In the Hands
Paul Cantrell’s music
blog & podcast
Piano music old and new from a devoted amateur,
all free to listen to, download, and share.

Category: Keys Please

The Axiom of Keys Please: Feb 3 and 5

Ten years ago, I was trying to figure out what the heck to do with myself. I wanted to stay serious about music and not give up my piano training, but the world of professional piano performance was clearly not my cup of tea. I wanted a world my music could live in, and wasn’t sure where to find it.

Then these two delightfully crazy musicians named Carei Thomas and Todd Harper asked me to do a concert with them. “What the heck!” I thought, “I’ll try anything once.” That concert — Keys Please — was what kicked me off on the path of being a self-produced, independent musician…

Keys Please is Feb 2, 2007

Can this really be the sixth year? Groundhog Day approaches fast, and that means it’s time for Keys Please!

Carei Thomas, Todd Harper and I have been running this annual tradition of a playful, genre-bending celebration of keyboard music since 2001, and by golly, I think we’ve got something special going. It shows a slightly different side of my musical life than In the Hands, and it’s unlike any other concert I know of. For those of you who don’t know about Keys Please, Minnesota Public Radio did a

Keys Please is this weekend!

In the Hands will come back to life soon. I’m getting settled into my new job (which is a good thing: nice people, interesting problems), and I’ve sorted out the “sudden car death” crisis that’s been eating up lots of time lately.

In the meantime, if you’d like a sneak preview of the two Chopin nocturnes I’m planning to record, come to my concert this weekend:

Keys Please: The Untold Story
Saturday, February 4 - 8:00 PM
Janet Wallace Concert Hall
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
$10 at the door / all students free…

Song of Keys Please = successful!

Last night’s concert was a delight to play in — and the audience tells us they had a good time as well. My third ballade was a bit fudgy, but got enthusiastic comments nonetheless. And people surpised me by also really liking the Dance for Remembering and Forgetting and especially the Entropic Waltz. It seems that the sensual surface of the first and the humor and recklessness of the second won out over the strangeness of the music. Say what you will about the Lone…

Song of Keys Please is next weekend!

Todd Harper, Carei Thomas and I will be having our annual celebration of music, friendship, and
keyboards on Saturday, Feb 5. Our special guest this year is Laurie Witzkowsi, singer, drummer
and composer.

Song of Keys Please

8:00 PM Saturday, February 5

Macalester College Concert Hall

St. Paul, Minnesota

$10 admission (all students free)

Rehearsals have been going well, and this stands to be a rollicking good time, as the past three were! Carei has a little bit of inspired madness…

The Monster's Theme

In college, I won an award from the Math/CS department for being the most outstanding procrastinator of my senior class. I don’t think it’s exactly fair to say that I procrastinate, though; I’m just perpetually late. My life is like a finely tuned Swiss watch that’s set to the wrong time.

So I finally got around to putting The Monster from Keys Please! up on the site. To celebrate the occasion, here’s the opening number in its original, bare, single-piano form:

Compare that with the full-on decked…