Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com Official website of pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:25:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Why I need this summer blog hiatushttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/summer-blog-hiatus-3090 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/summer-blog-hiatus-3090#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2013 12:00:57 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=3090 Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Dear readers,

I won’t be blogging these next 2 months and have rather good reasons for this. Let me tell you why I won’t be blogging this summer.

  • I write already too much! Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. But with the book and a weekly blog post, I have turned into a full time writer rather than a pianist.
  • I need to think about the turn I want to give to this journal and thus take a break from it. The journal will return in September, but probably with a completely different type of content.
  • I must focus my energy on monetizable content/actions and bring money in. The last years have put me in an awkward financial situation. I believed in a certain business model and this business model didn’t quite work in the classical music environment yet. But as I’m not living in wonderland I still have to pay my rent and bills which is quite difficult right now. I have high business expenses (just ask how much it costs to buy and maintain a piano when you’re a professional pianist) and content creation, marketing, PR, managing costs skyrocketed while fees are going drastically down. As much as I love creating content and giving it away, I just can’t keep doing it.
  • Blogging is time consuming. I have a lot of work and need to get focused on what really matters: music. That’s what I signed up for in the first place: making music. I understand part of my job is doing marketing, PR and managing projects/concert, but when you spend more time at the computer than at a piano, there is something wrong. Yes, I would like to keep creating as much content as I do now, but I need some help to do so. And according to the previous point, I don’t have cash to get an intern. And without someone to help me, I must slow down, as my body started to show signs that I was clearly pushing too far.

It is time to slow down and shut down the blog for a while. Get some rest. Find people to help me. The comment section below is opened to any help you’d like to offer, or any idea you could have to give me a hand addressing these issues.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Get organized, practice better and fasterhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/get-organized-practice-better-and-faster-3070 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/get-organized-practice-better-and-faster-3070#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:00:48 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=3070 Last week I spoke about routines, without saying anything about mines. It’s time to share with you parts of my practice routine that could be useful to you. As a professional, you have to keep your practice organized: you generally have a lot of works to play and no time to practice them. So you develop strategies and have to acquire “special” skills to be able to face the workload (yes, I can fly, see in the dark and become invisible). So here are 3 essential tips I use for organizing my practice routines.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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3 tips to get organizedLast week I spoke about routines, without saying anything about mines. It’s time to share with you parts of my practice routine that could be useful to you. As a professional, you have to keep your practice organized: you generally have a lot of works to play and no time to practice them. So you develop strategies and have to acquire “special” skills to be able to face the workload (yes, I can fly, see in the dark and become invisible). So here are 3 essential tips I use for organizing my practice routines.

1. Get a practice schedule: What the heck is he talking about? I have a monthly schedule of the works I have to practice. As a picture is worth a thousand words, here is how mine looks:

Practice schedule July

This is for me essential: I have to maintain a lot of works for the upcoming seasons, perform others and learn new repertoire. My time is limited and I have to manage it wisely. If I don’t come up with a plan, I’ll never meet the deadlines and find myself in a delicate position.

2. Keep a practice journal: I don’t write about what I’ve done, but about what I’ll have to do tomorrow. You can’t fix everything in one practice session, so I have to write down what are the priorities for tomorrow, and try to estimate roughly how long it is going to take (how many pomodoros?). I also realized I was much more motivated to practice if I had a clear To Do list.

3. Keep your phone off: Unless President Obama plans to use your superpowers to save the world, keep your phone off. Why? Because practicing well is a matter of focus: the less distractions you have the better you practice. At some point, I thought I had to be reachable 24/7. No, I don’t. If something is really important, they’ll find a way to reach you in any case.

Of course I could easily find other tips, but these 3 really made a difference in my daily practice. Everything reducing stress (like routines and schedules!) and keeping you away from distractions will help you practice better. Stay focused!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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The importance of routines and scheduleshttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-importance-of-routines-and-schedules-3038 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-importance-of-routines-and-schedules-3038#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:00:41 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=3038 We always underestimate the importance of a good routine in our life. In fact a good routine can have a positive impact on the most unexpected things: like piano playing. Yes I know a routine doesn't sound like the most exciting thing in the world, and I used to think that routine is for boring people. Until I realized that I was feeling much happier and was more successful in my undertakings with it. That’s when I became one of them, the routine believers.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Keep a schedule and plan a routine! We always underestimate the importance of a good routine in our life. In fact a good routine can have a positive impact on the most unexpected things: like piano playing. Yes I know a routine doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing in the world, and I used to think that routine is for boring people. Until I realized that I was feeling much happier and was more successful in my undertakings with it. That’s when I became one of them, the routine believers.

