In the course of my career as what has been called an "itinerant pianist," I have had the occasion to play many different pianos in many different rooms, from grand to humble. The selections on this CD represent a sampling of recordings I have made around southeastern Connecticut. Armed with a Sony minidisc recorder and a stereo microphone, I proceeded to document my stream of consciousness responses to various pianos and their environments.
The locations of the recordings are as follows: Lyman Allyn Museum, New London; Pine Point School, Stonington; Calvary Episcopal Church, Stonington; Harkness Chapel, Connecticut College, New London; the home of Jeanne and Peter Humphrey, Stonington; the home of Carol and Hank Mann, Stonington. With the exception of the Harkness Chapel sessions, these are "field" recordings, with some of the vagaries often associated with a spontaneous and unplanned session. The Harkness recordings were made as an afterthought, following a scheduled session I had done for a friend of mine on the chapel's pipe organ. The recorder was still running, so I opened the seven-foot Steinway and had some fun. My thanks to Connecticut College recording engineer, Jim McNeish, for his work in making these pieces available for this CD.
I stopped by the Lyman Allyn Museum to check out the piano in preparation for an upcoming gig there...a reception of some kind. I was expecting to find the Steinway grand which I had played before, but, to my disappointment, in its place was a Kreutzmann grand. It did, however, perform rather nicely. I recorded several selections on the small Steinway at Calvary Church in Stonington Borough, and have included one here. The music room at Pine Point School, also in Stonington, has an old Chickering grand which has been around many blocks many times, but I had time to kill, waiting for piano students, and I just happened to have the recorder with me. Jeanne and Peter Humphrey kindly opened their home to me for some recordings on Jeanne's beautiful Steinway Model A from the 1920s. The final selection, motor 4: in 3 movements, was recorded there. My friend, student, and fellow improviser Hank Mann invited me to do some recording on his seven-foot Baldwin. Two of the selections from that session are the most recent recordings on the CD, and I had upgraded my portable recording system by then, resulting in a much improved sound.
All of the recordings on this album were a real pleasure to make: no planning, no goals, not trying to play in a certain style, not thinking about who my potential audience might be, and not worrying (too much) about mistakes or bench squeaks. (Actually, the bench squeaks are fairly annoying.) I enjoy the freedom of this approach to recording. This is my fourth album of solo piano art, and I'm sticking by my story. Enjoy.
Check out the artist's website:
1. motor 1
3. motor 2
5. motor 3
6. hommage melancolique
11. motor 4