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A Mostly Scriabin Set (w/ Wagner)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by aryobrand, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. aryobrand

    aryobrand New Member

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    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    By way of introduction, I had been working for some time on a complete concert set to post here as my audition to the site. Unfortunately when I listened back to the recordings I had made, only five of the original sixteen were releasable. Since I'm currently in transition with most of my recording equipment now packed in storage, I instead went through what recordings did pass my standards for release, and chose enough that met my personal criteria to make up a set worth listening to. Unfortunately, I'm still unsatisfied with most of these recordings (being the perfectionist that I am).

    Taking all of the previous into consideration, I've decided to submit the following MP3's for posting, spurred on by the fact that I probably won't have leisure to make any more recordings for at least another couple of years. Nevertheless, the order in which I've placed these is more or less chronological.

    1. Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwaenen (Richard Wagner)
    All the rest are by Alexander Scriabin
    2. From 9 Mazurkas Op. 25, Nr 2
    3. (same) Nr. 3
    4. (same) Nr. 7
    5. (same) Nr. 8
    (eventually I'll post the entire opus if I'm accepted on the site)
    6. From 2 Mazurkas Op. 40, Nr 2
    7. From 3 Morceaux, Op. 45 Nr 1 - Feuillet d'album
    8. From 3 Morceaux, Op. 49 Nr 3 - Reverie
    9. From 4 Morceaux, Op. 51 Nr 4 - Danse languide
    10. From 4 Pieces, Op. 56 Nr 3 - Nuances
    11. 2 Morceaux, Op. 57 Nr 1 - Desir
    12. (same) Nr 2 - Caresse dansee

    Any comments or constructive criticism would be appreciated. I have also prepared a biography of myself, but will wait until I know if I have been accepted into the Piano Society before posting it; at which time I would need instructions on where and how to post it.

    I hope you all enjoy these works. I've certainly enjoyed working on them.

    [Attachments - 12]

    Love is the law, love under will.
    Michael D Karr (Aryobrand)


    Wagner - Ankunft bei den schwarzen Schwänen
    Scriabin - Mazurka in C Major, Op. 25, No. 2
    Scriabin- Mazurka in E minor, Op. 25, No. 3
    Scriabin - Mazurka in F-sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 7
    Scriabin - Mazurka in B Major, Op. 25, No. 8
    Scriabin - Mazurka in F-sharp Major, Op. 40, No. 2
    Scriabin - 3 Morceaux, Op. 45, No. 1 "Feuillet d'album
    Scriabin - 3 Morceaux, Op. 49, No. 3 "Reverie"
    Scriabin - 4 Morceaux, Op. 51, No. 4 "Danse languide"
    Scriabin - 4 Morceaux, Op. 56, No. 3 "Nuances"
    Scriabin - 2 Morceaux, Op. 57, No. 1 "Desir"
    Scriabin - 2 Morceaux, Op. 57, No. 2 "Caresse dansee
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello Michael,

    Welcome to Piano Society. I am Monica, and I must say, this is the funniest photo I've seen here on Piano Society. Your timing is good since Halloween is right around the corner. :wink: (except, I'm also wondering if I should be afraid?) What do the medieval letters say? Or are they Wiccan? And is that the piano you recorded on?

    I have listened to a few of your recordings - your playing is very nice, and I really enjoyed all those Scriabin pieces. So, yes - you have passed the audition, and you can either post your bio up here on this thread, or email it to either me or techneut (Chris).
     
  3. aryobrand

    aryobrand New Member

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    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Hello Monica, et al:

    Thank you for your comments on my Scriabin recordings. Yes, indeed that is the piano that I recorded on, it is also the piano that my grandmother gave me when I was six upon which I began first learning piano. It is a Schirmer upright and my guess is that it was built in New York sometime in the first half of the 20th century, around 1950-ish. For the recording I hung two AKG Perception microphones over the G's above and below middle C. A Perception 420 omnidirectional for the lower register and a Perception 170 cardioid for the treble. Using external microphones about six to eight inches from the strings was the only way I could capture the subtleties of tone that I desired. This greatly improved the recording through my Roland Edirol R-09.

    As for the "medieval letters", they're actually Angelic from the system of ceremonial magic of the English Elizabethan mages Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly. According to Dee and Kelly they're the language that is spoken by the angels and the alphabet was given to them directly from the angels they had conjured. Most people either aren't aware of the fact or deny that they have an uncanny resemblance to Ethiop, although I'm not sure whether Dee and Kelly had any knowledge of Ethiopian culture as well - simply a mystery. The tablet pictured is known as the Tablet of Union since it brings forth the union of the four elements Air, Water, Earth and Fire - each on a line of five characters one below the previous. Translated into English letters they would spell:

    EXARP
    HCOMA
    NANTA
    BITOM

    Well, I seem to have drifted a bit off topic, but I hope that answers your questions; and I don't think you have ANYTHING to be afraid of - especially since your welcome into the Piano Society has made my day!!! :D My bio is posted below. Thank you again!

