I have posted many articles on here of my recordings with acoustic and electric guitar, but this month I wanted to go back to my earliest musical experience, which was playing the piano.
Like most kids my age growing up in Malaysia, I was forced into taking piano lessons from a very early age. I had many teachers over the years, and some were really nice, but there were a couple of awful ones, especially one rather evil lady who used to rap me over the knuckles whenever I played a wrong note. That experience, more than anything else, made me shun formal music studies and move away from the piano and on to the electronic organ and then eventually guitar.
This month though, I had the urge to dig out my old MIDI keyboard and make an effort at recording a keyboard rich track. I have always been a fan of David Bowie, but I had never really done anything significant to commemorate his passing recently. I went through a catalogue of his songs in my mind, but all of a sudden I remembered a song that I really loved that was not written by him, but was the soundtrack of a movie he was in. The track is "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" by the movie of the same name, starring Mr. Bowie. It was written by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
I scoured the net and found some piano scores. These were... challenging... to say the least. I forgot about the depth of complexity to the piece. Nevertheless, I gritted my teeth and dived in. To disguise my poor playing, I decided to interpret the track as a 'techno' version of the original.
To warm up my fingers, I spent an hour or so recording this simple, yet charming piece by Erik Satie.
Then I spent the whole weekend putting together the main piece. It was all recorded in Logic X on my iMac, using SampleTank for most of the sampled piano and instrument sounds. I also used a bit of the Zebra synth from U-He. Enjoy.