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A Dark Ending (Improvisation No. 6 for Julia)


by

UnderThePianoMan

 Genre: Piano

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Description
I have no idea why I get such "JOY" out of darker melancholy music, but I do. This would be one of those examples.
This is from a second Under the Piano session with Julia. The first session was fantastic, and she was so excited to get her recording of the session. Regrettably, I forgot to reduce the recording level when I recorded the session, and the whole thing was painfully distorted. There was one track in particular that resonated with her. The track was in b minor, a key I don't often choose. Sure enough, I chose b minor again during the 2nd session, and it too is the track she said made a exceptional connection with her. I have been playing around with b minor more often recently and it always seems to draw a dark creativity out of me or out of where ever in the universe such expression comes from. This is most certainly one of my darkest expressions in recent times.
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Song Stats
Hits: 2827
Comments: 32
Fans: 14
Plays: 182
Downloads: 90
Votes: 5
Uploaded: Jan 10, 2010 - 05:27:32 PM
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2010 - 05:32:00 PM Last Played: Jul 10, 2019 - 09:42:38 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Kawaii 5' 10" Grand Piano KG-2, Zoom Handy Recorder 4Hn
Software:
Audacity
Comments
crissew said 3506 days ago (January 10th, 2010)
b minor
and d minor are the most dark and ominous of the key signatures for me. In the hands of a great piano player like you, it does some serious damage. Such a bad to the bone piano tone, the best on MJ for sure. Amazing the sound you get out of the zoom recorder. Great job.
Check out my latest song called Runnin' On Empty
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
bad to the bone piano tone
I like that description! Fun - evocative. For me, e flat minor is pretty grim - that may be partially due to my memories of learning and performing Brahms' Intermezzo in e flat minor years ago - gorgeous and dark. Keep your ears open for my next upload. I've just spent $480 having my piano regulated (completed just this evening) and having all the hammers reshaped. I just recorded my first session and am revelling in the warmth and purity of the sound. It may be more obvious to me. I'll be curious to see if listeners hear the difference.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Feter said 3506 days ago (January 10th, 2010)
A Dark Ending
Dark mood is a natural color in life so sometimes
we do lean toward it sure the slow pace here and
the grand sound of the piano help so much to give
such depth very thoughtful and melancholy ......
very nice improvisation excellant vocation ...
thnx alot for sharin !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
slow pace
I like your thoughts. I do think, by and large, darker pieces are often slower and more expansive. There is room to breathe and merge into the soundscape. I'm making this all up, but I like it.

I'm seeing a new game emerging. When I upload a new piece, who is going to listen first - you or Charles? : )

I appreciate your listening tremendously.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
SmokeyVW said 3506 days ago (January 10th, 2010)
first impressions
i especially liked

1:35 through 1:55 - the melody tantalizes us, but then it vanishes like smoke

2:40 through 3:00 - goes to a hopeful major, but then drops back to a sad minor

around 5:00 to end - it just couldn't end in minor, could it?

wonderful

thanks
Check out my latest song called Farther
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
first impressions
Wow, the fact that you have identified specific moments in the piece has me getting just how carefully you are listening. Thank you!
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
kristyjo said 3506 days ago (January 10th, 2010)
Beautiful -
It also resonated with my feelings on a Sunday evening before the workweek begins, although it's not QUITE that dark at my job.
I love the quickening pace and the 'descent' at about 4 minutes.
Check out my latest song called How Far Is It to Bethlehem
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
work week begins
This was actually recorded on New Year's eve. Hope it's not resonating with what 2010 is bringing : ) Let's say it was more about the past year, which has been difficult for many, and the change to major near the end is a shift to what's to come in 2010.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
jiguma said 3506 days ago (January 10th, 2010)
Sadness and trepidation
I have very little theoretical knowledge of music, so am probably underqualified to comment here, but this sounds really good to me (in a sad way). Bill's "hopeful major" got me in too. This is just a beautiful listen Craig - very nicely written. Everyone says real pianos are very difficult to record, but you seem to have done a great job in that department as well.
Check out my latest song called Closing Down
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
little theoretical knowledge
Well it's an interesting question. Does having vast theoretical knowledge qualify someone to comment more than someone who does not (or thinks they do not). One can have a truck load of theoretical knowledge but be grossly deficient in "listening" experience. I think it really comes down to listening (with intent) to determine "qualification". Given that you've said such nice things - I'm saying you are qualified : )
But seriously, did you know that researchers have now proven that what it takes to be an expert at anything, including listening, is 10,000 hours of due diligence.

I see you have made 5623 coments on MacJams. That sounds like a whole lot of listening to me.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
magnatone said 3506 days ago (January 11th, 2010)
A Dark Ending
what beautiful, beautiful work Craig. you have such a touch! i love your chording sequences and gorgeously expressive playing. thank you!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
A Dark Ending
Thank you Karen. Always an honour to be listened to by you for sure. Why am I only now notcing you are in Seattle. We're practically neighbours. I was just in Seattle this past weekend actually.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
AndeeScott said 3505 days ago (January 11th, 2010)
amazing piano
How long you been playing for you bring so much emotion out of the piano. Really wish I had your piano skills maybe in another 10years lol.
Check out my latest song called For Dad - "Piano Improvisation"
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
How long have you been playing
I've been playing for about 38 years. We all have different pathways to find and develop our expression - sounds like you are already on to a pretty good one yourself.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Monkaton said 3505 days ago (January 11th, 2010)
Come Out from Under
As Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap once said, "B minor is the saddest of all the keys." And he should know.

