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#2050576 - 03/19/13 01:11 AM Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns"
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Rockford, IL
Chapter 1
I have a regular gig at a "nursing home"(?), "senior center"(?), "assisted living center" (?), where I play twice a month. A nice Steinway L that is fun to play, and a little too big for the room and the hearing aids. Anyway, a few weeks ago, one of the kitchen staff asked if I knew "Send In The Clowns." She said it was one that she always requested when she and her husband went out. (I wonder what is the back story, there? Something told me to not ask.) I said, "No, but I think it's in my stack, somewhere. I'll learn it for you." I played it for her on Sunday and got a nice, warm hug. (I'm only in it for the hugs, people.)

Chapter 2
I had an opportunity to tune a 43" Yamaha console today in a church sanctuary. I used the Sanderson Accutuner with Bill Bremmer's EBVT III settings for a piano of the same brand and size. When I was through tuning, I played a few pieces--some Handel, some Bach, a couple Scriabin preludes--just to check the tuning. I made some tweeks to the bass and cleaned up some unisons that I had missed, then got out "Send In The Clowns." It is in the key of Eb. One of the things about the Equal Beating Victorian Temperament III is that, like other "well" and "unequal" temperaments, it enhances key color in amazing ways that Equal Temperment does not. It's often hard to pick that up on recordings, but when you are at the keyboard, it is unmistakeable. Now, I don't know exactly what is going on here (though I have some ideas...), but I was mystified and somewhat stunned by the sound that was coming from the piano, so I got out my Tascam digital recorder to capture it. I was not expecting this sound from Eb. Good headphones or speakers will help you hear it. The quality of the sound strikes me as being nervous, longing, and sad at the same time. I usually associate Eb with a kind of sonorous, grounded, happy peace (I'm probably wrong about that, but that's what I usually get from Eb...) Anyway, sorry about the fingernail clicks, the page turn, and the trucks in the background. eek

Send In The Clowns

--Andy

_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2050696 - 03/19/13 08:56 AM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: Cinnamonbear]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19346
Loc: New York City
I think the performance needs more rubato.

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#2050708 - 03/19/13 09:20 AM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: pianoloverus]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Rockford, IL
Thanks for listening, Pianoloverus! I appreciate that comment. I agree. The piece is still a little stiff under my hands, as it is new to me. I thought some of the inner voicings were klunky, too.

Perhaps it needs to marinate in tears and disappointments a little longer...

grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2050735 - 03/19/13 10:25 AM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: Cinnamonbear]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 394
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Thanks for listening, Pianoloverus! I appreciate that comment. I agree. The piece is still a little stiff under my hands, as it is new to me. I thought some of the inner voicings were klunky, too.

Perhaps it needs to marinate in tears and disappointments a little longer...

grin


LOL... throw in a few unrealized dreams and a tinge regret and it'll be spot on then! wink

Love the color of that tuning!

Forrest
_________________________
-------------------
current studies:
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque
Bach 848, 866
Schumann Op. 15

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#2050750 - 03/19/13 10:54 AM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: Cinnamonbear]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
Sharing your time and your music with a nursing home/senior center is a kind thing to do. I think it's especially difficult to know how it is impacting your listeners given all their differences but overall I'll bet your listeners are appreciative. For some reason I find myself having an unexplained attachment to this particular piece. Here's my arrangement if you have a chance to listen.

rada

https://www.box.com/s/0o7p1x8ajpqlth2d4d4g

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#2050980 - 03/19/13 04:52 PM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: rada]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: rada
Sharing your time and your music with a nursing home/senior center is a kind thing to do. I think it's especially difficult to know how it is impacting your listeners given all their differences but overall I'll bet your listeners are appreciative. For some reason I find myself having an unexplained attachment to this particular piece. Here's my arrangement if you have a chance to listen.

rada

https://www.box.com/s/0o7p1x8ajpqlth2d4d4g

Hey, rada! You really dress it up! I enjoyed your take on it. Thanks for sharing!

At the senior center, I play a wide, wide variety of stuff and I do take requests, as long as everyone realizes it might take me a while to learn the tunes before sharing (Leibestraume, anyone? Yup. eek Not on my current playlist. Neither is Rhapsody in Blue, but I found a cheat version! blush ). I was playing some quiet stuff earlier this month, and one of the guys came up to the piano and said, "Do you know 'Roll Out The Barrel'?" I said, "No, but it's in my stack at home. I'll learn it for ya." He looked disappointed. I said, "Do you want me to pep it up? Is that what you're asking?" He got a great big smile on his face, and said, "Yeah!" So I got out the foxtrot book and played through a good handful. Everybody seems to enjoy the atmosphere and the variety, and looks forward to the visits. It's like that line from the play Harvey where Elwood P. Dowd says, "I try to have a good time wherever I'm at with whoever I'm with." wink
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#2051098 - 03/19/13 11:21 PM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: woodog]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: woodog
[...] LOL... throw in a few unrealized dreams and a tinge regret and it'll be spot on then! wink

Love the color of that tuning!

Forrest


Can I say, "Sad, but true,"? laugh

Thanks, Forrest! The tuning raised a few hackles in the tuner/tech forum. grin I liked it, too. But I changed it today to be a little more conventional, especially since I don't really know what I'm doing, yet! wink
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
#2052772 - 03/23/13 01:26 AM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: rada]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6341
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: rada
Sharing your time and your music with a nursing home/senior center is a kind thing to do. I think it's especially difficult to know how it is impacting your listeners given all their differences but overall I'll bet your listeners are appreciative. For some reason I find myself having an unexplained attachment to this particular piece. Here's my arrangement if you have a chance to listen.

rada

https://www.box.com/s/0o7p1x8ajpqlth2d4d4g


Rada - Very nice arrangement !!! And I'm sure Andy's audiences at the nursing home/senior center greatly appreciate and look forward to his visits. Hope they realize how lucky they are to have him there.

Andy - I really liked the warm sound of the Yamaha console - which I assume was due, in part, to the unique nature of the tuning. grin
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2053749 - 03/24/13 11:56 PM Re: Sondheim--"Send In The Clowns" [Re: carey]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: carey
[...] Andy - I really liked the warm sound of the Yamaha console - which I assume was due, in part, to the unique nature of the tuning. grin


Thanks, Carey! Like I said, I went back the next day, and re-did some things to the tuning based on some (much appreciated) comments I got in the Tuner/Tech forum. I made a recording of two re-tunings, where I tweeked the bass. I like the first tweek the best--I think there is a nice openess to it:

Tuning tweek 1

Tuning tweek 2

Still, I like the nervous poignancy of the fast beating Eb chords in the original tuning. It might not be to everyone's taste, but I thought it fit the song.

BTW, the cleaning crew was keeping me company when I did the first tweek's recording... smile
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top

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