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CLASSICAL PIANO/REPERTOIRE: Recordings
THOUGHTS OF A CLASSICAL PIANIST: My Classical Piano Blog
MY ULTIMATE / NEW PLAYLIST
Monday, August 03, 2020
Jay Chou's "J-Style Trip" - what a trip so far. The premise is interesting, impromptu trips as well as performing impromptu magic tricks in public. Does duping Mr. Du also count? haha. The Vienna trip - I enjoyed the educational aspect of it. The Mozart museum - it is a one of a kind experience to see first-hand the original handwritten score or sheet music from the composer. That should be a bucket list item for any pianist.
Right now - Netflix is focusing on marketing and advertising for a new audience for "Cobra Kai" - hence, the S1 and S2 hype at the end of the month. Unfortunately, for those of us who have been waiting since the beginning of the year for the third season, we are going to have to wait longer (change "by the end of summer" to "by the end of the year" - it is cruel, but unfortunately....'fact of life').
Sunday, August 02, 2020
Eat some BBQ ribs smothered with tasty BBQ sauce, pulled pork or whatever, and you too can start singin' like a country bumpkin or yokel haha. Just ask Timothy Chantarangsu or D-So. Also, check out D-So's sly impression. That shit is hilarious.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
It's been hot and dry, that part of the summer season. I guess I spoke too soon - but after what has been a wet winter / spring, it's probably overdue. Nuthin' like taking a dip in cold water - whether it's a clean, clear lake or river. I've been putting in some regular workout as well - hiking, jogging, pushups.
That goes without saying. It is alright to eat carbs and junk food once in awhile - even consuming large portions of it. As long as you remain active. No surprise couch potatoes turn out fat haha. I get cravings or get tempted to go out on a personal junk food stash shopping trip - haven't done that in several years. It behooves me that I don't anymore.
I believe global pop star sensation Jay Chou could make a second career out of being a magician or illusionist. It would certainly be worthwhile to watch "J-Style Trip" .
D-So and his impressions, a 'sly' one indeed haha. Oh yeah, can Ion! haha.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Bao Nguyen's "Be Water" is a must-see (it's as authentic and informative as you can get). Any podcast on it is worth a listen to - the most recent one comes to you from Sung's Garage. They're mainly known for car enthusiasts and the like, but once in awhile - there'll be an intriguing subject. It's worthwhile to note that Sung looked up to Jason Scott Lee, a modern-day pioneer for Asian-American actors (as well as Dustin Nguyen). JSL can be seen in the up-coming live action of "Mulan" - that looks epic. Unfortunately, that and F9 have been post-poned until next year.
Thirty variations from J.S. Bach is quite daunting, and I can't imagine how tiring it can get - considering how intensive some are with both right and left hands. I wasn't really surprised at this achievement, considering Lang Lang's performances in the past included all of Chopin's Etudes, Ballades, and Scherzi.
For now, I'm looking into a Prelude & Fugue combo, as well a few more Fugue standalones. I've been working on some Beethoven Sonatas as well, but unsure when one or two is going to be finished or ready. Or until I'm content with it - more thoughts on my classical piano blog later.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
I'm currently looking for at least 1 "Prelude & Fugue" J.S. Bach combo piece as well - or sort of a two-movement piece.
When there isn't any worthwhile podcasts to listen to recently, there's always the food videos to watch (mukbangs, food challenges, Send Foodz (always adding that important ingredient of humor to the food show) haha. "Muthafucka" indeed - haha. Talk about nasty-ass, I bet the airport freakout at the ft. lauderdale airport eventually is going to end up somewhere on one of them public freakout channels haha.
Can't wait to complete Justin Chon's "color" trilogy - "Blue Bayou" should be available on VOD in the near future. I got around to rent "IWMYM - Surrogate Valentine 3" the other night. Film review of it to come, but I'll say this - there is closure.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
I'm glad to hear that Daniel Dae Kim's 3AD Media company also supports or reaches out to a more diverse audience and / or projects. Hopefully, stories from all walks of life can be seen and heard. In the meantime, looking forward to "A Sweet Mess" come into fruition as well as some of his other projects he's involved in.
The debate of PC gaming vs. Console gaming - which are you. I'm a PC gamer for life - I'm just used to the keyboard / mouse dynamics. Playing the piano also helps in typing or keyboarding. However, I would say there is equal amounts of talkin' smack or talkin' shit against one another. Or perhaps moreso on PC when it comes to WoW. As for xbox, just ask the fat kid who couldn't get off his pal's console while eating munchkins haha.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
First Godfrey Gao, and now Grant Imahara RIP. He's a household name for Mythbusters for sure, and a robotics / engineer extraordinaire I hear. I only got to see Grant in a just a few of Mythbusters episodes.
