Digital doodles & piano (& photos)

Original writings and artwork by Tolkien fans.
Arien
Arien
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@Nia - that makes total sense about them being in the same key. I totally know the feeling of rushing a bit when getting caught up in the moment of a piece!

These are lovely! I listened to the duet while doing some work earlier this week and it was really beautiful. Duets are so fun - I am in awe of piano duets where it's two people sharing the same instrument.

Isn't it amazing how time has flown?! 2012 feels like yesterday in the Cottage for me, weirdly enough. LOVE your mashups! :smiley9:
she/her

Treebeard
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Thanks Tara! ♡

And now an attempt at my keyboard. I thought picking an angular black and white object would be easy. I thought wrong. Found this super tricky. Struggled especially with the perspective element, and with the colours (didn't really appreciate the number of different shades of black that there are).

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New Soul
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@Nia -- I shall definitely have to! And yes, I love that- I have done things like that on a few occasions, learning separate parts of a duet or group song separate and then bringing them together; it's such a fun experience.

I love the mash-up, and totally get the impulse to smash things together, I do it a lot when playing around. Also excellent song choices-- I've been working on Go the Distance, and am hoping it'll be one that will work well as my voice drops on testosterone-- so we'll see how that goes in the future sometime.

And I love this piece- having attempted to draw a piano from this sort of perspective before, I definitely appreciate how tricky it is. I think you did a really excellent job with the floor texture, as well as the color/shading work on the piano to give the keys a really 3D look!
they/he/mischief

Treebeard
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Just seen the sad news that Ennio Morricone has died. I wasn't going to share this video here, because a) I'm in my Thailand elephant trousers but also a jumper I wear for work and I just can't understand what was going through my mind, and b) I kinda slip up in a few parts which annoys me. However, I do enjoy my use of the radiator here. I miss that flat.

🎹 But this is my small tribute to the great composer. 🎹

n.b. I tried out a mix of the piano and strings functionality, but not sure it 100% works being picked up by the camera microphone, so sorry if that's grating for anyone who listens.

@Burnt Toast I love that song so much, so if you do ever give it a go, I'd love to hear. I think you're right that it would be a great song for your voice dropping! :smiley8:

Easterling
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@Tazzy love your rendition of Chi Mai. It was a song my whole family bonded over after seeing Le Professionnel on holiday, especially because my younger brother, who had been struggling with drug addiction, really enjoyed it. I did not know Ennio Morricone had died. May he rest in peace.

Other than that I have enjoyed seeing/listening to your piano performances and how they have evolved over the years! And don't worry about thailand-elephant trousers and what-not; they have the right colour of dark-blue in them. They are approved.
Some think to be strong is to be hard like stone. Others know to be strong is to endure like stone.

Cave Troll but also I made the website
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that is a nice looking piano - those hardwood panels steal the scene though for sure

it makes very nice sounds also, including the piano/strings combo. I'm v uncultured so I hadn't even heard of Ennio Morricone, but I like it

Arien
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Fully agree that you drew some excellent hardwood floors! I want those floors in my home.

Also I really like this tribute (and your outfit!) - I heard that he passed away but wasn't familiar with his works. This is lovely!
she/her

Treebeard
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Okay guys, just wanted to start off by saying I am really glad the wood floor has had some shout-outs.
That was the last bit I did, and it took me pretty much the same time as the whole rest of the piece, partly because I was trying out a new app, with the haughty ability to work in layers. And I was utterly useless at layer-working. I kept forgetting to work in the new layer and then unwittingly painting the wood all over the keyboard, and then kept only being able to erase the keyboard and not the wood floor, and it was all rather stressful, albeit probably a good lesson to me. I nearly just didn't bother, but because I'd already painted the wall it looked silly otherwise. So yeah, thanks for making all of that now seem completely worthwhile and like time well spent. :thumbs: :thumbs:

@Balfie - that's awesome. I always love to hear stories behind other people's memories and thoughts on music pieces and stuff like that. I'm also very pleased to receive your approval on the attire. They are probably the single comfiest item of clothing I own, but from afar I really get a sense of quite how whacky they are!

Narv - so as it transpires, I am just pretending to be cultured. I only know this piece from a television series about David Lloyd George which my dad really enjoyed, but as per Balfur's comment, turns out it features in all sorts of films I've not actually seen. I actually also only really know that he did scores for lots of western films (which I have also not seen - though I know one is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly).

