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Topic: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

  1. #1

    The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro


    This is my first post, with the GAST! I'm now a very happy and proud owner of the Steinway Pro edition. It's a fabulous instrument!

    So, I decided to quite "playing" with it, and give it a real spin. The following work is part of a project, which goes to my PhD (in composition). It's a very complicated piece of contemporary piano writing, if I may so myself.


    and, as always, if anyone wishes, they can have a look at the score as well:


    Due to unfortunate previous circumstances, the current score, has a very ugly watermark in the middle of each page, which I hope will be enough to avoid any unpleaseant experiences...

    It's a long piece, and certainly it's not exactly 'easy' listening, but I hope that it's worth the download and the listening.


    A Few words on the piece

    It's not nice that I can't share much about the project, but I can speak clearly about the piece. The piece is written in such a way that very few elements are repeated. There is no traditional theme, or subject, harmonies are never repeated, chords are also non repeated. Tempo alterations in almost every 5-10 bars, large gaps, lots of rests, breathing points, fermatas, adlib parts, etc all create the feeling of a slight disjoint piece.

    The piece involves a technique that I have developed (no idea if it preexists me, or if someone else has done it, as well), involving 'non repeated elements'. It contains all possible chords with 4 pitches, spread at 2 octaves and no repeated intervals between them. These are the material I used, to create this piece.

    The (future) goal would be to attempt and combine different performances of the same piece, with little to no trouble and no limit to the coherence of the piece.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    I guess it's all considered modern. This is beyond my understanding but I found it very interesting. It did have a dark mood to it.


  3. #3

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    Thanks for listening Phil, glad you found it interesting.

  4. #4

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro


    I have listened to this one a number of times now and have to say that GASP is the way to do it.

    I did try to find the time for it is a nice piece.


    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  5. #5

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro


    all is new to me. I noticed some influences of Prokofiev. Your fierce chords (those sffz) must have caused the need for tuning the instrument (haha). It still is weird to me, but I listened to the end of the piece. It also had a look at the score. Together they made sense, sound and reading. Who is performing this piece? It is so difficult to play it right with those outbursts of emotion. I am curious about the critics. Anyway, I cannot say I liked it very much, but it was intruiging enough to keep my attention to the very end.


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    I think it's a very compelling piece, Nikolas. For the most part, it maintains the listener's interest throughtout. No matter how the harmonic scheme is worked out, it still does sound coherent and logical, and the rhythmic and dynamic aspects are very effective and serve the drama of the piece. Also, it contains some very familiar elements such as ostinato.

    The piano sounds great.

    Best Regards,


  7. #7

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro


    A very modern, academic project to say the least. The
    score is a semester's lesson in 21st Century piano literature.

    The piece, as one is listening, does invoke a great deal of
    interest because of the textures provided and the constant
    changes in harmonic contrast. This methodology, alone, will
    challenge the listener to "stay with it" for quite awhile unless
    he is contemporary music challenged.

    Very well rendered on your new Steinway. A marvelous sound
    you have produced.

    I'm sure there is a lot to learn from this piece......for all of us.

    Some, I fear, would say, "It sounds like Greek to me."........lol


    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    Hey Nikolas,

    It's nice to have another version of this to listen to! Much better than mine

  9. #9

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    Ron, no worries. I resent you the link.

    Jack, thanks for listening. I do hope that despite it's more contemporary style it does remain an appealing piece.

    Jack (rhap2): LOL! Yup, it is all Greek to me! What you are listening here is only the half of the whole project, which unfortunately I cannot share at this moment (Ron and Siguitar1 know, since they are part of the project, at least more than the general public). I do hope that one the project is done and I'm through with licenses, etc, I will be able to post about the whole project, which I hope will be even more challenging to our ideas of recorded music, to say the least!

    Andy: No worries. It's my baby, it was meant to sound as good as possible. But actually I do like your take very much so! It's a fresh take and it actually works very well for the project.

  10. #10

    Re: The City Under Different Eyes - Steinway Pro

    Nikolas -

    First, I listened to the piece by itself. THEN, I listened to the piece AND followed the score at the same time.

    THEN. . . . I read your paragraph describing your composition; discussing the thought process behind the composition. Maybe I should have read your paragraph first?? Or, maybe not.

    I like Jack's description of someone who might not "stay with it"! LOL! "Contemporary Music Challenged"! LOL!

    Jack SOOOO described me! LOL!

    Except. . . . I "Stayed with it".

    I come here to listen and enjoy. A HUGE part of my enjoyment is learning and to be musically challenged, I guess, Nikolas. I am sincerely appreciative of the learning experience that you purposefully or unpurposefully provided.

    And I learned a lot. But first, I wish to share what this experience positively enforced, for me, what I already know about music composition. The use of dynamic, tempo changes, "audio space" is HUGELY important for most compositions. I would venture to say that this may be especially true for those "contemporary" compositions. It helps bring life to the composition. Your use of dynamics, tempo changes, "audio space" (silence), etc., etc., helped grab my interest. And this was during the FIRST listen, by the way, before I followed your composition while reading the score.

    But here's a few things that I learned. . . especially during the second listen while following the score. Although you said in your (welcomed) "A few words on this piece" paragraph that this composition involves the technique of "non-repeated elements", I wish to differ with you. Maybe thematic melodies, notes and chords weren't repeated, but your splendid use of dynamics and silence were used in an apparently deliberate repeated fashion. Even your use of lightly touching the notes (while holding down that sustainato pedal thingy) and use of "play ad lib" chords were repeated. Maybe not the actual notes, but certain concepts were repeated. Whether this was deliberate by you or not, I do not know. But I learned that, for me, repeating such concepts seems to be a kind of "glue" that may hold the piece together (kind of similar to the repetition of thematic notes and chords), and may also help hold the listener to "stay with it". I'm placing this little tid-bit of just-learned information to my "compositional tool chest" for possible use in the future. Nikolas, I thank you for this.

    I also learned some cool notational symbols like holding down a cluster chord and instructing the piano player to "depress lightly" (or something like that) while using that sustan. pedal thingy. I believe that this was used for your final couple of measures of your composition.

    I also (re)learned the cool sound of poly-rhythmical stuff like right hand playing 6 sixteen notes for one beat while the left hand plays 7 sixteen notes. I know that this is probably done a lot. But it's been a while since my eyes read such challenging rhythms. And it sounds cool! Cool is good!

    Nice work. Very thoughtful. AND. . . a wonderful piece of art work for "beginners" like me to learn and grow. To this I am very grateful.

    Good luck with your PhD. . . Pretty soon we'll be calling you a very well deserved Dr. Nikolas!

    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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