Pete and Joanna — In That Order    (2016Sep15)

Thursday, September 15, 2016                                        6:50 PM

A long and productive day—Pete came by, we recorded most excellent musical diatribes, but he had to cut our visit short and return to the world from whence he came. Then Joanna came by to see Pete—moments too late, very frustrating—but she and I had a pleasant visit, at least. This time I remembered to take a picture:

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Today’s posts bring my total YouTube uploads to 2,005. Of those, 59 are videos of Pete Cianflone and me, collaborating together on improvisations and song covers. The audio-cassette archives of our 20th-century recordings are lost in the mists of time—after many years of pursuing separate paths, we resumed our monthly journey together in January, 2014. It’s all on YouTube: Pete n’Me playlist

I’ll grant you, it’s an uneven catalog (always with the caveat that the problems are all mine—Pete’s a professional who’s nice enough to indulge me) but as we’ve gone along, Pete has figured out an impossible trick—drumming for a pianist with no sense of rhythm. He always makes me sound better than I sound by myself—it’s really something. Today’s videos are a perfect example—no matter how badly I mess up, Pete keeps things going.

 

 

 

Well, it’s been a very busy week. I think I’ll go back to bed for a few days.

Yes It Pours   (2016Aug17)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016                                           5:28 PM

Two months ago, when our daughter’s pregnancy (and on the west coast, yet) lurked in the back of my mind—and it still looked like we might get taken in by Trump’s big con—and I was smoking too much and doing too little—back then, I resumed my anti-depressant prescription. That’s how bad I got.

But a half-a-pill a day of that stuff really pole-axed me. Yes, I smoked a lot less, because a lot less of me was there—I was zombified. But the cutting back on smoking was good for me—I felt much better. The only trouble was that I wasn’t doing anything else, either—and I wasn’t upset about that. I was very far from upset about anything at all.

Now, if I had wanted to spend my life on drugs, I could do that all by myself—and with much fun-ner drugs. So I compromised—now I take a quarter of a pill every day—and only until October, when I will stop altogether, and see how it goes. There’s a reason I stopped taking them, after all, and if I can do without, I’d really prefer that.

So, back then, it wasn’t just raining anxiety—it was pouring. But now, with our brand-new, cute-as-a-button granddaughter, I’ve been inspired to play new piano improvs. Claire’s trip has inspired me to get out and do more—like doing my own shopping. The influx of baby pictures has given me lots of busy-work in photoshop, making them fit into my YouTube videos. I enjoy my playing more when I’m looking at photos of that beautiful baby instead of myself—I think it makes me sound better.

Then Pete came by today—Hooray! I was pretty disappointed with last month’s recording, because of the anti-depressants making me punchy and basically out-of-it. But we made up for it today.

We started with a request: “Jesu—Joy of Man’s Desiring” by J. S. Bach. (That’s two requests in August—for me it’s been a banner month for music.) I played it slow, so I would make less mistakes—but Bach is good that way—it’s still pretty, even slow.

Then we did a couple of jams back-to-back. That video is called “On A Wednesday Afternoon”. I enjoyed it much more than the title might suggest—I guess I was going for the ‘soft-sell’, there. No Pete Cianflone session would be complete without a bunch of weirdness in the video—blame it on Jessy—if she had sent me a bunch of baby-pictures, you wouldn’t even see us on the video.

Then Pete suggested we cover a Golden Oldie from the 60s, so we played “Let’s Live For Today”. Now, about “Let’s Live For Today”:

Songbook from “Great songs…” series, titled “of the Sixties – Volume 2″ gives the following credits:

“Let’s Live For Today”

Words and Music by Guido Cenciarelli, Giulio Rapetti and Norman David – © 1967 by BMG Songs, Inc.

But Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gives the following credits:

“Let’s Live for Today”

Writer(s): Michael Julien, Ivan Mogull, and David Shapiro.  “’Let’s Live for Today’ is a song initially recorded by the English band The Rokes in 1966. The song was later popularized by the American rock band The Grass Roots, who released it as a single on May 13, 1967.”

I leave that mystery to someone else to solve, but we had fun playing it—it’s not really a piano piece, but we made do.

The last bit of improv was bang-ish, so the video is called “Monstrous”. Pete said he might be able to come back next week, so we may get two sessions for August—who knows? We toasted the baby—well, I did, Pete doesn’t drink. A good time was had by all. I hope it’s as good to listen to. Enjoy.

As I was saying—new baby granddaughter, clearer mind, more piano music—and having more fun at the piano, baby-picture photoshopping, regular shopping… and it looks like there’s no need to worry about Hillary being elected—(but Vote anyway!) Suddenly, it’s not just raining good things, it’s pouring. Ah, life. That’s what I say. Ah, life.

Higglety-Pigglety   (2016May25)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016                                               12:21 PM

Pete’s late—looks like no jam today. And I just got my microphone working! Oh, well. Oh, wait—maybe he comes at one, instead of noon? I can’t remember—maybe he does. Damn this swiss-cheese brain of mine.

