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Melsen's Piano Log

Melsen C

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Melsen's Piano Log

Melsen's Piano Log

Melsen C

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0
Plays
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About Us

This is a sound journal of Melsen improvising on different pianos. Practically everything you will hear is raw and unrehearsed. There will be sounds of life happening in the background, and many of the pianos are not in tune. Mel has been improvising at the keyboard since he was very young, but he began making regular recordings in 2012. This podcast is a curated selection from the larger body of recordings he has made since then. Many of the pianos featured here were part of a public art installation in Boston during the fall of 2013 - "Play Me I'm Yours" - the Boston Street Piano Project.

Latest Episodes

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 6

After playing duets with Dad, and after a rather messy performance of a Chopin G Major Prelude, I wanted to play just one more time before moving on to find our departure gate at the airport. If you're familiar with the prelude, you'll hear how I started there with this improvisation. I think this is the most exuberant one of the day, and a fitting end to the string of Portland public performances. Playing piano makes me so happy, and getting to play for other people even more so. Thank you for listening :)

4 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 6

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 5 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Here is the second duet improvisation with my dad, Philip Carlsen (www.philcarlsen.com). In this one, I'm playing bass, and he's playing treble. I snuck a peak around us during the middle of this, and a sizeable crowd had gathered. It can be such a relief in a stressful situation like an airport to be able to make and listen to live music!

5 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 5 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 4 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

And then my dad joined me and we improvised two duets. This is the first: he is playing bass and I'm playing treble. I grew up listening to him compose at the piano, and I have been heavily influenced by his sense of musical adventure and creation. Check out some of his work on his website:www.philcarlsen.com. You can listen to clips there and on Soundcloud. Also, there is a professional recording of me playing a piece that he wrote for me, "October", put out by Parma Recordings. Here's a link to the recording on iTunes:https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/october/id897219922?i=897220124&mt=1&app=music(but you can also find it on Rhapsody, and probably other music streaming services)

4 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 4 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 3

This is the second recording from the Kawai baby grand at PDX, and the third recording from last Saturday. By now, if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you'll recognize this style of improvising: fast arpeggiated chords, where the content is a slow harmonic transformation with the illusion of a fast pace because of the many notes used, and where there is often a slow melodic line that sparkles out of the top. After I spenta week on the Oregon coast with the constant backdrop of the pounding Pacific surf,playing in this style took on a special significance.

4 MIN2015 AUG 27
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 3

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 2

This Kawai baby grand piano was just sitting in the terminal at PDX. The security guard said that sometimes they paid performers to play on it, but otherwise it was available for anyone to play. My family and I had a couple hours before our plane left, so my dad and I ended up playing for almost an hour! We did some pieces we knew, but we also improvised a lot. This is my first improvisation on that piano.

4 MIN2015 AUG 27
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 2

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 1

I was recently on the Oregon coast for a family reunion, and on our last day, some of us spent some time in Portland. To my delight, we found not one, but two public pianos to play! The first was part of thePiano Push Playproject, and was installed outside the Portland Art Museum. It was a gorgeous day, and it had the feeling of the Boston Street Piano project all over again. This is the recording I made there. One of the keys had a missing hammer (and therefore couldn't play) - can you tell which one?

9 MIN2015 AUG 26
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 1

Piano Log 2015-8-8

My partner and I visited my dad and his wife last weekend. He had recently gotten his baby grand piano back, after living in small apartments for a few years. It was sweet to re-familiarize myself with it. I spent hours practicing on it when I was in high school. I woke up on Saturday morning, and before anyone else was up and about, I started this recording. You will hear Dad in the kitchen making breakfast at the end.

9 MIN2015 AUG 13
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-8

Piano Log 2013-7-12

A little over two years ago, my grandmother passed away. I played at her memorial service, as well as many other times that weekend. Here's a recording I made when I was warming up on the stage where we were going to hold the service. She played piano as well, and I spent a lot of time that weekend poring over her music books, and reading her notes in the margins. I grew up on the other side of the country from where she and my grandfather lived, so I didn't get to see her very often. It was very cool to be able to learn more about who she was, and to discover similarities I didn't realize we had.

8 MIN2015 AUG 11
Comments
Piano Log 2013-7-12

Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 2

I made this recording right after the last one, again with the Sony PCM-M10. It's a bit longer. Because of a very busy work schedule over the past few months, I've had a hard time finding time to even play piano, let alone record. It was really nice to be able to sit down and make these tracks.

4 MIN2015 AUG 5
Comments
Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 2

Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 1

Trying something new with this recording. I recently bought a Sony PCM-M10 Portable Audio Recorder, which records in stereo. So far, I'm really liking it! I'm able to record in much higher resolution than I did on my smart phone. Plus, this device is able to filter out some low frequencie sounds (like wind or household noises), and it also limits the levels so there is hopefully no distortion at the louder end of the spectrum. This recording is on the mellower side.

