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Upgrade to Steinway B #2837059
04/09/19 04:17 AM
04/09/19 04:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
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BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Aloha! My name is Alistair and I thought I'd share a bit of my 'piano' story.
I was classically trained, starting in the 1st grade and have more or less managed to keep my hands in most of my life since. 12 years ago however, I was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, at stage 4 when they found it. To help me through this difficult time, my beautiful wife and beau, upgraded my piano from a no-name spinet to a Story and Clark 5'3" baby grand, which despite not being a big-name brand, was still much better than my old spinet in both sound and action.
After recovery from my surgery, radiation and chemo and in full remission, I practiced like there was no tomorrow. With cancer, you never know. Although I had the piano tuned and serviced twice a year, its inexpensive hammers, construction etc started to manifest themselves, as my playing also became more demanding. However I didn't have long to ponder this, as the cancer returned with a vengeance, this time as a tumor deep in my brain's left parietal lobe. As it was very aggressive and beyond the reach of surgery, I went from self ambulatory to unable to get out of bed or walk, in the space of just a few weeks and I was given, maybe, 6 months to live. The tumor had greatly weakened my whole right side, somewhat like what a stroke might do. Without going into the grueling details, 22 months of intense chemo, with 5 and 1/2 of those spent in the hospital for infusions and complications, brought me into remission, where I, knock on wood, still am, but it came with a price.
From chemo, I developed sepsis as a complication, which completely dissolved the last joint of my middle, left finger. Also, all my finger and toe nails fell out. As well as that, I was (and still am somewhat) weak on the right side from the damage the tumor and biopsy surgery left. With that joint hurting like crazy when I tried to play and all the other problems, I thought my piano days were over, which was very depressing, as playing the piano has always been a part of my life. But, one good thing was, that in spite of my upper, right arm being weaker, my right finher dexterity seemed more or less unaffected! And then, one day about 3 years ago, I noticed that frozen joint had quit hurting when I tried playing! By then, my fingernails had pretty grown back too, so I dived back in.
But, this is where the limitations of the Story & Clark started really showing. Its action is just too 'constipated', if you will, and the cheap hammers are totally degraded to where the 'floating' sound I want to achieve with Bach was out of reach, at least for me anyway. Maybe a master can make it sound better, but a master, I am not. So, I reluctantly retreated to a Yamaha Arius, that feeds a Pianoteq software simulation. While certainly not exactly like the real thing, it is, sadly, better than practicing on a worn Story & Clark, that I can't even find a good RPT for as my earlier one retired. The other RPT on the island only works on Steinways and the like.
So, (thanks for sticking with me), my wife agreed to let me upgrade to a used, 2012, Steinway B, which should be arriving from Honolulu this week. It's used for competitions and visiting artists (like the one seen on the music rack in the picture) and has thus been immaculately maintained and tuned/regulated to a fair-thee-well. But, it's time for a new one out of respect for the artists, so I am the beneficiary. My wife is a saint for taking mine and my teacher's word that it would be a worthwhile investment and really different than the Story & Clark. For me, it is a life long dream come true, a dream that I was sure, not that long ago, I wasn't going live to see. I was also sure I'd never be able to play again, but slowly my brain is rewiring and I think I'm ready for this instrument. Hopefully, I can do it justice. I flew up to Honolulu to, of course, give it a test drive. The second I started playing it, I fell in love. It can whisper sweet nothings, yet bring down the walls of Jericho. And the action is beyond amazing.
I'm including a link to something I'm currently working on - Bach's Partita #4 in D, this being the 1st part of the last movement, the Gigue. This was recorded on the little Yamaha-PianoTeq setup, but hopefully by later this week, the B will be here. It is far, far from a "great" performance but I'm happy to just be able to play at all and can't wait to see where the B takes me with this, or I it. These last couple of weeks of waiting have been the longest of my life!
Mahalo nui loa for bearing with me and aloha from Hawaii Island.


[img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/12DGcXXq-x4gQWGIz3KJ4gBu1oRV23bep/view?usp=drivesdk[/img]

[img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fVZ1RMzcxL78M12ViuTLdkRgbqDHRwrM/view?usp=drivesdk[/img]

[img]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qwxotsIfRiZDWEVeCs552fcqJIb9DdeF/view?usp=drivesdk[/img]

Partita #4 in D Gigue, 1st part

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Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837437
04/09/19 07:45 PM
04/09/19 07:45 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,578
Florida
cmb13 Online content
Silver Level
cmb13  Online Content
Silver Level

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,578
Florida
Amazing story! So glad you got through it! Life is short and full of unexpected surprises, bad and good. Use this one in great health and be sure to post some videos of your playing!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

