He gave concerts locally and attracted the interest of wealthy patrons enabling him to go to Vienna for piano teaching by Carl Czerny and composition lessons with Antonio Salieri. He was praised for his brilliance, strength and precision. He learned French and became French in all essentials. It was the first in a number of personal transformations during his busy wandering life. His father died in that was to mark a profound change in his religious feelings and political awareness. In London he played for Royalty and for the high society in their great houses.
It recalled highlights of the tour of Ireland when on 17 December a concert party organised by a 23 year old London impresario, Louis Lavenu, disembarked at the pier of the port of Kingstown, or Dun Laoghaire, as it is now known. The star of the group was the great pianist Franz Liszt who arrived with renowned music artists and instrumentalists to perform on a tour of Ireland.
After a twelve hour sea crossing, three of the party travelled in the carriage to Dublin while Liszt and others took the new train into the city. Using their carriage for busy travel and performance schedules they found time to wine, dine and make merry with some of the high society, and also drank a great deal. On the Irish Tour, some of the performances were a flop principally due to bad planning or poor attendance while others proved highly successful playing to packed houses and great reviews receiving wildly delirious reception with standing ovations … nothing short of those given to pop stars today.
Over Christmas and New Year the party settled in for the festivities. The ride is dead time -- restful if I want to rest, but dead if I need to work. So much of my work takes me online this blog, for instance. I can hack away at my computer, at writing I can do offline, but that takes concentration, and my normal rhythm keeps my online all the time while I work.
And now for the geek paragraph. I'd decided to get a broadband modem for my laptop, so I could go … [Read more And to go along with the review -- which appeared today -- the New York Times features live audio of Florez singing the C's, followed by an ovation and his tradition-smashing encore. Well, obviously encores are an opera tradition, but the Met long banned them, so this smashes a Met tradition, while returning to an older and better one. I think this is wonderful. And even more so, because the Times … [Read more Problem: You're involved with a classical music organization, maybe a big one.
And even though you might describe your institution as "a vital community cultural resource" to quote one orchestra's website , you know that once you get beyond the "cultural" part of that -- which basically means the contribution that you make to the community with your music -- you don't have all that much to offer. You sense that you're not a vital part of the community when other issues -- non-musical issues -- might arise.
Solution: Do something for the … [Read more Anyone who wants to play old music -- aka the masterworks of western musical history and I mean that very seriously with conviction will surely do it, and no doubt find an audience. But we probably don't know exactly how that will work, and exactly what place those masterworks … [Read more As I've thought more about my last post, and as I've absorbed the very interesting comments, something else occurred to me.
This is very radical, I admit, but I think it follows from everything I've said. Suppose classical concerts were -- as a general rule -- more or less like this eighth blackbird event? Then I think there'd be no gap between classical music and the rest of our culture, and no worries about classical music's future. On that night, A Classical Christmas Courtship was born. KP: Great story! How long did it take to put that album together?
JDL: I spent a concentrated few weeks in the spring of putting together the songs, until I reached the combinations I was happy with. But even in July during the recording sessions with Joe Bongiorno at Piano Haven, I swapped a few of the pieces around. Some of them were limping along or walking in opposite directions, and I wanted to create a seamless blend of two pieces that gave the impression that they were walking along hand in hand.
To me it was like trying different ingredients until the perfect dish was created. I grabbed my iPhone and sent myself a voice memo with the names of those two songs so I would remember when I got home to my piano. Actually, it would make a great movie! How did you get started with them? JDL: In , when I was visiting an Australian musician friend in Las Vegas who had just been recruited by Cirque Du Soleil to play cello and sing on one of their shows, I was able to sit in on a band rehearsal for the show.
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I was incredibly inspired, which prompted me to reach out to the casting department in Montreal with my profile and experience. I was asked to audition for them in Melbourne a few years later. It would be another 3 years before they offered me a role as keyboard player on a new creation now known as the show KA in Las Vegas, which is still running at the MGM Grand today. Following that, I was musical director on Amaluna - a big top show that toured North America and Europe.
I was with the company for 12 years, contributing to the creation of two shows, performing more than shows at an incredibly high intensity level with other artists from all over the world, and contributing to the 10 shows we performed every week. Over that time period, I played for about 8 million people. It really was an amazingly colorful and incredibly enriching chapter for me - despite the hiccup I had on December 28, that tested my patience and shattered my dreams. The KA band with Janine in the center. Janine's KA costume. KP: That must have been when you fell on the ice, breaking both wrists just a few weeks into the second show.
How did you deal with that?
JDL: Not very well! It was the first time I had ever broken any bones. It was an unfortunate accident but now I see it was the universe slowing me down. I had been running at such a fast pace and obviously needed to stop for a while. KP: I read that you returned to your piano teacher to help you regain the strength and agility you needed to continue playing.
What kinds of things did she have you do? JDL: Interestingly, Margriet had suffered an illness in her late teens and had to stop playing for a year. Her teacher also worked with her in the same capacity, and she in turn helped me. We were taking it right back to the basics: to retrain each finger to work individually, to feel the action and weight of the key, pressing it down, letting the key push my finger back up, relaxing my arm and shoulder muscles, and taking things very slowly.
She really stressed the need to be relaxed at the piano, so we worked on that technique as well. I teach piano now and believe it or not, I am about to restart lessons with one of my year-old students after breaking his wrist in a skiing fall, so the cycle continues! How long did it take to get your playing abilities back up to where they needed to be? JDL: It took more than a year.
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I started playing again with the intention of getting my piano hands well 3 or 4 months after the surgery, and it was about a year before I was playing a show again. To be honest, I am still working on getting my playing abilities up to where I would like them. KP: Do you have much pain in your hands when you play?
But mostly the pain occurs doing the little fiddly movements in day-to-day life like doing up a zip, opening tight jars or opening a Ziploc bag. JDL: Each show has a composer and the music for the show is written and created for each acrobatic act, as well as the transitions between those acts.
During the creation of a show, the musicians are in a position to add their flare, make suggestions and create on the fly. The on-the-fly composing can then lead to permanent inclusion in the show. Over time, the music for the shows does evolve and develop after opening night. It can morph and change due to a technical delay occurring where the music has to fill time, or when new acts are added to a show.
Each show was a living breathing thing, which made it easy for me to play every night, as no two shows were exactly the same. Here is a link to a video Janine did in that explains how the music comes together for the shows. What made you decide to leave Cirque and focus on your own music? Janine's make-up for Amaluna. Hot Bagels with Phyllis Diller. JDL: I had been feeling the pull to take a different path and needed to create the time to dedicate to my own music.
You might say I was pulled away from it by my own intuition. KP: Hahaha! Before joining Cirque du Soleil, you did a lot of composing for Australian television and films. Tell us about that. JDL: Aaah, yes. I fell into that chapter after beginning my performing career in Melbourne. I was involved in the theater improvisation world with some very talented actors, which led me to composing for theater.
I became known as the piano player who could play anything and could make soundtracks up on the spot to live theater. It was a natural progression to begin composing for film and TV from there. The first documentary soundtrack we composed, called T he Hillmen , won an Australian Industry Award for Best Television Documentary in , so we figured we were onto something and kept going. We composed for quite a few television and film projects culminating in more than 70 hours of material for Australian and International broadcast.
Combining our skills and talents in creating this company enabled us to write music soundtracks in a wide variety of musical styles for different genres including documentaries, children's television, adult drama and national radio programs. We became very good at reading a brief summary and interpreting what the director wanted the music to say in support of the story.
KP: From reading your bio, it seems that you have been a professional musician most of your life. What other things have you done in the music field?