Philosophy, Film, Politics, Etc.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Musical Interlude: New Improvisations, and a (very) little Beethoven

I'm pretty happy with a couple of recent piano improvisations I've recorded.  The most recent is an impressionistic improvisation reflecting on the life and death of Anne Frank.  I just finished rereading her memoirs (though it's the first time I'd read the "definitive edition," which is an expanded version of the one I'd read a decade or so ago) and a reflection at the piano felt appropriate.  What came out is pretty dramatic.  I can picture scenes from a movie to go with it--black and white, snippets from Anne Frank's life before going into hiding, a popular, charismatic schoolgirl; then going into hiding, a plaintive cry, but it doesn't overwhelm her; she keeps her vitality, but cannot ignore the threat outside; internal and external tensions build, then find sudden resolution in her romantic love for Peter, which extends to a joyful appreciation of nature; but it is ultimately unfulfilling and uncertainty ensues, leading to the chaos and panic of being discovered, arrested and sent to concentration camps, where Anne loses her family, her hope and her life.

This next one was recorded first, on January 2, 2014.  It's long, meandering and episodic, but I hope some people have patience for it.  The highlight for me is the two minutes starting around the 18:05 mark.

Finally, a little Beethoven I recorded for my grandmother, who turned 96 last November.  It's the first piece of classical music I ever learned, and it's her favorite.  We're across the globe from each other, so this is the only way I can play it for her.  (The poor quality of the recording has something to do with my recording device, aka "my iPhone.")