For a time in my life, I have been a complete mess. Having routines or a planning was a no-no: I wanted the true artist lifestyle (more Rock star style than pianist style…). That’s not a part of my life I feel proud about, but the experience was at least useful in a (very narrow) way: I learned a couple of things about myself and about what truly is an artist’s life. You know, to become a butterfly you have to be a caterpillar first (I’m still waiting for the butterfly part!).

When I remember this period, something in particular always comes to my mind: it is the only part of my life I didn’t have a routine at all. For nothing. The result was kind of bad: I gain 14 pounds in a year (no regular meals), I played like crap (no practice routine), I felt like crap (no regular sleep patterns, no exercising routine…), all of this crushing my self-confidence and keeping me in a downward spiral.

It ended when I moved to another city and change my mindset. Maybe unconsciously I felt it was time for a radical change in my life and decided to go away. This change happened: I got finally caught in an upward spiral again after sticking to routines again. If I had known before the importance of a routine, it would have spared me lots of trouble and disappointments.

When it comes to piano practice, remember Horowitz: “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my wife knows it. If I don’t practice for three days, the world knows it.” You see the point: the less regular you are in your practice, the worse you play.

Today, having schedules and routines has for me several purposes: get better at what I do, having realistic goals, relieving stress. I have a practice schedule to be able to have works ready on time. I have schedule daily routines to help me get things done without stress. If I totally understand it can sound boring, it is not: I enjoy every single action of my day.

The artist’s life is far from being disorganized. It is in fact the most organized life in the world. You need to sleep well, to eat well, to feel well because what you do is hard. As a musician, you need solid unbreakable patterns, something to hang onto when everything is constantly changing around you. You need to structure your life because no one is going to do it for you. You need to stick to your routine whatever happens to be able to deliver the best performance you can.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Love music, be an agent of change.http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/love-music-be-an-agent-of-change-3018 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/love-music-be-an-agent-of-change-3018#comments Thu, 06 Jun 2013 11:00:21 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=3018 Nothing remains the same, everything is dynamic. Everything has to change if it wants a future (except the Coca-Cola recipe maybe!). This simple rule might have been forgotten along the way in our art. Of course you can refuse to change, to adapt, to evolve. You can live a life disconnected from reality, from people, perpetuating obsolete traditions as if the world has stopped long ago.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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You must be the change you want to see in the world © Rachael Preeya Nothing remains the same, everything is dynamic. Everything has to change if it wants a future (except the Coca-Cola recipe maybe!). This simple rule might have been forgotten along the way in our art. Of course you can refuse to change, to adapt, to evolve. You can live a life disconnected from reality, from people, perpetuating obsolete traditions as if the world has stopped long ago.

Of course, you can stay back and throw stones at those who try to make things move forward, laugh at them because they fail or blame them for what’s going wrong. For me that’s the real failure.

Or you can try to show what classical music really is: a living art open to everybody, a community of open-minded passionate people. Make classical music more relevant in people’s life. Fight against prejudice. That’s certainly a tougher path but it’s more than worth the trouble.

It’s up to you to make things change. Up to each one of us. The real question is: will you stay on the sidelines (where nothing ever happened) with critics and non-starters or be an agent of change?

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Accepting and Embracing failurehttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/accepting-and-embracing-failure-3004 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/accepting-and-embracing-failure-3004#comments Wed, 29 May 2013 11:00:48 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=3004 I was born and raised in France where the educational system is maybe one of the most elitist in the world and where failure is a shame. I went to a private school where the bar was set so high that going to university was a failure and where teachers were the bullies with their sarcastic and humiliating comments. More generally speaking, I was raised in a society having as primary objective the avoidance of failure.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.I was born and raised in France where the educational system is maybe one of the most elitist in the world and where failure is a shame. I went to a private school where the bar was set so high that going to university was a failure and where teachers were the bullies with their sarcastic and humiliating comments. More generally speaking, I was raised in a society having as primary objective the avoidance of failure.