Tara - thanks (as always!) Please see above to see my gratitude for the wood floor comment. :grin:

So that I stop prefacing everything with caveats, I'm going to say this once now and then force myself to stop saying it over and over:
For the piano stuff, I tend to record myself when I think I'm more or less there with a piece, really as a reminder to myself of the various things I've tried to learn over the years. However, my fingers are always acutely aware when there's a camera trained on them, so more often than not I tend to make errors. If it's horrendous, I re-record, if I get by okay without it feeling like a major impediment to the sound of the piece, I just leave it.

🎹Here's another one using the same dual-instrument functionality. This is I think from Amelie, although I've not actually seen that film either. 🎹

Arien
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That sounds like a lot of work getting those floors right, but it definitely paid off!

To my ears, your recordings are quite polished! This was beautifully done - delicate and flowing. How does the dual instrument functionality work? Is that how the piano sound fades into string sounds?
she/her

Treebeard
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Thanks Tara! Basically it's just a really neat little function of the keyboard which I didn't discover until about 2 years after I got it (and discovered by accident). You can set it to combine any 2 of the first 6 piano/ electric piano instrument sound options with any of the remaining 6 instrument options (which include a few organs - good for phantom of the opera, a bit intense for everything else! - strings, and then some sort of electric guitar thing).


🎹 have another piano-string combo - (piece not arranged by me). 🎹

Note the persistent hair flick of a person who is desperate for a post-quarantine haircut. :grin:

Arien
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That is a really cool feature - and sounds so lovely on this one. It really sounds like a solo piano accompanied by an orchestra.

Also hair flicks are all the rage these days, and this makes me suspicious you are an elf disguised as a sapling
she/her

New Soul
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Oooh Nia! I love these digital doodles. I have never been able to do a great job with digital drawing! It requires certain patience that I can't even begin to attempt!

Also loving these super rad little piano bits too! You're so talented!
she/her

Treebeard
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For some incomprehensible reason I just took the time to notice that I have so far made 13 posts within the space of a week. This is precisely the number of posts I made in the entire of September and October combined.

This post, my 14th post of this fine November week (which runs Tuesday to Tuesday for convenience), therefore marks my entrance to the new highs of a 2.0 post per day (ppd) average for the last week.

As a result of these intriguing post stats relating to my new 2.0 ppd, and because I live in little England (and I of course mean that objectively, in terms of relative size, rather than in any way derogatorily), and am therefore now experiencing Lockdown 2.0 of 2020, I feel it is my duty to resurrect from the depths of page 3 this forgotten thread that got me so successfully through lockdown #1. So here is another piece for you all, because I haven't returned to digital doodling yet this lockdown.

🎹 this is on a real piano as it was recorded at a happy time when I was allowed to visit home and the parentals 🎹

p.s. majorly belated thanks so much Tara and Tari! :smooch:

Arien
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Woohoo! So glad you resurrected this thread and have shared more music with us. :grin:

I have to ask - how did you shoot this video? I love the aerial perspective so much - especially because it gives us a glimpse of your lovely nails and beautiful rings, ha! But seriously, this is gorgeous, and what a lovely arrangement. How long would you say it takes you to arrange a piece like this?
she/her

Treebeard
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Haha thanks, Tara! I must say it's very nice to have a lil place I can come and drop the odd thing into every now and again to maintain some form of a presence on this beloved corner of the web. :grin:

Hmm so it really depends, what I tend to do (mostly because I'm lazy) is search the guitar chords online, and then go from there. Sometimes I find things super quick and easy to pick up and cobble something together (especially for pieces I know really well by ear), and other times it takes me forever and I get really frustrated with it.

I filmed that one about a year or so ago, so can't actually remember, but I assume for filming I used the same contraption I used earlier this evening to make the below video. The contraption is probably best described as a giant rotating hair clip/phone clamp thing on the end of a really thick, stiff, but still flexible bendy wire thing, which is in turn is attached to an actual plastic screw clamp thing, which I tend to attach to random pieces of furniture in the hopes I can get some footage of the playing.

I tried to do another aerial perspective just now. The closest usable piece of furniture to clamp to was a bookcase off to one side, but I guess it kinda works.

🎹 A combo I made of two songs I like from the musical Evita (there are faults, but I'm rolling with them) 🎹

Arien
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Nia wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:26 pm Hmm so it really depends, what I tend to do (mostly because I'm lazy) is search the guitar chords online, and then go from there. Sometimes I find things super quick and easy to pick up and cobble something together (especially for pieces I know really well by ear), and other times it takes me forever and I get really frustrated with it.

I filmed that one about a year or so ago, so can't actually remember, but I assume for filming I used the same contraption I used earlier this evening to make the below video. The contraption is probably best described as a giant rotating hair clip/phone clamp thing on the end of a really thick, stiff, but still flexible bendy wire thing, which is in turn is attached to an actual plastic screw clamp thing, which I tend to attach to random pieces of furniture in the hopes I can get some footage of the playing.
Clearly this process of arranging pieces is working for you - everything you've posted has been just lovely, and all the more impressive because you've arranged so many of the pieces yourself.

