May 2022 Bandcamp Friday

It’s another Bandcamp Friday, so I’m taking a break from supporting friends to hawking my own goodies.

I managed to release two short collections of music in AprilPéchés d’âge moyen II: One Week in March and The Lo-Fi Hymnal II.  The Lo-Fi Hymnal II is totally free, though you’re welcome to pay more if you’d like to help out yours portly.

Currently, my entire discography is $26.48, which is not bad for ten releases.  That’s $2.65 per release—not too shabby!  To purchase the full discography, click on any release, and you’ll see the option to purchase all of them.

I’ve also been paintington of little picturesI’m selling all of my paintings for $10, with free shipping in the United States, regardless of how many you purchase.  They’re one of kind, so once a painting is purchased, it’s gone.

I’ve done two landscapes recently that I really like—“Windy Nightfall” and “Playing in the Graveyard.”  I think the former is the better painting, but the latter is a bit more fun.  You can judge for yourself:

Well, that’s it for this month’s sales pitch.  Thanks again for your support!

Happy Friday!

—TPP

Son of Sonnet: The Sins of Middle Age

My good buddy and regular poetry contributor Son of Sonnet launched his new Locals page last week at https://sonofsonnet.locals.com/.  It’s $10 a month for all sorts of goodies—poems, poetry readings, etc.  And the price per month drops as more users sign up.

As one of the chosen subscribers, I recommended a topic for a poem:  my hilarious little release Péchés d’âge moyen, a short collection of twelve original piano miniatures.  Son—as always—delivered the goods.

To be clear, this wasn’t an easy assignment:  he had to write a poem based on twelve very short piano pieces that were largely written (initially) as part of an inside joke on the Internet.  He consulted me on a few elements of the poem, including the cover art, an original painting of mine called “Apple Picking.”

With that, I give you—reprinted with permission from the poet—“The Sins of Middle Age” (originally published at https://sonofsonnet.locals.com/ on Wednesday, 16 March 2022):

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Midweek March Update

Yep, Portly readers:  it’s one of those blog posts:  a general update on the latest with yours portly because I’m out of both ideas and energy.  Sure, I should be writing about the war in the Ukraine or something important like that (instead of silly paintings and piano pieces), but, again—I’m more low-energy than JEB! at the moment.  Or, at the very least, my pantheric intensity has to be focused towards more pressing matters than this humble blog.

Early March is always a time when everything comes to a head at once.  Last week was the final week of third quarter, and was chock-a-block with various school events.  That saw me scrambling around all over campus during my precious planning periods performing various feats of technical wizardry (but all of the standard hedge-mage variety; the really powerful audio/visual spells won’t be cast for another month).  Incredibly, I managed to record all of Péchés d’âge moyen last week (give it a listen if you haven’t already—it’s less then seven minutes to listen to the entire album!).

Naturally, that meant a backlog of grading and comment-writing for report cards, which had to be completed over the weekend.  I’m grateful to Pontiac Dream 39/Always a Kid for Today for his movie review Monday, because that saved me some valuable time Sunday (it’s also an excellent review—you should go read it!).

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Lazy Sunday CLV: Péchés d’âge moyen Posts

On Friday, I released Péchés d’âge moyen, my short collection of twelve original piano miniatures.  At the time of writing, I haven’t sold any downloads via Bandcamp, but its tracks have a total of 113 plays from forty unique listeners, which is pretty good.  Goth Kilts of The Sandwhich Press and Dr. Rachel Fulton Brown of Dragon Common Room have both been wonderful about promoting the recording via their respective channels.  I mean, considering GK was the muse for the whole project, she’d better be pitching it!

Anyway, it was fun putting the pieces together, and in the spirit of album promotion (get it here!), here are the four posts about the project:

That’s it for this Lazy Sunday.  If you haven’t already, take 6’35” and listen to Péchés d’âge moyen.  If you’re feeling so led, pay $5 and pick it up.  You’ll be helping me out in the process.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Rapid-Fire Recording

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Yesterday I released my collection of short miniatures, Péchés d’âge moyen.  It’s been getting a lot of plays on Bandcamp thanks to support from The Dragon Common Room and The Sandwhich Press, both chats/channels that I follow and participate in on Telegram (if you use Telegram, you should join/follow both; here are links:  DCR; TSP).

