Painted Music? Underscored Painting? Actually Both! Backstory Early in 2020, Jeremy Harrison contacts me out of the blue on Instagram. We last saw each other in 1981, but I remembered him instantly. At that time, 39 years ago, I was studying (briefly) at Indiana...
Piano Diaries 2020 : #1 : January by Peter Saltzman Twelve years ago I started a kind of piano blog called Piano Diaries. It was a website with blog entries in the form of improvised solo piano music, and a few lines of text to go along with each improvisation. I kept...
Chicago Musician Fuses His Memoir with Piano Composition for a Unique Reader-Listener Experience via a Custom-Designed iOS App and Universal Web App Download PDF of Press Release CHICAGO—July 12, 2016—Composer-pianist-author Peter Saltzman conceives a new form of...
<p>In "Improvisations on the Ledge," award-winning composer-pianist Peter Saltzman searches for universal truths by stumbling upon them—both with words and music. The basic premise is simple: he improvises on the piano, then talks about what the music tells him. Then makes music about what the talking tells him. Then...well, it goes on like this. Droll, funny, dramatic, musical, short.</p>
S3-E1: Theme is the Theme
bySalt Muse Inc.
After an extended layoff, I’ve decided to get back to Improvisations On the Ledge by sticking to the theme—literally. The entire season—including this episode—is devoted to musical theme: how we create, perceive it, and make music out of it.
In the pilot episode for season three, I randomly stumble upon a couple of themes, including “My Funny Valentine” and “Money, Money, Money”, then proceed to create a show out of them.
Along the way, I delve into what a “theme” is in musical terms. Is it like the theme of a story? Yes and no. In music, themes, as I discover in this episode, are far more fungible than their literary or dramatic counterpoints. They can magically transform into other themes; themes can generate new themes; musical elements that don’t seem on the surface to be thematic can become so by their repeated use.
In short, just about any sonic event can become thematic. This is what makes music special. As we’ll find out in season three!