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.







Difficulties Maintaining A Blog Over Several Years, Plus Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude

I’ve come to that stage after six years of blogging. Days pass, then a week or so, and I still haven’t blogged.  Increasingly, I’m finding it almost impossible to know what to blog about.  Some people say, just blog about how you feel – but that can get boring, right?

This year, I’ve concentrated on music, writing and languages, and have had less time to blog.  I’ve done several classical piano recordings and now have over an hour of so-called air time. I like to think of these as professional recordings, but in actual fact they’re semi-professional. At present, I’m working on the next step: distributing the music.  YouTube?  SoundCloud?  These are fine, but at some point, I need to make an actual physical disc of the music and get it out there.

For now, here is my rendition of Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude.

Piano On YouTube

I’ve just started uploading static videos (single image over an audio file) to YouTube.   The videos include piano music by Chopin and Schubert.  In each video, I am the soloist.   You can check them out here.