A new pianist has devised a way to write a jazz tune on the Steinis, a rare instrument from the first half of the 19th century.
Reno’s Steve Spenet, 28, is a composer who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
His latest project is an electronic piece that plays on the piano chords and rhythms of jazz, with an emphasis on the syncopated guitar parts.
“There’s something about the sound that’s resonant and you can get a bit of a sense of rhythm,” he said.
“It’s got a certain energy to it.
You can get into the groove and then the tempo changes, and it’s a really interesting way of doing it.”
Steinways are rare and valuable and often sold at auction, but they are not readily available.
Mr Spenets was able to get them for around $50 each, with no-one else having the instrument.
“We’ve got one that was auctioned at the moment, but there’s another one we’ve been wanting to buy,” he joked.
The Steinis were created for the British government in 1851 by Charles Dickens.
They were used in the production of the plays by John Hammond, John Williams and Charles Dickens and they have become one of the most recognisable musical instruments in the world.
“They’re extremely rare.
They’re not readily accessible.
They are very expensive instruments,” Mr Spenset said.
The piece is based on a piece by Franz Liszt, called ‘Tuesdays in London’, which Mr Spencet said was one of his favourite Lisztic compositions.
“I’ve written an entire piece about the piano chord progression, and one of my favourite things about it is that it has a piano accompaniment, and the music plays on top of the piano.”
You can’t really do a lot with a piano, it’s too high pitched and too heavy, so it’s like you’ve got two instruments at once.
“But it does have some lovely, very melodic lines that are not often found in other Lisztics, so that was one thing I wanted to do.”
And then I had a good idea of how to write it.
“Mr Spenett had been working on a new piece, which he said had been a long time coming.”
My wife said ‘you need a piano in your life’.
I said ‘no, I need a Steinway’.
“I thought it was a bit strange that there’s no Steinways in the city, because they’re the first piano I ever heard.”
Mr Stenets said he had spent about $2,000 on the instrument, which has a wooden body, a rubber cover and an electric motor, and that it had been sitting unused in his living room for a couple of years.
“But the thing about it, I just love it,” he laughed.
“The piano is a big part of my life, I don’t know why, but it’s just the thing that I want to do with my life.”
If you look at the pictures, I’ve got a lovely Steinway.
I love it.
“Topics:arts-and-entertainment,music,art-music,jazz,music-production,arts-italy,italyContact Steve Spencets