Another Lockdown Recording

I spent a great deal of today involved in music. First, I practised the piano (Liszt 2 Concert Etudes, Schubert Wanderer Fantasy). Next, I compiled piano recordings I’d done during the various Lockdowns.

Finally, I converted six separate audio files to one single mp3 before adding a still image, to produce a video of my playing. The video lasts fourteen minutes and includes popular classical piano, Russian folk music, and Ragtime.

Happy listening!

Spring, And A Ragtime Number

I haven’t updated readers for a long time. I found parts of Lockdown a challenge, especially in regards to Mental Health, and preferred to hide behind my poetry. Having said that, I enjoyed Christmas and felt confident enough to welcome in the New Year in a limited but satisfying manner.

Spring has come at last. I had my first dose of the vaccine last week. I was meant to have it even earlier due to past bouts of pneumonia and septicaemia from Strep throat (years ago, admittedly), but there were some issues to resolve first. Suffice it to say, I’ve experienced flu-like symptoms this week, but am glad to have received the vaccine and will return in July for a second dose.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent hours practising the piano and polishing up repertoire during Lockdown, both Classical and Ragtime. Below is a video I made of the Ragtime Dance by Scott Joplin. I recorded the piano part this morning, then added it to a still photo from a few years ago.

Happy listening.

A Little Treat: Schubert Moment Musicaux No 3

Coronavirus, Lockdown and the easing of restrictions have brought a lot of stress for people (myself included). Life goes on, though.

And so does music and art. And the piano, of course

I made the following video yesterday. First, I recorded myself playing the Schubert from my flat in north London. Then, I searched for a still image and used a web application to convert the files to video.

Happy listening!

Still Social Distancing

Nearly six months have passed since the start of Lockdown. Each day is like the previous. It gets tiring, but things could be worse.

I’m still unsure about my job, as work stopped on March 19, two days after my birthday, and small businesses have suffered.

Ditto, the music and entertainment worlds.

I enclose another photograph of myself about to join friends for coffee while maintaining strict Social Distancing rules and wearing a mask, taken yesterday in North London:

Still Semi-Shielding, Coronavirus

Apologies for not posting for a while.

I’ve found the adjustment from Lockdown to the New Normal difficult, especially as I don’t know if I have a job to go back to. I’ve stayed busy at home, though, working on various piano recordings.

And foreign language studies, of course.

I venture out sometimes. Here is a photo of me chilling in a mask:

That Time Of Year Again – Quit Smoking Anniversary

Time flies, so people say.

Eight years, I made the decision to quit smoking. I spent that final week smoking incessantly, determined to enjoy my last few cigarettes to the full.

Eight years on, I’m pleased to say that I succeeded. Once I finished the final cigarette, I never smoked again.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent Lockdown practising the piano from my flat, studying foreign languages, writing poetry and short stories, and meeting friends via video calls or in person for Socially Distanced walks.

I include a video I made recently. Using a Zoom handy recorder, I recorded the Brahms Waltz in D minor at home, then added a still photo and converted to MP4.

Happy listening!

Midweek, And A New Video

As I shared in a previous post, I’ve found the last five weeks difficult to handle. I would almost prefer the strict regulations of Lockdown to the chaos that has since ensued.

I’ve kept busy at all times, however, and am pleased to share my latest video recorded from my flat tonight using a Zoom handy recorder.

The piece is Brahms Hungarian Dance no 6, played on a digital piano.

Happy listening!

The New Normal, And Do We Even Want It?

In less than twelve hours, pubs in England will be able to serve drinks, albeit under strict conditions. Likewise, many small businesses will reopen and life will return to normal after several months of Lockdown.

People will still adhere to some level of Social Distancing and we, the public, will take tentative steps in rebuilding the ruined economy. A new normal will begin.

So why do I have grave reservations, to the point where I would almost welcome the inconveniences of Lockdown?

I think Lockdown resulted in a degree of unity, at least in the initial stages. The whole country (most of the world in fact) shared a common and unseen enemy, one that reminded humans how helpless we are (or could become in the future).

Lockdown encouraged people to check on their more vulnerable neighbours and ignited a degree of interest in religion beyond walls (ie. prayer and contemplation outside of ritual or dogma).

Obviously, we must resume normality and rebuild the economy. However, I wonder whether in fact the easing of Lockdown has prompted less concern about the vulnerable or disadvantaged in society and allowed greater levels of selfishness. Take the scenes in Bournemouth, for example, where crowds showed a total disrespect for the locals and behaved in ways that could help spread the virus. Similar scenes occurred in other parts of the country.

I suppose there are no straightforward answers. But if people wish to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus, they will have to wake up to the dangers and stop behaving irresponsibly and selfishly.

Just a few of my thoughts.

Busy Wading Through Tech Stuff

Lockdown measures have eased.

At the same time, uncertainties mount, along with the pressures of not knowing what to do next. At this point, I still have no work.

I’m working on promoting the piano recital I recorded from my flat during May 2020. It’s a difficult and frustrating task. In choosing to release the recital once the measures were easing, I misjudged the public mood. I’ve encountered less interest, as people want picnics in the sun rather than more online events. People are tired of Virtual meetings.

Still, I persist.

The following contains a shortened video of a selection of piano pieces I recorded, along with brief verbal introductions on my part.

Happy listening.

Unemployed, Self-Employed?

I was one of the many self-employed people that lost all their work at the start the Covid-19 crisis and Lockdown.

Nevertheless, I stayed busy, maintaining a strict distant-learning curriculum in foreign languages. I actually enjoy studying Russian grammar before breakfast, surprising as that may seem. Next comes German, and then, French.

During Lockdown, I recorded a selection of piano works under strict recital conditions from my flat with the aid of an Android and a microphone.

I attach the complete online recital link here:

Happy listening!