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THOUGHTS OF A CLASSICAL PIANIST: My Classical Piano Blog


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Reflections And Thoughts....The JYS Blog



Friday, November 27, 2020

What a feast, what a treat - that's Thanksgiving or Turkey Day haha. Although we could not all gather together this year, it was enjoyable and delicious as always for whoever we spent it with.

From comedian Henry Cho's facebook, talk about a Throwback, it's "Revenge of the Nerds III". What I remember about that film - Hex Week! (or was it Heck Week?). The picture below is a representation of Nerds of all races and gender. Pure diversity. Although the Revenge of the Nerds films were mostly about caricatures, or sort of like a parody on stereotypes as well.




Tuesday, November 24, 2020

I enjoyed Sungwon Cho's rendition of "Snow Halation" via Goofy's voice. In that event, it could be seen sort of as a parody haha. Still, added to my playlist.

I'm looking forward to J.S. Bach's Sinfonia No. 15 - the final Invention, but that's further down the road - eventually. It's a bit different. But before that, some others first.

RIP Pat Morita's 15th anniversary.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Video Game Pianist doing marathon streams - 11 hour video stream? Well, it's very interactive for any members or subscribers so there is a lot of that. It's also didactic - meaning that he gives some lessons or tips on playing. They are good advices for sure - but you also want to hear from as many as established instrumentalists or pianists as you can. For me, the other is maestro Lang Lang.

We're all anticipating Jeremy Lin's plan for his future - so far, there has been absolutely nothing (just rumors and such). Not even a new article from Jlinportal. Some of us are becoming anxious - perhaps because there is nothing else. Oh - other than a new trailer for "Cobra Kai" S3, perhaps next month.

It might be time to upgrade my video graphics card.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Just as music (classical music or otherwise) has therapeutic or healing properties (other than just being immersive and eternal), so does laughter or humor. Especially watching a reaction video of a humorous Ricky Berwick PS5 video (oh yeah - the real movement begins in '24 - join the "Berwick Bunch" haha). I never had a laughing fit such as the other day, holy crap.

The Video Game Pianist has been doing frequent streams or playing these days, it's catch-up time. I've been immersed in other things to take notice unfortunately. But with the lack of interesting podcast subjects these days, it's time to turn elsewhere (such as repeat listenings of either old podcasts or live stream music such as the VGP).


Thursday, November 12, 2020

I'm glad to hear that mixing is done for F9 - Justin Lin just updated his social media (a rarity of course). I'm curious as well whether we'll get another trailer.

It has to absolutely be nerve-racking to perform next to J.S. Bach's tomb or grave. But the acoustics are sure glorious - it would make any performer envious haha. Lang Lang's concert next week - if you have the budget to purchase the online concert, go for it.

Beethoven can get powerfully intense as well as grand. In contrast and with a temporary break, I uploaded a quick Fugue in G Major from J.S. Bach. It is a warm, light melody, and most melodies like that seem to be in the key of G. Sometimes, pieces with an odd-ball, dissonant melody that seem distant and somber are necessary as well. More thoughts later, but it seems J.S. Bach composed it all.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

My wish list for xmas (what I would possibly get if possible):

Jeremy Lin's J-Lin One Xtep shoes
Ricky Berwick's Cripple Fresh hoodie
New smart / mobile phone (probably most realistic since I need to replace / upgrade it eventually)

Most listened to podcast / music recently:
Lang Lang's commentary / insights into his "Goldberg Variations" recordings
The Delta Flyers podcast (weekly - top episodes to be listed later)
Sung's Garage (Bao Nguyen - "Be Water") / Asian Enough w/ Sung Kang (until Apple removed it)


Sunday, November 08, 2020

Lazy Sunday's repeat podcast of the day listen: Sung's Garage with Bao Nguyen on "Be Water".

When stations are already playing Christmas music, you know the holiday season has begun, sort of. I'm always used to the season beginning after Thanksgiving, but I guess it's never too early for some.

Jeremy Lin and his facial expressions haha. Josh Fan has his work cut out for him.


Saturday, November 07, 2020

It's Beethoven's 250th - this is the year of the Beethoven, but I can't get enough of J.S. Bach's "Goldberg Variations" (the docu-series from Lang Lang and his recordings). It's fortuitous I guess that I just began to re-focus on his Piano Sonata's awhile ago. I still need to finish up No. 15 (one of my favorites), and another one (to be decided). Whether it's a Symphony, Concerto or a Sonata - have a listen to any performer on this day.

