Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Ticklin' The Ivories 'Til They Gleam"





Fully known as Steinway & Sons; a niche manufacturer, based in Queens, New York and in Hamburg, Germany, of handmade pianos, considered to be the best in the world.  Examples of said instruments may be seen on the stages of most major Concert Halls (e.g. Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, in many Marx Bros. films...)
Steinway & Sons produce only about one hundred pianos a year and each one is handmade. 
What's just as important about one of these pianos is the organization itself. 
Steinway & Sons have select musicians they hand pick to represent them.

It's like a club of Fantastic Pianists in which Paul Cardall recently was invited to be part of.  What happens when you are awarded this prestigious position, is 
a. The Prestigious Position of calling yourself a Steinway Artist
B. They give you one of their amazing pianos because they love you. 
While browsing online I came across a 
"Good Deal"
On one of these pianos
 it was..

drum roll please

 "Only" $78,000.00

*jaw drop

*wide eyes


But what on Earth does some lame piano have to do with anything or anyone or myself?

 I think I just choked a little writing the word lame and using it to even sarcastically describe a Steinway & Sons Piano.... 

Well my friends.. 
Simply because it would be insane to ever even dream about touching one of those things if you happen to be.. Oh I don't know.. A developing pianist that can't read sheet music and was trained for ten years, supposedly reading sheet music, but forgot and somehow manages to play by ear and (despite the lack of sheet reading skill) writes piano pieces in the basement of her house on an old out-of-tuned key sticking piano in a city so small it is necessary to refer to it as Ogden area to strangers that only live five minutes away because even so they still have no idea where it is. 
Try to say that sentence in one breath. ^^

 My AP Literature and Composition (English) teacher would be appalled. 

These pianos can only be found in the homes of the best of the best, or in concert halls, and wherever they keep the ones they don't sell. 
(which is zero despite the daunting price tag)

Important to remember:

A normal girl that fits the circumstances listed above in what my English teacher would call a "run on" sentence, does not have Leslie Saunders for a mother, or a piece of paper in her stocking last Christmas that was good for a recording session at Stone Angel Recording Studio. 

My mother happens to be Leslie Saunders which means I did have a piece of paper in my stocking last Christmas telling me that it was good for a recording session at Stone Angel Recording Studio.

Thank You Ma

Stone Angel Recording began with and is owned by none other then Paul Cardall.

Who is Paul Cardall?

I am not about to give you an autobiography on the life of this man, or about how he's famous, or tell you about why he is so awesome, because he wrote a book on it himself titled "Before My Heart Stops."   
Go read it if you would like to know, my mother said it is fantastic.
Or simply google his name, or more importantly, YouTube it. 
You're Welcome. 

I went to a concert of his and I actually got to meet him!!!!! 

So when I found that piece of paper in my stocking, to his recording studio with his music producer, I was excited. I was stoked. 
At that time I had no idea how awesome it would actually be.

Like I mentioned, I write music. Piano songs, rearrangements of Hymns.. and I play by ear. That's great! Unless I want to play a piano piece note for note, in that case I simply would have to practice it by reading said notes twenty four hours a day for the next four weeks to get one page down. 

Straight Up Gibberish

So I stick to plunking it out from what I have heard.
Some people are talented enough to have never seen the sheet music before, and can sit down and play it at that very moment.
I have to have heard a song before, but having never played it, I can sit down and play it just fine. 
There are pros and cons to being able to do either, and I have yet to meet a person that is good at both, (playing by ear and reading notes) but that's what makes us all unique and talented in our own ways. 
It's interesting, it's fun.
I can openly admit that I am extremely far from being the most skilled pianist of all time, but I also think it is okay to admit that I am very far from being the worst.

God gave us all gifts, one of mine is piano. 


I love to hear about accomplishments and achievements of others in the things that they are passionate about. Whether it be art, dance, sports, or even a Chess Tournament. 
If you are passionate about something good that requires imagination, creativity, hard work, and heart, I will support you until my last breath. 
Even if I have no idea what the first rule to Chess Boxing is, heck, I am proud of you for doing what you love, and I would love to learn all about it, even if i'd never do it myself. 

Chess Boxing: 

A new sport in Germany where people test their brawn and their brains by competing in chess games, and then 3-minute rounds of boxing. The game continues until someone is knocked out. People compete for the title of chess-boxing champion.


"So, so... suck your toe, all the way to Mexico, while your there, comb your hair and don't forget your underwear.." -Ryan(dad)Saunders 

Here is a little about one of the things I love to do that requires creativity, work, heart, imagination..
 and an exciting experience that has come along with it.
It took some time, but I had enough songs written (when I say written I don't mean literally, funny story, I cannot write notes either. But I do memorize my own creations so I guess that's what I mean. I had enough creations) and finally an open day to go with my mom to Salt Lake City to record some of my songs.

Not relevant side note, we got there early and went to a super ghetto taco place for breakfast. 

