It has been quite a while since I felt up to recording some music. I have been playing every day both my Steinway and my Clavinova more than ever. But I have been mostly working on techniques. Never felt a piece was quite right for a new recording. Until today…
It actually started last night. I was playing various arias from the operas like “La Traviata,” “Fledermaus,” “Rigoletto,” etc. when suddenly “Carmen” and her “Habanera” knocked on my musical door again. It has been more than four years since they first appeared (see “Habanera by Bob Djurdjevic”, 11-11-2009). And I have not played it ever since. Till last night…
So I was quite surprised when I found out that I was playing it in the exact same key (D-minor) in which Georges Bizet composed the famous “Carmen” aria. Furthermore, after playing it first on my Steinway, I started tinkering with various rhythmic and orchestral arrangements on my Clavinova.
I settled eventually on Guajira, a Cuban rural dance that emerged circa 1900. Which is now virtually extinct. In fact, prior to last night, I had never even heard of it. Yet it fitted the “Carmen Habanera” like a hand in glove.
I even discovered that a typical Guajira dance starts our in a minor key and then changes to a major one. Just like “Carmen.” In my own improvisation of the “Habanera,” I had already figured that out subconsciously by starting in D-minor and transitioning to D-major.
So this morning, while Elizabeth was attending her hula dancing class, I recorded the new version of the famous Bizet opera theme. And then when she returned home, she and I both improvised our own version of the Guajira dance to the tune my my prerecorded “Carmen Habanera” theme. We had lots of fun doing it, as you will see.
And then something surprising happened. I combined the sounds of “live” playing on my Steinway and later Clavinova with the prerecorded version.
And now, check out our new version of “Habanera” with Elizabeth starring as Carmen… 🙂
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Here are also some still shots from this video..
Here’s now also my first recording of “Carmen Habanera” made on my old antique piano on Nov 11, 2009:
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PS: Another “coincidence”… Check out the pants I am wearing in the two videos filmed 4.5 years apart. They are the same blue jeans. Only now, there are probably more patches on them that Elizabeth had sewn on than the original denim… 🙂
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