This is older piece of music, recorded 3-4 years ago before I bought my white piano. The piano I had at this time was 15 years old. I was crushed when it started to die. I used it from 2000-2015 when I lived in Key West.
A piano tech worked on it. Unfortunately, the company that made the piano, Technics, a Japanese brand, stopped making it. It was impossible to get a main board replacement in the US. I would have to send the piano to the UK to get it fixed. That wasn’t practical. A local business that repaired keyboards opened it up and found corrosion growing on the main board. He did what he could to clean it off the components that was causing the keys to stop playing, one at a time. Because it was impossible to clean off every speck it would come back, just like decay would grow on a tooth. He told me that when it failed again, he wouldn’t be able to patch it up again. The piano might work for a week or maybe a year, but it would eventually fail. So when the first key started failing I went shopping! The piano still had some life left so I gave it to a piano student who needed it. It was still better than the one he had.
I was playing a Yamaha electric grand back then in the distant past of the eighties. The piano was elevated on a platform so I could stand. I had to raise my foot to the platform to work the pedal. The grand piano sound was awesome. This very heavy elephant was carried in two wood cases that took more strength than I had to carry. (that is what roadies are for!) It had a full harp to attach to the back. It could be raised and supported like a wood grand piano. The keys had a heavy action ( keyboard players understand what that is. ) The harder you play the more sound it makes. The spring back is slower. Totally opposite of playing a keyboard with the action of an organ. The harder the action the more control you have over the sound. You end up with strong hands and strong forearm. Playing that piano was a workout. I loved it. Even today the cost of one in good condition hasn’t depreciated much in 40 years. You’ll play around 3 grand.
I eventually gave that piano to my son, Robo Quick, who was playing boogie woogie and he really gave that piano a bigger workout than I did. When I was playing R&R I played so hard I had callouses on my finger tips like a guitar player. I often split the callouses by the end of the night and they would bleed. My music today is so different.
I’ll try to find an old picture of a stage performance playing it in my archive and add it (after I scan it in). The band I was with – The Robin Crow band – was sponsored by Nike so I’m probably wearing their gear.
This is the keyboard I bought and use now. I fell in love with it. (That’s nutty, I know) It has been my baby ever since. I put it on a rack instead of the legs that came with it so I can stand and play – easier to move up and down the keyboard – or lean on a tall stool. I don’t like to sit down and play. It’s too confining.
When I record music that strikes a nerve inside, grabs me in my chest, I know I’ll keep it. But I have also deleted music many times that didn’t say what I wanted it to say. I honestly don’t know how I spontaneously play these pieces. Where does it come from. I knew at age 7 this was what I was striving to play. I could hear it. Almost anyone can “learn” to play the piano with enough practice. But when you take away the written music, can you play? Improvising can cause fear. What if you make too many mistakes? What if you can’t play? What if its terrible?
I don’t plan what I’m going to play ahead of time. Some call it, ‘ playing by ear’. I don’t think about chord structure, or even the time signature. There are other improv players. I search them out to see how their music makes me feel, but many just show off technique, trying to impress you with their skill, how fast they can play, but the music has no beginning, middle and end. There is no story. There is no emotion.
You have no idea how good it feels to let music flow out of your fingers. Dancers feel that when they dance – not choreographed dance steps – instead, letting the music make you move. Some people have no way to do that and turn to other ways to make them feel. Sometimes drugs – alcohol – sex. I remember the day I recorded “Sadness”. The emotions that day were very heavy. Emotion makes me want to play. I have to.
It has been a long time since I really listened to this piece from beginning to end and felt it, like I did the day I recorded it. Indeed, the music is very sad and haunting. It brought back memories. I hope you enjoy it.
Here are a couple more photos of many history
Because of the book I’m writing and the music I’m recording, this will determine success or failure when it is all published together. I believe this is the project that will define me as a musician to the public. All of the years of playing and teaching, and other crisis and events happening in between, has brought me to this place. I’ve been working on this book/soundtrack for 3 years, writing, re-writing, learning. I can see the end now, but still have lots to do.
Jamie, in prison, needs this to be successful as much as I do – to give him a start when he is released from prison, and to help me live – period – as I go through these last ( hopefully) decades of my life. Leave something behind for my future generations (of musicians) to understand where their music comes from.
Just like everything else on the web, stats play a huge part in how much traffic you get. Some people use stats to determine if they’ll even click on a song, or share it.
But getting a new “fan” or “follower” doesn’t mean anything if they don’t come back or share your site with others. It’s hard to grow a new audience from scratch. There is a lot of competition for a few minutes of your time – there are so many other places to go on the web. The attention span of many people these days is roughly only seconds before they click on something else. It’s also hard to stay connected with those who also have websites that need support as well, when you are busy working on your own. Then there is the daily communication with friends. That takes time. That is a lot of plates to spin.
It would mean a tremendous amount to me if you went to my website – http://sonniquick.net and looked around. It’s an important website for me. I use it a lot when I am promoting my music to various places and people, when I want to be taken seriously as a musician – an older musician – a dinosaur with a lot more music inside. Many in the business still focus on the youth.
Someday maybe they’ll get it. Experience brings quality. At least we now have indie music and indie book publishing so we can promote ourselves. Not long ago your age kicked you to the curb if the music industry didn’t want you, or book publishers wouldn’t give you the time of day.
Good skin does not make good music, and just because a major book publisher doesn’t want you doesn’t mean you don’t have a good book. But you have to be willing to do the work to get it out there, you have a solid chance at success. 15 hour days are not unusual for me with multiple projects going.
You can help by subscribing to many mailing list at the website below (I promise not to abuse your email) and open it to see how production is coming along and listen to new music. Maybe then you’ll be interested in having the entire project and a soundtrack to listen to when it is completed. Thanks to all followers for everything. ( you know who you are.)
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