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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Joe-like perfect. :twisted:

Hehe yes, sorry, could not resist that one. One backstabbing little sod, am I :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:53 pm 
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techneut wrote:
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Joe-like perfect. :twisted:

Hehe yes, sorry, could not resist that one. One backstabbing little sod, am I :lol:


I believe that there is a saying, "You know you have a true friend when he stabs you in the front" :P


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:11 pm 
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I believe that there is a saying, "You know you have a true friend when he stabs you in the front" :P

"Amigo, I kill for money. But you are my Friend, I kill you for nothing" :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:20 pm 
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I can usually detect edits right away. (There's an edit near the end of one of Pollini's Chopin Scherzos, 3 or 4.) His etudes sound unedited. Having seen Pollini play, I don't believe his recording needed any edits. The man is bionic. There are note errors to be found in his etudes, not many, but they're there.

PJF


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:35 pm 
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I think you have to bear in mind that most recording artists also perform regularly, so even if they release edited recordings, you know that they can perform most of the pieces they record. The concert hall and a CD are two completely different mediums — when you attend a live concert, you have a different set of expectations than when you listen to a recording. A live performance is what it is — but when you record a piece, especially if it's for commercial distribution, you want the recording to represent the best of your playing abilities, and your idealized interpretation at the time. So I see nothing wrong about splicing together sections from different takes if that creates the version you envision in your mind.

If you consider splicing to be cheating, how about recording different movements of a piece separately? In fact, what about taking breaks between recording different pieces in an album, or *gasp* recording different pieces on different days and putting them on the same album? Does that show that you don't have the mental or physical stamina to play a whole hour of music?

We have to draw a line somewhere, and I think that most musicians would consider splicing between takes a completely acceptable — and common — thing to do. More extreme "techniques" like recording a piece measure by measure, or even recording a piece at a slower tempo and digitally speeding it up, would definitely be treading on very dangerous ground, and requires some justification or at least mention of it in the documentation accompanying the distribution of the recording (liner notes, website, etc.).

I do think that live recordings advertised as such, however, should not be edited (and by editing I do not include things like noise removal or trimming of applause or anything else that doesn't affect the performance itself), though I know they often are.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:00 am 
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You have many valid points in what you say. Concert and CD:s are different things and one should have different expectations on them. Where the line is drawn is individually and I hope you all understand the problematic situation Chris and me sometimes have.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:02 am 
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Wui-Ming, you pretty much sum up our thoughts on the subject. It is clear there is a line, as you can clearly see on both sides of it, but where exactly that line is can be impossible to say.

Perhaps we should reserve the term "editing" for splicing and cutting out warts, as long as it does not change or add to what was already there. Things like noise filtering and reverberation could be called "postprocessing". That leaves the term "cheating" for the real bad stuff like changing notes, dynamics, or tempi. Even then there will be a gray area - like when does splicing degenerate into bar-by-bar recording ?

BTW - With a live recording, we never cut out the applause at the end (unless the pianist wants that). It's what you have worked hard for. Applause or talks at the beginning we do cut out, unless the pianist has a good reason to want hem there.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:14 am 
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"It's a fine, fine line. . . ."
— Avenue Q

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:36 pm 
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Excuse this very much ex post facto contribution. I only just discovered this discussion.

As I am, or appear to be, at the root of this embroglio: let me respond by saying the following:

1. Common usage of the word "piano" is changing (for better or worse). Nowadays, many people are happy to refer to various kinds of electronic keyboards as "pianos." What's more, when the average listener downloads, he or she is quite liberal about content. As long as the general quality of the music meets a certain standard, the listener doesn't ask, "Was that a REAL piano?" or "Was that a REAL pianist?" The only question is, "Do I like it?"

2. Sampled pianos. which is what I use, ARE real pianos, but real pianos every note of which has been recorded PRIOR to the instrument being played. Once you allow that piano music is just as valid when "recorded," as when heard "live," then you cannot consistently deny the equal validity of sampled piano music. This is because the only difference in principle is AT WHAT POINT the recording process took place. Steinway has recognized this and has recently authorized an official sampled version of its Steinway "D".

3. The real issue, then, comes down to how the music is "played." Is it midi or sequenced, or is it played by a real pianist? Again, I don't think the average listener cares. (I would even go so far as to say that even professional pianists and musicians don't care, in the end.) But, quite rightly, the objection at Piano Society is that at this site we are making music IN A CERTAIN WAY, that is, BY CERTAIN MEANS. That is what the phrase "Piano Society" implies. The public might be happy to hear sequenced or electronic piano music; but what the public thinks is secondary. Again, advocates of this perspective are not saying that midi, electronic, or sequenced piano music is "wrong." The concern is just that it belongs somewhere else.