Music education is an underrated industry, especially for educators or instructors - so much emphasis is usually placed on performances, concerts or music videos. I'm an advocate for educating yourself on what you find is the most rewarding, or the most inspiring methods - or whatever works. To each their own - some can acclimate or teach themselves to their fullest potential, while others need an established structure (which in my opinion, is no longer needed or a complete waste of money).
Patreon support is where it's at now. The creative endeavors for up-and-coming content providers for all creators - musicians, comedians, Youtubers, etc., is far greater than the mainstream culture that has been fading into obscurity or has become irrelevant for me. We need to empower ourselves, and support each other. Enough of the status quo, stereotype bullshit.
With that said, Timothy Chantarangsu - "I'll take two number nine's, a number nine large...." haha. Gotta love eatin' at Big Smoke's. Aw shiiiet, here we go again.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Aaron Takahashi's newborn does resemble him - unsure if that is actually a compliment or not haha. But for sure, your newborn is quite cute. Congrats!
I heard something about "Cowboy Bebop" going to resume filming. I think John Cho might be fully healed.
Platforms have tendencies to have fans wait and wait - which probably indicates, "the end of summer". Nothing is worth the wait if you have to keep waiting. And waiting and waiting. And waiting and waiting. To give you a perspective, there was an update on "Shadowlands" - never thought that would happen anytime soon.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
J.S. Bach is absolutely an essential composer to any pianist's repertoire. My only regret is not learning the composer earlier - but understandably, I did not have the patience nor the desire at that time. Desire and passion are important when learning music or doing any endeavor. Otherwise, it isn't worth doing.
More thoughts at another time on my Classical Piano blog, but the gist of it - I wasn't ready (yet I tried jumping into other difficult pieces right away - talk about being too premature). The music is both right and left-hand intensive as melodies play off each other in both hands - a pianist needs to play well with both hands. Even today, it is an on-going learning experience as well as a test of stamina and endurance.
Friday, July 10, 2020
J.S. Bach's "Goldberg" Variations - I only got up to No. 10. It's an epic piece for sure. For now, I need to start with the more basic pieces in Fugues - although some can get very complex. Maestro Lang Lang's announcement for his new album - racking up albums dedicated to various composers and themes.
The next upload for me should be another Fugue and a Haydn.
Instead of creating new K-Dramas (with the same old, tiring storyline of a victimized / nasty female protagonist - you'd think the goddamn femi-nazi's are behind the scenes here), how about actually changing the formula from a 1-season only to multiple season from past dramas? I would like to see that, but it might never happen (only for a select few). We're getting a new season of "Stranger" however. Enjoyed "The Eternal Monarch" - it delved into parallel dimensions, parallel characters. Although it could get too complex and confusing at times. My only peeve is the ending - more thoughts to come. Perhaps a K-Drama fan page should be in the works.
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Happy belated fourth of July - the BBQ feasting was glorious haha. It's usually that time of year to get grillin' fo' sho', and to eat like there's no tomorrow.
Summer weather has been wack so far - chilly and wet. Hopefully, some drier, warmer and sunnier days to come (not asking for a drought or scorching temperatures / prefer cooler weather nevertheless) - before the summer ends that is.
Adding membership or subscription fees makes some business sense (for perks, extra bonuses, etc), and might be worth it if you are a fanatical supporter (everyone needs to try to make a living anyway). Just be cautious about being ripped off. For me, I'm completely fine with just the free or accessible stuff.
Sunday, June 28, 2020
I've returned for some more J.S. Bach - the Fugue BWV 947 uploaded, and a few more perhaps (including some Two-Part Inventions). Also the Haydn, and perhaps more Tchaikovsky. Although he's renowned for the "Nutcracker" suite melodies, it is fortunate that there are standalone pieces out there that are hauntingly melodic and brooding. At some point, sneak in a Mendelssohn and / or a Wolfgang Amadeus.
What ever happened to podcasts topics or subjects of the simple things in life - such as ripping a fart like no tomorrow, jacking off or even shitting in a crapper haha.
If I find a K-Drama shitty or awful, I'll stop watching it after one or two episodes in the beginning. To each their own.