Also I really, really, really, really love your description of your filming setup. :lol: It's working!

This was beautiful and I must say, big props to you for playing it all from memory.
she/her

Treebeard
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Thanks, @Tarawen ! :grin:

This may or may not end up having legs, depending on people's commitment and time availability over the next few weeks. But the next thing I am hoping to share has been coordinated by a friend of mine (in fact, the same friend who I did the duet with on one of those earlier links). She's organised us into a long-distance - thanks, Covid - 'Ceyboard & Cazoo Club' (it was originally the 'Keyboard & Kazoo Klub', but after the newly named WhatsApp group had existed for all of about 35 seconds, we spotted the problem!), and she's given us all different parts to learn which she's going to then put together. It might happen, but don't hold your breath (unless you are playing a kazoo, in which case do).

Treebeard
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I said I wouldn't apologise in advance for the errors, but I'm making an exception cause some of the errors here are pretty egregious. But my household is in lockdown so everyone can hear me playing this over and over again and I just can't bring myself to re-record it. If I find time over the next few days I might give it one final go and replace the URL.

[EDIT: I did find some time to re-record this morning. Still got errors, but I think it's an improvement.]

🎹 River Flows in You by Yiruma 🎹

My friend who I mentioned was arranging our keyboard and kazoo sextet performance has sent us a sneak previous of what's to come (think we're still missing a piano and a kazoo part). It's ... quite something :lol: .

Please feel free to guess the tune.

Treebeard
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Branching out into one final medium (photos) because I rather luckily got this shot of a red kite earlier today and thought I'd share.

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Ent Ancient
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That's a great shot! Where was it taken?
In the deeps of Time, amidst the Innumerable Stars

Treebeard
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Thanks, Andro! :grin: I was actually just on a walk near where I live (or more accurately, where I've got temporarily trapped following the latest lockdown!) in an area just south of the Chilterns in Berkshire.

I think red kites were reintroduced to the region about 20-30 years ago, and it's been a real success story - you can more or less just look skywards on a clear day and see at least one!

The full photo is below, but you can't see the kite so well (took me a moment to work out if I'd even snapped the right bit of the sky!)

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Arien
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Beautiful piano work, Nia! I recognized the tune and had to look it up - TIL that the composer is a Korean-British composer/pianist and that the song was featured in the Twilight movies. :lol:

I have a guess about the piano/kazoo piece! (Can You Feel the Love Tonight??)

The kite is lovely. What a great angle for the shot, and the zoom/cropped version turned out really nicely!
she/her

Treebeard
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Thanks Tara! And you are correct! :grin: I think we're still short a piece, but will share the finished video when I can.

And (to my discredit) I think I did actually already know that the Yiruma tune featured in those films ... I'm pretty sure that will have been how I initially came across it all those years ago. However, it has opened me up to a world of other new classical music (such as Einaudi - can recommend), so I'm only a little bit ashamed :lol: .

And just cause I have them to hand, have some more 2020 sky photos:

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Arien
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Hey, if it opened doors to new music for you, that sounds like a win! Can’t wait for more kazoo ensemble pieces!

What a gorgeous variety of colors you’ve captured in these. Do you just have an amazing view or are you climbing around on rooftops to shoot these? :lol:
she/her

Treebeard
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@Tarawen I happen to have been immensely fortunate with my rented accommodation in London. Our last place (as seen in photo below) was on a street of buildings which all had flat roofs that you could climb out onto from the window of the top bedroom of the buildings. We made friends with most of our side of the street (and the street parallel to ours, who had gardens facing our way), in April and May, when we were all trapped with nothing to do, and all our buildings had one-by-one discovered that you could get out onto the roof - all of which were perfectly socially distanced with 2-3m drops between them. In a time of true meh, it was, in many ways, sublime. We don't have a roof we can climb out onto in the new place, but I do get pretty phenomenal sunsets from my top bedroom :grin:

For those so inclined, click the photo below for a little sunset video of the moon appearing:

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And just for something different (although still sky related), I was very lucky to get away for 4 days to Gdańsk between restrictions over summer, and I think this was probably the best double rainbow I've ever seen. It was a really crazy weather day, it went from cloudless blue skies and baking sunshine to thundering rainstorm and back again within about an hour. This was mid way between the two:

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Treebeard
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Okie dokes, so got some more piano. Still need to use the music for this one, though will hopefully have it memorised by the end of lockdown 3!

