I was saddened to hear the news that Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s disease and can no longer sing. So, I decided to learn this song, which I have always loved, as a small tribute to her and the fond memories I have during the 70s of sitting with a friend drinking wine and listening to her. I wish that I could play the piano part as Andrew Gold does on the record but alas it is beyond me. I don’t do the song justice but … here it is.
Loc: Black Hills of South Dakota
Nicely done Newman. You always make everything musical. That's all that matters. Don't matter to me how simple or sophisticated something is. It must be music. You hold that truth well.
I hadn't heard about Linda Ronstadt yet. Sad. I had a recording of her doing old songs. I think she did it in the early 80's. Extremely well done. It was one of those special mastered recordings. Expensive. Showed her as a real singer. Not just a screamer.
I'm about to jump over the line into Sept. here. The summer went quick.
Now, I’m not trying to hog the bar but I just had to post this … probably a little pleased with myself I’ll admit.
Paul McCartney’s new single “New” is out soon but available to download today/yesterday. So, I downloaded it, learnt it and dashed off a recording of it – today (probably while all you people in the US and UK were sleeping). A little rough and simplified, of course, but it is so reminiscent of The Beatles in the Magical Mystery Tour (eg Hello Goodbye, Penny Lane) era I just had to do it ...
Newman Heart Like a Wheel~ Such a sad, heart-felt ballad. Yes, there's justice done with this tune, Newman. Great work! New~ really does have the feel of Penny Lane. It's a pretty quick tempo, too.
Amaruk~ Great work leaning this Lord of the Rings piece by ear. It's short and sweet. Thank you for your music!
Sinophilia~ great and steady boogie lines in the left hand with those blues licks thrown in. I think it's the first boogie blues tune I've heard in the key of C#-min. Very nice playing, indeed!
Ed~ very nice, simple lines and great chords. I always like your sense of time and the pauses (might have been thinking of where to go next) were perfect. You've got great skills to bring out the music like that.
Loc: New England, USA
Sinophilia - That was great!! Your performance was really bursting with energy!! It seems like a great workout for the fingers at the same time…. I bet you get tired quickly with this piece. Great job on the steady rhythm too!
Riddler - What a sophisticated and entertaining arrangement Ed!! I loved it! You absolutely nailed it in this performance! Thanks for sharing!
Riddler, that was lovely! So elegant and so perfectly suited to the time and feel of the song.
Yes, that ostinato was hard. When I added the RH, my left pinky would invariably miss the C# key when going up from G#. I practiced the LH alone at crazy speeds, with eyes closed, with relaxed shoulder, etc... but it still happens. I think somehow the LH wants to follow the RH and forgets the right distances between the keys. I wanted to record this for the last recital but it was just getting worse, so I gave it a rest.
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach) http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
Amaruk - A beautiful piece. Very emotive. Well played. Sinpohilia – Well done. I haven’t mastered that degree of LH/RH independence Riddler – Nicely done. Big sounding piano.
And yes, I did, ‘New’ in a day. About half an hour of continuous replays to hear and work out the chords followed by about at least a dozen run throughs playing along with the song, about the same on my own as I simplified the arrangement and then half a dozen takes until I got one without any glaring errors. A method I learnt decades ago as a guitar player and rehearsing in a band – keep playing it until you have played it three times in a row without mistakes and you can say you’ve got it. I play it a bit fast, though.
But if you listen you will notice how essentially simple the chord progressions in each part of the song are.
The verse essentially follows a pattern favoured by Lennon and McCartney both together and individually in songs written on piano (as ‘New’ obviously was to my ears). That is, where the verse starts on a major chord followed by what I think of as a progressive movement down the keyboard starting with the root of the first major. Sometimes a tone, sometimes a semitone. Creating a seventh, minor, or major etc on the way down. It varies a little depending on the song but the concept is used a lot and not just by Lennon - McCartney. When you know and recognise the pattern the detail is easier to fill in.
The chorus and middle too are very simple. In pop, for example, moving to the relative minor (as ‘New’ does) is very common. I’ll happily send a chord chart to anyone who wants it. Or any chord chart to the songs I have posted.
Loc: Massachussetts, USA
Riddler - You really kept true to the period feel with Sophisticated Lady. I felt transported back to 1932. It sounded great.
Newman - So sad to hear about Linda Ronstadt. I remember having her poster on my wall along with Donna Summer (an unlikely pair). Heart Like A Wheel was a sweet sounding tribute. New has that classic sound, and now I'm going to have to go out and download the original.
Amaruk - Beautiful sound and production quality on The Grace of Undomiel. Did you record that in a hall, or is that part of the Amaruk post-production magic?
Sinophilia - you were locked in on the bass during jazz Ostinato in C#m! Not at all easy to do. I dont even try anymore for that length of an entire song. Great job.
Loc: south florida
Amaruk, that was so nice. How did you get those images to appear in the reflection of your fallboard? Nice effect. Newman, you are like a machine... (a highly musical one)... the way you turn these out. I mean that in the nicest way.
Fountain in the Rain, W.Gillock O Mio Babbino Caro,Puccini Mozart Sonata K545
Loc: New England, USA
Thank you all for your kind words.
For some reason I struggled badly with the red dot on this piece due to it being so slow. I always thought that faster was harder but that is not always the case.
The video inlay in the fallboard was created by adding it on top of the main video in a separate track and resizing/skewing it to give it the shape it has. I then made it semi-transparent and BW to make it blend in with the main video better and give it this dreamy look.
The performance in the concert hall was created by using a green screen behind me and, in post-process, adding a background picture of the Kodak Hall in Rochester, NY. The reflection in the piano in that scene was created by a custom effect I generated in Motion 5.
Loc: Georgia, USA
Newman, great performance! You have a great voice too! Playing and singing both at the same time is not easy!
Amaruk, great piece! Your recording is good quality too.
Sinophilia, I love the bumble-boogie tune! Great playing.
Riddler, that was some sophisticated playing there! I enjoyed it.
Here is a recording I did this morning on my latest piano project… of course, the quality of the recording is not as good as some of ones already posted, but you can get a jest of how the piano sounds.
Rickster - It was a nice change to hear you play something other than a boogie - and I mean it as a compliment. Greener - I haven't seen the movie in a long time and had forgotten the theme. Nicely played. I like the way it builds.