This fear of failure got under my skin so deeply that I had been paralyzed for years, not able to do anything on my own, not able to take my own decisions, and respecting rules when I should have been the one creating them. So believe me when I say I know what’s being afraid to fail. With fear of failure comes the obsessive perfectionism of course, and setting the bar so high that you can never reach it avoids you to fail since you never do anything.

But failing is important. Failing is good. You benefit from failure.

“Failure is a necessary part of the innovation process because from failure comes learning, iteration, adaptation, and the building of new conceptual and physical models through an iterative learning process. Almost all innovations are the result of prior learning from failures.” says Edward D. Hess . Well, I wished someone told me that 20 years ago instead of restlessly repeating that failure would ruin my life and that I wasn’t allowed to fail.

If you don’t do anything, if you don’t try anything new, if you don’t take risks, you won’t fail. But neither will you be creative nor innovative.

Everyone fails, especially in the music environment. Even the greatests. And particularly the greatests musicians. (I have a proof here!).

Failure is a part of the creative process. Don’t fear failure, embrace it as the biggest asset to help you go forward.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Practice more efficiently and avoid painhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/practice-more-efficiently-and-avoid-pain-2994 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/practice-more-efficiently-and-avoid-pain-2994#comments Wed, 15 May 2013 11:00:54 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2994 As a musician, you always try to improve your practice routines and become more efficient. In fact, we are actually lazy to a point that we constantly try to find ways to practice less and do more. When I was teaching I used to say to my students they have to picture pianists as the laziest people in the world: we try to spend as less time as possible practicing and one of our basic goal is to reduce our energy consumption while playing and do as less gestures as possible. I have to say that I’ve been very creative in this laziness for many years!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Pomodoro TechniqueAs a musician, you always try to improve your practice routines and become more efficient. In fact, we are actually lazy to a point that we constantly try to find ways to practice less and do more. When I was teaching I used to say to my students they have to picture pianists as the laziest people in the world: we try to spend as less time as possible practicing and one of our basic goal is to reduce our energy consumption while playing and do as less gestures as possible. I have to say that I’ve been very creative in this laziness for many years!

A couple of weeks back, someone (I’m so confused I forgot who!) spoke to me about the pomodoro technique. Not that this was something new and revolutionary to my ears but I remembered I used this technique for a while back in 2009 to increase my productivity when it comes to administrative tasks. It worked very well, and I don’t really know why I stopped using it.

When I heard again about the pomodoro the other day, it hit me: why didn’t I ever use this technique to improve my piano practice before? 25 minutes sessions with a 5 minutes break looks perfect to me. It could force me to break the very bad habit of practicing several hours in a row without standing up and stretching a little. It could keep me from unfocused practice. I could keep track of how many hours I spend at the piano daily and help me better assess how much time I need to practice a work.

I thus fetched my timer and started to apply the technique to my daily practice a couple of weeks ago. The results are stunning. I use the break to move around and stretch: no more pain due to long sittings. I am a lot more efficient when it comes to practicing and lose a lot less time (well, you’ve got to have a practicing tasks list as well). So it basically works and I recommend it to everyone who wants to have more efficient piano (or whatever instrument you are playing!) practice sessions and avoid pain.

If you have similar tricks and tips to help musicians be more efficient in their daily practice, I’d love to hear them in the comment box below!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont now in music storeshttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/news/introducing-pierre-arnaud-dablemont-available-in-music-stores-2981 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/news/introducing-pierre-arnaud-dablemont-available-in-music-stores-2981#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:52:54 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2981 Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont will not be available for free anymore from April 30, 2013, but will be available in all major online music stores like iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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ArtworkInitially released in July 2012, Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, the pianist’s debut album, has been available for free for 8 months. The first CD of the pianist immediately met with popular and critical acclaim: Between July 15, 2012 and April 15, 2013, the album has been streamed more than 3500 times through http://introducing.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com and downloaded more than a thousand times in FLAC or MP3.

Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont will not be available for free anymore from April 30, 2013, but will be available in all major online music stores like iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play.

You can also purchase a signed CD through CDbaby as well as a downloadable product in CD quality (FLAC).

Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont is already available on your favorite streaming service like Spotify, Rhapsody, Last.fm, Rdio and many others.

The dedicated website http://introducing.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com has also been redesigned to reflect this change, check it out!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Top 10 ways to help musicians without spending a dimehttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/top-10-ways-to-help-musicians-without-spending-a-dime-2947 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/top-10-ways-to-help-musicians-without-spending-a-dime-2947#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:00:12 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2947 Of course we need money, but if you don’t have a lot of it you still can help us tremendously. Lately I saw a lot of people unaware of how they could help musicians without putting money on the table. Never assume we get plenty of help: most of the time we get none and end up juggling with tasks, running in every direction and forced to drop lots of stunning projects because of a cruel lack of time. But, with a little help from you, we could easily gain a lot of time. Here are 10 ideas how to help a musician, even if you’re completely broke.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Help me!Lately I saw a lot of people who seem to forget they can help musicians without putting money on the table. Of course we need money to realize our projects but if you don’t have cash it does’t mean you can’t help us tremendously. Never assume we get plenty of help: most of the time we get none and end up doing everything by ourselves, running in every direction and forced to drop lots of stunning projects because of a cruel lack of time. But, with a little help from you, we could easily gain a lot of time. Here are 10 ideas how to help a musician, even if you’re completely broke.

  • 1. Your expertise is needed. You may not know about that, but we need tons of help in very different fields like accounting, law, marketing, communication, video production, audio production (obviously!)… Never assume your skills aren’t useful to us: ask!
  • 2. Offer a Space. That’s for me a big issue. I have tons of new ideas but don’t have free access to a place/space/venue to realize them. And definitely don’t have the budget to rent. You have an empty barn, an unused pasture or another empty space we could use for a while ? Feel free to offer it to musicians, they might need it and turn your old barn into a concert venue.
  • 3. Lend equipment. You have a stellar audio interface you don’t use? Microphones you can occasionally lend? Or video equipment? Again, let your favorite musician know about this. It could save him/her a lot of time and money!
  • 4. Proofreading and copy editing. For those who write a lot like me, proofreading is something crucial. But I learned with time that proofreading has to be done by someone else: what seems very clear to you, can sound messy for others.
  • 5. Translation. I’ve written my blog both in French and English for a 3 or 4 years and finally couldn’t face the workload anymore. This was too much time-consuming, so I had to focus on English only and stop the French version. At that time, if I had had some help with translations, I would have certainly kept the French blog. Obviously too late for me, but for others?
  • 6. Write reviews. You like a CD, a film, a book, a documentary or whatever product a musician can put on the market? SAY IT! And write reviews on websites like iTunes, Amazon, Google play, on your blog or other message boards… It helps us spread the word, build trust and raises our profile.
  • 7. Talk to your friends. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tool.
  • 8. Let presenters know who you’d like to see next year. You can bring to the attention of the music director who you’d like to see invited for the next season of your local symphony. Or for the next festival.
  • 9. Share the love on social media. This may be the more easy step. Share, like, retweet, +1 what you like and help spread the word.
  • 10. Drop your favorite musician an email to know how you can help him. Feel free to contact me at the email below (in the footer) ;-) .

Keep in mind that even helping 10 minutes a week can save a musician a lot of time. For example, I suck at accounting, and if you’re an accountant you probably need 10 minutes where it takes me 2 hours. Or spending 10 minutes a week promoting an artist on social media or writing a 5 lines review can be very useful. Do you have other ideas how to help musicians? Share them in the comments below!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Experiments and conservatism: The Radiohead complexhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-radiohead-complex-2933 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-radiohead-complex-2933#comments Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:00:55 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2933 You probably know that I am writing a lot these days. The cool thing with long writings is that you have to tidy up your thoughts and make them (at least look) coherent. It involves digging into my past and understanding whatever positions I could have taken in the last 15 years to properly connect the dots between my ideas. And this is the point where I am supposed to give you the lecture about me changing over the years and being a better person and artist. Guess what? I’m not going to give you this lecture at all.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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RadioheadYou probably know that I am writing a lot these days. The cool thing with long writings is that you have to tidy up your thoughts and make them (at least look) coherent. It involves digging into my past and understanding whatever positions I could have taken in the last 15 years to properly connect the dots between my ideas. And this is the point where I am supposed to give you the lecture about me changing over the years and being a better person and artist. Guess what? I’m not going to give you this lecture at all.

