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CLASSICAL PIANO/REPERTOIRE: Recordings
THOUGHTS OF A CLASSICAL PIANIST: My Classical Piano Blog
SEPT. to DECEMBER 2014
I live in an area where it seems that postal mail gets either lost or stolen once in awhile. It's happened to me several times already, which is why it would be better to electronically pay all my bills from now on (some companies charge online fees for that - no thanks - or don't even use alternate methods of payments such as cc). I've been renting my piano for the most part, but I might have to look for an alternate retailer who can accept auto-pay via cc. Purchasing one is an option now as long as it is affordable and within my budget. A new or upgrade for the car is also necessary soon.
The weather hasn't been cooperating recently, but it's getting sunnier and warmer. Consistently? Eventually, hopefully heh. I think the plans to hike or camp have been delayed or post-poned indefinitely.
The LAPFF (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival) concluded recently, and there seems to be a few worthwhile films to watch. Unfortunately, a lot of them won't be available on VOD or itunes (but who knows). The highlight of it was the "Better Luck Tomorrow" reunion, and the anticipated film "Gook" about the race riots that will come out in theaters (as well as watching "Columbus"). I heard about the Arthur Chu documentary, who seemed like a smart guy who got a lot of publicity but was a victim of racism because of it.
Hearing the podcast of the K-Town crew is a breathe of fresh air - keeping it real and telling it like it is. They (or part of them) were on a show about races in America hosted by Charles Barkley (my god, does that guy ever lose weight? muhaha). And he seemed or acted as if our plight was news to him and everyone else. Well, it's not. The important thing is to continue to let our voices be heard and to spread awareness. At the same time, create new and unique material from our perspective. I was talking about this the other night, but the industry continues to do the same crap (nothing unqiue or new) over and over at the expense of Asian-Americans. Insecurities and pettiness at its finest (even jealousies at other's successes). I highly recommend going the independent or kickstarter / indiegogo route to watch interesting films.
It's unfortunate about "Dr. Ken", but a lot of us are grateful to ABC network for giving it a chance. The cast was hilarious. I don't know what to make of "Deception", a new program Justin Chon is going to be in. Does he have a major role? Hopefully, we'll find out more about it.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
I'm not one who can readily figure out notes or beats from first-time listening to a piece. Playing or transcribing it on an instrument such as the piano is not easy, but doable with experience and knowledge. But music is really eternal and internal, and it's just the matter of understanding the music with the heart as well as the mind. There is a certain kind of emotional maturity necessary to play a piece well.
It would've been cool to attend the "Better Luck Tomorrow" 15th anniversary screening, but I watched it again on the same night to coincide. The download that I have could definitely use an HD treatment. More notables: "...didn't care if he was suspended from school. It just gave him another reason to beat the crap out of Verj" heh.
Speaking of anniversaries, I'm sure there are upcoming documentaries and films on the 25th anniversary of the tragic event. But often, I'm also sure none of these would give a fair perspective (or no perspective at all) from the Asian-side where the K-Town community was affected greatly. Perhaps there was that A&E doc where at least an 'OG' Ajushi was interviewed as well as a beauty salon lady. As of now, the only film I plan to watch regarding this subject matter is Justin Chon's "Gook", which is a film that has a different perspective for a change. And a compelling story to boot.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
I heard about the passenger being dragged and beaten for refusing to give up his airline seat, as this news is becoming more widespread in social media. In a sense, I'm not surprised anymore in this day and age of a deteriorating and morally decadent society. Quite barbaric and uncivil/unprofessional, something out of a mafia flick. How can someone beat up and force out somebody for a simple refusal? (an Asian doctor with a reasonable excuse to boot). But even if they had to enforce it, there should have been alternatives and more civil ways to handle this. I'd file a lawsuit so far up their asses that not even a frequent flyer can save them.
I could only suggest that we as an ethnic group or anybody with rights as a passenger continue to support and empower each other. The only thing that is important to me is letting ourselves be heard. Public awareness can be an effective tool, and we should focus on what is actually relevant and worthwhile.
Wise words from DavidSoComedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBKVtxbuhew
Sunday, April 02, 2017
With the current seasons of "Dr.Ken" and "FOTB" ending, I'm already looking forward to next season. If the previous ones are any indication, every season just gets better. But this year, I have to give a slight nod to "Dr.Ken"; if not for the eccentric guest cameos or going over serious subject matters. However, I am not an advocate for guest cameos to begin with. I think just coming up with hilarious material is enough.
Hooray! "Fiction & Other Realities" is going to become a reality. I already have a few kickstarter or independent films to watch on my must-see list, and this is one of them. They just have to be available either on a VOD platform or digital download.
My next video recordings certainly won't be for awhile, but I've already started practicing them. They might be some Rach Preludes or other, with more thoughts on my Classical Repertoire page.
