Sunday, May 3, 2009

Battle Ground Ragtime

Hello all. My left hand has improved considerably and I don't think I had any pain in it for 3 or 4 weeks now which is good news. Removing the cushion from my bench allowing me to sit a few inches lower makes a difference. And that my arms are better aligned and parallel with the keyboards. Plus playing in a more relaxed style also helps but certainly not easy if you're playing ragtime.

Next, a word of advice to musicians out there in ragtime land. In the spirit of having a good time whether playing in a public venue or on your website, do not mix politics with ragtime such as dedicating a song to a certain politician. In my opinion, it's simply not in good taste. Not in this political climate when you have basically a 50% chance of offending somebody. Keep politics out of ragtime. Just like in the World Championship of Old-time Piano Playing Contest's rules regardng keeping politics out of the competition when playing a piece with no political connotations. And have everybody truly enjoy what ragtime is all about. Pure fun.

Next news is that I'll be moving to Battle Ground, Washington. Hence, the title
of my page Battle Ground Ragtime. Which isn't a bad name to start up a new festival "Battle Ground Ragtime Festival." What do you think? Sounds catchy, eh? I'll arrive at Battle Ground on May 28, 2009. Any ragtimers within 60 miles of the Portland, Oregon area??

Began working in earnest on "Kitten on the Keys" (see Dick Hyman play that piece in YouTube in the right column of my blog) starting last week. An hour here and hour there. I have the first page down almost pat as I get the rhythm down though not at Hyman's amazing least not yet. Two more pages to go and have just begun on the second page.

Still trying to get around to video tape myself play "Black and White" by George Botsford and "The Easy Winners" by Scott Joplin. Problem is I have a laptop with an embedded camera and that only natural lighting will ensure smooth a smooth video otherwise it'll tend to be jerky. An odd and frustrating thing for me. But it'll come. As for "The Easy Winners", the goal is to make sound lyrical as possible.

And that's it on the news. Keep on raggin'!