Monday, June 22, 2020
What a relief, and what a wait - we now know where "Cobra Kai" is going to stream, and it's Netflix. It's only a matter of time before we get to watch S3. Let's hope we do not have to wait much longer. But at least announcements are beginning to be made. For that - fans, rejoice! haha.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Sunday food for thought - as there are ways to improve one's memory (whether it's learning a piece or a melody of a piece), there are ways to improve one's sight-reading. Some abilities are innate, some need to be acquired or learned / conditioned.
As they say, "you are what you eat". So it is up to you whether you want to eat healthy, continue to feast on comfort food, or a bit of both. Personally, I love food too much to give up on comfort food.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
We need to do more BBQ's - they are delicious. Cleaning and setting up grills is a pain in the ass however, or I'm just lazy haha. I'm one not to hesitate to speak up or tell it like it is. So if a food is atrociously disgusting or unappetizing, I'll grimace or let 'em know no matter who you are (just as I let my farts rip like no tomorrow haha).
J.S. Bach's Fugues (or any Bach piece) and J. Haydn's Gypsy Rondo - I love the melodic phrases in them, but they can be very tiring due to the tight and fast phrasing or arpeggios. They are definitely worthwhile to practice for experience and stamina. I plan on a J.S. Bach piece and one more Tchaikovsky perhaps for the next recordings. The list is subject to change.
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
I'd be trippin' to watch Jay Chou's "J-Style Trip" haha. I heard about this recently - a preview of it shows some mind-boggling magic tricks with coins. Is it really all an illusion? If you know the tricks of the trade, it sure is. I'm glad that is being showcased. With nothing else on (new K-Dramas until later this year), it is an option.
Expanding one's repertoire into cultural or global types of music is something I never really got into, but I don't have any doubt that it's something that is beneficial in terms of diversifying one's repertoire. Diversity.
Monday, June 08, 2020
What is up with this wacky weather - it's been chilly as winter, and wet as all other seasons. I hope we can at least have one month of dry, sunny weather.
Which is more doable - the $3500 McDonald's challenge, or Big Smoke's? I love to eat. I love food. I can eat a lot, and fit a lot in my stomache (don't need to be fat to eat a lot - just ask Matt Stonie haha). However, food challenge eaters or competitors do it for a living, can do crazy or insane challenges beyond belief. But as mentioned before - I'm sure they have a strict workout regimen or diet in between.
The WoW AWC Sunday - the NA region didn't start until 4:30 PM or so, thanks to dampening games. Perhaps split weekend by region.
Bao Nguyen's "Be Water" - high quality, genuinely authentic documentary on a legend. Accept no imitations, subsititutes or mediocrities.
Friday, June 05, 2020
Music knowledge pertaining to theory and other nuances can be picked up readily - formal education absolutely helps in terms having structure, and for anyone that needs that kind of structure. There are quite a few online musicians or pianists that are worth checking out. My top favorites include the VGP (Video Game Pianist) and Andrew Huang (Music Production / "Making Music Out Of Any Sound" Extraordinaire). Accept no substitutes or mediocrities.
As far as K-Dramas are concerned, I'll just have to list favorites in terms of categories. It's really too difficult to select an overall favorite or favorites, since the categories vary so much.
The AWC on Sundays - that can go all day, depending on dampening matches or games. Why not split weekends per region.
Thursday, June 04, 2020
The beauty in music can be seen in its simplicity, complexity, intricacy and subtlety. From a Rachmaninoff Concerto to a Liszt transcription. Or even in simple or easy repertoire in Pachelbel Canon or Khulau Sonatina. Sometimes, the complexity or the difficulty does not necessarily make a piece more beautiful or inspiring.
Having seen a lot of K-Dramas, I need to eventually do my top favorites in certain categories - Favorites overall, favorite thrillers, suspense, most villainous character, creepiest drama, etc.
Film review on "Mirai" forthcoming.
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
We already ran through our K-Drama marathon (one after another), and now must wait until more is uploaded. It's been fun watching one K-Drama after another - hopefully, there'll be new ones from other K-Networks, not just Netflix Originals. My top selection for the most creepiest and twisted - "Strangers from Hell" (well, it was at least different from the usual fare). K-Dramas based off of a webtoon is a crapshoot - it can work well, or completely fizzle. I think Strangers does work in that creepy, eerie sense (the way it was filmed), and Rugal as well in a way. There are other factors - dissatisfying finales (ones with no resolution or leaves a lot of question marks), extreme characters / personalities, etc. As far as dissatisfying finales go - "Vagabond" and "Hospital Playlist" tops that. The "Bad Guys" (both dramas) was ultra-violent but fun.
