YOUNG CHILD IS INSPIRED AS GREEN PLAYS PIANO AT THE RITZ IN WASHINGTON DC
I had a free evening while shopping for colleges with my teenage daughter. The Georgetown waterfront bar waitress answered, “Well, we used to have a piano here. There’s a nice one around the corner at the Ritz Carlton.” It was an ebony Steinway in the corner of a large plush living room.
I eased on to its quilted leather bench, quietly tossed a motif into the room just below the conversation level, and waited to see if anyone approached to arrest me. Soon Abraham’s Theme filled the space, then some George Winston, Will Ackerman and Easy which I wrote with David Field. A concierge stopped doing busywork to listen; the room changed energetically.
While I was playing, a young African boy left his family gathering at the fireplace, approached the piano, watched the hammers striking the strings, and contemplated my sounds for some time. In an interlude, he asked sweetly, "How did you learn to do this?" (Sonoma County Gazette, Nov/2011) Read on further....
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Jerry discovered the use of piano as biofeedback training for unwinding tensions associated with a congenital spasticity. His physical limitations led to improvisational curiosity with simple harmonic fifths, which he then heard in new age and classical themes, enabling him to discover his own musicality and develop his listening abilities. His once mostly private feedback studies have gained appreciation at contact-improv dance gatherings, restaurants, churches and special events.
Chopin's E minor Greens
When I heard Chopin’s haunting Prelude in E minor op. 28 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y6r1nHnLVo) I wanted to learn it, but the chord progression in the bass were beyond the capacity of my left hand, and sadly I rejected the idea. Two weeks later, I awoke with the idea to learn to play the chords with both hands, and leave out the melody. It was still Chopin’s composition, and it was lovely. Joyful Noise Choir Director Benjamin Mertz recognized the piece without the melody, and related that he’d written a paper in school about its subtle chord progressions. Soon segments of the melody started creeping into my playing… not like it was written, but kinda…. from the Akashic Plane more likely. And my own arrangement in E minor of progressions inspired by George Winston’s Thanksgiving.
This journey from Forgiveness was inspired by Ralph Towner’s Anthem into which poured some of William Ackerman’ influence in the key of B. Then from a layer beneath it all came this ancient Avinu Malkeinu in a closely related middle-eastern key of B-fragish, which a rock’n-roll rabbi taught me. There I found my own little niggun, and discovered how it fit with the post-modern meditation by Arvo Part. I played it a lot around Rosh Hashanah, and often at my Friday noon visits to Coffee Catz in Sebastopol that were dedicated to peace in Israel and Palestine, and this version is for Richard Kaplan. https://youtu.be/gdXkn7vVTOk
You are invited to begin this inquiry with me by tuning into this Elemental Sound/Movement Meditation. In it you will find connection with me through my piano that I’m unable to convey in words.
"Green perfectly brings out inside music
for meditation and introspection."
William Allaudin Mathieu
“Transports me to a serene, blissful place.
Thanks a zillion for the sublimity!”
FEEDBACK PIANO EXPLAINED: (5 min)
Inner Listening Demonstration
EASY by David Field & Jerry Green on YouTube
"Jerry's original improvisations on popular andclassical themes and remarkable ability to listen
seem to help people rediscover their desire
to listen." Seth Montfort, Concert Pianist
Losing your enthusiasm for making music? bored? given up?
STUDY WITH ME: If you are among the musically discouraged, or would like to employ an instrument to explore self-awareness and expression, consider having a lesson in somatic attunement with me. This can be learned with any musical instrument.
