My regular listeners will have noted my absence from Twitch this week, and perhaps also the cryptic update to the blurb on my stream page indicating that changes to the schedule are forthcoming. The long and short of it is that, while I find streaming highly enjoyable, especially taking viewer requests -- the simple, the popular, the obscure, and the ridiculous -- it offers me very little at the moment in terms of pursuing any goals I have as a pianist and composer. I'm spending less time practicing than I have in quite some time, and even less time composing, which is disheartening on the best of days and depressing on the worst.
Today I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how best to start recording, only to realize that my equipment, however middle-tier, and my recording know-how, however minimal, are not holding me back. Yes, my piano sounds old and percussive and bad. But I'm a semi- to near-professional pianist, and I spend hours daily listening to some of the best pianists in the world play $200,000 pianos recorded by tens of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment, so all I can hear is "well this sounds like shit compared to Marc-André Hamelin's recordings," or whatever.
You know who won't make that comparison? You know who won't care if I start recording stuff and throwing it on YouTube with middle-of-the-road-at-best production quality? Pretty much everyone else on the planet. So, in short, fuck it. That's what I'll do. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm putting my mics in a spot that will make for recordings that I think sound abysmal but that most of the rest of the planet will think sound fine, recording a damned track, and putting it on YouTube. Look forward to it.
Next week, I'm out in St. Louis and Louisville for a work conference, so won't be around to stream at all. Streams will resume Monday, October 26, and will be reduced to twice a week: likely Monday and Thursday afternoon. They'll both be full-on requestfests, because it's a rare person who wants to put themselves through the unique torture of watching someone legitimately practice piano for hours on end.
At some point in the near future, the Steinway is getting shipped away for eight weeks while the action is fully rebuilt from scratch. It's an obscenely expensive job for an average working Joe like myself, but it's a 40-year-old piano, and it needs it. And I'm a pianist for life, damn it, so if the end result is an instrument that I can be truly happy with for decades to come, then the choice is a no-brainer.
Just as I do when I sign off of my stream every night, I'd like to once again remind my viewers that they're fantastic. Even when the concurrent viewer count struggles to reach a double-digit figure, you guys keep a steady stream of great requests flowing for hours, and, hey, you even seem to enjoy it a little bit, too. Thanks for being there for me, and for hopefully understanding my need to refocus.