Our latest LP: Piano Sketches
This is the same piano. The same piano tuning 432 Hz. The same recording studio. Same stereo ribbon microphone. The same sound engineer. One tape and one tape recorder. Two days of recordings. Six outstanding pianists…
I know that’s a rather long list, but my hope is to demonstrate the uniqueness and complexity of this project. When I came up with the idea of recording solo pianists without the participation of a rhythm section, I was looking to create a kind of “catharsis” stemming from my perspective of musicality – first, musicianship then secondly, production. My musical imagination needed something completely different and fresh. The purity of a singular piano’s sound, in the absence of other instruments, creates a unique experience. In attempting to reach a musical ideal, I contemplated my daily life. This reflection was not without difficulty.
Fortunately, we made the recordings in Custom 34 in Gdansk – an absolutely outstanding recording studio. We had the best analog equipment – the console, the Studer tape recorder and the main studio’s 28 feet height created an amazing natural, acoustic sound. Another important element is the HUM microphone – the hit of all audiophile recording studios. We did not have to use any sound corrections during the recording and mastering – an additional testament to the uniqueness of this production.
Another important element of the production was logistics; coordinating the artists’ limited availability (they all perform or are academic faculty) was no small feat! I am not writing intentionally about music. I would like to leave the interpretation to you, the listener. When inviting my wonderful colleagues to participate in the recordings, I implemented a similar procedure. There were no programming or styling suggestions. I was well aware of the diversity of styles and sounds, and the unique approach of each individual to the recording. The institution of “planning” was not needed.
For me, it was an interesting and educational experience to listen to artists in constant succession. The experience was almost mystical – so many emotions, energy, character, perfection, madness and love do not often meet in one place. I invite you to listen and be mystified, as well!