4. Issue #3 above leads of course to the question, Where to draw the line? Unfortunately, there is no practical answer: modern technology has made it very difficult if not impossible to draw it. This is because the modern "player" piano has completely erased the distinction between "sequenced" and "real" piano-playing. It is now possible to have any real piano play a completely "sequenced" (which really means "super-edited") piece. If you were to sit in front of the instrument blindfolded, there is absolutely no way the trained ear could tell whether or not there was a pianist sitting at the keyboard. The only possible audible difference might be in the nature of the playing: the sequenced playing might sound "mechanical" or "metronomic." Then, again, it might not: because some sequencers are very clever....

So from a practical standpoint, all you can do at Piano Society is ask the pianist, "Did you play the music?" Then, having asked the question, you have to trust that the pianist has answered truthfully.

In short, whether or not a pianist chooses to say how his or her music was made is entirely a matter of trust. You will be unable to tell merely by listening.

For these practical reasons, then, at Piano Society the bias is towards, I think, allowing any piano music that is convincingly real. Editing, even super editing or sequencing is allowed. But there is still a premium on playing with your hands, because another requirement is that the pianist say HOW he or she made the music.

Again, all of this rests on trust, because there is no way to tell whether the music was "real" or "sequenced" or whether it was created by one of the gradations in between... some editing, moderate editing, or editing every bar!

JG


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:39 pm 
Highly interesting post IMHO, very precise and focused on the problem.

> The only question is, "Do I like it?"

And also here I agree. The problem (not claimed here) could born if we consider not an audio recording but a video/audio recording. In this last case the variables change, and probably
the image of a sequencer or of a piano self-playing could not be the best.
The human gesture and the body language of the player could be necessary (hmmm...let's tell
"useful", and not necessary....in my modest experience of my own video productions I use not only editing skills, but I begin to consider also other images than the pianist who plays the music heard)
In audio domain you have all reasons



> because there is no way to tell whether the music was "real" or "sequenced" or whether it was created by one of the gradations in between... some editing, moderate editing, or editing every bar!

Yes, this is only the truth.
If one doesn't like this..... there are the concerts, the old recordings (maybe), the videos (maybe).
And.....if music is NOT a thing to be heard, but to hear-AND-see?
And if all the only-audio world a good business for industry but not for music?
I'm escaping from the thread question, I apologize....
All best and sincere congratulations for your recordings, that demonstrate a more human
and pleasurable use of technology than certain industry CD of pianists that play (maybe) the piece
from the beginning to the end,
Sandro


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:12 pm 
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Here's an interesting irony. I put up a recording at Cnet that I made at the keyboard last year of the C major prelude, WTC 2. There is no editing. Many takes. But no editing. Frankly, I do not like it, which is why it is not here at Piano Society. I do not like it for conceptual reasons. It is not the interpretation that I have in my head of this prelude. My fingers are not doing what my head wants. Which is not to say that I didn't enjoy playing that prelude. But the enjoyment that one gets from playing a piece reasonably well at the piano is not the same as the enjoyment one gets from listening afterwards to what one has done. You always find things you can improve. And personally, I am never satisfied.

That is the beginning of the journey of editing, which can get quite tangled. You can wreck a piece by editing it. In the world of sequencing--which permits infinitesimal changes to the music--it is very easy to wreck a piece. Yet, I find that my sometimes heavily edited versions of the p and f from Book 1 are still enjoyable to me. There are, of course, many passages that I would now change. Some of these changes seem to me a matter of taste; other changes seem, relatively speaking, an objective necessity!

JG


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:43 pm 
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I do not like it for conceptual reasons. It is not the interpretation that I have in my head of this prelude. My fingers are not doing what my head wants.


To me, that is what making music at the piano is all about. Most of the time my fingers don't do what my head wants, either. But in the rare times when things did go right, I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and joy.

IMHO, when you take one of your recordings and 'fix it up' you cannot get that same feeling because it is as if you have cheated. Sorry - I don't mean to make anyone mad, but I am totally against editing, except for cutting and pasting in sections when you have recorded them many times and you are taking the best one. Maybe that's a little cheating too, but I do that.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:14 am 
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Personally, I can't stand when somebody edits their works at all.

I can safetly say that I have yet to ever edit anything in any regards... I've never cut and pasted, modified tempo, dynamics, sound effects, etc.

I suppose that's pretty much the only thing I'm strict about when it comes to my piano playing. I might not regulate my playing as much as somebody else would, but I do regulate my recordings. I figure, if somebody wants to hear real emotion, you can't expect it from a machine. Even if the machine is guided by human hand. I would say that you need the real, true expression.