    Love is the law, love under will.
    Aryobrand

    Bio starts below:

    After coming into this incarnation under the shadow of Mount Shasta, California in '66, Michael D Karr began playing piano at the age of 6. His first lessons were with Mary Jane Motter who brought him up through the basics with heavy emphasis on the exercises of Czerny. His playing was confined at that time to elementary pieces of Clementi, Bach, Beethoven, and Grieg.

    In elementary school, he added elementary voice training and began studying the E-flat alto saxophone where he achieved the first chair in the Honor Bands. During this period he also began to explore the harmonies of Prokofiev and Chopin. As his studies progressed he eventually left off playing classical music entirely, and instead began exploring the forms of the rock music of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, UFO and The Beatles - and psychedelics. In high school he formed a band with other musicians (Gino Lopes-bass, Steve Pitts-drums, and Mike Miller-guitar ("Michael Miller Crusade") and they named their short-lived band "Prophet", taking the name from the Prophet line of synthesizers which he used in his performances. Around this time he also began using Rhodes electric pianos as well. It was during this phase of his development that he attended his first opera, "Lucia di Lammermoor", and began studying jazz improvisation techniques under Jerry Murphy ("The Jerry Murphy Quartet"), examining the jazz tonalities of Thelonius Monk and the virtuosity of Oscar Peterson.

    During his later years of high school, he again broadened his horizons with the exploration of choral music, Broadway show tunes, madrigals and vocal jazz ensembles, gaining immensely from the teachings of Fred Weber, a teacher who has been honoured many times for outstanding musicianship and teaching from places such as the Berkeley School of Music. Michael could be heard hammering out show tunes and jazz in his lunchtime jam sessions with Ron Mesa who is still providing the world with "A New Set of Standards".

    In his early years at U.C.Berkeley, he began to explore other forms of classical composition including Bartok and Scriabin, Pachelbel and Monteverdi, Wagner and Verdi; tracing the history of music through Gregorian Chants, Minnesingers, Madrigals, and Opera. At times he would sink into the Silence of John Cage, or reluctantly pluck and bow on his reproduction-Stradivarius. During his travels within the United States (San Francisco/Berkeley, Boston, New York, New Orleans), he began entering the paths of Magick and Mysticism - immersing himself deeper into the realms of unorthodox tonalities and notations, including his own developments into the system of Scriabin's Mysterium and Aleister Crowley's initiatory system of Magick. It was at this time that he began to develop his own still-unpublished original systems of writing, musical notation, and tonal analysis. After publishing a book of his poetry and artwork, he began to develop the odd and unusual habit of painting, never using brushes - only knives.

    He quickly tired of the North American continent, and began traveling the world in earnest, taking up residence in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, and many other points in between. While in Italy he began casually studying percussion techniques as well, including Bongos. In those days, he could have been seen hanging out in various clubs, bars, and recording studios with jazz musicians from the Montreaux circuit and Ceremonial Magicians within the Parisian back-alley Blues-bars, and rock musicians in the hash-cafes of Amsterdam. His public performances were eventually abandoned entirely to focus upon his own individual growth. He began for the first time to dabble in the music of Rachmaninov, Brahms, Bach, and Sibelius; as well as plunge into the depths of C.G.Jung's archetypes.

    After many years and speaking many tongues, he returned to the United States to continue his formal studies at U.C.Berkeley - only this time he occupied himself with the sciences of Astrophysics, Mathematics, and Chemistry. He also took his first step down the road of Stanislavski's Method under the insightful eye of John Fisher ("Medea: The Musical", etc) and was seen both acting and directing in underground theatre of the obscure and absurd. After leaving the Bay Area, he resumed his travels, this time northwards where he met and subsequently began studying classical music again under the instruction of Dr. Sylvie Beaudette (Women in Music Festival, "Liptak-Beaudette Duo") who introduced him to the French Impressionist movement and, most notably, to the works of Debussy and Ravel. At that time he also began his introduction to the works of Mozart. Subsequent travels in Europe only deepened his love for the music of the Nationalist and Romantic movements, revisiting Grieg and Sibelius. He was frequently seen walking through the snow-covered headstones of the cemeteries of Europe - quite at home among the ravens and bones.

