I am feeling an excess of gratitude today for my friend Jesse who gave me his old Yamaha keyboard after he purchased a newer and better one. It’s only 61 keys (a full piano is 88 keys), but that’s 61 more keys than I had before! I’m basically just missing an octave on either end.
As background, I started playing the piano when I was 7 (well, really before that because I had a piano growing up, but I started taking lessons with I was 7). It was part of my parents’ music plan. Two years of piano lessons and then my sister & I could study anything we wanted. I switched to violin when I was 9 but continued to take piano lessons in the summer and to play around with our piano at home and my parents’ music books. But after going to college I essentially stopped playing the piano.
We don’t have very much money, so I was waiting on buying a keyboard. We’ll probably buy a full keyboard someday or even a real piano but for now I’m feeling very grateful to have something to play on! With headphones I feel much less self-conscious then I do when practicing the violin (even with a practice mute).
My first project is to learn some of the themes from the Caprica Soundtrack by Bear McCreary. He was kind enough to respond to me on Twitter and let me know there will be sheet music coming out later this year, but I’ve started with what he already posted on his blog. Not only are there some basic themes (both the ostinatos and lyricals themes) but he also talks about his philosophy in approaching the project and sections.
I’ve started with that, specifically the Tauron themes. I can do the Tauron ostinato pretty easily but need to work on combining it with the theme (they can be played on top of each other, like in the beautiful scene in the Pilot/movie where Joseph Adama is crying, Amanda & Daniel Graystone are having sex, and Sam Adama is executing the minister.
I think I need to find my sheet music paper and write the two lines out together, since McCreary posts them separately.
There’s also an awesome video by Torley on playing the music from Caprica which I plan to use but haven’t yet. I need to figure out just what he’s doing with his hands and probably write it down. I can learn by ear but I learn much faster by sight-reading. That’s probably because I was terrible at practicing for the first three years I played violin (truly awful an uninspiring teacher who I refused to quit on because I’m stubborn) so I would have to sight-read my butt off in lessons.
Someone posted a video of Bear McCreary playing as well, and it’s good for inspiration but doesn’t have any sheet music or piano-vision attached.
After this (and perhaps between), it’s Philip Glass’s soundtrack from The Hours. I’ve loved my album for years and I’d like even more to be able to play parts of it myself.
Extra bit of awesomeness, I only just found an interview with Jane Espenson where she explains Sam Adama’s tattoos! I find the Tauron tattooing fascinating and it was awesome to find out what that (delicious) mosaic actually means. Ms. Espenson noted on Twitter that the meanings were formulated by writer Ryan Mottesheard.