Let’s start from the beginning. I’ve always loved Radiohead. I discovered them just before they recorded OK Computer. I was a teenager, Oasis’ Wonderwall had just been released and was on played on a loop on the radio. As a perfect weirdo, I couldn’t stand the song my schoolmates were worshiping without understanding a word of it (at this point imagine a whole bunch of French teenagers trying to guess what Liam Gallagher is saying, and shamelessly phonetically singing non-senses from the top of their lungs!).

Yes, I like Radiohead, and it is the only band whose career I’ve been following with such an interest. At first, you could say it is the result of a certain nostalgia of my high school and college years, but believe me, it’s not the case: I wouldn’t like to be brought back to these odd times again. The why of my love for Radiohead lies deeper.

After thinking about it, I finally got what this was about: evolution, challenge, engagement and forward thinking. Unlike many other bands, Radiohead’s style and sound evolves with time. Just compare OK Computer and their following album Kid A, you’ll hear the difference instantly (and the use of Ondes Martenot in Kid A!). They experiment and are innovative. They are not afraid of saying what they think and do the things how they want to do them. They don’t submit. They think. It’s clever. And if, of course, they have to make money at some point, this is clearly not their priority.

For sure, during all these years Radiohead has been a reminder of who I truly am and what type of musician I really am. They speak to me and inspire me. So why do I do exactly the opposite of that in my music life? For most of my twenties, I’ve been following the advice of people “more experienced” in this classical music business putting me back into the “right path” when I had ideas, “for my own good”. In fact, I slowly became as passionate and committed as a sock.

For years I’ve been doing things I didn’t want to do in ways I didn’t agree with because some people put in my head that what I was thinking was stupid and wrong. And I wrote pretty conservative shit I’m not proud of. This is all documented in this blog, if you want to make fun of me, just use the search box. I didn’t delete these posts because it reminds me every day not to fall in the trap again.

How did I let that happen? I define myself as a politically and socially committed artist and I have always had very strong beliefs about what is the role of an artist in the society. And my views are not obsolete, dusty nor conservative. How come that this is not obvious in my work? How come that I myself participated in making classical music boring and obsolete? Fortunately enough, I found enough support over the few last years to turn the tables on that and begin to slowly recover from what I called my Radiohead complex.

The Radiohead complex? You never heard of it because I made it up: it is the complex of secretly being a progressist and thinking forward while not assuming a word of it and doing exactly the opposite because of you’re scared and not self-confident enough.

These last years have been a blessing for me: I finally had time to think. I had the rare chance to redefine myself, understand what my values are and what I want to achieve. I had time to take a step back and look at things from a distance. To do so, I had to create the suitable environment and that wasn’t easy: lots of pressure from all quarters. It was no bed of roses and that’s maybe why not so many people rush in that direction. But it was the only way I could analyze things in depth and understand the bigger picture. It gave me enough energy to write my ideas down in a book and fight ideas and people making classical music obsolete or boring.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Music can’t be freehttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/music-cant-be-free-2919 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/music-cant-be-free-2919#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 11:00:22 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2919 When I released Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont for free in July last year, I already knew a free strategy wouldn't last forever, even if I secretly hoped people would be generous enough to allow me to make the second album free too. Although everyone praised the release, my secret dream didn’t happen, so back to the plan A. The free strategy had a primary goal: gaining traction in a complicated market. But recording an album, as romantic as it seems, always ends up in the same way: paying the bills.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Everything free for you!When I released Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont for free in July last year, I already knew a free strategy couldn’t last forever, even if I secretly hoped people would be generous enough to allow me to make the second album free too. Although everyone praised the release, my secret dream didn’t happen, so back to the plan A. The free strategy had a primary goal: gaining traction in a complicated market. But recording an album, as romantic as it seems, always ends up in the same way: paying the bills.

