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Sam S Offline OP
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Don't panic! Well, maybe a little.

ABF Quarterly Recital #64 will open for submissions Nov 1st at about 6AM US Eastern time. You then have 2 weeks to get your performance submitted. The recital goes "live" Nov 15th at about 6AM US Eastern time.

The usual Quarterly recital rules apply. One submission per performer. Any level, style, or genre, as long as it is (piano) keyboard related.

Read about it at recitals.pianoworld.com

Do not be intimidated by the level of past performances. Some of us have been doing this for a long time. The best way to get better is to participate! It is excellent training and practice.

New for this quarterly is a 3 level comment checkbox. The three levels are:
Comment Policy:
- No Comments Please!
- General Comments only: Polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement
- Critical Comments: Anything goes!

The default is:
- General Comments only: Polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement

Make sure that you check the box that you want. If you select "Critical Comments" and you get what you asked for, do not whine and complain!

When commenting, make sure you know what comment type the performer requested!

This will be my 50th ABF Quarterly Recital. I am not alone in having high numbers, there are others, like Peyton. Not 50 consecutive, because I missed a couple back in 2014. It's been a wonderful experience, and i hope I can do many more!

Sam

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Going to be interesting. It's much closer to Christmas someone like myself might upload an arrangement of "O Holy Night" or a movement from the Tchaikovsky "Nutcracker".

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Originally Posted by Sam S
New for this quarterly is a 3 level comment checkbox. The three levels are:
Comment Policy:
- No Comments Please!
- General Comments only: Polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement
- Critical Comments: Anything goes!

The default is:
- General Comments only: Polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement
That's a great addition Sam!

Congrats on your 50th recital!

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Dare I ask the backstory for the new comment policy? 😅


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Dare I ask the backstory for the new comment policy? 😅

Sadly that places me at the middle of it.

Late last year, I received some perfectly valid criticism with the main point emphasised quite strongly with repetition. At the time I was like, that was a bit harshly put but ok the main point was valid and let it go.

Moving onto this year and I've had one heck of a year losing both my parents and an Uncle and Aunt. When i submitted my piece I consciously selected no comments please because I felt in my emotionally fragile state I may not take heavy criticism well.

Anyway, there was some confusion over the comment option (I think the default might have changed) so there were lots more pieces with no comments please. So people were commenting on pieces where the option was no comments please.

I stupidly decided I wouldn't mind getting comments, but tried to ward off those comments being harshly phrased by highlighting the comment from last year as an example of what I wouldn't enjoy. Sadly it all went downhill from there for a while. In the end we all made up and all was good.

I think this is now an improved outcome of that mess.

Last edited by KevinM; 10/15/21 12:01 PM.
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I've got mine recorded! Trouble is, it's in two bits . . . . .I don't like doin' this, but for the sake of my sanity I might have to . . .


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I'm hoping to have something seasonal ready. Too late for Halloween, but might work for Thanksgiving...The Great Pumpkin Waltz. I can sort of play it, but not smoothly or close to tempo. I'd like to get at least the 'smoothly' part ready by then.

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I can totally see it become "Excuse me, I don't care for your tone" vs "Hey, I'm doing *you* a favor here!"

If I knew pianists, it's that they have big egos ha Good to see the moderator setting up ground rules


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KevinM, you have my sympathy with regards to the tricky business of comments.

I have been one who always felt that a recital is not the time for criticism, constructive or otherwise, and for me, participation in an ABF recital is still, ultimately, a recital. I know not everyone agrees with that, but that's why I always checked "no comments," because my recital submissions, however flawed, are always the best I could do in that moment, with the red dot blaring. I'm always aware (often painfully aware) of mistakes and areas needing improvement, and I almost always have a teacher who I'm working with, so I never felt very good receiving criticism from someone who doesn't know what I've been working on, doesn't know what "my best" sounds like (i.e., how I play when there's no red dot) etc. etc.

But I have always loved hearing that someone enjoyed my submission or that my recording made them want to play the piece as well, or that the piece conveyed some emotional quality, etc. Or the times when someone commented something like "I can tell how much you love this piece" (I've had someone say that to me actually, and it made me so happy!) So comments along those lines have always been hugely motivating for me, esp. because I am always fighting off performance anxiety, and my recital recordings are never close to 100% of the best I can do.

But tbh, when it comes to recital comments, I don't even want suggestions for improvement. It's probably, no it's definitely a character flaw whome but I have always had to fight off performance anxiety etc., so my recital submissions are never my best playing, and I never felt good about receiving suggestions for improvement on a recording that's not representative of my best playing, and esp. from someone who doesn't know anything else about my playing beyond that one little snippet. Some people might call that being thinned skinned, and maybe they're right.... But I've been playing piano a long time and participating in PW for a long time, and right or wrong, I know myself.

Now that the options are "no comments" or "polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement" -- if I selected "no comments," I wonder if I would get zero comments (I mean, truly zero, not even "I enjoyed to your submission" or "I listened to your submission"). If so, that would make me sad.

So although I think it's good to have more options for what kinds of comments people want, I'm curious about how the "no comments" will be interpreted. Could it be something more like "Comments but no instructive feedback please" ??

