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An Improv on Pretentiousness

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Author Comments


This is an improvisation I recorded a few weeks ago, with my phone (which explains the quality), on one of the Yamaha pianos in my university. I improved the sound a litte bit, by EQing it, and balancing it a bit better with the panning and such. I figured that it turned out good enough to upload, despite the fact that it doesn't sound 100% clean. At least it's authentic, right :'D?

I didn't really plan anything before recording this, but I still ended up using somewhat logical chord patterns, which I repeated here and there. As for playing that fast, I clearly can't do it without tons of mistakes, and without commiting grave crime against rhythm and smoothness. But that makes it all the more fun, I think (and it's also what inspired the name for this improv)! :D

If you want to see me actually try to play all that silly stuff, just watch this video here:


But yeah, please enjoy ;p


Pretentiousness, huh? I can relate. The piano sounds really false for some reason, even though I'm 99.999% sure that's not just a piano sample. Oh, you recorded it on your phone. Well then. I like the continuity of it, though. There's a lot of contrast in the mood early on, like the somewhat frantic arpeggios at 2:08 and the darker, more mellow section at around 1:33. After a while, some variation from the manic nature of it would've been nice...a more relaxed breakdown or something, even though I know that's not your style. Such a relief doesn't really come until...well, ever. I thought the section at 5:15 had some potential, as it was a little easier to follow the progression there. It seemed dreamy-ish until around 5:40, so if you brought down the volume a bit it could've served as some nice structural relief. But I make this complaint every time, you don't do anything about it, and I still love your music, so maybe I'm just being...pretentious? Either way, keep it up, Ale! ;)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Yes indeed, it's recorded with my phone. Interesting how a real piano sounds false to you! It's probably the quality that confuses you :p
But if you listen carefully, you can hear that it's very different from any sample, and that the chair I'm sitting on occasionally makes noises. This is actually a pretty good piano, tbh :D

Remember that this is an improvisation, so it will never really hold he same sense of direction as a planned composition. So I don't think there's any real point in thinking about what it should've been like, as it's just a fleeting moment, which would be lost if not for the recording. Part of the beauty of improvising, is that you don't really have to stick to any expectations of compositional structure. It's much more free than that.

There is definitely a breakdown though, just not a super slow one, which I'm sure is the kind you're imagining. But 3:50-4:35 is way less intense than most of the piece is after the 2 minute mark. Considering the style of the improvisation, it wouldn't make much sense to have one of those slow trance breakdowns where only a few chords are slowly played or something. I would have to change the name too, if such a part was in there!

I do have a few pieces with full breakdowns too though, and even some which feature silence in the middle of the track. You just need to find them :V

Hahha, sorry for being so harsh in response. But that's what you get for trying to rewrite an improvisation entirely into something else xD

We can be pretentious together :)

It sounds pretty good. heh, the phone qualety makes it sound a bit like you are using a string instrument too :P but it's good. you should try re-recording it sometime. I bet it would make a great difference :)

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LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks dude :D
Yeah, the phone quality isn't the greatest, for sure xD

I can't re-record it D:
It's an improvisation, after all, meaning I can't play it again (at least not without spending a loooong amount of time transcribing it :p).

I skipped listening to it here and opted to watch you play it instead. :3 Much better that way~! ^o^/
Methinks you should get a recording with a decent mic. And a piano bench that doesn't make noises every time you shift your butt in it :P
Those runs tho, I should really try some in my next improv session. c:
Where do you go btw? o.o

Keep it up~!

~Phyrnna ^_^

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LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Hellooo :'3

Thank you for watching me play, even if it's just a silly bad angled video with even worse sound xD
Yeah, of course it'd be better to record this with a proper microphone. But even if I brought my own Røde microphone, it isn't really suited for getting a great sound out of a piano (at least not without a proper mic stand to angle it). And I don't really want to ask the music teacher for permission to borrow some microphones just for a random improv xD

Eventually, I hope to record something with real microphones again. But I'll probably save that untilI want to make a piano album or something :p
As for the piano bench, I actually adds the sense of realism it adds :D

Yeah, please try to do the runs! They can sound pretty cool, whether they're perfect or not :')

I'm playing this at my university. We have 9 piano rooms in the cellar floor, which are intended to use for practice. I'm studying to become a teacher, in general (for primary/elementary level), and being able to teach music is one of the requirements. This parcticular room, happens to have a well kept Yamaha piano in it, so if it's available, I often spend about an hour or more there almost three times a week.

One of the reasons I ended this improv so abruptly, is because someone wanted to come in, apparently to borrow a guitar that was also in that same room!

Thanks for listening, watching, and for leaving a nice review :DDD

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Credits & Info

4.86 / 5.00

Apr 30, 2016
9:14 PM EDT
Solo Instrument
File Info
14.3 MB
6 min 16 sec

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