Well, Jessy is expecting—which is great. Spencer is working on historical fiction for gamers (I’m not really sure—something like that) and he asked me for some medieval music examples recently, for research—he’s started up gardening and mowing, now that spring has sprung—which is also great. And Claire—well, as usual, Claire is unbelievable—life-drawing classes almost every day, a watercolor painting-tutorial day at the Botanical Gardens recently, and a drawing class in Katonah once a week. (She’s really becoming a phenomenally able graphic-artist). And that’s all beside the daily (at least) trips to the gym—and her ongoing work on her resume for her dream-job. Plus, she takes care of me, Spencer, and the house (with her other hand—ha ha).

So, let’s see—Claire was a prize pianist and music student in her youth, raised two toddlers as a young adult, got her Bachelor’s in computers and worked for an online-encyclopedia company during her programmer phase, then took care of her dying husband so well that the bastard never died, then went for her Master’s in occupational therapy, got in shape with pilates, yoga, and the gym, started drawing lessons—and is about to get a new job in her new OT career, at the same time as becoming a new grandmother. Lazy—that’s Claire—she’ll be sixty in a couple of years—and what will she have to show for it? Some people.

I used to have a life—boy, those were the days—but that was so long ago I can hardly remember what it was like. Okay, it’s one-twenty now—even if Pete was coming at one, he’s late now—looks like no jam today. Guess it’s time to go watch TV. Damn. Well, there were new movies on the menu yesterday—I hope one of them is worth watching.

Son of a bitch—Pete’s here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016                                               6:20 PM

Okay, Pete came—we had a great session—then he had to go home—and I had a cheeseburger—now I’m just editing the video—and writing a blog about the political news of today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016                                               8:41 PM

Okay, the best thing in the new movie listings is Zoolander II—hardly inspiring, although I’ll probably watch it. Ben Stiller really makes me laugh—when he isn’t making me puke—I think his masterpiece, “There’s Something About Mary”, redefined the boundaries of good taste in a comedy film—and it’s something of a genre these days. I can take that stuff, up to a point, but my gross-out limit is a very low bar.

I’ve gotten my rough cuts of the jam session edited—three improvs and a medley of eight Burton Lane tunes. The first improv sounded to Pete like calypso music, but I thought it sounded more like I was having a fit, so I call it ‘Calypsis’.

The other two improvs came out real nice—me in my best voice, I felt. You decide. One, “Either Way”, is three minutes, the other, “Twilight of the Gourds”, is a minute and a half—but still, all told we got about 32 minutes of video for the day—not too shabby.

Let’s talk about our Burton Lane songbook-covers video—first and foremost, none of this is Pete’s fault—he just puts up with my eccentricities. And, yes, this is some pretty sloppy piano-playing. But there are some moments of interest—and we did have fun joking around. If it were just me, I’d probably have second thoughts about posting this—but with Pete there, it’s still pretty entertaining, most of it. So, listen, don’t listen—either way, you’re right.

Thursday, May 26, 2016                                          11:38 AM

Afterword:

Last night I had my choice—sleepless, or sleep with nightmares. I finally got a few hours of shut-eye, but now that I’m up, my back is killing me. Which all goes to show that I had more excitement and fun yesterday than this old carcass is prepared to deal with. That’s a bad thing, kinda—but it’s also a pretty good thing, if you think about it. It’s not like I don’t get occasional nightmares and backaches—without having any excuse at all—and a good day is a good day, regardless of tomorrow.

Rip Tide (2014Jul21)

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My new camera has been going gangbusters–but then my PC’s harddrive bit the dust! Five or six days without access to my programs and websites (like this one). This backlog was tremendous, but I’m nearly there–soon I’ll be living in the present again.

First off, there was a righteous jam session with my friend (and professional drummer) Pete Cianflone–

A Playlist of the complete session...

A Playlist of the complete session…

Then I had some hummingbird footage I lucked into from our garden–

 

Then I did some silly improvs–

and some silly song covers-

There’s some other stuff left over, but I didn’t have the peace of mind to do any writing or poetry or drawing (I get out of sorts when my system is down), so this will do for now.

Should I add some stills? Yeah, why not?:

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20140711XD-Neighbor_s_Flag(ReNewedPC (13)) 20140712XD-Rock_n_Stick-Zoomed(ReNewedPC (28)) 20140712XD-Cloud_w_Sunbeams-ZoomedIn(ReNewedPC (31)) 20140714XD-Nancy_s_Sculptr_by_Window(ReNewedPC (16)) 20140714XD-ReNewedPC (31) 20140714XD-ReNewedPC (27) 20140714XD-ReNewedPC (25) 20140713XD-ReNewedPC (5)

ttfn!

Session of Fools (2014Apr01)

Peter Cianflone came by on April Fools Day and here is the result, played on Piano, Bongos, and Assorted Tympani….

 

The Girl from Ipanema

The Girl from Ipanema

 

20140402-Pete_n_Me_Improv_No01(CreditsCARD)

April Fools Improv No. 1

 

April Fools  Improv No. 2

April Fools Improv No. 2

 

The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love

A Dish with Added Spice

This Improv, “Chili Con Carne”, was originally recorded on July 20th, 2013.

Phil Robertson of E-Studio Drummer was kind enough to record a drum track and mix it in.

For this revised video, I’ve chosen a sampling of my title-cards for listeners to watch as the music plays–please don’t be confused by the succession of titles.

I hope you like this:

 

XperDunn plays Piano Improv
“Chili Con Carne” (Originally recorded July 20, 2013)
(NEW!)
(with an added Drum Track
recorded and mixed by Phil Robertson
of E-Studio Drummer)