Very good piece and well played.
Check out my latest song called Blue Tie
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
B minor is the saddest of all the keys.
For me, I'm thinking e flat minor. Thanks for listening. I've just been listening to and enjopying a couple of tracks over on your page - I have never heard of the genre "Shoegazer" - what distinguishes it from other genres?

Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Char said 3505 days ago (January 11th, 2010)
This
is definitely brooding. Very lovely. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Wow
I've just noticed that you've listened to 5 of my uploads - thank you. I love some of the imaginative and quirky stories you created about what some of the music means.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
jibes said 3505 days ago (January 11th, 2010)
b minor is fine
and it's a beautiful and touching performance. You do alright Craig. Your fade is a bit long but keeps me listening.
Check out my latest song called Jamie
UnderThePianoMan said 3505 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Your fade is a bit long
As a stand alone track that is definitely true. What you perhaps do not know, is that this track is part of a 45 minute continuous improvisation for a person lying under my grand piano. The decay of sound from Under the piano is beautiful, engaging and yet mesmerising from that vantage point. During the fade I am also creating in my mind what's next - what key, what mood etc.

Thanks for listening.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Jarvoid said 3504 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Some very
fine playing and improvisation,really impressive and enjoyable.Nice and bleak too,much enjoyed .

Cheers,Jarvoid.
Check out my latest song called Port Arthur Blues
UnderThePianoMan said 3504 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Nice and bleak
I love a good dose of "bleakness" on a regular basis. Thanks for listening and commenting.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
richard13 said 3504 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Wow Craig
This is amazing. It's really dark but not depressing. Beautifully played. I've downloaded it, thank you.
Check out my latest song called one last night with you
UnderThePianoMan said 3504 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
I've downloaded
I'm still new enough to this site to be excited when someone downloads a track I've posted. It's cool to know my music is out there expanding, even if to a small degree.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Sigmund said 3504 days ago (January 12th, 2010)
Dark Ending
Very well played, very expressive - lots of feeling and emotion. True, it is a melancholy piece, but with a few fragments of hope thrown in, including at the ending. And, even better the second time! Thank you, for sharing this piece with us.
Sig
Check out my latest song called Running with the Wind by Peter B, feat rok41
blindsidedpoets said 3503 days ago (January 13th, 2010)
A Dark Ending
So exceptionally glad this was plugged, would have missed it otherwise. Amazing work! "Don't you just love those big, fat chords" around 2:45 & 3:50 especially, because it's so sporadic and not overused... really highlights the passion.
Check out my latest song called Meaning Of
moorlandt said 3500 days ago (January 16th, 2010)
I second your emotion
on getting joy out of melancholy. I'm too un-technical too judge the b flat key choice, but my ears tell me it's a feast. Yes, sure, a pity about the slight distortion, but I can easily hear through it. A fav.
Check out my latest song called Free (remix)
Parichayaka said 3499 days ago (January 17th, 2010)
Contemplative? Reflective?
Immediately reminded me of Arvo Part's 'Fuer Alina'. May not be quite as restrained, but also has more dynamic energy and quite frankly may have a 'dark' feel but certainly doesn't feel hopeless or destructive (like some truly 'dark' compositions) as you resolve the tension a few times.

To me there is more of an unresolved theme, an internal struggle which seems to lose its grip towards the end. Very refined improvisation, and I can understand how this must be fun to play - it certainly is wonderful to listen to! Besides that kind of melancholy finds its most fruitful expression in music, it's not much good for anything else:) So thanks for posting this!
Check out my latest song called Expanse
UnderThePianoMan said 3499 days ago (January 17th, 2010)
Arvo Part

'Fuer Alina' - one of my favourite Part pieces. I'm honoured to be associated with both the piece and the composer. Interestedingly, one of my other compositions (not on this site yet) was compared to Part as well - I guess there is something in that.

I agree completely about "melancholy" not being much good for anything else other than music.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
Hickling_Stan said 3466 days ago (February 19th, 2010)
Mmmmm
kept me listening right to the end. It really creates a mood, an image, ( well several). It feels like I can almost hear you thinking where to go next. The whole thing just flows. Wonderful. Mark
Check out my latest song called Kings Cross 74 with DWL
sschedra said 3298 days ago (August 6th, 2010)
Just a hacker here,
But I can really appreciate someone who has the refinement of technique AND the freedom of mode and expression to just walk off into the Black Forest without a care. Just delightful stuff. And why apologize for the minor keys, most human emotion runs through the minor colors on a daily basis. My son-in-law never writes a piece in a major key??!!!
Great stuff here,
Stephen
Check out my latest song called Cheap Tricks (LSP2)
UnderThePianoMan said 3297 days ago (August 7th, 2010)
Why apologise for the minor keys?
Yes why. I have a story that too much doom and gloom is not liked by most people. But I really love minor keys. I think one of things I like about minor keys is that it makes the sound of "major" keys that much more uplifting. In the end I am an optimist.
Check out my latest song called Memory Drops
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Name: Craig Addy
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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