Monday, August 25, 2008

Holding pattern

Sorry for the radio silence here at AW2PP. Hopefully you haven't gone and become addicted to some other "I'm learning to play piano" blog. There are lots of quality players in the genre, to be sure.

You may recall that we're building a new house, one big enough for Sue's folks and our family of six. (And no more.) You may also recall that for many moons now, we've been targeting August 22 as our closing date. You may then be unpleasantly surprised to hear that August 22 came and went, and we did not close. Two words: lender approvals. It's apparently a bleak new world out there for underwriters, who are just itching to reject applications these days, even those (like ours!) with enthusiastic pre-approvals. Here's hoping that our new target closing date (this Friday, August 29) does not slip.

In between packing boxes watching Sue pack boxes (she's very good at it, takes pride in her skills, and even, egad, seems to enjoy it), I have been:

  • Moving packed boxes to our staging area, formerly known as the garage.
  • Making meals.
  • Turning on new shows for Rowan, who seems to be developing a hearty love for television. She is particularly fond of the Backyardigans, even though she's nowhere near being able to pronounce "Backyardigans". Which, as is often the case for the just-turned-two-year-old, doesn't stop her from trying. Hey, we understand her.
  • Watching as much Olympics as I possibly can.
  • Getting updates from our mortgage broker, and providing requested documentation.
  • Sitting down at the bench and getting many short, focused repetitions on Ombre.
With Ombre, I am roughly at the same place as I was with Limbo when I snatched and posted that clip about a month ago. Which is to say, while I can make it through the whole thing, I consistently struggle with a couple of passages. One in particular is the second instance of the triplet quarter notes (see measure 69)... I've accidentally gotten that right maybe a couple of times, but that's because I wasn't paying attention. I can't do that triplet correctly on purpose. I've yet to make an entirely clean run through Ombre. And I haven't paid as close attention to dynamic and tempo markings as I should. While I tinker with those items, and continue to polish Limbo, my wandering mind has already moved on to the next piece. But which would that be?

The candidates are Stella del Mattino, Tracce, and I Due Fiumi. The first two are pieces that were recommended by Josh, a professional pianist over at the Einaudi forums. They gently introduce techniques and patterns that are reused in other, more sophisticated Einaudi pieces. I Due Fiumi is a very interesting, albeit lengthy piece that our own sawtooth has worked on, and recommended. I played all three of these on the iPod for Sue, and we talked through them.

Tracce first. We decided it was very serious. And in some ways, reminiscent of the first two Einaudi pieces I have learned. I'll probably learn it some day, but it's time to break things up with something lighter. Fortunately enough, Stella fits the bill there nicely, with light, repeating patterns that supposedly sound harder to play than they really are. And while we liked I Due Fiumi too (perhaps that will be next?), Stella won out with its (her?) light, happy mood, and comparative brevity.

So, as is my custom, have a listen for yourself. Go ahead, it's only 2 and a half minutes.

Stella del mattino - Ludovico Einaudi

I'll try to recover from my recent posting slump with more frequent, albeit briefer posts. Upcoming topics (as usual, this is for my benefit as much as yours, I might forget otherwise):

  • Jason's update - His teacher (that would be Jillian) graded his exam and recital.
  • A comment on Olympic volleyball
  • Closing / moving pictures and updates (let's hope)
  • More baby pics
  • Costco and Digital Pianos

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