Is KevJumba back for good (or the Youtuber formerly known as KevJumba muhaha)?
Sunday, March 19, 2017
I'm looking forward to warmer and clearer weather ahead, as it has been quite wet recently. All the puddles on paths / trails as well as flood alerts on the phone was a testament to that. I'm definitely looking forward to some more strenuous, new hikes as well as camping at some point.
I've enjoyed preparing as much as eating brunch on Sundays. You can't have a brunch without the usual - pancakes, eggs and bacon (scones as an extra bonus).
It's been awhile since maestro Lang Lang has updated his Facebook or provided us with some helpful tips or insight on the piano. I heard he was sick. Despite a busy schedule as far as his concert touring and other collaborations is concerned, get well soon! Concert maestro Lang Lang and the Video Game Pianist are two of my favorites as far as piano prowess is concerned. VGP excels at transcription as classically-trained, and maestro Lang Lang is just world famous for his seemingly infinite repertoire. What can't he play or perform? As A-Huang can create music out of any sound, VGP can transcribe video game music just like that.
Instagram Post Of The Month (from davidsocomedy): It must be Tobias Park, Jr.! muhaha. He's lookin' like he's ready to get some machine-gun style... heheheh. https://www.instagram.com/p/BRv__YjB7CX/?taken-by=davidsocomedy
Sunday, March 05, 2017
I felt the need to support/contribute to Bobby Choy's (aka Big Phony) "Fiction & Other Realities", a film based somewhat on his life as a singer/song-writer and the question of self-identity. But the essence of it all is the passion and commonality for music. Take away the superficiality and the repetitive tediousness of what is pop culture today, you get a genuine talent in Big Phony; whose soothing and down-to-earth lyrics are a breathe of fresh air. Reminds me of Goh Nakamura in a way, and there are others such as D-Choi, etc. If I enjoyed Goh's films of "Daylight Savings" and "Surrogate Valentine", I'm sure I'll enjoy "Fiction & Other Realites". As a classical pianist who only found the passion for it again, I can identify somewhat with all the struggles and self-questioning.
There are almost no Asian-Americans showcased out there (except on Youtube and other platforms), and Justin Chon mentioned this somewhat to the effective of: "We need to create..". A lot of it certainly has to do with discrimination and prejudice, but most of it just has to do with making ourselves visible. In that regards, how much confidence do we have to go out there and not be afraid to display our abilities and creative prowess? Biases and prejudices be damned, we just have to continue to do our thing.
I mulled for quite awhile of creating and uploading a web page in support of Asian-American artists across all industries. For sure, some web pages on this site that has not been updated in awhile can be removed.
A lot of hidden gems can be found as a Kickstarter project. Go out there, and find them.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
It's not often that I can remember or memorize a piece quickly, but it also depends on how natural the music can flow and how relaxed I can be. Sometimes, I might have to study the sheet music for awhile but in other instances, not as much. Repetition and practicing definitely helps. For sure, the music is always there inside. Just needs to be let out.
Aside from a bit more refining, I'm more or less ready to record and upload the new piece or two. I'm not going to schedule it, just when I find the time.
It might be a far-stretch to hope for more diversity in films and in any industry this year and beyond. But at least in the independent scene, there is some progress.
As usual, here is a quotable from a nostalgic film. RIP. "Expess elevator to hell, going down!" - Aliens '86
Monday, February 06, 2017
It was a snow day! I can recollect the exuberance when school was cancelled heh. Although it snowed before, it's been awhile since there was any significant accumulation. Since I moved out here four years ago, I suppose I missed it in a way (except driving through it). It would've been nice had the storm hit during Christmas week. The large, fluffy flakes falling was quite a sight. And surprisingly it sustained for awhile. I wouldn't have minded had it snowed all day, but most of the precipitation occurred overnight unfortunately. In what has been a particularly cold winter for this region, who knows if it'll snow again.
Speaking of colds, I'm going through one right now. I've been relatively sick-free the past few winters in terms of colds. But fortunately, it isn't as serious as coughing up a lung.
A creative Youtuber such as A-Huang deserves 1M subs. From a guy who can create music with any kind of sounds, I'm sure he'll get there.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Some Youtube tidbits for this Sunday's blog:
It would certainly be interesting to re-shape the Earth into a donut (in that case, I'll eat it muhaha) or an upside-down pyramid and watching all the lemmings or peons trickle off into the vacuum of space.
So exactly what does it take for a Youtuber to get to the top? Apparently, taking off your clothes. Hard work and talent sometimes isn't enough or is irrelevant. "Look at me! Look at me I know I'm fa..." muhaha.
Friday, January 20, 2017
I don't usually make concrete resolutions, but I do wonder whether I can keep the ones I do make if at all. I suppose they are just thoughts and goals to keep in mind, from trivial ones such as eating habits to meaningful and more serious ones. One thing is for sure though, there has to be at least effort made.
