Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jodi's School of Music David Lanz Workshop July 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

BELOVED (And I'll Dream in Blue)

Where are you now?
Far from sight
I search for you
In the night
Where must we go?
To find love
What must we do?
Rise above
Heaven is near...I feel it
Echoes of love ..can you hear it?
In moonlight where roses bloom
And I'll dream in blue
As I wait for you
As I wait for love... to return back to me.
Lighting my flame
Draws you near
Into my heart
You are here
One day I'll know the answer
Why have I been the dancer
Dancing alone in the dark?
Chorus two
And I'll dream in blue
As I wait for you
As I wait for love.. to return back to me.
I will call your name
Will you do the same?
As we wait for love to return once again
Heaven is near...I feel it
Echoes of love ...Can you hear it?

In moonlight where roses bloom
Chorus three
And I'll dream in blue
As I wait for you
As I wait for love to return back to me.
I will call your name
Will you do the same?
As we wait for love.....
Lyrics by David Lanz with Music by Kristin Amarie

From the new unreleased CD debut
by Singer/Composer Kristin Amarie

"Notes From a Journey" (For release summer of 2013)

Copyright 2013 David Lanz, Moon Boy Music 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Our Valentine's Day Sale!

*Romance is in the air, and so are the savings!
*Free US Shipping!
*Free CD sent with every order!
*Celebrate our Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned video winners!
*Share the Beatles with the one you love!

Well, Valentine's Day is approaching and we would love to make it a little easier for you to get your romance on, so from now through February 14th, we are offering you free regular shipping (US orders only). And, a free autographed copy of my solo piano CD Heartsounds will be sent with every order! You may already have this, but I am sure you know someone who might enjoy this Valentines Day gift. And the price is right :-)

We recently announced the two winners of our Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned video contest. Big congratulations are in order to Crystal Burden and Freda Lujan-Moss for their great videos! Both of these talented women's work can be seen here on our home page at

You know that I love the Beatles, and you can share them a little easier now with the one you love! Liverpool...Re-Imagining the Beatles and Here Comes The Sun CDs are both on sale at just $9.99 or $7.77 for the download! And both CD songbook combos are on sale too! They said that money can’t buy you love, but it is still nice to save it :-)

Valentine's Day is a great time to remind the ones you care about how you feel about them. We in turn appreciate you for the support and love you have for the music and are more than happy to offer you our heart felt thanks, all wrapped up in a valentine of free shipping and a free CD!!

So what's not to love:-)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cristofori's Dream... Re-Envisioned

Looking back at the Dream...

It is nearly impossible for me to wrap my head around the fact that twenty-five years have transpired since the release of Cristofori’s Dream. This, my seventh full length 1980’s recording on the Narada label, indeed changed my life and opened a world to me that I had only hoped for and dreamt about since my teenage years.

So many memories flood my mind as I look back at this recording and this period of my life. The spark, the divine seed if you will for Cristofori’s Dream, was found in Judith Oringer’s book, Passion for the Piano, a gift received from a good friend, and a very fortuitous gift it turned out to be! In the forward of this book about the piano and various pianists throughout history, was a dedication to a one, Bartolomeo Cristofori, ". . . the inventor of the piano. . ." (excerpt from the new CD's 16 page booklet’s liner notes.)


Re-Envisioning the Dream...

The goal for this new recording was to capture the essence of the original album, but with the intimacy, spontaneity, and the sense of space afforded by a solo piano recording.

The title track is played true to the original composition, but many of the other pieces have been opened up leaving room for improvisation and slight variations.

In addition to the original seven pieces, two live-recorded concert bonus tracks are included:

A live rendition with full orchestra of Cristofori’s Dream, recorded in Seattle Washington, and the heartfelt Seoul Improvisation, a solo piano performance recorded in Seoul, Korea.

And I would once again like to say, as I did in the original 1988 liner notes, “This album is dedicated to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731), the inventor of the piano-may his Dream live forever.”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Making of the 'Here Comes the Sun' Video

I spent an enjoyable weekend last month with my good friend Bob Mueller here in my home shooting the new Here Comes The Sun music video. I played the song around 30-40 times and Bob shot me and the piano from many different angles.