I’d hoped that in the few weeks I had between announcing the project and releasing it I’d be able to set up a more sophisticated recording rig.  Instead, I recorded the twelve tracks in a white heat, using my iPhone SE’s voice memo app, and placing the phone on the old Baldwin Acrosonic piano in my school’s Music Room.

These made for less-than-ideal recording conditions, but in listening back to the album, it worked better than I thought.

To read more of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

March Bandcamp Friday: New Release!

After a lot of frantic composing and sloppy recording, it’s here: Péchés d’âge moyen, my short collection of twelve original piano miniatures.

My self-imposed deadline was today, the March 2022 Bandcamp Friday.  I made it—barely!

The total recording clocks in at just six minutes and thirty-five seconds, but I’ve jam-packed this release with bonus features:  videos, original manuscripts of each piece, and a PDF booklet detailing the origins of the project.  It’s not bad for $5 (although that comes out to approximately $1.43 per minute if you just listen to the album once).

I also had a blast putting this recording together.  The feel of putting pen to paper is just so satisfying, and each little bit of written music is like its own little work of art.  One reason I included the manuscripts with the recording is because they’re beautiful to look at—even with my poor penmanship.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Péchés d’âge moyen Sneak Peak

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

This weekend’s edition of SubscribeStar Saturday will be a bit of a video and document dump, as I’m giving subscribers a sneak peek of my collection of piano miniatures, Péchés d’âge moyen.  I’m hoping to have the whole collection available by this Friday, 4 March 2022 on Bandcamp, but there are some technical considerations I need to work out first—namely, how to get a good quality recording of each piece, rather than videos taken on my phone at school while kids shoot hoops outside of the Music Room (which, sadly, opens onto the gym).

Of course, I may just end up extracting the audio from the attached MP4s and call it a day—ha!

Regardless, today I’m uploading every video I’ve recorded so far, as well as every manuscript of the pieces I’ve put together so far.  I’ll also briefly discuss my composing method, and how it’s changed slightly over the course of the project.

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Péchés d’âge moyen

During the last eleven years of his life, the great composer of Italian opera Gioachino Rossini, enjoying a sumptuous retirement after a successful career, composed a collection of 150 pieces.  He dubbed these pieces—intended for intimate and private performances in his home—Péchés de vieillesse, or “Sins of Old Age” (that title is actually affixed to only two of the fourteen albums, but later was applied to the entire collection).  The pieces are a mix of chamber, vocal, and piano music, all meant to be played in Rossini’s home.

Most readers will recognize Rossini from his memorable overtures—often written mere hours before the opening nights of his operas, much to the chagrin of theatre managers—which are probably better known to mass audiences than his operas.  Here’s the most famous of them:

Romantic Era music that even Audre Myers can enjoy!

Rossini was so successful as a composer, he basically spent forty years in retirement.  While music historians disagree on exactly why he stopped composing operas so young, I suspect it had to do with the fact that made so much money from them, he didn’t need to work anymore, and enjoyed a fun retirement (ill-health was likely a contributing factor, too).  He also exited gracefully at the top of his game, avoiding the common pitfall of overstaying one’s artistic welcome amid changing times and tastes.

As such, the Péchés de vieillesse are real gems, coming as they did from a great composer who had long retired from the craft.  Here’s just one example (of 150!), his “Prelude inoffensif” from Volume VII of the collection:

As readers know, I’ve been getting back into composing, and have been exploring composing by hand.  It is extremely satisfying to write pieces by hand (as opposed to a computer, which is certainly more convenient, but lacking in the same tactile satisfaction).  I’ve written a few short piano miniatures—some good, some desperately in need of revision—and Rossini’s “Sins” have inspired some of my own:  a small project I’m dubbing Péchés d’âge moyen.

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