The table reads for both "FOTB" and "Kim's Convenience" was just as hilarious (if not more) as when their respective episodes first aired.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Between Sungwon Cho (aka ProZD), Chase Holfelder and Ricky Berwick - who did the "Take On Me" challenge the best? My vote is for Ricky Berwick "a"-hahaha. At first hearing, that jump sounds quite daunting (probably more than an octave jump, but guys such as the VGP or Andrew Huang can immediately tell or know I bet) - if you are a natural tenor, it might be possible. But might be quite a stretch for a baritone.
Has it been that long (not since 2011) since the last NASA manned shuttle launch? They call it SpaceX - never heard of it. I'm not surprised it was scrapped indefinitely back then, since several unfortunate disasters / accidents. Hopefully, they got their shit together.
I would probably put most of the blame on Youtube for the holdup on "Cobra Kai" S3. They might be reluctant or stubborn on certain negotiation points (or have demands of their own) in releasing the series, while the "Big Three" just want what's in the best interest for the series and its future. It makes sense in terms of business, but it's at the expense of fans unfortunately (having to wait another lengthy time period without any certainty of when). Youtube is notorious for censorship and stifling creative control / creatorship, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are playing bully in this sense. For any continued premium subscribers - you should have unsubbed and cancelled right after watching the season. Or contact your credit card provider about it.
Friday, May 29, 2020
Podcasts (either audio or video) have been the go-to activity during quarantine, and there are quite a few of them. Here are some of my recommendations:
GeniusBrain Podcast - unfortunate that J. Jitsukawa can no longer participate (some very relevant subject matters), but the squabbles and grievances from Mariel Song more than makes up for it haha.
Sung's Garage - mostly about cars, and car enthusiasts. Sometimes, they can go into different subject matters with different guests.
No Chaser - although the subject matter is usually irrelevant to me, there are hilarious ones (such as jerkin' off in the bathroom one haha)
Yang Speaks - subject matters or topics that should be relevant in today's decaying society.
Cobra Kai Kompanion - for the Cobra Kai or Karate Kid fan, interviews galore.
The Delta Flyers - I'm not a Trekkie, just a regular fan. But if you want juicy and hilarious tidbits and stories on the ST: Voyager set, have a listen.
Asian Enough - I just found this, good talk with Sung Kang. Hopefully, there'll be more.
How about a crossover show called "Fresh Off The 'Kims'" haha - well, there'll at least be a table read between casts.
I'm sure there are others to be found. I did find the episode with Daniel Dae Kim on the Darkest Timeline quite informative and funny.
Apparently, "Cobra Kai" S3 is switching platforms to either Netflix or Hulu. Now the question is - when. Another waiting period?
Do folks really have to get uncivil and barbaric to protest. Instead of rioting as a form of protest, how about trying to handle it with civility (signing petitions, marches or holding events, speaking out on social media, etc.). Petitions can be effective, although no guarantees.
Monday, May 25, 2020
I enjoyed reading this article from Justin Lin - he pulls no punches, and tells it like it is. You can never be "all outta 'fuckin's' to give" haha (whoever deserves it, deserves it):
And it makes it all the worthwhile to hear that Justin Lin never compromised his stance and beliefs to make the film his way. Otherwise, the breakthrough film of "BLT" featuring a spectacular story and ensemble of an Asian-American cast would never have happened.
Watching the WoW AWC on Youtube was only inconvenient in the sense that I experienced a lot of freeze ups or interruptions (non-stream videos run smoothly however) - had to continuously refresh or re-open the browser window. Plus, adjusting the video settings - Twitch is a bit better (their flaws are the shittier ads on there - which I close out the browser on).
It's the last of week of May. Perhaps news on "Cobra Kai" S3 on the 31st? Hopefully, something more than just "trailer coming out sometime this summer or fall" obscureness. Specifics, dammit!
Friday, May 22, 2020
I don't think I've heard from or seen Roger Fan since "BLT" - I'm pretty sure he's been very busy as well as the other BLT alumni - so, it was a pleasant surprise seeing him in Sung's "My Car Your Car" episode. Roger Fan - who played Darec Looh , the "mastermind" of the BLT gang and the anal retentive brother in "Ping Pong Playa" haha.
Film reviews should be forthcoming for "Everything Before Us" and "IWMYM" (when I have time to rent it).
Perhaps some more J.S. Bach for future recordings / videos.