The time lapse footage which opens the piece, was done a week later in downtown Bellingham, not far from my home.

With his new Canon EOS 60D DSLR camera, Bob was able to capture angles of the piano that I’d never seen. His artistic eye and his overall vision for this piece was impressive...I just played the piano:-)

For those of you who enjoy the technical details, Bob has included those in great detail below....

David Lanz

Here Comes the Sun Music Video
Tech Notes by Robert Mueller

Here Comes The Sun was shot entirely on a Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera, a relatively new model for Canon which sports an 18 megapixel sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor (the ‘brain’ of the camera - actually the sixth generation of Canon’s proprietary DIGIC image processing chips). The 60D became available in late 2010/early 2011.

According to Canon, compared with first-generation DIGIC processors, DIGIC4 represents a 50-fold improvement in the short space of just 10 years...quite an evolutionary accomplishment.

This being a CMOS chip, each pixel is actually comprised of four separate pixel elements - two greens, one red and one blue. So this 18 megapixel imaging chip actually has nearly 64 million individual sensors, all very precisely packed into an area only 22.2 x 14.8mm (329 cm2)! It’s an achievement that boggles the mind. This also represents 11.5 times the light-gathering area than, say, a current Sony Cybershot,or Canon Powershot, which both have a sensor area of only 6.16 x 4.62mm, or 28.5 cm2. This makes the 60D wonderfully light-sensitive, and provides beautiful depth of field.

Between the increased sensitivity and powerful processing of the DIGIC4, this camera can capture images that were extremely difficult, if not impossible to accomplish even a mere 20 years ago. For instance, anyone who remembers shooting ASA (now referred to as ISO) 1600 film in the late 80’s, early 90’s knows how grainy the results were. We embraced the grain, because it was the only practical way to capture low-light level scenes…and called it artsy. But with this camera, scenes shot at even its highest sensitivity (ISO 6400 and 12,800!) are remarkably smooth and detailed. It’s so sensitive, there’s even a special build of the 60D designed specifically for astrophotography.

Of course, we wouldn’t even be writing about it here if this camera didn’t also manage one other thing extremely well…shooting High Definition video. The 60D leverages both the sensor size and DIGIC processor chip to capture amazingly beautiful, full HD 1920x1080P video at either 30, 25, or 24 frames per second, with all the benefits of shooting with a DSLR. Size, for instance. You’ll see in this video that we actually placed the camera inside the piano on the soundboard, for some very cool and unique angles!

The camera also includes software to tether it via USB directly to a computer (a small netbook in our case), allowing full remote control and through-the-lens viewing on the computer screen - thus avoiding the need to crawl inside the piano with it to frame the shots .

Another nice plus is that only a single lens was required – Canon’s 18-185mm f/3.5-5.6 optically-stabilized auto-focus zoom lens. The full breadth of focal length was used, from extremely wide to as long as the lens could go; and never once was a lens change required. Again harking back to the nineties, or even just ten years ago, you may recall that it really took three lenses to cover this kind of range: a dedicated ‘wide angle’ lens, say an 18-28mm; a mid-range lens like a 28-85mm; and finally a longer zoom lens like a 70-185 or 70-210mm. The latest optical engineering gives us a veritable dream lens – all the zoom range of three lenses without unduly sacrificing clarity and speed, plus the added benefit of optical-stabilization – like having a little Steadicam® built into the lens itself.

Yet another intriguing thing about the camera is that it has been hacked, and its capabilities extended even beyond the manufacturer’s design. Magic Lantern, for instance, is a firmware add-on freely available via the Internet that was originally written for the Canon 5D Mark II (the much more expensive 60D’s big brother) by Trammel Hudson in 2009. But it proved so popular with the new DSLR filmmakers that it has subsequently been expanded to support several other Canon DSLR cameras, which now includes this relative newcomer…the 60D. Magic Lantern firmware extends the 60D’s features in many ways, but notable for this video are the ability to shoot time-lapse without a separate external intervalometer, and to remotely control automated focus-pulls between two focus planes.

This video was edited and tweaked using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, output as an uncompressed avi master, and then compressed using the h.264 codec in a Quicktime .mov ‘wrapper’. Adobe’s software has, like the cameras themselves, advanced at a rapid pace, while continuing to become ever more affordable.