I know people are probably thinking that I don't participate regularly enough any more for it matter. If so, my apologies, but eventually (I hope!) my work schedule will calm down and I'll participate in another recital... I actually have a piece I'm hoping will be ready by the 11/15 recital.... If so, I guess I'll decide which comment option when I get to that point...

whome


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
if I selected "no comments," I wonder if I would get zero comments
Well if you post a Youtube video you can either have comments enabled or disabled. Maybe "no comments" here means the same, i.e. comments disabled.


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
if I selected "no comments," I wonder if I would get zero comments
Well if you post a Youtube video you can either have comments enabled or disabled. Maybe "no comments" here means the same, i.e. comments disabled.

Maybe you missed the point of what I wrote, which is that I don't want "zero comments" -- I just don't want corrective/instructive comments. And this is about ABF, not YT, and I meant specifically for the ABF Recitals with the new options.

Because up to now, I have always selected "no comments" and it's always (as far as I can tell) been interpreted as "no instructive feedback or suggestions," so in past recitals that I've participated in here, people have commented on my submissions in terms of "I enjoyed that" etc.


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I don’t think your intent was missed, but I agree that you will likely get ‘zero comments’. You will find out the effect with the next recital you participate in.

Last edited by dogperson; 10/16/21 01:51 PM.

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Sam S Offline OP
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Shirokuro, I'll see if I have time to add another option for you - "Polite and supportive only - no suggestions for improvement please".

Sam

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I don't know what "no comments" means exactly here (and neither do you, sounds like), so that's why I drew a parallel to Youtube policy - incidentally, it looks like you could link Youtube vids to your recital submissions as well, so it's along the same line. Maybe the moderator can clarify.


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cygnusdei, I think you're right. In the past, I think there was a general understanding that "no comments" meant only "no corrective/instructive feedback." I don't think anyone interpreted it as "please do not say anything about my piece." But when there are more options, then "no comment," I think, will come to mean "do not say anything about my piece."

Although, the YT parallel isn't very apt, because on YT it's all or nothing, and I think what Sam is trying to do is get away from the all or nothing set up.

Sam, thank you, if you're able to tweak it, that would be great! I would add "comments" if possible:

Quote
"Polite and supportive comments only - no suggestions for improvement please".

If these are getting too wordy, could it be something like:
1. No comments
2. Supportive comments only
3. Constructive criticism and instructive feedback welcome

(No, I guess it's not possible to make it more concise... whome

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 10/16/21 02:12 PM.

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Sam S Offline OP
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You are not going to believe this, but I just recorded a piece for this recital. We're having a local piano group meeting this afternoon, and the piece is about as ready as it will get, so I turned on the camera and did it on the 2nd take (after practicing it another 30 minutes first). So I will be shooting for the top of the list again - the last time i tried that I ended up 5th or 6th I think.


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Originally Posted by Sam S
You are not going to believe this, but I just recorded a piece for this recital. We're having a local piano group meeting this afternoon, and the piece is about as ready as it will get, so I turned on the camera and did it on the 2nd take (after practicing it another 30 minutes first). So I will be shooting for the top of the list again - the last time i tried that I ended up 5th or 6th I think.
Sam

Sam! I done mine too after a month of struggling, half at a time hoping to stitch the two together. I got a good first half, continued until the dang thing was done and dusted! Was a nervous wreck at the end. No live recitals here!
But I might try for the leader board.
Hang on. Sam, you are the leaderboard . . . .

Last edited by peterws; 10/17/21 01:07 PM.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I have been one who always felt that a recital is not the time for criticism, constructive or otherwise, and for me, participation in an ABF recital is still, ultimately, a recital.

I've always felt the same way too, regarding a recital atmosphere. I can also see a case for an option for individuals to seek advice.

Regarding the interpretation of 'no comments', I just checked a YT video with 'comments turned off' and I noticed there is still a 'thumbs up' button. So even if people check 'no comments', I've decided I'm allowed a verbal equivalent of 'thumbs up'.

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The piece I've been working on & off for a few months is too advanced for the Beginner Recital so look forward to submitting it to the next recital. A few days ago I tried the piece on the digital Yamaha Clavinova CLP-795GP (imitation grand) in a store. The salesman thought the composer was someone else from the 18th century and got me to play with the clavichord sound which would be fine for pieces by Scarlatti. Not the instruments the piece was written for but nonetheless produced an interesting sound.

Despite hearing some sad news this week, I managed to practice the piece from top to bottom and fix up a few spots and have the final recording ready in a week or 2. Since the pandemic lockdown, I've been spending more time indoors and practicing the piece that was considered rather technical 2 years ago. Otherwise I would pick an easier piece.

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Sam S Offline OP
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Latest update - now there will be 4 options to choose from for comments:

Comment Policy:
- No Comments Please!
- Polite Comments only: no suggestions for improvement please.
- General Comments only: Polite, supportive, suggestions for improvement.
- Critical Comments: Anything goes!

Hope this covers everyone's requests!

And you have 10 days until the recital opens for submissions...

Sam

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