I am absolutely certain that there a lot of unheard or unknown pianists that the establishment does not showcase (most of them might be up-and-coming, from Lang Lang's foundation, on Youtube, etc.). This is the time for them to be heard. In a way, this pandemic and quarantine life might be helpful to cultivate more talents to emerge (the unheard minority that the biased establishment or status quo would never showcase). Of course, pandemics are never a good thing (hopefully, we can return somewhat to normalcy in the near future, but things are never going to be the same it appears).

Watching stills, images, clips of Justin Lin's "Warrior" S2 - from Dustin Nguyen's social media or Jason Tobin's social media. It certainly makes me want to subscribe to Cinemax just for that heh. Unfortunately, there is no room in our budget for premium channels.


Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Taco Tuesday is far more important fo'sho'. I'd prefer to wait until '24, when it should be the "Berwick Bunch" vs. the "Yang Gang" haha. And that's how we all became the Berwick Bunch - by purchasing the Berwick / Blue Mouse puppet bundle haha.

I'm glad to hear Justin Chon's "Blue Bayou" is going to be getting a theatrical release next summer. Around the time when F9 is going to release I'm surmising.


Sunday, November 01, 2020

I must have listened to that commentary and insights on all 30 "Goldberg Variations" from Lang Lang countless times now - always informative, and you learn things you didn't before. And it'll be fixture on my playlist to listen to (as with other relevant podcasts). For now, it's been few and far between (almost non-existent these days) as far as worthwhile podcast subject matters to listen to on Lazy Sundays. It's been repeats for me. C'mon, D-So. How about more one-on-one's with Mariel or "sittin' on da toilet" issues haha.

I heard filming on "Shang-Chi" wrapped or completed recently, and kudos to Simu Liu and the crew. I'm looking forward to watching that as well.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

What a treat - a commentary and insights into all 30 "Goldberg Variations" performed and recorded by maestro Lang Lang. Have a listen:

https://www.wqxr.org/story/lang-lang-and-goldbergs/


To play J.S. Bach authentically, it is imperative to learn Baroque style of playing. And I'm always an advocate for authenticity. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me because I've been stuck playing just one style or just familiar with only one style (in the era of Chopin, Beethoven, etc.).

The "Cobra Kai" video game. Why is it only on Nintendo Switch or am I missing something here. Put it on PC, and I'll try it out - as Nate Oh haha.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Some more "Minari" film news. Let's hope that it becomes true:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/minari-star-steven-yeun-could-become-first-asian-american-best-n1244593


Also, check out Justin Chon in "Coming Home Again". I saw the trailer, and it's definitely worth checking out. Gotta love authentic, character-study type films.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

I love the slogan or phrase for Jeremy Lin's xtep shoes - "Nothing Stops Me". It is an extremely important attitude to have when anyone faces frequent adversity, discrimination / racism, and any obstacles (in particular for Asian-Americans). If you are self-assured and confident, you should no longer feel that it is necessary to look for or seek validation. If they come, they come. If not, then not.

I'm looking forward to watching "Over The Moon" and "Minari". Steven Yeun should have received more recognition for "Burning" and "Mayhem" - two great films in their own right.

Recent K-Drama favorites - Missing: The Other Side, Memorist, The Game: Toward Zero

More Beethoven to come - a Piano Sonata is not a Piano Sonata without all three movements. But each movement can be a standalone piece in their own right.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

It's been awhile, but D-So's recent GeniusBrain podcast featuring Anthony Lee. I'm curious as to how the conversation went from dance beef to who used to be fatter haha. Let's put it to rest - both of you were fat, and you are still fat somewhat haha.

I am not familiar with the dancing scene, especially with the Jabbawockeez (the originators - I have heard of them. Not so much with Kinjaz). But gotta love the casual, no-holds-barred conversation talking about being fat and food haha.


Friday, October 16, 2020

I always enjoy or am intrigued by what Andrew Huang finds in terms of weird or unusual devices or musical tools. Which is creepier - "Violin" Andrew or CGI Andrew in his "Sparkle Mountain" music video hahaha.

It seems that a musician or artist these days has to be extremely cautious or weary in regards to payouts when it comes to uploading on platforms such as Spotify. You never know where the money goes to or might go to - shit or crap that you would never listen to for example.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

I'm certain maestro Lang Lang is going to be a good father. For sure, they'll be a very musical family - perhaps the next Lang Lang is going to be his own. Classical music is for everyone, and education is very important in terms of sharing and familiarizing what is out there. Already there are a lot of up-and-coming young musicians or pianists out there. May the influence and music of J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart and L.v. Beethoven (or the big three) flow.


Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Dustin Nguyen and Jason Scott Lee are considered modern day Asian-American pioneers (Have a listen to Sung Kang on "Asian Enough" - they were his role models as well growing up). Jason most recently starred in the live-action "Mulan" (yet to be released), and Dustin Nguyen is appearing in the second season of Cinemax hit series "Warrior". I haven't heard from Dustin Nguyen in awhile, but here's a recent article about the show and his character:

https://deadline.com/2020/10/dustin-nguyen-warrior-season-2-21-jump-street-asian-hollywood-diversity-inclusion-representation-1234589565/


I lost track of Warrior when Cinemax was bought out - I thought that might be the end of it. But there could be a third season. Unfortunately, I do not have that channel nor many of us can even think about subscribing to premium channels due to our tight budgets. The new trailer for the second season is absolutely juicy and badass.


Tuesday, October 06, 2020

I'm definitely trippin' for Jay Chou's "J-Style Trip". Delicious eats and magic tricks - that's a nice combo haha. Although you can theorize or guess how various illusions or tricks are done, it spoils the fun for sure. Jay Chou - musician, magician and chef extraordinaire. Add photography to his repertoire.

I'll take a pass on the Travis Scott McDonald's meal - if that induces a "What-A-Dookie" moment haha. You gotta feel sorry for the toilet.


Saturday, October 03, 2020

Testify, Jeremy Lin. The Jeremy Lin story as well as Maestro Lang Lang's story are two of the most inspiring stories out there - there is nobody else these days. I highly recommend watching or listening to Jeremy Lin's 2020 "Faith Over Fear".

Also, check out the trailer for the highly anticipated "Minari". I'll be sure to watch that.

For me - S1 "Ace Degenerate" S2 - "Take a Right"


Friday, October 02, 2020

It is on - Cobra Kai S3 (01/08/21) and S4 announced. How about a full trailer next.

My next recording might be Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 15 (re-upload / re-record). The difference between performing and recording are obvious - you can do different takes when recording, but in a live performance or recital, you cannot. If I do not get to Schubert first that is. It is a continuous learning experience, in terms of refining and learning / interpreting a piece of music.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I enjoyed Maestro Lang Lang's mini-documentary on the "Goldberg Variations" - saved the videos in a playlist. It was informative, and I've become a believer - that this J.S. Bach piece is the ultimate piece in piano repertoire. It's not that I can tackle all thirty variations anytime soon, albeit just a few heh.

Jeremy Lin's xtep shoes releasing at the end of October - I'm curious as if it'll be available to order right away. I've never been one to buy clothes - never really gave a shit about buying clothes at all (unless absolutely needed). But it would be cool to have, or an outright fashion statement heh. Jeremy Lin is certainly gettin' into the world of fashion - Jeremy "The Model" Lin (would be a nice nickname haha).


Friday, September 25, 2020

Back in the day, it was Sega vs. Nintendo when it came to console wars. It was Raw vs. Nitro in the Wrestling ratings war. There isn't anything else that remotely comes close to competitive rivalries like that these days, unfortunately.

On my wish list to get (if not outright support) - Jeremy Lin's new Xtep shoes, Ricky Berwick "Cripple Fresh" hoodie or Tongue Tee (winning a Xidax PC would be nice haha), a new Smartphone. My outdated model has a battery re-charge rate of 1% for every 5 minutes it seems. Dayum.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Kudos to Daniel Dae Kim for deciding to participate in the House Judiciary Committee on "Diversity in Media" - especially for Asian representation and rights. I think speaking up in any shape or form is helpful. It's a no-brainer that condemning racism and discrimination against Asian-Americans and other Asians is a must. Our society is still littered with terrible human beings who think otherwise, but it's ok - they are a lost cause who are becoming less influential in this modern era and are wrinkling up, from an ancient relic of the past long gone: just let time pass by until they no longer exist.

My first "Yang Speaks" podcast listen - Wrestling vs. Politics.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

I've been always curious myself as to why pop music is so fixated on just one note (never knew that - thanks Andrew Huang) albeit a few notes, other than running out of ideas on melodic lines or just musically inept. Right - all you need is just a funky rhythm, beats and just lyrics that you can identify with. Creating catchy or melodic songs these days are becoming very difficult (if not really possible anymore), since it's been all done - been there, done that. It's one of them - where did I hear that before type of deals. It's transitioning into just catchy rhythms or beats it seems.

Who is the greatest composer - that is very much a matter of opinion, in my opinion. For the everday listener or casual pianist like myself, it certainly is a matter of opinion / taste. The Big Three of J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart and L.v. Beethoven fit the bill in many ways. However, I think anyone at the concert level (or at least knows more in-depth about the various composers and their music), I think there might be a definitive answer - but that can be up for debate as well.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Mr. Diaz in da house - exclusively on live stream with CKK. "It's not lame-ass karate, it's Cobra Kai".


