First solo session down!

To be honest, I'm not sure when the next time is that I'll be able to say that I haven't been super busy with piano. The only time I'm not busy with piano is when I'm on a vacation of some sort, and then it's back to being busy again once I get back to make up from the time I took off!

I finally finished playing for the Taconic Opera rehearsals of Manon Lescaut last weekend, with their show happening this weekend. This was my first time playing for one of the mainstage operas, which meant that I only played for the rehearsals and the performances would be with orchestra. Manon Lescaut was a ridiculously difficult opera to play, and took up not just hours of my time to attend rehearsals, but also hours upon hours of my practice time to be able to competently play the score. At least I get paid!

This past Monday I also had my first solo recording session at Oktaven Audio to record Ravel's waltzes and Faure's nocturne from my last Whimsical Birdsong concert, as well as almost half of my
upcoming solo concert. The process of choosing what to rerecord and what I could fix was so different being by myself in the studio than it was with both Kristina and our coach, and I came out with almost twice as many tracks to listen to from this session than we did from the one in July.

Of course, the next step is to listen to the tracks and decide which sections of which takes I want to go into the final product. I have another solo session in February to record the remainder of my upcoming solo concert, which will complete what I plan to release on my next CD! No idea what the release date will be yet, tentatively Spring 2022. The repertoire of the CD will be the same as in the concert, which is the following:

Ravel — Menuet in C-sharp Minor
Ravel — Prelude in A Minor
Ravel — Pavane pour une infante défunte
Andres — Old Ground
Bach — Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Minor, BWV 867
Montez — Resurgence
Ravel — Gaspard de la nuit
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The solo concert itself has also been officially scheduled for January 15th, 2022 at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco. At one point I thought it would be in the fall, but it turns out concert venues are either closed or all booked up until the new year, and also Gaspard de la nuit is really hard and I definitely needed more time for it to solidify in my fingers.

In addition to that, I've also had two other major projects going on: expanding my Piano at Noon series and a second round of 100 Days of Practice. The expansion of my Piano at Noon series has involved opening up Performance Days for my own piano students to perform, to expand the audience of the series and to give my students performance opportunities. We have had one student Performance Day so far, with the next four already booked out. The non-Performance Days still remain practice livestreams.

This time around with 100 Days of Practice, instead of just recording straight 1-minute clips of a particular piece, the videos I post online are compilations of short clips all of the different pieces I practiced in a given day. I find doing it this way gives a more realistic look into what I get to in a day, and also gives me an easily trackable way to see when the last time was I practiced a piece when I'm watching the videos back myself.

The next few weeks will still be very busy as I prepare to play a recital at a friend's wedding (specifically requested from the bride, a fellow pianist I went to undergrad with), but at least I finally get a break from operas for the next several months! Looking forward to everything coming up with recording and performing!

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