    After a period of relative musical starvation in Los Angeles, he again resumed his travels towards the North, where some say he has gone completely mad. It has been rumoured that he evokes and channels the spirits of the dead, gaining knowledge directly from the dead composers themselves - although some feel he's just being fooled by Satan, masquerading among his many forms. Yet others have told tales of a mad scientist frantically working to develop a form of artificial intelligence, perhaps to take over the world with an army of computerized robots. Still others have whispered in the darkness and shadows of his allegiance to Surt and Aurgilmir, the Nordic giants of eld watching over their dominions of fire and ice. Still others are convinced he spends his time over the dread rites of Cthulu, unlocking the seals that guard the very Abyss. Whether there exists any truth in such insane ravings or not, is hard to discern for it has been many years since he has performed, or even been seen in public. What is felt to be highly reliable, however, is that he presently makes his home in California surrounded by his war-kitten, Inanna, strange reptiles named after Rabelaisian characters, and birds of unusual musical abilities. What use is there, indeed, to dwell upon such fantastic rumours when sometimes under the full moon, the strains of Bartok and Scriabin can be heard above the shrieks of phantoms and ghouls and the howls of werewolves - and are now being made available for the first time from the internet servers of the Piano Society.
     
  4. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Welcome to Pianosociety. May ask you a favor: could you write entirely the title of the work in the name of the first file. I think that AnkunftSS is not appropriate. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nice playing Michael. Welcome to Piano Society.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That must be the longest and most impenetrable bio ever submitted here. All this gobbledygook, as well as the photo, does not seem to say anything that an average is likely to appreciate or even understand, and I for one come away none the wiser about you, except for a strong impression that you like to dress up, dabble in the occult, weave tales, and create myths.

    Sorry to have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to your picture and bio. You'll have to admit it's a bit, well, unusual. But I will of course listen to your recordings without any prejudice, as we take pride in doing here.
     
  7. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Most creative bio ever so far on PS! :lol:
    And very scriabinesque. I love the picture.
    Welcome to PS, I'll listen to your recordings this evening.
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I heb vastgesteld dat je een nog grotere klootzak bent dan die Simon in American Idol. Misschien moeten we jou ook maar beroemd maken? Ik vraag me af of ooit één van je slachtoffers zonder vooroordelen naar je opnames luistert. :lol: Nou, ja... ledereen heeft zo zijn taak, neem ik aan....

    [​IMG]
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    English please !
     
  10. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    note to Michael: I've not listened yet, but welcome anyway!!! fantasy/sci-fi fan? ... there are some jordanites incognito in here.

    Chris, have you talked to your doctor about estrogen therapy?? hehehe :p

    I'm heading to neurosurgeon consult today ... hopefully he'll operate this afternoon and all my preoccupations - including world peace - will be solved by the weekend!!! :roll:

    Happy Liszt day all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :!:
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Whoa - that is a long bio, but ok - it's your page. It will take me some time to get everything up, ok? unless I get some help. Otherwise - it will be done by tonight or tomorrow.

    I also use an Edirol recorder, but I have not tried using external microphones. There has been plenty of talk about this is in recent threads, though. I’m just not sure if I would get that much of a better sound because to me, a lot of it depends on what speakers you use to listen to the recordings. Granted, I am aware of background hiss when I’ve had the recording volume input level too low and the recorder was far away, but also I can get no hiss but a tinny sound if I put the recorder too close to the strings. So perhaps using expensive mics is away to solve things like that.

    I first thought that it was another version of the Sator Square but then I wondered if it was something like a curse on anyone who dares to criticize your playing. :wink: :lol:

    And let me know when you will next be channeling Chopin. I have a lot of questions! :lol:
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Now there's an idea :!: I could well do without that atrophic vaginitis.
    Thanks for the tip :lol:
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I would help but I'm heading for piano lesson tonight.
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  16. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    You speak Dutch!? Where in the hell have I been?
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ok, Michael - your page is up, as well as your recordings here. Please check all links and report back to me if anything is amiss.

    And I had to listen to these as I was putting them up and again have to say how nicely you play. I found the score to the Wagner piece on IMSLP, followed along with your recording, and you played it exactly as it's written. I don't know the Scriabin pieces nor did I have time to get the scores, but I think you must have played them just as well and I really like them. For sure I am going to put Scriabin on my list!

    So...welcome again to Piano Society, and we hope you will often participate on our forum. (I think it will be fun to have you around here. :wink: )
     
  18. aryobrand

    aryobrand New Member

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    Terez:

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Een Verrassing! Ik kan eigenlijk een weinig Nederlands spreken.

