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#1943217 - 08/15/12 01:43 PM Playing in restaurants  
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peterws Offline
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Northern England.
Some of you here will have. The one I played in was very nice, and was attached to a holiday park. Which meant the level of sophistication was not so high, a bit like my own.

Children were present. More than that, the little dears were charging around causing mayhem, even when the flambe dishes were evident . . and the noise! Adults talking, or attempting to talk above the kids.

And then there was me. Playing an octave higher than usual so as to cut through the general hubub . . .

Some of these folk had serious money and lived on the site. Never worked; how their income was generated was none of my business, but conversations would indicate strange goings on . . .and wine loosens the tongue somewhat.

There was the 75 yo barman who got propositioned by a woman half his age . .and lived to tell the tale (!)

I felt like a living CCTV camera. But my memory`s bad . .

Over to you lot . . !!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#1943229 - 08/15/12 02:02 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Restaurants are a place where you can go to perform and be ignored. It adds an element of sophistication but doesn't add a lot to the fine arts in general. There will always be people talking, eating, and drinking, and ignoring you. Don't play an octave higher to cut through the din, just accept it for what it is - you are background music and not center stage. It's nothing at all like playing a concert, but if it pays the bills, so be it.


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
#1943234 - 08/15/12 02:09 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Sir Lurksalot Offline
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Consider posting your story in the Non Classical Pianists forum, where a lot of similar discussion takes place.

#1943241 - 08/15/12 02:33 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Sir Lurksalot]  
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peterws Offline
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Northern England.
Tanks for that, man, I`ll look in.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#1943243 - 08/15/12 02:35 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Sir Lurksalot]  
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peterws Offline
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"Don't play an octave higher to cut through the din,"

I had to, otherwise I would`ve known what I was playing . . headpones would be a bit naff . . . Must admit, there were laughs along the way. And you develop your own style!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#1943276 - 08/15/12 03:36 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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My son occasionally wandered to a piano in restaurants. He played standard classical repertoire, not improv. I really liked the establishment that sent a full tray of desserts to our table after he finished a set of pieces. grin

#1943306 - 08/15/12 04:48 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Okay, I suppose I have a tendency to be just a bit unorthodox regarding some matters… (Perhaps a lot of matters smile ).

A few years ago, after church one Sunday, we were eating dinner at a nice restaurant in Warm Springs Georgia… (think of the former President Franklin D. Roosevelt; that’s where he spent a lot of time during his presidency). It was a very nice restaurant with excellent food. There was a fairly attractive older lady playing an old upright piano, which seemed to be tuned well. Her by-ear playing was very good… phenomenal even.

Problem was, when I listen to music, especially live music, I want to listen closely and intently. My ears are trained to hone in on the music very precisely. On the other hand, when I’m eating, my brain is trained to focus on what I’m eating and how it looks on the plate, and how it taste. My brain was somewhat confused as to which sense to allow to be dominant.

Now, I suppose some folks can multi-task and chew chewing gum, pat themselves on the head and rub their stomach all at the same time; but when I’m eating a nice meal, I do not particularly like to hear music, especially live music; and, when I’m listening to music, I do not like to eat at the same time. My senses seem to want to focus intently on one or the other, and not both at the same time. Ultimately, one is a distraction over the other.

Well, like I said, I know I’m a weirdo… smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1943316 - 08/15/12 05:04 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Rickster]  
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peterws Offline
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Northern England.
I can Identify wi that. If there`s music playing for instance, in a pub, I find it hard to hold a conversation. And any social athering seems to attract music these days!
I never have music on at home.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#1943419 - 08/15/12 08:56 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Rickster, I'm with you. I'm an active listener, not a passive one. Even at home, I don't have music playing unless I am actively listening to it. I will never forget a restaurant in the Chicago area many years ago, which featured a former accordion player. He had never mastered the bass pedals, so he just occasionally pumped the low "C" pedal in time with the music. Most OK, I could not stand it.


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1943421 - 08/15/12 09:01 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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One more post, back in the "20's and '30's, famous theater organist Jesse Crawford used to play music for large crowds. It is told, that when the audience recognized the tune and started to sing along, he would close the swell shades, and cut to a quieter registration to discourage them, and encourage active listening. Uppity? I don't think so, He felt that he shouldn't pander to the crowd, rather, educate them in new thoughts. (He was the Michael Jackson of the organ world in the 1920's)


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1943683 - 08/16/12 10:52 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: thetandyman]  
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My favorite restaurant in Dallas, where we go for all birthdays and anniversaries, is a rather small place with beautiful piano music being played. The food's good, the service very nice, but the piano is what makes the place for me.

There used to be a harp place in town as well, but that has bit the dust. Maybe too many people agree with those of you who can't eat and listen at the same time. smile


Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307
#1943724 - 08/16/12 11:29 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Rickster]  
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Originally Posted by Rickster
. . . I do not particularly like to hear music, especially live music; and, when I’m listening to music, I do not like to eat at the same time. My senses seem to want to focus intently on one or the other, and not both at the same time. Ultimately, one is a distraction over the other.

