I fixate. Obsess, even. I’ll listen to the same song or piece on repeat. Occasionally it’s even smaller, one specific section of a larger work or song. This can go on for weeks if it’s something I really enjoy. I’ve driven friends crazy by listening to the same Vulfpeck song for nearly an entire evening. When it comes to authors, I’ll read their entire output. For bands or composers, I’ll listen to everything I can get my hands on, keeping notes of what I want to return to later for fixation purposes.
Recently I’ve realized how unhealthy this behavior is in many areas of life, but there are occasional advantages when it comes to music. Mainly, if there’s a piece I love listening to, I can learn it rather quickly. One small plus within a larger eccentricity.
Some of my recent recording projects have involved pop music, Pentatonix and The Beatles, not groups typically associated with marimba playing. So when I wanted to switch gears recently, I listened to a lot of twentieth century classical music for inspiration.
During a György Ligeti phase, I found his early keyboard works to be vastly different from the majority of his output. Thick, dense textures and free use of dissonance are nowhere to be found. On the contrary, this piece, Három lakodalmo tánc (Three Wedding Dances) for piano four-hands is quite light and playful. The third movement, Csángó forgós (Circling Dance) is less than a minute long and fit the scope of what I was looking for.
Everyone knows the age-old question “When recording, can I play perfectly together with myself?” For me, the answer is a resounding “not really.” But thankfully this is the preamble to a larger project I’m dreaming up. A practice run for a more elaborate recording of me playing along with…myself. It’s fun, cheesy, and short, everything I could ever ask for. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.