Here we are, at the start of an exciting journey! The first blog post for Creative Notation and with it, something of an unofficial launch for the business. I’ll take the opportunity now to plug the fact that we have some great deals on this site for compositions, piano performance and tuition so please take a look when you get a moment. This section of the site, however, is going to be a regular blog about all the goings-on in the music area of my life (the other area being my photography..take a look at Novel Focus Photography for more on that).
Every week (or there abouts) I’m going to be doing a little blog post here with the primary focus being a new piano or keyboard recording each time. The recordings are going to range from a huge variety of different styles and aspects of the music that I love (and hope you will too). Some will be new audio tracks and some will be videos. All will be recorded fresh that week and uploaded the same day this blog goes live.
If you haven’t had a chance to look around the site yet then let me just take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Matt Bunting and I’ve been a pianist and keyboard player for just over 11 years now. Today’s blog post is dedicated to a piece of music that has been a genuinely incredible influence on my life. I’m not exactly sure why I decided to start playing the keyboard when I was a teenager but I do know that once I was hooked, I became obsessed with the instrument. Obsessive tendencies do play a fair part of my life, albeit in quite a sporadic sense…there really tends to be very little middle ground! I think that ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ was probably one of the first times that I became aware of this. I had played keyboard music before learning this piece, but this was the first big step.
This piece taught me all sorts about music.
It taught me how to read music. I would write one note down on the score, play it, write the next note down, play that, then the next note…and on it goes…
It also taught me where to find those notes on the actual keyboard - once I had found each note I would practice the first 2 notes back to back, then the first 3 notes, then the first 4…..and on it goes again…
And then there were the rhythms in their own bizarre little world of big dots, smaller dots, hollow dots, dots with tails, dots with tails that had tails of their own, dots with their own little pet dots sat next to them…..so I tried the first 2 notes, then the first 3, then the first 4…..
Several days (weeks?! months?!) down the line with slightly achy fingers that was the right hand part sorted.
The left hand was a whole world of fun still to come!
You can see it took me a while to learn, but I loved every second of it. I still don’t know why I wanted to learn this piece so badly, aside from there being a competitive streak in me and my Uncle laying down the gauntlet somewhere along the line. But for whatever reason, I wanted to be able to play it and I did. I played the piece at my first school concert and as terrifying an experience as it was, I loved that too. I took so much pleasure in teaching myself this piece. 14 is relatively late to learn an instrument but I think that’s what made me want to teach it after University; I understood (and still understand) how confusing music is and I figured out ways to put pieces of the jigsaw together and solve it.
So, at the start of this new chapter with the exciting launch of Creative Notation, we’re visiting an old chapter that may well have brought me to where I am today.