Thursday, 15 October 2015

Variatio 22. a 1 Clav. alla breve: I get By With a Little Help From My Friends

From Will's website:

That’s probably because, more than anything else, I am a piano player. I cannot recall not being able to play the piano and cannot imagine what it must be like to not be able to play the piano.

I do remember that I have always enjoyed reading between the lines and changing things, adding notes, altering rhythms, disrupting melodies, mutating harmonies and generally getting muddled up. Latterly, I have learned to call this improvisation.

I am an improvising pianist by make-up. I religiously practice Bach fugues, Beethoven sonatas and Brahms intermezzi, not with the intention of performing these great works (I simply don’t have the discipline to attempt this), but rather to feed a never-ending quest for musical vocabulary and depth in my own inventions.

My melting pot is brimming over with influence from Fats Waller stride, Sousa marches, Victorian parlour tunes, the Great American songbook, Gilbert and Sullivan, Methodist hymns, Beatles’ songs and so on.

I am not a jazz pianist; not by its contemporary definition anyway. Still, I do tell people I am a jazz pianist. Firstly I do this because I need to tell them something and secondly, because it hopefully gets up the nose of the jazz fraternity with their intellectualised, exclusive approach.

I enjoy words, and stories, and characters. I am drawn to the absurd and ridiculous. I respond to colossal upheaval with dismissive ease and react to the tiniest issues with incandescent rage. My storytelling, my verse, my shows and my blogs most likely reflect this.

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