Working On
Debussy Clair De Lune

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: cmb13] #2837511
04/10/19 03:57 AM
04/10/19 03:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
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BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Thank you and I promise I'll get a video posted. I was hoping it would be here this week, but it doesn't look like it went on the inter-island barge yet, which means they probably won't ship until early next week. The store is trying to make sure it goes to the front of the shipping container, so that it's not stuck behind a bunch of other goods, which can delay unloading for days. In addition to that, if they ship too late in the week, it may sit in the container for additional days on our end over the weekend. It's a bit of logistics for sure and it's driving me nuts waiting, but it would be near criminal to not take every measure to ensure its safe transit. The scuttlebutt I 'm hearing (and not from the store I bought it from) is that this is an extra nice specimen of a Steinway.

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837553
04/10/19 07:27 AM
04/10/19 07:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
L
LarryK Online content
500 Post Club Member
LarryK  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
How exciting to be getting a Steinway B! I’m glad to hear that you made it through that horrible battle with cancer. Bach’s music offers great solace. Last night, I was actually listening to Vikingur Olafsson’s Bach CD when I read your post. Vikingur is such an amazing player and I love this CD: https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/js-bach-keyboard-works-vikingur-olafsson

I’m a beginner on the piano. I hope to be able to play Bach some day. I have played some of the inventions on the classical guitar with my duet partner, but they’re hard and we both struggle with them.

Nice playing on the Gigue! Post a picture when you get your piano.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837555
04/10/19 07:38 AM
04/10/19 07:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,882
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,882
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Aloha! My name is Alistair and I thought I'd share a bit of my 'piano' story.

Welcome to PW, Alistair. Your story of resilience, recovery, and renewal is really quite inspirational! Congratulations on the Steinway B! I listened to the Partita. Very nice! Post some pics and recordings on the new piano when you have it settled in to its new home. (The audio/video recordings you can post over here.) Enjoy your new piano!


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837556
04/10/19 07:39 AM
04/10/19 07:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,282
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
2000 Post Club Member
NobleHouse  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,282
In the Ozarks of Missouri
A very encouraging story. Welcome to the PW family.


[Linked Image]
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837563
04/10/19 07:57 AM
04/10/19 07:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 271
Texas
Dr. Rogers Offline
Full Member
Dr. Rogers  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 271
Texas
Alistair, thank you for that inspiring story. Mahalo plenty and enjoy your new Steinway!


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837577
04/10/19 09:07 AM
04/10/19 09:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
Full Member
BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Thanks to all of you for your kind words of encouragement, and the flowers for the Gigue. Pianoteq on a half decent MIDI keyboard is, IMO, way better than a worn out clunker like my Story & Clark. I look forward to seeing how the Gigue and other works evolve when the B the B arrives and I get adjusted to it.. As many of you know, a good piano inspires. One silver lining of cancer, is that it forced my early retirement, leaving lots of time to practice - usually 2hrs a day, broken into half-hour or so chunks.

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2837634
04/10/19 12:42 PM
04/10/19 12:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 695
Indianapolis
G
GC13 Offline
500 Post Club Member
GC13  Offline
500 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 695
Indianapolis
Hi BigIslandGuy! Welcome to the S&S Model B owner's family. The model B is one of the most well-known and highly regarded pianos ever manufactured. Owning one is a dream come true for any pianist. I'll never forget the day mine arrived. I still look at it and find it hard to believe that it's actually mine. So I know how excited you must be.

Your story is very inspirational. I commend you on your spirit and strength to continue your fight against cancer, and I wish you all the best. May your enjoyment of your new Model B aid in bringing healing to your body.

Post pictures and recordings soon!

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: GC13] #2837908
04/11/19 04:46 AM
04/11/19 04:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
Full Member
BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Thanks GC13. I'm hoping it will help bring out the best that I can do. I'm a firm believer that one doesn't have to have a super expensive piano to progress. IMO, progress is much more a function of the time put into practice and for a very few, sheer talent (I'm definitely not one of the latter). I am at a point however, where I do feel the keyboard I have is inhibiting me and the stars just happened to be in the right alignment when this piano became available. Will I ever be able to play this to it's fullest potential? Probably not, but I'm sure going to enjoy trying.

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2838255
04/12/19 02:43 AM
04/12/19 02:43 AM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,640
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Lady Bird  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,640
North Vancouver
Hi Alistair,
So exciting about your wonderfull Steinways B .It is late in the evening, but I intend to listen to your Bach tomorrow .
Enjoy that wonderful piano !!!

