Barcarole, First Half_snapshot, Play Button

VIDEO: Dirk is writing songs for me! And I’m playing them! (Sorta.)

Dirk has started writing music for me! Specifically, he’s started writing a “songbook” for me as I start re-learning how to play piano, which I haven’t played since I was a kid. Here’s me trying to play the first of them… well, the first half of it, anyway. I’m still working on learning the second half… it’s really hard!

The song is a “barcarole” which, according to Wikipedia, is a traditional Italian folk song that was commonly sung by Venetian gondoliers in the 19th century. (“Barca” is Italian for “boat.”) Hopefully I’ll be able to play the whole thing soon… and a little bit faster than what you see here. To be continued…

Triste Handwave

Classical Jackman goes all 20th Century on your ass

The other night, Dirk and I had the immense pleasure of dining with gay romance novelist Kaye P. Hallows and her husband at their Boston-area home. (We were on the cover of her recent novel Taking My Chances.) After dinner, we gathered around their piano so that Dirk could entertain us with a few songs. Kaye and I got in on the act too, each of us playing the one piece we could remember.

Then Kaye presented us with some sheet music by 20th century Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. One of his pieces, Triste — the second of his twelve “American Preludes” — seemed easy enough to play… so when we got home, I found a copy of it online and started practicing. A couple of days later I got to the point where I thought I could actually record it… although I think I’m playing it a little slower than Maestro Ginastera intended. Anyway… I’ve posted the video above. (I’m shirtless in it, of course.) Hope you enjoy it! And be sure to check out Kaye’s awesome fiction!

If the video won’t play, you can view it at this alternate link. Try putting your mobile device in landscape mode first, too. And by the way… that little red thing on the music rack, to the right of the sheet music? Yup, it’s a condom.

Classical Jackman C-minor Prelude (Play Button)

Classical… Jackman? I attempt to play Chopin’s C-minor prelude

I haven’t played piano in 30 years — I took piano lessons when I was a kid, from ages 6 though 12 — but now that there’s a piano in the house, I wanted to see if I could wrap my fingers around some of my old favorites, starting with Chopin’s prelude in C-minor (Op. 28, No. 20). So I practiced and practiced and practiced some more…. and……

As you can see, we’re both having fun with Dirk’s new piano. But it’s also an indispensable tool for my hubby… and coming soon, I’ll have video of Composer Dirk in action.

If the above video doesn’t play, try putting your mobile device into landscape mode, or use this alternate link.