Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In the last few days i've received a lot of attention at the piano i play downstairs. I think its the music i play... which is whatever i feel like at the moment, usually very tonal, but tonal dissonances and tritones not avoided. I work in a mode that can sometimes be somewhat severe, often i make extremely rapid changes in tonality which are in themselves tonally logical, but sped-up to the being close to ramming the tonalities into each other. I will move from D major to A major and with only a quick hint of E major to a sudden B major and then back in the same fashion. This rapid addition and subtraction of accidentals into the music i think upsets some people... or maybe the irregularity of many of the phrases and my affection for the extremes of the piano... but the music is not dissonant, per se, nor bi-tonal, nor the chromatic (a)tonality of wagner, Schoenberg and a like * i cant stress this enough, its not late-romantic or even straussian-type chord progressions.

But it upsets some people. Last week i got my first complaint, so to speak. A guy came up to me stuttering slightly, seeming nervous "please... could you stop playing?" I wasnt even doing anything loud, just irregular and only very mildly dissonant. i said "sure" and couldn’t help but smile. I dont own the place, after all.

There are doors that open up into the lounge where i play. The next day while i was playing as i do, someone made a clear gesture by closing the doors and giving me a death glare. I heightened the mood by hitting some sweet minor seconds for them. Im sure they appreciated my gesture too.

Two days pass.... and then im playing in my normal fashion, something i assume not to be very popular and then i get some very friendly people who come and talk to me. One was a Russian grad student of sociology, a lover of prokofiev, Scriabin and other russians. I had a good talk, and the other was a guitarist and jazz-lover i'd met briefly before who seemed interested in what i was doing.

Anyway i got positive feedback, which made me feel better. After those first two days i was wondering if i had become a local musical nuisance to the people. I have received more positive feedback recently, once after playing in a manner of philip glass (no, not just empty arpeggios, think music in a similar motion or 12 parts) ...only with the transitions and progressions sped up for the sake of the listeners and myself)..and its a sort of variation of the style of philip glass, which is always a fun pastime for me, good for dexterity too. I got applause from the pool-players for my minimalism! i was shocked. I rarely get applause, even for my most blatantly and stupidly showy pyrotechnic-improvisations.

But im still of mixed feelings. I know i irritate people. Every once in a while i'll pull out some atonality.... i've certainly never gotten applause from that.

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