Well, like I said, I know I’m a weirdo… smile

Rick


You are not a weirdo, Rick, you are a musician. That is why you focus on the music. laugh


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1943853 - 08/16/12 01:58 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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A number of years ago the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City had a Sunday brunch which featured a harpist on a rotating platform. Aural as well as visual. That's just too over the top!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#1944047 - 08/16/12 06:42 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Marty, if you throw a cheese wheel hard enough at a harp, it slices it nicely.
Unfortunately, harpists don't care for this procedure. LOL


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1944068 - 08/16/12 07:28 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: thetandyman]  
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I grew up in Wisconsin and that behavior is reserved for only the finest of restaurants. The masters of the art only aim at revolving harps. whistle


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#1944076 - 08/16/12 07:53 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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#1944109 - 08/16/12 09:08 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Annitenth]  
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Originally Posted by Annitenth
My favorite restaurant in Dallas, where we go for all birthdays and anniversaries, is a rather small place with beautiful piano music being played. The food's good, the service very nice, but the piano is what makes the place for me.


Annitenth, I live in the Dallas area, too, and I've been looking for a restaurant like that for a long time. Can you tell me the name and location?

#1944431 - 08/17/12 11:28 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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There is a regional cafeteria chain here called Furr's. When I was a kid the one in Midland had live piano music on Sundays. I remember a grand piano played by an older black gentleman, but I do not recall what style of music he played. It was a long time ago. This was a moderately priced family cafeteria, not an upscale restaurant. Of course in those days (1960's) eating out was reserved for special occasions for most people. Furr's still exists. The same location is open. Of course it's been remodeled a few times since then. It's still popular with the after church crowd. Sadly, there has been no piano there for at least 40 years.


Dennis
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#1944463 - 08/17/12 12:36 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
...If there`s music playing for instance, in a pub, I find it hard to hold a conversation...


You can always text message the others at your table while you enjoy the music.
wink


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
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#1944599 - 08/17/12 04:52 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: ChrisKeys]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisKeys
Annitenth, I live in the Dallas area, too, and I've been looking for a restaurant like that for a long time. Can you tell me the name and location?


With pleasure. It's St. Martin's Wine Bistro at 3020 Greenville (what I'd call lower Greenville). I don't know how to put in a link here, but you can read about them at www.stmartinswinebistro.com.

(Hey, I see the link comes in automatically. smile )

Perhaps you'd better call to make sure when the pianist will be there. If you decide to go, I hope you enjoy it.


Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307
#1944678 - 08/17/12 06:42 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Many years ago in the '80's, I had an experience in Savannah GA. I drove over from Hilton Head because I wanted to hear some jazz. After I left one club, they told me I should see Emma Kelly who played at a Johnny Mercer themed joint overlooking the waterfront. When I got there, it was early, and nobody was there. I talked to the bartender for a few minutes, and he said Emma would be there in about a half an hour. He told me I was free to play a tune or two on the piano. There were two pianos there, a baby grand, and an old upright. The baby grand was missing an F key, so I sat at the upright and played a couple of 1920's pieces. It wasn't long before this little old woman looked around the upright and said "I thought it was an old man playing all these songs". I stoped playing to meet her, and she told me to stay put and play some with her. Well, we played all night, about 4 hours, and had such great fun. She was later featured in a movie called "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil". I visited her again shorlty after that movie, and she was playing at another club, and was playing a S&S L.
She remembered me, and we talked, but I didn't play this time. She had a few 8X10 pictures of her in the film. She passed before I got back there again.


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1944690 - 08/17/12 07:26 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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That was a great story, thetandyman. I enjoyed reading it very much! I have an aunt that lives in Savannah.

It sounds like you have met and tickled the ivorys with some famous artists. smile

Heck, it sounds like you are a famous artist! smile

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1944799 - 08/18/12 12:20 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Rickster, ANYTHING BUT!, but I'm sure many of us have a story we cherish. Your kind comments make Piano World a nice place to spend some time.


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
#1945030 - 08/18/12 11:58 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: peterws]  
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Years back I was playing @ The Rancho Bernardo Inn [ north of San Diego,if you know the area....a gorgeous venue]. They had a nice Steinway on a nicely elevated area placely about midway through the beautiful dining area. I had worked hard on a condensed version of 'Rhapsody in Blue' and was excited to give it a try....during the time I played there I always had positive encourgament from the diners so I figured what the heck.
After I finished playing [having to put some proper weight on the final chords] out of the corner of my eye I see a man standing and I thought ' OMG, I am getting a standing ovation'...when I looked over at the man I could clearly see he was motioning for me to pipe down. Probably haven't played that piece in that situation again besides today I find that Steinway in rather poor condition.

rada

#1945213 - 08/18/12 09:43 PM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Annitenth]  
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Originally Posted by Annitenth
It's St. Martin's Wine Bistro at 3020 Greenville (what I'd call lower Greenville). I don't know how to put in a link here, but you can read about them at www.stmartinswinebistro.com.

Great, thanks! Each year my wife and I enjoy a special anniversary dinner out on the town. Once, a long time ago, the restaurant had a piano (and pianist), and I got to sit down and play my love a song or two. Been wanting to do that ever since, but the old restaurant isn't there, and I haven't found another. This'll give me something to consider.

#1945265 - 08/19/12 12:26 AM Re: Playing in restaurants [Re: Annitenth]  
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Quote
It's St. Martin's Wine Bistro at 3020 Greenville (what I'd call lower Greenville). I don't know how to put in a link here, but you can read about them at www.stmartinswinebistro.com.


Try to reserve the semi-private room (for 2 or 4) in the back. Close enough to hear the piano but far enough away to carry on a conversation.

Last edited by Annitenth; 08/19/12 12:27 AM.

Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307

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