And on the off chance anyone was wondering, yes, my sister had to photograph the pages from her piano book for me so I could print it out to learn it, and consequently one of the pages has a photo of her thumb on it.

🎹 I Giorni by Einaudi 🎹

n.b. the C♯ (and probably other notes too, but that's the one I always cringe at) is horribly out of tune, but we're probably a way off being allowed piano tuners in the house, so gotta put up with it.

also for some reason when I play the video on my laptop it sounds horrible and tinny and really poor audio quality, but it doesn't do that on my phone. So no idea what's up with that.

Prince Imrahil
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I quite enjoyed it @Nia! I’d never heard to original so I went and listened to that as well. The sound quality was fine on my laptop, I feared it might be too loud because of the angle of the video but there wasn’t any issue there. I think overall it was good, with only a few minor pacing issues to my ear, but I assumed that was due to using the sheet music. But when you reach the point that you don’t need to use the music I’d like to see a follow up video to see any improvements you’ve made!

Treebeard
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Haha, yeah in addition to my rather lackadaisical approach to keeping time anyway, the pace of it isn't helped by various instructions throughout the piece to either slow down or speed up (which for now I largely ignore and instead slow or speed up according to my own devices). I will definitely give it a rerecord once it's been commited to memory! :thumbs:
Thanks so much for dropping by @Ta'leus Shieldsong and for the comments! :grin:

Treebeard
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Okay @Ta'leus Shieldsong , I gave it a go! :grin: A few memory related errors, but this was the best of three attempts, and as I'm meant to be doing other bits of life admin today, I decided to call it a day.

without the sheet music!

(I've noticed I do have a tendency to look up at where the music should be, I promise I've not got a cheat sheet hidden away there...!)

Prince Imrahil
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Hey @Nia , that's some good improvement in just a week! :headbang: Going from using the sheet music to not using it for a 6-minute piano piece is pretty awesome, especially in so short a time. I think you definitely corrected some of the pacing issues too. Like you said, there were a few errors but they were small and obviously just due to switching over from using the sheet music to not. I enjoyed it again though, and I'm looking forward to more pieces you do in the future. :grin:

Faramir
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@Nia How is it that I had not peeked into your thread before?! You have such treasures in here! Also... I just now finally connected your plaza name to your real name, though I must have been such a silly not to figure it out before. :lol: And now I will listen to your music while I work or do somesuch things that I do on Sunday...
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Treebeard
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Thanks, so much Pele! Ahaha no you weren't being a silly at all, I also only fairly recently made the connection too. (That 'plaza-name to RL name' file on the facebook page has been incredibly useful). But now I'm all clued up on Strava/Plaza personas! :grin:

Faramir
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Yup, and now spying on people on Strava has become more interesting too. :lol:
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Treebeard
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@Tarawen - it's been a while coming, but it's finally landed!!

Keyboard & Kazoo Club's brand new single!

a.k.a. the best possible remedy to the pandemic blues :grin:

Prince Imrahil
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@Nia that was absolutely ridiculous. And I loved it. Hahaha.

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Ta'leus Shieldsong wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:21 am @Nia that was absolutely ridiculous. And I loved it. Hahaha.
I agree! This is awesome! <3 Love the combination of pianos and the kazoo such unexpected but lovely idea. <3
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Treebeard
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it was certainly full throttle ridiculous! Really glad you both enjoyed it! :grin:

Faramir
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Well, it really was lovely! Hehe.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Arien
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@Nia, this is AMAAAZZZZING!! I love it so much! The woman with the silver kazoo is SO into it! :lol: Thank you for sharing this amazing bit of pandemic music with us!
she/her

Treebeard
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Haha thanks! Yup, the super enthusiastic silver kazooist was the one who composed it all and did the pretty awesome video editing (not to mention chivvying us all along for 9 months to actually get around to learning and recording it!). She's a teacher, and I think you can see why she'd be good at that sort of thing :grin: .

And now for the BIG announcement: we have all agreed that we're going to do it all again - I think we've landed on a Backstreet Boys classic, because apparently it has a good "call and response" which will work well for kazoos :lol: . So be sure to check back in c. 9 months' time!

The Thrush
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Why have I never been to this thread before!? The sunset and moon video is lovely. The colors juxtaposed with the shadowed buildings - its perfect. Your roofscapades sound really fun, you had some great sunset views. I especially love the top sunset with the cloud-speckled sky.

I have never heard I Giorni, but that was so beautiful. Nia, you are very talented! Also had no idea kazoos could actually make real music - that was so unique and fun. I'm looking forward to the BSB song in 9 months!

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