Astonishing advances like these are leading to a veritable revolution in filmmaking today, as for relatively little investment budding artists and even old pros alike can create astoundingly high-quality results. Whereas only a decade ago very few could afford what it took to capture and edit HD video , today there is a new ‘democratization of video’ occurring that is literally revolutionizing filmmaking.

Thanks to Canon, Magic Lantern, Adobe, and the digital age itself, our little video can add another drop to that rising tide.

To view the video:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Part two: Learning and arranging 'Don’t Stop Believing'

For this exercise we will play the song in G Major, which is the key the Glee
cast have used. This way you can play along to Glee’s version comparing
what you come up with as you work on your arrangement. (If want to change
the key of this or another song, please refer to the last page on transposing.)
Let’s listen first to the bass line. It begins by moving up and down in scale
tones (the entire song is based on the G major scale), but the bass line starts
and then lands on the downbeat of each chord in our progression.  In other
words, these chord changes happen on beat one of each bar...each chord
getting 4 beats.

The first bass note is G-moving up to D-moving up to E-then down to C. This
bass note pattern repeats, except it moves down to B from D (instead of up
to E) on the repeat like this:

G-D-E-C G-D-B-C this is the simple bass note pattern for all our verses-the
intro- the interludes-and the ending. Practically the whole song!

Now your basic theory will come in handy here when trying to figure out
what the chords will be. We know that there are three major chords and three
minor chords in any major key.

We are in G our three major chords are G-C-and D Major (built on
the 1st-4th-and 5th tones of the G major scale) The three minor chords are e-minor,
a-minor and b-minor (built on the 6th-2nd-and 3rd tones of the G major scale)

So now we can see that the chord progression here will be:

G Major-D Major-e minor-C Major
G Major-D Major-b minor-C Major

Again...these chord changes happen on beat one of each bar, each chord
getting 4 beats, or one chord per bar.

Now picking out the melody will be done by ear. Listen to the melody...maybe
sing along. Once it is in your head, sit at the keyboard and pick out the
melody notes. Having the lyric sheet might be helpful. This is a fairly
simple melody most of which is based on only 5 notes. (All in the G major

To begin play a G Major chord-the first chord of the song.  Hint: the first
note of the melody is one of the notes in the G major triad.  Melodies are
often found inside the chord’s triad (or one tone away)...not always...but
it is a good place to start looking. Ear training, identifying intervals, is another
great skill to have and will streamline this process.  You may want to ask your
teacher about this or search out info on ear training exercises. I highly
recommend this!

Play the chord progression as you look and listen for the melody. This may
take some time, but remember that you are getting familiar with the building
blocks of the song, which will help you to create your own version of the
song as you go along. This exercise will also help you get started writing
your own songs.

Move on to the chorus of the song once you have the verse’s melody in hand.
(You may want to change the melody slightly from verse to verse...but it is
pretty much the same all the way through!)

Do the same exercise for figuring out the chorus.  Hint: The first four notes of
the melody are all suspended over one bass note (also called a pedal tone). The
bass rocks back and forth for two bars on an octave C...the chords played over
that are D Major-C Major-D major-C Major7 followed by two bars of G Major...
and then all of this is repeated and ends with what is know as a turnaround, a
series of chords that lead us back to the verse. Our turnaround is made up of the
three major chords found in our key (G Major) See if you can hear that and find
those yourself!

Once we have the basic melody and chord progression in hand, it is time to
see what we might want to do to arrange this song to our liking.

Here are the parts of this song we will want to identify and this will make up
our song’s arrangement pattern (keep in mind that many of these parts are
repeated patterns i.e. the melody-the chorus-the interlude-and the turnaround
are all repeated.)
1. The intro (uses the same chords as the verse)
2. Verse 1 (Melody starts here.)
3. Verse 2 (same chords and melody)
4. The interlude (same chord progression as the verse)
5. Verse 3 (same chords with added left hand movement.)
6. The chorus (has it’s own chord progression played twice)
7. A short turnaround (taking us back to the verse chords)
8. Repeat intro (same chord progression as the verse)
9. Verse 4 (same chords and melody as other verses)
10. Verse 5 (same chords and melody as other verses)
11. Repeated chorus (same chords and melody as first chorus)
12. Repeated turnaround (same as before)
13. Interlude...improvisation optional...use verse chords.
14. Tag/Ending (continue verse title/hook melody, 'Don’t Stop
Believing' etc, over the verse to end)

The rest is up to you! The tempo, the key, your dynamics, and the overall
feeling and vibe you want your version to have. Playing along with a recording
of the song at home can also be a great way to learn the piece and have some
fun in the process!