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Selecting a favorite piece from a repertoire is tough - I'll have at least two or three. Or they'll change once you find a new piece that is even more inspiring or moving. I'm not familiar with all thirty Goldberg Variations to say which is my favorite - but the selections from Maestro Lang Lang's online performances are spectacular indeed. Right now, it's J.S. Bach's BWV 876, Rachmaninoff's "Moments Musicaux" #1, Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 15 (a plan for a re-record or new record), Mozart's Piano Sonata K. 533 second movement. More thoughts later on my Classical Piano Blog.

I am working on more J.S. Bach (BWV 864, 875) - it's always helpful to begin with pieces from the composer. Other pieces become easier. Right now, the next uploads should be Liszt.

Aaron Takahashi's kid is lookin' more and more like him haha.

An additional "Stay Safe" for all west coasters - the current wildfires raging throughout, and the smoke hazard. It might be easy to think that this is the beginning of the end, but perhaps it is also just a warning for future extreme climate or weather changes.


Saturday, September 05, 2020

Upon the release of Lang Lang's "Goldberg Variations" album of J.S. Bach, he has treated us with an online performance of several Variations with explanations. I could've sworn Variation 26 was his favorite, not 25 haha. But then again, both could be. Thirty variations is indeed daunting, it's like performing or playing thirty pieces. The approach is certainly important - giving each one a different personality, but at the same time not straying too far from its original intent. It can keep your mind fresh and into the music.

Favorite "Cobra Kai" quotes of S1 (after re-watching it on Netflix):

"I see losers, nerds, and a fat kid with his tits popping out" haha
"Whatever, dawg" (my credo with a lot of irrelevancies)


Wednesday, September 02, 2020

The odds of winning giveaways are similar to winning a lottery I reckon. We could all use a bit of luck in our lives - so far, haven't really experienced that. With that said, wouldn't it be just awesome to have a new Xidax gaming system (or especially winning one). C'mon, Ricky Berwick - use more of that tongue of yours, and give us a greater discount.

Andrew Huang's "Sparkle Mountain" is a refreshing, new beat - stylish, unique and just a creative song. But I have to say that the CGI characters of himself and others in his video are a bit creepy to say the least. It goes back to Sid Phillips in "Toy Story" - CGI characters have never been the same.

"Cobra Kai" has proven that it is the "best around" on Netflix. Congrats on being #1.


Friday, August 28, 2020

"Cobra Kai" on Netflix has begun. It's worth binge watching again.

I've been re-visiting and working on some Franz Liszt pieces. Looking forward to them for sure.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

It's been awhile since we hiked a new trail or area - several years or so. It feels refreshing again to get out and enjoy the landscape.

Cobra Kai on Netflix begins in two days. Unfortunately, S3 was revealed to release in 2021 (early we hope). At least give fans a trailer in a month or two (as compensation for the long-ass wait). Although we appreciate the teaser at the end of the official trailer (which was a pleasant surprise), a full trailer soon might appease fans' outrage and frustrations. It's understandable, but at the same time - you cannot blame the Big 3. It has always been the platform that's been calling the shots - even any misleading info conveyed is their fault. In the end, it's all a business decision and strategy to expand the fanbase or audience. Wouldn't I do the same or something similar? Probably - but I'd compromise at the same time. I think 2021 is too far and vague at this point.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

When it comes to Anime, it is slim pickin's for sure (almost nonexistent) on Netflix. I'd definitely be up to watch some of Sungwon Cho's favorite anime films on his list - including "Tokyo Godfathers". They should at least upload some Miyazaki or Otomo (subber for life). Which is why finding shit to watch online is worthwhile if you have a laptop connector.

Once more information on the Randall Park / Daniel Dae Kim heist project comes to light, I'll have more thoughts on the Film Forum page.

I recommend maestro Lang Lang's "Journey of a Thousand Miles" autobiography - it's the only hard copy book I keep (and re-read or re-skim through). From set backs to winning competitions, from a strict teacher to a very strict father. To performing any or all virtuosic repertoire at a very young age. It is an inspiring story of success and a life of suffering. The meditative journey is just a snippet or excerpt of it.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

I'm absolutely going to rent / watch this - Randall Park and Daniel Dae Kim head-lining a film about a heist for Amazon Studios. It's another step in the right direction for Asian-American representation and visibility. The endeavor and support never ends - it is always the beginning. Never be satisfied and complacent, and alway strive for more.

It goes without saying, it always helps to seek advice or learn from as many styles as possible whatever the endeavor might be. You can incorporate your own as well when the fundamentals are mastered. I only choose the style I enjoy the most, but there are always new ways to pick up things or learn from others.

I'm grateful for HDMI connectors - since Netflix, Amazon and other platforms are limited in what they provide. Most of the worthwhile content are online, not necessarily on what the given platforms provide or upload.


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