About seven years ago or so, I purchased Gary Garritan’s GOS and was absolutely thrilled with the sound quality and functionality of the collection. So in December, during the go-around-sale, I didn’t hesitate to jump on the pre-sale of the Steinway. I didn’t have to hear any demos, I knew it would be excellent,---and boy-- I wasn’t disappointed. I LOVE this piano; it’s so expressive. Thanks Gary!!!!
Unfortunately, when the Steinway arrived at my door, my busiest time of year for work had already come a’knock’n. I’m a landscape designer and when spring, springs, it’s HI-HO, HI-HO off to work 12 hour days and six day weeks. Needless to say, I never got to use the Steinway. Finally though, work has abated and I can finally get back to composition and after hearing Yudit’s rendering a few weeks ago, the match I needed to start the fire under my fingers-ignited. Composing I a went.
As I said, I’m just thrilled with this Steinway. So easy to use, no clicks, pops, or other negativities usually associated with samples and their players. Aria is great . I only had one problem. When I play this piece on my acoustic piano, I use copious half-pedaling throughout. However, I couldn’t get the proportionate pedaling to work, so some of the pedaling isn’t exact as I would like it to be, but Jun wrote me and informed me that this will be corrected in a future update, then I can revise the piece.
So… What in the heck is Zuzax fantasy. Well, to begin with, it’s a free form fantasy with four melodies that continually intertwine throughout the piece. What holds it together in part, is the use of double repeated notes, over and over again throughout the melodic line of three of the melodies. The fourth melody is completely different, I call it the majestic theme which relates to the Sandia mountains which loom over my home. The piece is fused with jazz, new-age, and classical riffs throughout, along with native American Indian and Spanish flourishes.
Why all this you may ask? (Even if your not asking, I’m going to tell you)
Zuzax is where I live….well, sort of. (more on this in a moment) This is a very personal piece. It really reflects all my feelings of why I love where I live. New Mexico is rich in Spanish and American Indian culture and heritage. (I live only three miles from where the Apache ( and then later the Comanche) attacked the Spanish in raids at Carnuel pass.)
The jazz element comes from a jazz club which is about five miles from me and one of my favorite weekend retreats. They play lots of light jazz, Vince Guaraldi vintage, which I love.
The majestic theme relates to the Sandia Mountains and the phenomenal sunsets which never cease to amaze me in color and variety—partly why New Mexico is called the land of enchantment.
The new age aspect stems from all the spirituality that flows here, can’t help but feel it. Lots of crystals and such are sold here for their spiritual properties.
But the word Zuzax is bit of a mystery in itself. The exit off of Interstate 40 where I live is called the Zuzax exit. However, there is no street by that name anywhere. There is also no village, or residential area which is associated with that name. In fact, when asking around, I find there is no Zuzax anything except the exit. The mystique of this elusive Zuzax is not forgotten when I wrote this piece.
I could drone on about how the fabric of this piece reflects my homeland and experiences. Don’t worry… I’ll stop. ……..Okay, one more.
Right after the waltz variation, there is a quiet lull and then a huge crashing chord with ensuing frenetic, almost panic feeling to the music. When the monsoon season starts in New Mexico, about mid July, you get lots of dry lightening which can come out of nowhere. Such was the case three weeks ago when I stepped outside to go to my studio. I usually always look above to see if any monster clouds are present—this time I did not. The sky was blue in all directions- except up. All of a sudden lightening came down a 100 feet from me and hit the transformer. I ran, jumped, tripped, pole vaulted back amongst the subsequent flurry of lightening flashes to the house. Quite sure I broke a new world record for the 440 sprint.
At any rate, I hope you enjoy the Zuzax Fantasy, that is, if you can endure its 16 minute length.
Used “under the lid” perspective, the tone and ambience sectors are turned off. Used a slight reverb plug-in for presence.