    Nou, ja ... hab ik echt slachtoffers? Hoe zo? Ook ben ik nieuwsgierig, wat een "klootzak" is? Dat geluid niet aan vriendschappelijk. :?

    [quote="Terez] I heb vastgesteld dat je een nog grotere klootzak bent dan die Simon in American Idol. Misschien moeten we jou ook maar beroemd maken? Ik vraag me af of ooit één van je slachtoffers zonder vooroordelen naar je opnames luistert. :lol: Nou, ja... ledereen heeft zo zijn taak, neem ik aan....[/quote]

    Ik moet me ook echt afvraag eveneens. . .

    ob eigentlich jemand meine Musik ohne verurteilen hoeren kann.

    C'est vraiment un question eternel . . . n'est-ce pas? :wink:

    Nevertheless, I'm sure others would appreciate English here in this forum. Thanks.

    Love is the law, love under will.
    Aryobrand
     
  19. aryobrand

    aryobrand New Member

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    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    I've been a die-hard fan of Edgar Allen Poe since I was a child. Also a long time fan of science fiction a bit more than fantasy, with a soft spot for horror, the macabre, and conspiracies - especially as found within the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley. :) not to mention the old Art Bell show (pre-Nouri).

    As far as strong reactions go, psychology tells us that our strongest gut reactions and rages can tell us the most about ourselves if we only learn to listen. :oops: :lol: :)

    I appreciate everyone's comments, . . . but . . .

    I love constructive criticisms even more!!!

    Love is the law, love under will.
    Aryobrand
     
  20. aryobrand

    aryobrand New Member

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    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    External microphones make all the difference in the world!!!

    When I first bought my Edirol, I placed it on a chair by my side which worked fine in comparison with my previous recordings onto a cassette! However, after listening back to it I decided to experiment further with getting a better sound. I tried hanging the Edirol down into the top of the upright piano with extremely low recording volumes, but (just like you said) a tinny sound was the only improvement. Then I started doing a little research and talking with the workers at the local Guitar Center. Another source that REALLY helped me to understand what needed to be done was found at http://homerecording.about.com/, especially the Microphones 101 sections, and also http://homerecording.about.com/od/microphones101/a/mic_types.htm

    I finally decided on a large diaphragm condenser microphone to capture the richness of the bass and the AKG Perception 420 had multiple settings (omni, cardioid, and lemniscate) so I used the omni-directional setting. Capturing a deep full bass is important, especially with Wagner since that was obviously his preference for tone (I think he consistently used Boesendorfer pianos - so will I someday . . . sigh (100,000.00+)). For the treble I wanted to retain the brightness and percussiveness of the sound so I chose a small diaphragm condenser microphone. An AKG Perception 170 was a good deal since I didn't think that an omnidirectional response would help the sound any. My thoughts were that unless I limited the field of input the higher notes might have a tendency to pick up too much peripheral noise. Both mic's together bit out a hefty ~300.00 USD but I've never been happier with the resultant sound.

    Placing the microphones close to the strings obviously neccessitates cranking the input volumes way down to avoid any distortion. I usually record with the Edirol's input volume set down as far as 4!!! You have to just experiment with different input volumes and microphone distances from the strings until you get it right. I started by placing the microphones close (about 6-8 inches) then adjusting the input volume on the preamp down just until the biggest, loudest Bartok fortissimo wouldn't trigger the peak clipping status lights, then adjusted the Edirol up as far as I could until the red light there wouldn't light on fff accents. At first I couldn't believe that it would come out good at 4/30 but the sound on the recordings speaks for itself.

    One other thing, to get two external microphones piped into the Edirol I picked up an M-Audio Audio Buddy preamp. This supplied the power for the condenser mic's, plus it allows me the ability to set the input balance between the two mic's, and finally places the bass in the left channel and the treble in the right channel. My main criteria was to try to accurately reproduce the sound of the piano without any other effects, reverbs, or treatments. I think the Audio Buddy was fairly cheap in price (less than 100.00 USD).

    One last thing, if you're thinking of experimenting with external mic's. DON'T SCRIMP ON THE CABLES!!! Even though they're expensive, top of the line cables will ensure that there is no corruption of the sound between the mic's and the pre-amp. Remember just as in computers for the cables: the shorter the cable, the better the reproduction of signal.

    Well, hopefully my long-winded meanderings have been helpful. I feel as if I must be channeling Tolstoy!!! :lol:

    Love is the law, love under will.
    Aryobrand
     

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