Some of the tracks from the upcoming live premiere of Blues, Preludes & Feuds…
Wait? Didn’t Michael Jordan say that after coming out of his first retirement?
So forget about that. Anyway, I never actually left. Leaving would imply that I went on to some other endeavor to get away from this (ostensible) career.
Just to be clear. While I wasn’t gone . . .
– I didn’t play baseball—except with my kids.
– I didn’t become a real estate agent—didn’t want to compete with my wife, who would destroy me in that profession.
– I didn’t even become an Über driver—but only because my 1999 Saturn wouldn’t cut it as a vehicle people would want to be driven in for more than a few blocks.
Though in another way, I did leave. I have a tendency to go into exile whenever I need to work out some new thing, some new project or concept. And that’s where I’ve been—working out a new thing.
Happily, the new thing is finally out. And it’s available in the form of my hybrid album/ebook app that creates a unique reader-listener experience—Blues, Preludes & Feuds. A melding of my original solo piano work (composed and improvised) with my sometimes funny/reflective memoir of growing up in Chicago and discovering my music as I negotiate the radically changing world around me.
So I can now (after a 1.5 years) come up for air. I can become a public artist again. And in the spirit of coming up for air, I’m introducing this new version of petersaltzman.com.
But the new site isn’t meant to just introduce the new thing. It’s also meant to look back at all of the old things, to talk about music in general, culture, my life, etc.
There is another reason for reintroducing petersaltzman.com—to keep me from going into hiding again. This site forces me to develop and maintain my profile as a public artist. And hopefully keeps me from driving you around in my beat-up Saturn.
Read (and listen) on . . .
And so will this one—eventually. Give it some time, though.
But welcome back . . . or just welcome.
This is the third iteration of petersaltzman.com. I purchased the domain name back in 2000 or so, just to make sure none of my namesakes lurking around the World Wide Web—as we proudly called it back then—didn’t grab it first.read more
My doctor wears a mask in public. Not a surgical mask, but what he calls his “regular guy” mask. I own the same model. More often than not, I wear it in public.
It’s apparently quite popular among us creative types and can’t be found at any costume store. Unfortunately, our masks are becoming too loose from wear—or too tight from fear. At the slightest provocation, they may fall off, revealing the true person behind the mask.read more
I was with either my ex-girlfriend or my dad when I first went to a Keith Jarrett concert. Either way, she was there, which may be the reason why it was also the last. I should go again.
I was 15—beginning my sophomore year in high school—and had several of Jarrett’s records in my collection: “The Köln Concert” (solo), a few with his classic quartet (Dewey Redman on sax), and another with his more avant-garde experimental works for various ensembles. In general, I loved his work. True, even then I found it to be sometimes indulgent, particularly the solo work. But the playing was always beautiful, expressing a profound sense of joy in making music.read more
I’ve been trying to fold words into music (and vice versa) ever since I began putting lyrics to my tunes in my early 20s. Songwriting is, of course, just that: the art of making words get along with melody, harmony, rhythm, and musical form.
My newly released app—”Blues, Preludes & Feuds”—attempts something like that. But, at least in this initial release, there are no lyrics, no vocals, no songs to be sung.read more
From the Archives...(samples of my music from the past that I still like)
“Free Yourself From Yourself” comes from my first record, “Songs from Two States”, 1988. It may surprise you that is was a straight ahead pop record—but it shouldn’t. Pop music, or at least songwriting, has always been a part of my creative life. Commercial success in that medium? Well that’s another story…
I composed a lot of chamber and orchestral music in the mid-to-late 1990s. I mean, like reams of it. Here’s an example: the 2nd movement from my third String Quartet, performed live in 1999 by the Revolution Ensemble String Quartet (a subset of my group, The Revolution Ensemble.)
Avant Garde Jewish Blueish
The culmination of the intense period of composing referred to in the blurb to the left was no doubt “Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk”. I wrote it in 1999 (commissioned by the Chicago Humanities Festival) and recorded it in 2000. It combines all of my jazz, classical, and pop experience into one extended riff on Kabbalah and quantum physics. What?!!!? Just listen…