I have been away from Piano Society for a very very long time. No issue with the site or any of the users, but only with myself. We had to move late last year and for several months we thought of little else and it was only in April that I began to breathe again. Our new flat is a bit noisy and is smaller that the other one, but, contrary to what I thought, not impossible to record in. Of course I still have the seedy mp3 voice recorder and that is an issue, as I cannot find a decent one in the shop (only one these days that I know of and that is the piano shop). The piano, even though an upright, is not all that bad, being a largish Petrof. It is, however, very much in need of tuning and regulating. The last time I called the tuner he had just been discharged from hospital, so he was not in the mood to tune. I was becoming increasingly frustrated, so for a couple of months or so I took some lessons, chiefly because I wanted to have the occasion to use a grand piano. The results were not all that bad, though often I was given a grand that was inferior to my upright. The last time they actually gave me a Chinese upright, the dynamic rage starting at ff and progressing. There were some issues with the teacher, which tended to contradict a lot of the things I learned, but the experience gave me better confidence and now I have hit n a very good practise method and I am managing to bring many pieces to speed and correcting errors which had been with me for years. These were not due to faulty technique, but to tension, mostly mental. Nowadays I concentrate on the passages I have problems with, playing them from memory. Considering those usually were the passages which I stumbled upon exactly because they did not seem memorised, I have managed to convince myself that, on the contrary, they were perfectly in the head but that the problem would be a wrong finger, for example, which would only play wrong when at speed. I also had a problem with a rebellious right hand fifth finger, which tended to get high and dry when the going got tough. By playing problematic passages by heart and looking hard at the culprit, I have managed to resolve that too. I also undertook to learn some pieces which, in theory, would have been way beyond my capabilities, such as one of Bortkiewicz's Etudes op 15. At least the erstwhile piano teacher refused to help me out, mainly because she herself was out of her depth. Reading was extremely hard, practising even more, but now most is memorised and the results... Anything now seems easy and I even pick some things up that before I could not play at all and wonder what the problem was|. If an when I do decent recordings I would like to avoid raised eyebrows and would like to post these recordings. These are by no means submissions and they are not meant to be put up. There are many issues with them: the piano is out of tune, the pedal squeaks, there is a fan and a clock in the background, there is hiss. The playing is by no means perfect and there are many things I can (and am) improving. One great thing is that now I can record without going into a panic and am starting to be able to play naturally with the recorder on. Several of these are not edited at all, except to correct imperfections caused by the recorder itself.