Graduation, and my year in Italy without a job

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This is a great time of year to think about “graduations”… How to Live Before you Die In my opinion, ‘graduations’ ought to be called ‘transitions’. College grads perhaps have the most extreme transition as they go from years of “school” to full-time “work”. Commencement speakers try to help by sharing messages of wisdom (coincidentally – the best I’ve heard is by Steve Jobs to Stanford grads “how to … Read More

Overcoming Fear: a Solo Pianist exposes his past…

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During my recent trip out West with the family (Grand Canyon, Zion Park, Hoover Dam), I was reminded of my fear of heights (especially, un-guarded, wide-open heights). I saw my 11-year old daughter overcome this same fear as we hiked this narrow ridge in Zion Park. That gut-turning anxious feeling brought me back to when I was 19…and one of the most difficult … Read More

“One Word”, “100 Things”, and getting more from less…

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I have a friend who’s notoriously disorganized – while I consider myself, well, ‘organized’. “How do you keep it all together?!” he recently inquired. With all the snow this Winter (we’re near Boston), “snow removal” wasn’t fitting into his already hectic schedule. As I often do, I referred him to a book I was reading called “Essentialism – the disciplined pursuit … Read More

The Glorious Mess…

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I’m often asked what got me started with piano, and here’s the true story of the seminal moment, and ensuing spark… All Roads Lead to Rome… It all starts with my Nana LeConti. Born in Southern Italy (Castelvetere in Val Fortore), she immigrated to the US in 1918. She was a great cook and loved her glass of wine. We all … Read More

The day I opened for Elton John…

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In my early twenties I was a struggling musician working at M. Steinerts piano store in Boston. I lived in rent-control housing, biked to work, and ate a lot of “ten-for-a-dollar” Ramen noodles (the stereotypical ‘starving musician’). One day, Elton John (THE Sir Elton!) and his band came into the piano store while on the Boston leg of their “The One” tour. Elton really loved … Read More

“Volare” – It. ~ to Fly

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Welcome to 2015 🙂 I don’t know about you, but this time of year I find myself taking a trip down Memory Lane. So, a couple days ago – while recovering from a couple Egg-Nog Martinis – I began thinking… It was precisely 25 years ago I was living out of my car. Surely great fodder for this month’s story… January … Read More

Behind the Music: “August” (from the Naked Piano Elements)

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When I first started researching and writing the music for “Elements”, I had started by researching the classical elements of “Earth”, “Wind”, “Fire” and “Water”. As I did some investigating, I noticed these elements were later incorporated into the Astrological 12-month calendar (we talk of “Earth signs” and “Fire signs”, etc..). It was at this point when I was investigating months, … Read More

Behind the Music: “Love”- from The Naked Piano Elements

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Love is powerful. The stronger your love, the more it hurts when distance or events separate you. It can be so wonderful and beautiful to be in love – and then it can be equally mournful and difficult when you no longer have it. That’s what this piece tries to capture – beauty and joy tinged with sorrow and longing. I’d … Read More

A powerful Thanksgiving habit…

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We had a blustery New England weekend – high winds, rain, even some snow! I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the time of year, but it seems November always gets me thinking about the upcoming holidays – and spending quality time with family and friends. There’s so much to be thankful for and I’ve written about this in … Read More

Would you want to live forever?

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A couple years ago I had the great opportunity to meet and interview the famous futurist Ray Kurzweil – called “Edison’s rightful heir” by Inc. magazine and one of the 16 “revolutionaries who made America” by PBS. Kurzweil has published numerous books – including “The Singularity is Near” and “How to Build a Mind“. One of his lasting positions relates to extending human life … Read More

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© 2017 Gary Girouard, The Naked Piano