The free strategy was a huge financial effort for me: although a small crowdfunding lowered a little the final bill ($1500), I had to swallow the rest of it (+/- $5000). I was ready to do that and it has been a great experience: I met very supportive people and I’m happy I could promote Janacek’s and Ravel’s music to new ears who wouldn’t have listened to this album otherwise.

But everything has a price, especially professional audio recordings. And even if it’s not really cool nor fashionable to say it, we have to face it: free music isn’t sustainable in the long run. At least, not yet sustainable, and not until big myths about recording artists are definitely buried (like: we make tons of money, we don’t pay for recordings sessions or with the internet, releasing an album costs almost nothing). Hear me here and now: these myths are spread by people knowing little or nothing about this industry. Or living in a parallel world where stuffed animals can actually speak, and where you never get broke. Either way, you should really wonder if trusting them is a good idea!

As I said before I could do it once and chose to do it for my first album. I didn’t get paid for this album nor got enough donations to break even. I’m fair in business and consider professionals working on my releases must get paid (too bad this doesn’t apply to me!). You might think that’s not a lot, but that’s more than 10 people. If music is free, artists won’t have money to pay these people. If we can’t pay them, they’ll probably go out of business and we won’t be able to record again. Maybe not in the next 5 years. But one day, in a not so long future. Remember that: nothing that expensive can be free forever without huge financial support.

So for those who asked: no, the first Volume of Beethoven Evolutions won’t be released for free. We have to think about the big picture and avoid accustom audiences to get everything for free (or let them believe things are free), otherwise we’ll have a serious problem to solve. Not a problem of income level, an issue of industry death.

As an artist, I don’t really care about being rich but what I care about is my artistic future and being able to continue my work according to my way of thinking. I need this possibility to produce barely commercial or even non-commercial meaningful works of art without being limited in creativity or people saying “we’re out of budget, you can’t polish this project more than this”. I need time to think about arts, life and change. I need to take my time and be able to stop polishing projects when I decided they were ready. And in today’s society, this means having money. I would be delighted to invest my personal funds if I could but that’s not the case.

As long as I don’t get enough people to support my projects, free won’t be an option anymore. Which is really not fun: I want people to listen to, discover and understand my work more than anything else. This is the real aim. But with no money I can’t go further in my work, since I can’t realize my projects for free.

For me, living a simple life devoted to music, it is just a way to be able to produce further projects, continue my work. Money only serves my lifelong commitment to music.

Next time you don’t support your favorite artist or don’t pay for music, even if it looks free, just ask yourself if you’re not a joyful contributor of degradation of arts quality: yes, getting less money means less budget for production, equals producing faster and cheaper, in other words quality loss. Or worse, if you’re not just killing artists who really have something to say.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Stepping off the gridhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/stepping-off-the-grid-2908 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/stepping-off-the-grid-2908#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 12:00:58 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2908 These next two weeks, I will be off the grid. The recording is coming very fast, I launched the fundraising campaign this week-end, I now need to lock myself into the practice room and focus on what’s important: the music.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Off the gridThese next two weeks, I will be off the grid. The recording is coming very fast, I launched the fundraising campaign this week-end, I now need to lock myself into the practice room and focus on what’s important: the music.

Before a big thing I always need to get my isolation period: I just work and rest. No contact with anybody. This is my planning for this next week, just before locking myself in another room: the studio.

I really like this period right before recording: you are very familiar with the works you’re going to record but you don’t know yet what’s going to happen. Usually, I spend this week exploring possibilities: Could I play the left hand like this here or use the pedal differently? What are my options in terms of tempi? I deconstruct my own interpretations and rebuild them in a different way. I prepare my arguments. I challenge myself to avoid falling into a routine and play the works in autopilot mode. Stay sharp Pierre-Arnaud!

And after this week will come the studio. The long hours testing setups and designing sound. The recording sessions, representing the final exploration of all the options I prepared or thought about. Editing sessions with its surprises and all the choices we make to build a final version. I’ll get to speak in depth about studio work later.

Maybe that’s why I like so much studio: isolation and focus. I have only one thing to do at a time. One could think it is the busiest moment of the year, but in fact once in studio, everything seems quiet and slow.

