Monday, April 27, 2009

Musing Out Loud

[UPDATE: Now downloadable via iTunes as well.]

Today marks the debut of the MMmusing podcast, known for now as the MMmusecast. I'm quite lucky that my first guest is not only an amazing musician, but also a thoroughly polished and engaging speaker; she is pianist Mia Chung, a colleague of mine on the music faculty at Gordon College. As illustrated in the little Venn diagram that opens the video below, there are pianists and there are pianists. Anyone who's willing to take on Brahms' monumental second piano concerto is worthy of attention in my book, so when I realized Mia was in final prep for an upcoming performance with the Gordon Symphony Orchestra, I thought it would be fun to sit down and chat with her about it. And it was fun. You can listen by downloading this mp3 file. You can also watch a graphically enhanced version via the YouTube videos below or via iTunes.

The interview was completely unrehearsed and proceeded spontaneously through various topics, but it occurred to me that, for all the talking we do about music, it might be nice to hear some of that music as well; so, while the interview itself is virtually unedited (two very tiny trims), I've dubbed in audio samples where appropriate (and sometimes maybe where not appropriate, as I tend to get carried away). To that, in the video versions, I've added various still images, including a wide variety of excerpts from the score of the concerto. If you're new to the piece and planning to come hear it on Saturday, this should provide a nice introduction both to the musical ideas and to the emotional/narrative world of this music.

It's been said that some people have "a face for radio." Well, I have a speaking voice that might be considered best suited for newspaper work, but I've come to enjoy several different podcasts as ways of getting through my daily commutes, so I couldn't resist giving the genre a try. Hopefully if I do more of these, I'll do better at projecting my own voice; fortunately, Mia comes through quite clearly and has lots of interesting and insightful things to say both about the Brahms concerto itself, and about the pianistic challenges involved in playing it. I'll have more to say about this experience in the days ahead, but for now I'll let the speaking speak for itself.


x said...

good job :)

you could try making turning it up a bit ;)


Agreed. I ended up not putting much time into tweaking the audio; meanwhile, my computer/video software is so slow that it took hours for the result to be rendered - meaning I didn't have the time I hoped I'd have to go back and work on the audio. Oh well. There's always next time.