SO we got there and the music producer guy was in a word: Super Chill
He had to measure levels so he told me to just goof off and play the piano, I was super nervous so I just started playing the first song "Rise" to the best of my abilities.
He said to my mom in the other room,
 "Wow.  She doesn't mess around.  She really plays the piano."

ahahaha.. I still don't really know how to interpret that. Yes I play the piano...
Good? Great? Worst you have heard? I didn't know.
He got levels set and I even got to wear super cool headphones like singers, I could hear what my playing would sound like in the recording as I was playing it.
When I finished, he would push a button in the other room, and tell me what he thought, or if I needed to play it again to get a certain section right, or he would ask me how I felt.
It was apparent that the first song I played ended up being his favorite.
When he talked to me through the headphones right after the first take, he was like...
"Wow, you play beautifully. When you play, you really play."
Then throughout the rest of the time he would hum Rise and sing it as well as a human can imitate a piano. It was great, and I was flattered.
I was also relieved because honestly, I can't judge my own skill.. I don't know if what I think is good is actually good.. I was so worried about being the worst he had heard.. that I almost forgot to just enjoy the moment and be the best that I could be.  It worked out both ways however, because after hearing that he was impressed I really got to take in the moment.
Reality checking: I WAS RECORDING MY SONGS

 I haven't even mentioned the best part yet...............

When I walked through the door to the room with the recording gear and piano.. I never expected to see:
The exact piano that was gifted to Paul Cardall that happens to be his own personal piano.
A piano that is indeed a Steinway & Sons Piano.



but no big deal


..JK BD..
What a dream.
That is actually the best way to describe the whole experience. It was fun, but fun doesn't even do the feeling I had there any justice.

After I played my songs about two to three times each to insure perfection, I joined them in the studio to listen, and adjust or tighten where adjusting or tightening was necessary.

We would just listen, and if there was a pause I didn't like, or any kind of tiny mistake
(mostly it was just me being petty and he didn't even notice them)
I would just ask him to fix it, and just like that ten seconds later the pause was gone, or a section that I liked better in another take was added into the base song.

He even had a setting he added to make it sound like a concert hall, a kind of echo sound.
Still my playing, my music, my style, with added class.
I hope I do not sound too prideful, but I have to admit, the finished product sounded pretty dang good. Granted, I'm used to hearing it on my piano at home.. so really there's no way for me to know if my songs are good, or if they are, just how good they are, until I hear them on a decent piano.

Eighth Grade
I am thankful to even have one yes, and it will have sentimental value to me forever, but it is definitely not a Steinway ;)

It was a pretty smooth experience really, after editing he talked to me about coming back for a second recording session. He also told me he is going to hook me up with another company, and because I will be working with that other company, after my second recording session my songs will be on ITunes for purchase, and Ryanne Saunders will be a station on I Heart Radio.
I am excited, and stoked to go back for more.

Lunch in SLC with my mother ft. The Happy Ghetto Cafe (Gourmandise The Bakery)

Now I just need to find a piano here on the Vineyard to practice so that he doesn't regret anything he said;)

{ Playing The Piano }

It is a stress Reliever

Endorphin Releaser

Brain Strengthener

And Spirit Inviter

My Favorite Way to Relate The Atonement To My Life Using A Metaphor

As An Instrument In His Hands
Heavenly Father is the Grand Pianist. I am the Piano, and Christ is the Tuner.
I have the ability to touch souls, soften hearts, and move the minds of others with the potential music that can come from me as an instrument in God's capable hands.
But sometimes.. life gives us lemons. Storms, whirlwinds, tribulation.. and we all make mistakes.
That is when it is really easy to get out of tune with the Holy Ghost.
 Keys that once flowed easily, sometimes get stuck.
But we have Thee Tuner to fix us when we aren't performing as we should...

After we are in tune, it is as if we never went out of tune, there is no trace of the mistakes and dissonance beforehand. 
No piano, even a Steinway & Sons piano, is perfect all of the time. Even they need to be tuned in order to continue to be used as an instrument to spread beauty, and good.

One of the easiest ways to get out of tune, is to put a piano in a cold environment, or outside where there is no protection from the weather, winds, and tempests. 
Some of these storms we put ourselves through, others are beyond our control and the wrong notes coming from us, is a cry for help. Our way of telling The Pianist that we need someone to save the music that we are no longer capable of playing.
Embarrassment, sadness, greed, jealousy.
We need The Tuner to fix our broken strings.
Our heart strings.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Oil
The Out Of Tuned Piano Gets Tuned
The Heart Broken, Trial/Sin burdened child of God Willing to pray, and cry out for help with faith will be delivered through our Savior. 
Every. Time.
So that we can continue to be In Tune With The Spirit
As Instruments In The Hands Of The Father
Even through hard ships when it seems The Pianist is pounding much to difficult notes to be able to handle.
but the hard notes make us better if we choose
So that we can shine, and do what we were made to do
As Instruments In The Hands Of The Lord
We are all on different levels
As a beginner, it is easier to just stick to the white keys

no sharps
no flats
But the most beautiful masterpieces of music have black and white keys
The most beautiful masterpieces of life have good times and hard times
the hard things make us better if we choose to accept help from The Tuner when we cannot handle those notes alone, because we never will be able to handle them..
But, relying on The Tuner to help us to be led by The Pianist to stay in tuned with The Spirit to play smoothly through The Notes, tough or easy.
We Together Can Master All Things
We Together Can Do All Things

Even The Toughest Of Sheet Music Placed Before Us.
As Instruments In The Hands Of God
Philippians 4: 13
Mosiah 27: 36-37
And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.
So Grateful For This Experience
and for the feeling that I get when I'm
"Ticklin' The Ivories Till They Gleam"
Just like the dreamer thug in Tangled :)
"Just Like Everybody Else I've Got A Dream"