Getting used to digital pianos, finally

Excerpt from an email to the MD and Director of NINE (see previous post).

Hi Sarah & Paul.

I’m getting used to the digital piano. As you know, I have one myself but they’re so different to real pianos. On digital pianos the keys are slippery, the touch is wrong (and can cause muscle pain, esp. if the foldback is not right), and it can’t make all sorts of finely graduated tone colours etc. It’s even harder to hit the right notes.

However, I’m now coming to see the unique qualities of digital pianos, through playing the Roland so much at Roleystone. You can get a really useful left hand bass (providing people stop messing about with the dials), and other sounds, such as harpsichord. The other real thing for me is the different tone colour, which I’ve slowly begun to appreciate.

The different tone colour, somewhat bell-like, has inspired me to start composing a new work, being my first composition specifically for an electronic instrument. It’s written with that bell-like quality in mind and doesn’t sound right on an acoustic piano.

So, from that, you can see that I have travelled a long way (not just in kilometres). I don’t want to give up the real piano, of course, but I’m much more comfortable with the digital than I used to be.

The whole show has been a very pleasant experience, and a nice little challenge after having been away from music theatre for a long time.

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