The Joys Of Recording – Indie

As a classically trained musician and past scholarship holder in piano performance, I, like many other classically trained performers, looked forward to the day I would sign a recording contract. Who wouldn’t, given the years of training and aspirations?

A couple of hundred concerts on, along with experience at several smaller concert halls and an appearance at Edinburgh Fringe, and I began to understand that the recording deal would probably not materialise, especially as I did not have agent representation.

For a while, I continued performing whenever possible and polished my repertoire, tackling a number of the Liszt studies and getting a reasonable technical grasp on the second and third scherzos by Chopin. I also loved to play Beethoven’s Waldstein, which I knew from memory.

Web 2 came along – and with it, file sharing.

YouTube followed.

Over a ten-year period, three technically minded friends recorded me on separate occasions. Eventually I put the best tracks together to form my own CD, titled Classical Piano – Lawrence Estrey. I marketed the project myself and made a modest amount on the CD’s, but I never did it for the money. Only the exposure and experience.

Since then, I’ve got a better phone and downloaded Titanium Recorder, a simple app that lets users record live performances. The user can select the level of quality. MP3 BitRate works fine for a basic “live” semi-professional recording. No distortion, but not quite up to record label quality. This year, I’ve recorded eleven tracks, converted the tracks to still image videos and uploaded them to YouTube.

Early days, but my discography is growing steadily now, thanks to the internet. On a positive note, aiming high encourages me to practise more.

Just a few of my thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Online Recording With Last.FM

About a year ago, a technically minded friend recorded me playing the piano and gave me a copy of the CD a few weeks later.  Within a day of receiving the CD, I had copied the files to my computer, saved them to a portable device, emailed them to my various accounts and uploaded them to YUDU, a self-publishing site based in the UK.   At last, I had a recording  of my own, a recording that anyone with an internet connection could access.  It was an incredible feeling.  A genuine high.

Later, I uploaded the same recording to last.fm, an internet radio site.  I have always felt that last.fm is a particularly stable site, excellent in so many ways and free to use. I enjoy seeing the stats and finding that people from all over the world have listened to me play.

During lunch on Tuesday, a different friend lent me a CD of a piano recording I made more than six years ago, instructing me not to lose it because she enjoyed the music so much!   The person who’d helped with that particular recording deleted the files six years ago and I had no other way of retrieving the recording – until now.

After work, I set about making a digital recording, running into obstacles from the start. First, the files were MPEG-4 rather than MP3 unlike the files in last year’s recording.  This means they’re bigger and more difficult to upload/download.  It took me ages to email the files to my various accounts for back up purposes; even then, I hadn’t realised that I could download a free MP3 converter to make the task easier.

I still need to check the title for each track before uploading to a public site like last.fm, but I’ve finally managed to burn all the files to CD and make online back up copies.  The CD includes music by Chopin, Schubert and Rachmaninoff.