Thursday, January 20, 2011

Housekeeping and "new" recordings

When I first started recording myself on the piano, I wasn't thinking about organization. I wasn't even thinking I'd want to listen to the recordings again, or share them with anyone -- they were just a learning tool for me. I am now paying the price for that in many gigabytes of poorly labeled audio files scattered about the hard drive. A few years into it, I did start saving them in one folder, with subfolders labeled with the date, but unless I felt a recording was a wrap, I didn't give it a name. Some of the recordings are just mistake-filled blunders -- valuable from the educational perspective, but not so much from the artistic one. But others are actually pretty good. I am now faced with the task of wading through everything and deciding what I can delete and what I should archive on a storage disk, which needs to be done before this poor computer cries uncle. Given that I have a full-time job plus I'm trying to actually practice the piano (and the cello) plus I have a life = Agghhh!!!

Anyway, I was looking at my list of Bach preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier that I placed on the blog and thinking that surely I learned, and recorded, more.

And sure enough, I came up with a few.

When one of my sisters got married in 1971, when I was 13, she asked me to play piano at the wedding. It was a sort of hip wedding at the Ethical Culture Society, with self-written vows and so on, so the music was simply to add a little atmosphere. My sister had been taking piano lessons at college as an elective, so she asked her teacher for some suggestions for music, and they came up with two of the easier Bach preludes. Prelude No. 23 was one of them. Of course I did not memorize it at the time, but over the years since then, I looked at it and wondered how it might be done, and especially how one might learn the fugue.

In 2008, I decided to wonder no more, and learned the set. This recording is the result.

The next one is from November 2006. No story attached, I just love it. I learned all of it, but I can find a recording only of the prelude:

Who knows what else I'll find in my rambles through the hard drive?

And if anyone out there has a suggestion for a good way to organize this stuff, please chime in!


Bill said...

This was a fun listen - I'm glad you posted these recordings. As an aside, I have been using YouTube as a repository for my recordings since they apparently have no limit to the number of videos you can post (I'm now up to 52).

I put them up not because I think they are any good, but it is a good way to track my progress as an adult self-learner. After I post the video I either archive it or erase it from my hard drive. It is also kind of cool to get random comments from folks - it is like putting a message in a bottle and casting it out to sea. Over 66,000 folks have subjected themselves to my piano musings - hard to believe. You might want to consider using YouTube as a way to store and share your (excellent) music.

Harriet said...

Bill, thanks for the comment. What is your YouTube ID? Maybe I could return the favor . . .