I also suggest you find a way to record your arranging and writing sessions
so you don’t lose any great ideas. You will find that going back to these
recorded sessions will help you to pick up where you left off as these
session can go off and on for days and even weeks. And remember have fun!!!


A simple way to transpose your song is to use the number system that has
been a standard method used especially by studio musicians who need to
sometimes quickly transpose a song for a singer that is having difficulty
singing in the key they have started with.

This number method of notating chord changes will work in all keys. You just
need to know how to play all your chords and scales...easy right? :-)
For example, the rock band Journey's original song, 'Don't Stop Believing', is
in the key of E Major. (Glee’s version is in G Major.)

The verse chord changes begin with this simple chord sequence:

E Major, B Major, c# minor, A Major

Looking at these first four chords let’s assign a number which corresponds
to the scale sequence they fall into.

E Major = 1, as it is the first note of the E major scale. B is the 5th note
of the E major scale, so our B Major chord = 5. C# is the 6th tone of the
scale and A is the 4th tone.

So using this system our first four chord changes can be noted as:

1-5-6 min-4

or you may also use roman numerals:

I -V-VI min-IV

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Going from Classical to Pop (part one.)

How to take a popular song, learn it by ear, and arrange it to fit your
playing style and ability.

I could easily write a book on this subject...but here now are my beginning
thoughts to help get you started.  Part one will give you an overview of the
process...part two will show you the process and how to get started actually
doing this!

Start by picking a popular song you enjoy and really want to learn to play
in your own way.  This can be done without written music...we are going to
try learning the song by ear, and then do our own arrangement of the arrangement that fits our style and playing ability.  We will use
the song, 'Don't Stop Believing' originally by the rock band Journey, and
now again made popular by the cast of television's 'Glee'.

If a song has been recorded and covered by multiple artists, you might want
to listen to these various versions...see what you like or don't like in
these.  I also recommend finding the original artist's recording so you can
get the essence of the song in question.  Your version may end up sounding
like the original, or you may want to transform the piece into your own
invention...changing the key, tempo, chord structure, and even the melody.  This is
all up to you and where you want the song to go!

Begin by listening closely to the song¹s melody. It may also help if you
have the lyrics printed out to reference the melody too.  Also, listen to
the underlying chord progression. Notice that the verse chords change once
every bar in this song. See if you can hear the bass notes of the chords as
they go by. Often times, by either playing a major or minor chord over the
bass line, you will start to find your chord progression...but this is NOT
fool proof...just a way to get started. More on this later!

The chord progression of any song is really the foundation on which you add
the melody and any other embellishments.  If you enjoy improvising within a
song, you will most likely do this over this same chord progression.  Any
song's chord progression is comparable to the foundation of a building. 
You start with the foundation, and then everything else is added to it.

Many songs pop and otherwise, use very standard predictable chord
progressions.  Of course you can re-harmonize the song using different and
alternate chord changes that still support the melody, but I recommend
finding out the original song's chord structure first before you alter it.
As it is said, best to learn the rules before you try and break the rules. :-)

Note: If you find it impossible to hear the chord changes of any given song,
you most likely could find a simple chord chart on the internet, but be
forewarned that many chord charts can be over simplified and even sometimes
include the wrong chords.

You will also gain valuable insights into song writing by looking and
listening to all variety of songs; pop, rock, folk, hymns, and even jazz
standards, analyzing the chord structures they are built on.  And as I said,
many songs rely on simple tried and true chord progressions, so after
awhile, you will begin to see similar and even identical chord progressions
being used.  You can even take these same chord progressions and by adding
your own melodies and rhythms, write your own songs!

Note: part 2 will deal with figuring out our song's chord progression and
melody and then putting our song¹s arrangement together...from the the ending!