The Digital Piano Plays Its Part – IV

Continuing the alphabetical listings of the lives of digital piano players (tongue in cheek) exploring letter F-G:

Four Minutes (2006)

Jenny is locked up in prison in Germany for murder. She is deeply troubled at every level but underneath her aggressive and brutish exterior lurks a sensitive side and a musical talent for playing the digital piano. It is revealed that Jenny was a child prodigy at the digital piano but abuse as a teenager put paid to her opportunity to excel. Frau Krueger tells Jenny of her past life in an attempt to win Jenny over.  The title of the film highlights the ‘Four Minutes’ Jenny has to perform to her audience and win the competition she has been preparing for.

Jenny does well at the competition but deviates from the original Schumann programme and plays a piece of ‘negro-music’ she has long since adored. She has the crowd in raptures and her Four Minutes bear fruit as she receives a great accolade for her performance on the digital piano.

The Getting Of Wisdom (1977)

This film is set in Melbourne in the 1890s. It is about a young student Laura Rambotham who excels at literacy and music. As the storyline progresses we hear digital piano compositions by Beethoven; an ‘Impromptu’ by Schubert and ornate passages by Thalberg. These motivic themes that serve to portray Laura’s anger and frustrations are played as recurring themes on the digital piano throughout the film.

Throughout her time at boarding school Laura tries to fit in both socially and academically during her stay. The film meanders through various relationships and finally witnesses Laura as a more accepted figure by her peers. She wins the school literacy and music prizes

Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

This film is about the life of singer and digital piano player Jerry Lee Lewis. It follows the ‘highs and lows’ of his controversial marriage to his cousin Myra. The song ‘’Great Balls of Fire’’ typifies the music of the ‘50s with its aggressive, punctuated chords ‘banged out’ in octaves on the digital piano. Lewis sits at his piano stool using the full range of keys and improvising in the upper register throughout the middle 8 section. He shows the keyboard off further with descending glissandos and his high pitched/falsetto moments that add a zany and experimental edge to his performance.

The Digital Piano Plays Its Part – II

Continuing the alphabetical listings of the lives of digital piano players (tongue in cheek) from B-C:

Beyond 88 Keys (2004)

This is a documentary film about the life of Michael Arnowitt, a Vermont peace activist and digital piano player. The film contains footage from live concerts both in the United States and in Europe, along with interview segments with Arnowitt, musical colleagues, arts presenters, and audience members. The film also looks into the backstage life of a concert digital piano player. Continue reading “The Digital Piano Plays Its Part – II”

Film Focus – All About The Digital Electric Piano

Have you ever stopped to think just how many films use the digital piano as their main focus be it in the title, or as a specific scene. For example, the following  films have titles dedicated to the electric piano;

The Digital Piano Teacher (2001)

This is a psychological drama about a failed concert digital grand piano player Erika Kohut. She is a dowdy spinster who lives with her elderly mother in an apartment in Vienna and teaches digital piano at the conservatory. Her life is an entangled web of solitary and less than moral kicks. Then she meets Walter, a student, who is attracted to her – the attraction leads her into a sado-masochistic relationship, carried out on Erika’s terms. The digital piano score comprises predominatly of Schubert electric piano scores. Continue reading “Film Focus – All About The Digital Electric Piano”

The Digital Piano – Modern Monster or Dinosaur

The instrument of choice

Ask any child what instrument they would most enjoy playing and they will reply without hesitation – the digital piano. Likewise, ask a worldly adult and they will equally reply –the digital piano. The minds of adults and children alike will instantaneously skip the hours of practice bequeathed to such an undertaking and instead conjure up images of success as they sit at their piano stool and execute their favourite pieces with ease. They are transformed into their favourite celebrity be it singer-songwriters Alesha Keys, Stevie Wonder or the child prodigy Mozart. Continue reading “The Digital Piano – Modern Monster or Dinosaur”

A Lesson To Be Learnt On Sparky’s Magic Digital Piano – Part II

The Prodigy Digital Piano Player – Sparky is an 8 year old little boy, whose life changed when his digital piano started to speak to him. It seems that Sparky is the only one who that can hear the piano speak. With the piano helping him out and playing the music, he took to the stage where he became a massive hit. So popular was his concerts that suddenly he became an overnight sensation and he was touring the country. But all the attention started to go to his head and he became very spoilt and was rude to the digital piano. When the digital piano stopped playing for him, everyone in the audience started to laugh at Sparky who sat at his piano stool embarrassed and dumbfounded. At last the audience could hear how dreadful his real piano skills were.     Continue reading “A Lesson To Be Learnt On Sparky’s Magic Digital Piano – Part II”

MR PIANO MAN – THAT’S THE WONDER OF STEVIE

Known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist including vocals, various keyboards including digital piano, percussion & harmonica to name but a few. Stevie was a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Blind since shortly after birth, Wonder signed with Motown‘s Tamla label at the age of eleven and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day. In his junior years he was named “Little” Stevie Wonder and his first album made him a huge child star.  Continue reading “MR PIANO MAN – THAT’S THE WONDER OF STEVIE”

Room At the Inn – A Digital Piano’s Tale

So you’re thinking of buying a digital piano this Christmas. You’ll need to send a note to Santa then. After all, he’s got the job of parcelling it up and getting it delivered…. down the chimney. That’s the easy bit as the question still remains ‘Where are we going to put it?’ Not sure. What about a contemporary Digital Piano, also known as Electric Piano? Reply to self:  it will need ready access to electricity and all the plug points are in use! Then there’s the piano stool and the lessons. These are the questions that will flow through your mind as you start to consider your purchase and hopefully arrive at your decision in time for the ‘big day’. Continue reading “Room At the Inn – A Digital Piano’s Tale”

Choosing the right piano stool for the job

Sir Winston Churchill once said ‘Why stand when you can sit!

So why is keeping the correct posture so important?

Consider the fairy sitting on her toadstool adding a sense of enchantment and nostalgia to the garden. She looks comfortable; no wriggling or sliding off and all actions are effortless to her. The correct posture helps prevent her body from damage and stress that might occur while sitting through the long hours on her toadstool.

And why is it so important to find a suitable piano stool?

Similarly good posture on the right piano stool allows us to produce continuous power and flow while we play. The result is greater sensitivity and focus due to having the right ‘stool for the job’.

Sir Winston Churchill also said“… courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen’’. Sitting on your piano stool and listening are two essential elements associated with playing your keyboard be it a Grand piano or digital piano. Firstly, sit at the stool with your feet on the ground; knees slightly under the keyboard; sit on the front half of the piano stool; straight back with your elbows slightly higher than the keyboard; loose shoulders & long neck with your palms curved as if holding a tennis ball; think ‘puppet’ and keep your arms buoyant. Continue reading “Choosing the right piano stool for the job”