Snowfall (solo piano)

“Snowfall” is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago shortly after a rare Georgia snowstorm left area residents bewildered (all of them), delighted (most of them), and annoyed (a few of them). I thought about what it might be like for someone to be separated from a loved one by such an event, pictured the long and perhaps frustrating trek back home, then sat down at the piano and worked it out. I thought it appropriate for my friends around Boston and points north, who have probably had enough of snow by now. Enjoy!

From the album Double Helix. “Snowfall” composed and recorded by Robert W. Oliver. Music copyright (c) 2011 by Robert W. Oliver. All rights reserved. Stock photographs via http://www.dreamstime.com.

Technical stuff: Recorded on a Zoom H4n handheld recorder, because it was new at the time, and I just had to try it out. Mixed on a Yamaha AW4416 DAW. Mastered on an Alesis Masterlink.

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Got Gigs? Here’s How to Get Them

crowdIf you’re a bandleader with little to no experience in booking shows, this guest blog by Deron Wade is for you. I talked with Deron on LinkedIn a few weeks back, and the conversation turned to booking gigs. He asked if I would take a look at an article he wrote for Tune Cube, and I agreed. Turns out it’s loaded with great advice for those who are relatively new to the art of booking the gig. I have reprinted it below, with his gracious permission.

Booking Gigs? Some Magic Tips to Help You Out!

Your band has been playing in front of your friends and they love your music….

You are a solo singer/songwriter now comfortable enough to sing in front of a crowd, play your guitar and put on a show without knocking the mic-stand over……

You’ve been taking your beats to the streets and now you’re ready to take your rap game to a whole new level……

In every situation, you are ready to start booking shows,  but where do you begin?

Know your niche market

Your niche market = who you are selling your music to.

“Wait a minute, what does selling my music have to do with booking a gig?”

Everything.

You need to have a venue that supports the atmosphere of your music (What’s the stage set up like?) and has a demographic of listeners that like what you do. For instance: If you are an acoustic artist,  is it a smart decision to play a venue that has a huge  heavy metal following? Probably not. In everything you do, you should be asking yourself, “How is my time being spent here? Is this going to be a valuable experience for me?”

I can’t count how many times music artists have come up to me and complained that the venue took advantage of them. When I ask, “Well, what did you want from the venue?” Their response is,  “We wanted to play.”

“Didn’t you play?”

“Well yeah, but there wasn’t any one there and then they had us get off after three songs.” Continue reading “Got Gigs? Here’s How to Get Them”

How a Piano Is Made

The piano is a wonderful instrument. Elegant in appearance and tone, its beauty belies the difficult and intensive process required to make one. Skilled craftsmen build them entirely by hand – there is no mechanical “piano cutter” – and the process takes a year or more. It’s fascinating to watch, and Steinway offers 3-hour tours in their Queens factory that are both informative and free. But for those of us who won’t make that journey for awhile, or if you’re considering a purchase, here’s a fascinating video that shows how a Mason and Hamlin grand piano is crafted.

An excellent piano buying guide can be found on Kent Moore’s blog. Published as a series of nine articles,  the  guide walks the customer through the entire process, from establishing a budget to taking lessons.