You can be part of the experience too by supporting the album :) Please donate. And share this easy URL: http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/support-me or http://bit.ly/support-pa!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont launches a $7000 online fundraising campaignhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/news/pianist-pierre-arnaud-dablemont-launches-a-7000-online-fundraising-campaign-2898 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/news/pianist-pierre-arnaud-dablemont-launches-a-7000-online-fundraising-campaign-2898#comments Fri, 01 Mar 2013 08:00:14 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2898 Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont launches a $7000 online fundraising campaign for the first volume of his project album Beethoven Evolutions, dedicated to 6 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, on GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/Beethoven).

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Gofundme pagePianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont launches a $7000 online fundraising campaign for the first volume of his project album Beethoven Evolutions, dedicated to 6 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, on GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/Beethoven).

Through a 8-week campaign starting on March 1st, Pierre-Arnaud and his team are working to raise $7,000 to pay for studio, production fees and staff expenses. In exchange for contributions, Dablemont is offering prizes like pre-released digital downloads and Download gift cards among others. Check his video below and Help him release this album!

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Thinking out of the box: notes before recording Beethovenhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/thinking-out-of-the-box-notes-before-recording-beethoven-2890 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/thinking-out-of-the-box-notes-before-recording-beethoven-2890#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:00:07 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2890 I’m super excited. In 2 weeks, I’m going to finally hit the studio to record the first volume of Beethoven - Evolutions. Last time I was in a studio for recording sessions was for this album in December 2011. Yes, that was a long time ago for someone who particularly loves studio work and its atmosphere. What am I thinking about a few days before flying to the studio? Keep reading to discover it.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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think out of the boxI’m super excited. In 2 weeks, I’m going to finally hit the studio to record the first volume of Beethoven – Evolutions. Last time I was in a studio for recording sessions was for this album in December 2011. Yes, that was a long time ago for someone who particularly loves studio work and its atmosphere. What am I thinking about a few days before flying to the studio? Keep reading to discover it.

Yes, it took me a long time before finding the way back to a recording studio and that’s for the best I hope. Last time I needed to apprehend the whole process, learn how to do things properly with the guidance of my fantastic crew. This time, we discussed a lot prior to sessions and I have a very different approach for this album. My debut recording was a wonderful introduction to solo full length recording, distribution and promotion. Thanks to this very important album, I acquired a valuable experience in production, distribution and promotion of music products. That has been an eye opener for many reasons and I feel completely comfortable producing a new album again, this time without the stress of novelty.

This was a necessary step: I definitely gain in assertiveness and I’m more confident. The positive response generated by Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont helped me assess my ideas and proves me, if needed, that I’m heading in the right direction. For this second release, my ambition is to raise the bar higher. Or more exactly dig deeper. Make a step further into the direction of my opinions and allow my studio work to be highly personal and perfectly reflecting my views about music. That’s why it took me a little while before going back to the studio. I had to think.

How do I practically achieve that? Interpretation is one of the obvious answers. But only a partial one. You have to rethink studio work as well, how it is done and what it means. But I won’t tell more at this point, that would be no fun at all: I want your ears to be surprised the day of the release.

It’s now time to put the theory in practice. I’ll have a fun week in Prague, experimenting new things in studio. Even if I know more or less what it will sound like, I’m really impatient to hear the final result.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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The #hashtag powerhttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-hashtag-power-2882 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/the-hashtag-power-2882#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2013 12:00:03 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2882 I launched at the beginning of this year the #LvBFact hashtag: Everyday at 4pm GMT I tweet about Ludwig van Beethoven. Having a Beethoven album on its way, I’ve read quite a lot about the composer over the last months and I wanted to share the information with more people than the people I speak to everyday.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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HashtagI launched at the beginning of this year the #LvBFact hashtag: Everyday at 4pm GMT I tweet about Ludwig van Beethoven. Having a Beethoven album on its way, I’ve read quite a lot about the composer over the last months and I wanted to share the information with more people than the people I speak to everyday.

When Shoshana suggested me this undertaking, I was not convinced this could be fun at all. I can’t deny that tweeting daily about a narrow topic without being redundant nor boring is a lot of work. It is. But it is also enlightening and much more fun than I could imagine.