Music is a part of my life as well as my identity. And I'll always try to find time to practice, find new repertoire, and record. However, I have to prioritize other things in my life unfortunately. As a result, the video uploads or recordings are going to be fewer this year. I'll get a chance to practice or play sparingly but when I do, I'll make the most of it. My practice regimen always includes various pieces from different composers before working on a piece that I plan to record. From the Polonaise-Fantasie to the Wanderer Fantasy, that might be a subject for a blog on my classical repertoire page entitled, epic pieces.
I'm not really a fan of cross-genre collaborations, but when Classical collides with Heavy Metal - now that's interesting or eclectic. Enter Sandman? Enter Lang Lang heh. The Maestro cometh.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
The goals and resolutions have to be more substantial and meaningful for me this year, because I'm certainly not getting any younger. But there are still habits that are never easy to get out of (such as overeating for an example), but I think it's important to at least put in the effort to change. With the quick passage of time and any person's life ending at a moment's notice, the cliched saying of 'live life to its fullest' or 'don't take life for granted' is more than just a cliche or hackneyed expression. The simplest expressions ring the most truth. This year, I have and should know what my priorities are for sure in terms of what to do.
Aside from certain priorities, I have an idea of what the new recording is going to be but not sure when. More thoughts on my Classical Repertoire web page coming soon.
There are quite a few Youtubers who produce and create music on their own, and for sure they have more talent (some of them I am subscribed to, and I'm sure there are more out there). Certainly a breathe of fresh air from the everyday conundrum of the ordinary and the mediocre.
I'm glad to see that "Dr. Ken" has taken on a more serious and heartful element to its program in integrating with its comedy. But it never loses its main element of the type of humor that its known for. At times, some episodes of "Fresh Off The Boat" are funnier but there are other instances when "Dr. Ken" is. I wonder if Jae is going to be a part-time playa heh. Perhaps I should have dropped out of college to pursue the individual goal of returning to classical music again. For sure, the degree that I received was a waste.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
I had a good trip, and hopefully there can be more this year. Some of the goals this year is to get out, and travel more. Or do things I'm usually wouldn't be comfortable with. Anyway, I had a good time with everyone and for sure ate well heh. It was quite cold over there and although I prefer cold than to hot, there is only so much cold or the extremes a person can take.
I wonder if Justin Chon is going to frequent "Dr. Ken" episodes, as I was glad to see his character introduced although quite surprised. I guess DK has his work cut out for him heheh. Anyway, between "FOTB" and "Dr. Ken", it's been a battle each week as one episode turns out more hilarious than the other. And vice versa.
I might put up a review of "Rogue One", which I ended up watching. Although I'm more of a "Star Trek" fan, "Rogue One" certainly had that nostalgic feel to it.
Monday, January 02, 2017
It was probably one of the most memorable holidays in quite awhile, eating delicious foods and having family come together for it. And now it's over with a new year ahead of us. Hopefully a better one than the previous.
It's never been this cold before, or at least it hasn't been this cold since I've been out here. It's nice to find some sort of a Winter Wonderland in some areas, as it snowed a few inches awhile ago; which is rare for a state known mostly for rain.
"The Twilight Zone" marathon never gets tiring as long as it's aired for several days of nearly all episodes. It's become a tradition for viewers and fans alike, at least catching parts of it.
Sunday, January 01, 2017
With another year beginning, I prefer to just look ahead to the future as opposed to dwelling on the past. But reflecting about it can certainly give some insights on what could be done better or improved upon. Every year has its difficulties as well as happy moments and / or accomplishments, but it's not easy to judge if an year went entirely well sometimes. For me, it's been a 'one step forward, two steps back' cycle that's been a problem. I guess that's a resolution I need to make; to work on just taking one or two steps forward only, with the operative word 'forward'. I have an aversion or dislike for traveling, but if I have to go on a business trip, it's something I'll have to eventually get used to. Otherwise, there's no other way to get to a far destination. Or even take the initiative to go on any on our own.
For sure, I lost some weight for sure after starting to regularly hike and jog over the summer. I believe that's been an accomplishment, and we can keep that up. As far as eating is concerned, that's something I have to continue to control. I can only pray to continue to strengthen my convictions, and actually act upon them without regressing.
Other than that, I'm not sure what else has been going on since it hasn't really been a noteworthy year; other than some Youtubers having a nice year, the 50th anniversary of 'Star Trek', watching "FOTB" and "Dr. Ken" religiously? heh. Personally, I'm waiting for the new season of no-holds-barred Eddie Huang series, "Huang's World".
I still anticipate in continuing to kick ass in WoW, and learning new classical repertoire to upload, play and/or even perform. I'm not going to share on other aspects of my personal life, but I can only pray that this year can be more consistently better in terms taking forward steps only.