I'm willing to bet I could record a lot more if I just made even "minor" edits. For example, I had to play through that silly little Satie piece that I recorded the other day something like 30 times to get it right. And I'm still not entirely happy with it... but I could have had a recording done within, let's say, 5 takes, if I had done some minor edits, copy and pasting sections together, or something like that. Most of the time, I'll play one section nicely... and then screw up the next. And the next time I play, I screw up the first, but play the second section nicely. It's just a matter of playing it enough times to finally get it right.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:16 am 
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To me, that is what making music at the piano is all about. Most of the time my fingers don't do what my head wants, either. But in the rare times when things did go right, I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and joy.

IMHO, when you take one of your recordings and 'fix it up' you cannot get that same feeling because it is as if you have cheated. Sorry - I don't mean to make anyone mad, but I am totally against editing, except for cutting and pasting in sections when you have recorded them many times and you are taking the best one. Maybe that's a little cheating too, but I do that.


Everyone is different, I suppose. I love playing, even when I get things "wrong." But "wrong" is a funny word. My experience is that "wrong" one day often seems "right" the next. I'm talking about emotionally or interpretively wrong, of course. That is one small part of the reason why music is (for me) endlessly fascinating. But writing, or composing, or painting is no different: we see things differently, hour to hour, day to day, month to month. We change perceptually and emotionally. Perhaps that change implies a refinement of the mind and the senses. Or perhaps it is just seeing things from a different perspective or point of view. I'm not sure.

I do not entirely understand what you mean when you say: "I am totally against editing, except for cutting and pasting in sections when you have recorded them many times and you are taking the best one. Maybe that's a little cheating too, but I do that."

Here we have the dilemma, nicely summarized in a previous post, of where to draw the line. Personally, I am not troubled by recordings (such as Pollini's Chopin referred to above) that are heavily or completely edited. It is, I think, an entirely subjective matter. I understand that many people, on discovering that a much-loved recording has been edited even "a little", can no longer listen to it. For others, "a little" is OK; but finding that something has been edited "a lot" brings them past their own personal threshold. There are, of course, total purists--like my parents--who really can't listen to anything outside the concert hall. The mere act of recording, placing microphones in particularly advantageous positions, or the electronic transfer of sound waves to the medium of the loudspeaker, seems to wreck the experience for them.

There is nothing right or wrong with these perceptions or predilections. Music is art; and all of it is subject to personal taste, unless you are living in a totalitarian society, in which case all bets are off.

I recall, as a child, listening to a very early recording by Rubinstein and Dimitris Mitropoulos (conducting) of Tchaikovsky's PC 1 and marveling at Rubinstein's technique, and also of the incredible beauty of Rubinstein's interpretation of this piece (which has never been equaled in my view, ancient though the recording may be.) My young mind was filled with images of playing this concerto in front of a huge audience, and impressing all of them with my fantastic fingers. I sometimes think this is what we pine for in performance. Bach's solo keyboard music, however, does not readily lend itself (for me anyway) to that kind of emotion or desire to be heard. And when we listen to Gould's recording of, say, the Inventions, we--or I at least--cannot imagine it played in a hall in front of an audience. There is, in fact, very little ambiance in that recording.

Modern recordings of solo Bach keyboard music are leaning back to the "ambient" side, which I am fond of. But now the image in my head is of someone playing the music in a nearly empty church cathedral. Perhaps only one person is listening, or overhearing a performance--or perhaps better an interpretation--which interpretation is entirely a personal expression, not really intended for anyone but the performer himself or herself.

In my mind, there are no limits, really, or no hard and fast "rules," that define what I like and what I don't. In fact, my likes and dislikes change from day to day, and I don't think there are any strictures that would restrict what I can listen to.

JG


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:32 am 
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Personally, I can't stand when somebody edits their works at all.


Wouldn't this rule out almost all recorded music?

Everyone's threshold is different. But if indeed any editing wrecks the music for you, I take it that you only enjoy "live" recordings, which are few and far between. But are you sure that you can listen to a recording and TELL whether it has been edited or not?

I think this is the dilemma for what might be called the "purist" line: for it to be defensible in a practical sense, you have to be able to demonstrate that you can listen to two recordings of the same piece, one edited, the other "not edited at all," and tell the difference.

Either that, or you are committing yourself to determining the authenticity of every recording before listening to it, for fear of discovering after the fact that it might be edited and thus having the experience ruined for you.

Whatever the case, everyone's threshold different, and it is also entirely personal and subjective. There is no "right" or "wrong," in these matters, merely personal "likes" and a "dislikes."


JG


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