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2838548
04/12/19 09:16 PM
04/12/19 09:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,640
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
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Lady Bird  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,640
North Vancouver
Thank you I really enjoyed that Bach ! I cannot hear very well'( being in a mall at the moment)But really rhythmic ,expressive playing !
The piano sounds wonderful too.

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2840024
04/16/19 11:51 PM
04/16/19 11:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
Full Member
BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Update: The piano is finally in the 'can', on its way here! The store (Piano Planet) tried to get it out early last week, but they couldn't be sure of getting it loaded last in the shipping container so it would come off first. This week, they were able to get it on the Tuesday sailing to Hilo, at the front of the container. It should arrive in Hilo's wharf Thursday and be at my place Friday! I cannot wait! These next three days are sure going to be l-o-n-g ones.

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2840819
04/20/19 07:32 AM
04/20/19 07:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
Full Member
BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
It's finally here! I am amazed at how well the tuning held up considering what had to happen to get it here. My impression of it now that it's here is every bit as good as my first impressions were. Just a joy to play.
[Linked Image]

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2840867
04/20/19 10:26 AM
04/20/19 10:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
L
LarryK Online content
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LarryK  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
Oh, wow, congratulations! May you have many pleasant hours together.

I mentioned your piano to my teacher and she told me that she has a son living in Hawaii. I thought that was pretty funny. He tries to get her to move to Hawaii, but being Russian, she prefers the seasons and likes dressing up for winter, so she is staying in New York.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: LarryK] #2840883
04/20/19 11:20 AM
04/20/19 11:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
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BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
Originally Posted by LarryK
Oh, wow, congratulations! May you have many pleasant hours together.

I mentioned your piano to my teacher and she told me that she has a son living in Hawaii. I thought that was pretty funny. He tries to get her to move to Hawaii, but being Russian, she prefers the seasons and likes dressing up for winter, so she is staying in New York.

Thanks, and yes, a lot of folks do like their seasons, which is fine, because they're welcome to them all. smile I've also grown orchids most of my life and I love being able to just grow them in the trees, the way nature intended. When I was very little, in 1st grade times, we lived just outside Calgary, Alberta for a while. That's where I acquired a permanent allergy to cold weather. wink

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2840888
04/20/19 11:35 AM
04/20/19 11:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 287
Phoenix, AZ
agraffe Offline
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agraffe  Offline
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Posts: 287
Phoenix, AZ
Congratulations, BigIslandGuy, on delivery of your dream piano in this time of remission! I wish you many happy hours with your Steinway, from Piano Planet to Piano World and beyond!


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: agraffe] #2840894
04/20/19 12:00 PM
04/20/19 12:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 162
Hawai'i Island
B
BigIslandGuy Offline OP
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BigIslandGuy  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2019
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Hawai'i Island
Originally Posted by agraffe
Congratulations, BigIslandGuy, on delivery of your dream piano in this time of remission! I wish you many happy hours with your Steinway, from Piano Planet to Piano World and beyond!

Thank you so much. I'm so grateful that I can still play and grateful beyond words that my beautiful wife supported me in this. It had to be okay with her for it to be okay with me. Bach beats cancer! smile

Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2840902
04/20/19 12:28 PM
04/20/19 12:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
L
LarryK Online content
500 Post Club Member
LarryK  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 527
Originally Posted by BigIslandGuy
Originally Posted by LarryK
Oh, wow, congratulations! May you have many pleasant hours together.

I mentioned your piano to my teacher and she told me that she has a son living in Hawaii. I thought that was pretty funny. He tries to get her to move to Hawaii, but being Russian, she prefers the seasons and likes dressing up for winter, so she is staying in New York.

Thanks, and yes, a lot of folks do like their seasons, which is fine, because they're welcome to them all. smile I've also grown orchids most of my life and I love being able to just grow them in the trees, the way nature intended. When I was very little, in 1st grade times, we lived just outside Calgary, Alberta for a while. That's where I acquired a permanent allergy to cold weather. wink


Haha, my mom grew up near the Canadian border and moved to the warmer climes of Connecticut.

Orchids are cool. I read The Orchid Thief a while ago, great book. From what I recall, orchids are parasitic plants. I used to be a beekeeper and enjoyed watching the nectar come in as the different flowers bloomed.

Glenn Gould said that his moods were the opposite of the weather and that he could not stand bright colors. I guess I feel the same way. If it’s too nice out, I feel like I’m missing life if I stay inside and play music but I don’t feel that way if the weather is cold and miserable.

Each to his own latitude and longitude.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: Upgrade to Steinway B [Re: BigIslandGuy] #2841053
04/20/19 09:16 PM
04/20/19 09:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,282
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,282
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Congratulations on that gorgeous piano!!


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