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A different view of Bach and the piano (Prelude in C) Video

On a whim, I decided to keep my Mac at a distance from the Steinway, walk over to the piano without being too conspicuous, and offhandedly play the Bach Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Since I hadn’t yet mastered the editing side of iMovie, I figured a majestic lead into the playing would still work even with my back turned to the camera as I made my way to the piano bench.

In any case, I would preserve unedited moments with the flick of my Sony Cyber-shot digital if I had successfully trimmed the footage.

The upper screen had the original frames before they were transferred to the editing arena down below.

So here’s how it played out after I had managed editing and uploading. (A sigh of relief!)




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Everything but the kitchen sink on video: How to make an iMovie with any sanity

I was experimenting once again with the iMac’s iMovie plopping myself down at Haddy, (my Haddorff piano) at the first opportunity after lessons were over today. In the process of exploring and refining recording conditions here at home, I decided to take my Yeti, not Big Foot, but a spiffy looking silver plated mic to a remote part of the living room, to achieve a composite auditory imprint of the piano. With the mic formerly placed within two feet of the instrument right beside iMac 21, I’d noticed that Haddy’s mid range notes had cut sharply into the treble, making it nearly impossible to balance voices. Add in a built-in drone, that if raised a few decibels would have shocked the ears like an amplifier gone berserk, and I faced a formidable challenge. Still, I reasoned that things could have been worse. I remembered the time a local recording engineer had placed pricey mics inside and underneath my Steinway grand, causing pedal impulse pick-up. The drum beats killed Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” rendering the track useless. It was a costly learning experience.

Fast forward to the present:

In my zeal to conquer auditory problems associated with Yeti, an external device that connected into companion, iMac through “System Preferences,” I had completely overlooked Mac’s own built-in camera and its conspicuous reach beyond the living room into my kitchen. The sink, thank goodness was out of range but a prior iMovie “event” in progress had been canned after Aiden cat managed to put himself on camera, skittering across Apple’s mini keyboard, producing electronic belch bursts that turned Mozart trills into red-hot zingers.

The poor cat, in shock, was shuttled off to the bedroom, after which calmness prevailed, but for the phone ringing, a motorcycle whizzing by, and a helicopter circling the neighborhood in search of the latest drug trafficker. (This IS a good area, but like most there’s always a simmering mystery below the surface)

Ironically, my US attorney adult student had curtailed his lesson because of a “terrorist” threat of a nonspecific nature telling me it was best that I knew less not more. So out the door went Debussy’s Arabesque along with him.

Earlier in the day, Rina’s lesson, captured on iMovie, had some disturbing, out of synch (pronounced “sink”) frames, that hearkened back to the silent film era. (at least when our hands were still moving at the piano without sound) A great fade out.

How a version (event no. 5) of Mozart’s K. 545 managed to upload to You Tube amidst this chaos is a baffling miracle. Nevertheless, I’ll assess the mic placement upon video review, and muster the courage to tap in new “events” if anything unexpected crept into the track. Apologies for the messy kitchen.

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Piano Instruction: Practicing the Schubert Impromptu in Gb, Op. 90 in Steps (4 videos)

It’s obvious that I’m a novice at video editing now that I’m on my own, but I managed to put together 4 videos demonstrating a step-wise approach to practicing the Schubert Gb Major Impromptu. I parceled out voices beginning with the soprano (melody) and then continued to the bass and alto using blocking techniques. Fingering was pivotal to the realization of expressive lines. Harmonic analysis was an invaluable assist.

The pianist is accompanist and soloist all in one in this composition, and the challenge is to subdue the alto triplet figures while fleshing out the melody, and creating a lovely, resonating bass of support.

Schubert, a Romantic composer breathes life into the impromptu in an improvised spirit with a palette of rich underlying harmonies and rolling triplets that weave through a lyrical soprano line. His music is pure poetry as he spins melodies of ethereal beauty.

PART 1 (The Melody–opening)

PART 2, (The Bass–opening)

PART 3 (Block the Alto and other parts–opening)

PART 4 (Playing as written, in slow motion, then bringing up to tempo–opening)

Part 4 will be refined later today.