2 MIN2015 AUG 1
Comments
Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 1

Latest Episodes

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 6

After playing duets with Dad, and after a rather messy performance of a Chopin G Major Prelude, I wanted to play just one more time before moving on to find our departure gate at the airport. If you're familiar with the prelude, you'll hear how I started there with this improvisation. I think this is the most exuberant one of the day, and a fitting end to the string of Portland public performances. Playing piano makes me so happy, and getting to play for other people even more so. Thank you for listening :)

4 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 6

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 5 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Here is the second duet improvisation with my dad, Philip Carlsen (www.philcarlsen.com). In this one, I'm playing bass, and he's playing treble. I snuck a peak around us during the middle of this, and a sizeable crowd had gathered. It can be such a relief in a stressful situation like an airport to be able to make and listen to live music!

5 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 5 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 4 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

And then my dad joined me and we improvised two duets. This is the first: he is playing bass and I'm playing treble. I grew up listening to him compose at the piano, and I have been heavily influenced by his sense of musical adventure and creation. Check out some of his work on his website:www.philcarlsen.com. You can listen to clips there and on Soundcloud. Also, there is a professional recording of me playing a piece that he wrote for me, "October", put out by Parma Recordings. Here's a link to the recording on iTunes:https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/october/id897219922?i=897220124&mt=1&app=music(but you can also find it on Rhapsody, and probably other music streaming services)

4 MIN2015 AUG 28
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 4 - collaboration with Philip Carlsen

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 3

This is the second recording from the Kawai baby grand at PDX, and the third recording from last Saturday. By now, if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you'll recognize this style of improvising: fast arpeggiated chords, where the content is a slow harmonic transformation with the illusion of a fast pace because of the many notes used, and where there is often a slow melodic line that sparkles out of the top. After I spenta week on the Oregon coast with the constant backdrop of the pounding Pacific surf,playing in this style took on a special significance.

4 MIN2015 AUG 27
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 3

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 2

This Kawai baby grand piano was just sitting in the terminal at PDX. The security guard said that sometimes they paid performers to play on it, but otherwise it was available for anyone to play. My family and I had a couple hours before our plane left, so my dad and I ended up playing for almost an hour! We did some pieces we knew, but we also improvised a lot. This is my first improvisation on that piano.

4 MIN2015 AUG 27
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 2

Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 1

I was recently on the Oregon coast for a family reunion, and on our last day, some of us spent some time in Portland. To my delight, we found not one, but two public pianos to play! The first was part of thePiano Push Playproject, and was installed outside the Portland Art Museum. It was a gorgeous day, and it had the feeling of the Boston Street Piano project all over again. This is the recording I made there. One of the keys had a missing hammer (and therefore couldn't play) - can you tell which one?

9 MIN2015 AUG 26
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-22 Part 1

Piano Log 2015-8-8

My partner and I visited my dad and his wife last weekend. He had recently gotten his baby grand piano back, after living in small apartments for a few years. It was sweet to re-familiarize myself with it. I spent hours practicing on it when I was in high school. I woke up on Saturday morning, and before anyone else was up and about, I started this recording. You will hear Dad in the kitchen making breakfast at the end.

9 MIN2015 AUG 13
Comments
Piano Log 2015-8-8

Piano Log 2013-7-12

A little over two years ago, my grandmother passed away. I played at her memorial service, as well as many other times that weekend. Here's a recording I made when I was warming up on the stage where we were going to hold the service. She played piano as well, and I spent a lot of time that weekend poring over her music books, and reading her notes in the margins. I grew up on the other side of the country from where she and my grandfather lived, so I didn't get to see her very often. It was very cool to be able to learn more about who she was, and to discover similarities I didn't realize we had.

8 MIN2015 AUG 11
Comments
Piano Log 2013-7-12

Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 2

I made this recording right after the last one, again with the Sony PCM-M10. It's a bit longer. Because of a very busy work schedule over the past few months, I've had a hard time finding time to even play piano, let alone record. It was really nice to be able to sit down and make these tracks.

4 MIN2015 AUG 5
Comments
Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 2

Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 1

Trying something new with this recording. I recently bought a Sony PCM-M10 Portable Audio Recorder, which records in stereo. So far, I'm really liking it! I'm able to record in much higher resolution than I did on my smart phone. Plus, this device is able to filter out some low frequencie sounds (like wind or household noises), and it also limits the levels so there is hopefully no distortion at the louder end of the spectrum. This recording is on the mellower side.

2 MIN2015 AUG 1
Comments
Piano Log 2015-7-30 Part 1
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