Saturday, July 20, 2019

Getting Tall

My rendition of “Getting Tall” was recorded more than five years ago, but at the time, as its digital size was within the parameters of BlogSpot’s own video capabilities, I embedded it in the blog entry with their software.  This rendered it unplayable on mobile devices which are now the primary way my blog and therefore posted videos are accessed.  Thus, I’ve put it on YouTube and this can now be seen and heard in this entry.

Originally I posted it at the same time as “One Song Glory” from the musical Rent and both videos were a departure for me for reasons I explained in the former entry:

“Unlike the other videos I’ve done its close up.  This is not because I’m wild about my hands.  After all, they are, together, 142 years old! : - ).  But the sound was better with my little digital camera nearer to the piano. ‘One Song Glory’ is a genre outside my traditional classic Broadway comfort zone.  In other words, it doesn’t come naturally to me, but sometimes we have to forge into new territory.”

I continued with “the musical structure of ‘Getting Tall,’ from the musical Nine, on the other hand (no pun intended), is closer to the traditional Broadway musical, so I’m more relaxed playing this piece….’Getting Tall” is a very evocative conceit, the younger self counseling the mature version of the same person.”
Learning more, knowing less,
Simple words, tenderness part of getting tall.

Hopefully, that tenderness comes across….”

On a related matter, I received a comment on my recording of “This Funny World” which I’ll share here. I don’t get many comments as my videos are not heavily trafficked as are so many of the professional ones, but it’s always pleasing to learn that the tree is not falling in a silent forest and there are some people who come forth to express their feelings.  This one is particularly appreciated for the reasons I expressed in my reply:

From “Tom”
I was looking around for the song “This Funny World” by Rodgers and Hart; I had remembered the song from the past and thought how poignant and in many ways also how true the words seem to be.  These words as well as the music begins a chain of events causing a sharp sense of sadness, pity, and regret, and still a realization that life’s journey for everyone,-- to one degree or the other,--  have to say that this funny world has been making fun of them. But I wanted to learn the song and of course put into you-to-bee “How to play (This funny World) and this wonderful looking keyboard came up with a pair of hands on it, I thought to myself --  ok let’s see how bad this guy messes up the song, but to my surprise and delight I could sit through the entire song and drink in every beautiful note and expression, nothing added nothing subtracted it actually was what I was looking for, you have an extraordinary ear and the ability to present the song just as the writers intended.   Thank you.

My Reply:
Thank you, Tom, for your kind comments.  You touched upon both my strength and weakness as a pianist.  I do try to focus on a literal interpretation and play the song as I feel it.  I lack the musical education to render these songs with the kind of voicing and interpretation of some of my favorite pianists such as Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson.  But over the years I tried to commit some of my favorites to YouTube.  I laughed when you said that you found a pair of hands and a keyboard in your search for the song.  My recording device is a digital camera which I’ve learned that when I record a distance from the piano to get my body and all into the video, my living room becomes an echo chamber.  Better be close, very close to the piano for the best sound and, even then, it has noticeable limitations. I’ve recorded 4 CDs in a studio and these sound better, but they are not available commercially.  Also, when I do a YouTube recording, I usually write it up in my blog, and my entry on “This Funny World” is at this link: