Monday, May 25, 2015

The First 24 Hours

Pardon me if I crow a little.

For the most of the first decade of pianonoise's existence, I had a difficult time with the "noise" part. I was finishing a doctorate, which doesn't lead to much practice, and I didn't have regular access to a very good piano in order to make recordings. I only had one microphone, which turns out to be vastly worse than making recordings in stereo. But eventually the church where I work acquired a 7 foot Steinway, I acquired a second microphone, and, in the fall of 2011, recordings started making their way to the website. From then on I tried to make up for lost time.

And as of today, I am just over a minute shy of 24 hours of music.  Given that I have recorded about six hours of it each year, which breaks down to around 10 minutes a week, in the midst of all other activities, I think it speaks well for consistent decency, even if the performances would sometimes be better interpretively if I had more time to spend on them, or sonically if the microphones happened to be in slightly better positions. In any case it shows what can happen to consistent effort applied over a period of time. Those 10 minutes each week added up to 40 minutes each month, and, ten months a year, from October through July, totaled about 6 hours. Four years later, if you went to the listening archives at pianonoise and began listening to the first selection, it would take you exactly one entire day and night to hear them all. I don't recommend doing it that way. Better to take it in manageable doses. It'll be here when you return.

The curious and unpredictable thing about the catalog as it is now is the content. A younger self would have posted the complete works of Brahms and the piano sonatas of Mozart. These were both projects I took on in my 20s, and missed getting on tape. I'd like to get around to that someday. But in the meantime, all younger portions of life aside, the period from 2011-2015 is well documented. It was driven largely by what I played in my church position, and by the fact that the organ has become a passion. Until recently, the organ always had more recordings than the piano did. It was only a few months ago that the piano took the lead for the first time in the site's history and so far is still over 20 recordings ahead of the organ. Lately, though, the organ is gaining again.

I'm not sorry about that. I'm also not sorry about the variety of music I've learned, much of it started by investigations online. When I started pianonoise, I wanted to have an equal amount of music and commentary so that I could share the music itself and tell people about the music as well as the people who wrote it and all manner of other things that related to it. For a time, there was much commentary and little music. Now I have the opposite problem. I plan to get blogging next fall about the catalog so that everything you hear on the site will have at least some written words about it because anyone short of a specialist isn't likely to get everything they can just by a single listen, and why should they? That's why we have English (or whatever language you are reading this in).

Meantime, it's a milestone. Next week, on Pianonoise's 13th birthday, I'll put it over the top. I've still got a long way to go. Many plans, much great music, and a lot of ideas for both music and ways to communicate with you. It's a pretty good start, though. But its just a beginning. There is always more interesting music to experience, and to share with you.

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