How like a prayer,
this music -
a meditation in sound
floating in space,
to something greater,
that is both music
Anne Marie Cheney
"Your presence yesterday and sweet music was so relaxing. It put everyone at ease, perfect for our theater audience." Suze Cohan, Occidental Art Center
"Splendiferous!" Hosanna Bauer "euphoric!" Mark Feldman "Beautiful piano ... lifting my spirits ... bringing immediate joy ... thank you so much." Yael Raff Peskin "It's so lovely to move to." Zuza Engler, Soul-Motion Teacher “Mysterious and calming....Your piano playing is all that, and more..... Smooth, rich, velvety...like warmed dark chocolate.......” Shoshana Geller ”Your music makes me feel like a deep reflecting pool.” Chance Massaro "You won your Oscar a long time ago in my book." Linda Heath“Your inspiring compositions link my inner landscape with the phenomenal world.” Michael Zeligs, Recording Artist
For Jerry's personal story, see: INSPIRED BY MY OWN LIMITATIONS
From The Successful Brain Fair: "Jerry's playing made the chatter & chaos in the room disappear so I could drop deeply into receiving the various treatments being offered." Katja Grace "I love your music and so do my dogs. It soothes us all. Your CD should be played at animal shelters to calm the frightened and lonely dogs and cats. You play like an angel." Karen Meganck, Psychologist (By the way, several dentists use my music in their offices....)
"With your music we could sense the peace as strangers united, and our our hearts centered as Presence took root." David Parks-Ramage, Interfaith Council of Sonoma County
Feedback Piano has been enjoyed at these venues:
The Love Choir Sebastopol
MY FIRST CD RELEASE available as download only: FIRST TAKES Jerry Green, solo piano LOOK RIGHT TO DOWNLOAD
These first takes are just that, the surprising results of a practice run in a recording studio. I did not expect this screen test to be more than a learning experience. It turned out to be quite appealing, and it revealed an integration of keys and themes in ways I had never imagined. This is an original body of improvisations weaving a collection of popular and classical ideas and qualities that cultivate inner-listening my approach to somatic attunement, or embodied awareness.
EARLIEST GREENER PIANO SOLOS
Sound engineering by David Field, a true poet of the guitar, able to finger-tip through the tulips, scattering sunlight into its many colours. Discover his sound at: http://www.davidfieldguitar.com/
Abraham’s Theme by Vangellis (from Chariots of Fire) is featured in my coming out medley that includes my improvisations on themes by George Winston (Thanksgiving, DECEMBER,) William Ackerman (Processional, RETURNING,) and Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. (Recorded live Center for Spiritual Living, Jan/'11)
Arvo Part’s compositions draw us into the space between dynamic intervals with grace and beauty, reaching far beyond the notes themselves. He builds a jewel-like tapestry of sound in which we can abide and simply feel. Alina is the seminal work in Part’s original style of composition, called “tintinabuli,” or little bells, chimes. Alina is built on the notes B and F#, which are also the main tones in my composition, Yitzak’s Niggun. (Recorded live Center for Spiritual Living, Jan/'11)
Improvizations on Thanksgiving (Winston/Winter) emerge from a Japanese Music Box concluding with Mon Infante, a tradiional French lullaby. (recorded January 2012 at Mesa Recording Studio.)
“Jerry goes straight to the heart and soul of the music. He's an astounding person to play music with, and completely unique. I welcome our future collaborations and his contributions to the musical world.”
The improvisation you are hearing now represents many levels of inner-listening. Poland’s Oskar Schindler clearly listened to the beat of his own drummer in the most troubling of times. John Williams told Spielberg, "You need a better composer than I am for this film." Spielberg replied, "I know. But they're all dead!"
But Williams tuned in past the mortal boundaries of his own abilities, and he listened for all the spirits lost to their own callings. There the music is timeless and beyond the reach of nationality and religion. By listening to the harmonies in this theme, I can feel sounds emanating from the vast silence of not knowing. (recorded January 2012 at Mesa Recording Studio.)
SAMPLE FIRST TAKES:
LISTEN to Satied Greens
Windham Hill music included Erik Satie’s piano compositions, which he called gymnopedie. When criticized as mediocre musician, he replied that he was actually a phonometrician, one who measures sound. In my mind, he laid the foundation for the evolution of inner listening, which culminates today in the contributions of Arvo Part and W.A. Mathieu. Satie’s reference to being a gymnopaedist, (dancer) also tells me he pioneered somatic attunement in music, what began for me as biofeedback training for congenital tensions.
Inner-listening genome? Trend? This is one of two pieces that merited selection by Pandora for classification in their Music Genome Project. We will soon discover their pick of other recordings that reflect the qualities of my music.