to where the future electric piano market is going to go. An electric keyboard is clearly the instrument of choice to have in order to complete any home.
In a 2013 interview with Karl Jenkins, he mentioned the fact that he could write his music anywhere as long as he had his digital piano with him. It is really marvellous (and somewhat unexpected) to see the greatest classical composers today using electric pianos as one of their main composition tools.
Jenkins was brought to public light after the release of his astounding Adiemus compositions, recorded in 1994. He then went on to release a whole range of other immensely successful compositions including his Armed Man (premiered 2000), Stabat Mater (2008), and Palladio (2005). When you listen to Jenkins’ work, a trained ear can detect the composition methods (for example the use of the electronic piano) as they are reflected in numerous aspects of his music. Continue reading “Karl Jenkins and his digital piano”
Wagner is sometimes considered to be a somewhat controversial composer (known to be Hitler’s favourite writer and a known anti-Semite). I fell in love with the Ring Cycle by Wagner back in 2010 after having been dragged along to Birmingham Symphony Hall by my cousin who had somehow (I still don’t know how) managed to secure us free tickets to see Opera North perform part one. At the time, I was completely ignorant of the Ring Cycle and had absolutely no idea what I was in for – I was expecting maybe an hour of easy listening. It was only three hours later after the performance had finished, that I understood what all the fuss was about.
Barenboim and Dudamel, the two most prominent men in classical music today, have teamed up for what promises to be something truly extraordinary. They have already recorded Brahms piano concertos one and two for a CD which has now been released on iTunes and Amazon. As a 60th anniversary to Barenboim’s first performance in the Royal Festival Hall, he will return to the Southbank centre along side Dudamel to perform the concertos to the public. Despite not being until January, the concert sold out in minutes and fans are travelling from across the world to see these two inspirational men perform together.
Barenboim and Dudamel come together to create a monumentous occasion
Personally, Barenboim and Dudamel are my biggest musical inspirations. I have had many awe-inspiring musical experiences (spending my 18th birthday with Karl Jenkins is certainly there among the greats), but singing under these men (Mahler 3 for Dudamel, and Beethoven 9 for Barenboim) was just the most incredible experience and I cannot even begin to describe how talented they are, each in their own right. For Barenboim to come together with Dudamel, the creator of the world acclaimed Simon Bolivar orchestra, is an exciting cornerstone in music.
Since 2010, the ‘ Street Piano ’ craze has taken off globally. The trend started with the ‘Play me I’m Yours’ art instillation which was created by Luke Jerram back in 2008. Somewhat different from playing your digital piano in the comfort of your own home, street pianos are proving to be just as popular. 15 old, donated pianos were placed across the city of Birmingham for three weeks, but by the end of the three weeks the pianos had become such a sensation that many cities across the country decided to have them installed on their streets permanently. Continue reading “Street Piano hype!”
Last week Valery Gergiev took on the astounding task of putting on all five Prokofiev piano concertos in one prom. Having performed in many BBC Proms myself under the likes of Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel, and having been part of the Beethoven series back in 2012, I can truly appreciate how mad this concept really is. The result was one to be applauded and marvelled at!
Gergiev has in fact managed to tackle this impossible task once before, back in 2012 in Russia – an event that is still talked about now. The programme saw three original pianists (Daniil Trifonov, Sergei Babayan, and Alexei Volodin) brought over from Russia tackle the fiendish Prokofiev concertos with what appeared to be unreserved grace and beauty.
Time to get to know Prokofiev
This prom was a fantastic opportunity to get to know some of Prokofiev’s lesser known works, including the Continue reading “The Impossible Prokofiev”
This week is a sad week for Britain as the last Dam Busters pilot has died, just a day after the untimely death of Liverpudilan pop legend, Cilla Black.
The New Zealand born pilot was based at RAF Scampton while he was part of the 617 Dam Busters squadron that the famous 1955 The Dam Busters film by Michael Anderson was based on. Continue reading “Farewell to the Last Dam Busters Pilot”
Thanks to Nintendo, last week proved to be an exciting time for pianos and digital pianos in the news. Only a week after Korea’s Unification Piano was unveiled, gamers across the world have marvelled at the newly created Nintendo Piano which was created to celebrate the 30th birthday of Super Mario Bros.. Perhaps surprisingly, although the full size grand piano resembles a classic Super Nintendo games console (complete with input wires and a controller lead plugged into the side), it is entirely analogue. Given the circumstances and the celebration in question, in my opinion, an opportunity has been missed, and this spectacle should have been an electronic piano! Continue reading “Player:Piano debut stunning Nintendo piano”
In the early hours I watched a programme about James Rhodes, a digital grand piano player of classical music of some repute. He had however climbed to fame more through notoriety of a different kind and was trying his best to shake those demons and be seen as an ambassador for his craft. The programme ‘’Notes From The Inside’’ saw James taking his digital piano skills into a psychiatric hospital with the idea of exposing 4 patients, each with a different mental health diagnosis to a piece of classical music. This was the paradox that James himself found he had to address. Was it a pleasurable experience or a rude awakening? Continue reading “Classical Music From The Inside Kelly & Jason”