The wonderful thing behind this is that I learn in the process. Before preparing the #LvBFact daily tweets, I didn’t realize the power of a hashtag as an educational tool. Not only for others, but for me as well. This #LvBFact series generated many interesting conversations and I’ve learned a lot since the launch in January. As I am incredibly greedy for knowledge, I couldn’t be happier.

You maybe think I learn about Beethoven because other users post facts about him, but not only, and that’s the beauty of the thing. I get questions all the time and have to make sure my answers are correct (if I know the answer!) or make some research and dig into my archives. Other tweeps sent me very interesting and off the beaten path readings about the German composer. I’m always excited when someone sends me fresh material: it’s an opportunity to expand my knowledge of Ludwig van B.

The #hashtag power exists: I see it in action everyday. It brings people together over a common interest, make them share information, learn from each other. So thank you all for your little gems about Beethoven. I hope this hashtag helps you better know Beethoven’s life and works too.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Step Into The Digital Era And Stop Buying CDs: The user’s perspectivehttp://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/step-into-the-digital-era-and-stop-buying-cds-the-users-perspective-2863 http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/blog/step-into-the-digital-era-and-stop-buying-cds-the-users-perspective-2863#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2013 12:00:06 +0000 Pierre-Arnaud http://www.pierre-arnaud-dablemont.com/?p=2863 Third and penultimate post of our series about downloadable music products. This one is about you, about me and about everyone consuming recorded music. We saw in our last episodes that digital downloads have a lot of pros: from an environmental perspective but also from the artist’s point of view. But what if you’re not an artist and you absolutely don’t care about environmental issues? Keep reading, it has some pretty awesome advantages for you too.

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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Usb Flash DrivesThird and penultimate post of our series about downloadable music products. This one is about you, about me and about everyone consuming recorded music. We saw in our last episodes that digital downloads have a lot of pros: from an environmental perspective but also from the artist’s point of view. What if you’re not an artist and you absolutely don’t care about environmental issues? Keep reading, it has some pretty awesome advantages for you too.

- It’s portable: It’s official we’re all nomads again. We travel much more than our ancestors, be it for leisure or business, we shift place of residence faster than ever. Each time choosing the CDs you wanted to take with you was a big dilemma. Who knows what one will want to listen to in 2 weeks… Or remember how annoying it is to pack and carry all your CDs when you move? That’s over. Digital downloads also solved the problem of choosing the one record you want to bring on a desert island. You can now bring them all.

- All albums are just a click away. I countlessly went to records shops to learn the specific album I wanted wasn’t on their shelves. I had to order it, and wait 3 to 5 weeks before getting it. And sometimes it was not possible to get it at all. Well this is over too. You see it, you add it to your library in seconds after the purchase. Easy and damn quick.

- Buy music anywhere at anytime: I sometimes crave for a particular piece of music I don’t have in my audio library. And often, it’s unfortunately at 3am. I used to get so frustrated but never again: with digital downloads, shops are open 24/7 and I can get new music whenever I want to.

- It’s simple : Easy to handle, it can be backed up quickly and downloadable products don’t slip from your hands and are difficult to damage, and even if you accidentally damage a file, you can redownload it from your original account or ask for an additional copy. Virtually a product for life.

- You can get more than a regular album: With a CD you knew what you’ll get. A CD, a booklet, a plastic box. If you are lucky, you could get a limited edition numbered, signed or with a hidden track or a special design. Nothing to blow your mind. With Digital products, there are no limits: no time limit (vs 80 minutes for a CD), no creativity boundary. You can get much more than just a piece of plastic and paper: you can get very surprised.

And this last point is maybe one of the most interesting for me. I want artists to get creative and make their digital albums special. At least that’s what I will try to do with this one. But the first four have been for me a huge step forward completely fitting my evolution and my needs. I’m still amazed people still want the “good old” CDs. As we’ll see in the next post, sound definition and quality are far from being a con of digital music products.

What do you think? Do you have ideas to add to this list? Did digital products change the way you consume music?

Originally posted on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, pianist. Get in touch with Pierre-Arnaud on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. Help him and purchase his latest album Introducing Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont on main online stores.

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