Tood, Carei, Paul   Keys Please!  

  |   More music!

1 " were somewhere around, getting ready..." 0:24 / 0.3M
2 Love Theme from Keys Please! improvised by the group 0:22 / 0.3M
3 Saint Groundhog's Day Mystic Swing written by Todd / performed by the group 5:44 / 4.5M
4 "...when I was a grown-up..." 0:34 / 0.5M
5 GI-GO written by Carei / performed by the group 2:36 / 2.1M
6-8 Three Places: Sostenuto, Freely, Adagio written and performed by Paul [score] 5:20 / 4.2M
9 Remember, if you drink, don't draw! written and performed by Todd 3:00 / 2.4M
10 February Melt improvised by the group 2:54 / 2.3M
11 Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1 in F minor written by Frédéric Chopin / performed by Paul 5:52 / 4.7M
12 Nocturne Op. 15 No. 2 in F# major 4:34 / 3.6M
13 When Where is Lost written by Carei / performed by the group 4:21 / 3.5M
14 Cooling Off / After the Heat written by Todd / performed by Paul 1:25 / 1.1M
15 The Tired Heart written and performed by Todd 2:32 / 2.0M
16 Hidden Peaces written by Carei / performed by the group 2:34 / 2.0M
17 "...we don't have to be mystical giants..." 1:09 / 0.9M
18 In a Perfectly Wounded Sky written and performed by Paul [score] 5:27 / 4.3M
19 Accordance written by Carei / performed by the group 2:51 / 2.3M
20 For All Sleeping Babies written by Todd / performed by Todd and Paul 2:33 / 2.0M

Carei Thomas: piano keys, synth keys
Todd Harper: piano keys, car keys
Paul Cantrell: piano keys, secret keys

Recorded St. Groundhog's Eve, 2002
before a live and exceptionally nifty audience
in Janet Wallace Conert Hall, Macalester College

This music is copyright 2002 by the performers.
However, you have our permission to copy and distribute it for most
non-profit, non-commercial purposes, under the terms of this license.
We want our music to be heard! Questions?


I was eight. It was a Thursday night, in spring, when the ice was going off of the lake. A collie dog was stuck on the ice, and in great danger of drowning as the ice was disappearing. The rowdy Remitz brothers were pulling their duck boat across the ice, with rakes, to save their neighbor's dog. Would they get to the dog before the ice melted?

"We'll have to find out later," my mother said. "It's your first recital, and you go on at 8:00, when it starts. We can't be late." So mother pulled me into the car. We drove to the place.

It was a dark music room in a school. I don't remember much except that the piano was bigger than any one I had ever played. I went to the piano and played a ditty or two: people politely clapped. Then, I brought out my new masterpiece, called The Symphony of the Weasel. It was in d minor, of course because that's a scary key for elusive bloodthirsty animals.

It went something like this: note, note, note, pause; note, note, note, pause, long note, long pause. etc. I was still excited by the drama on the lake, but began to play. I got ahead of myself. hmm. I played some new notes. note note note note pause. My left hand must have played a low F. "Wow," I said to myself, "This is must be the same thing as d minor...or kind of..." note note pause. "Well, I better end in d minor since I started there." So I did. Everyone clapped.

My mother gave me a sly grin and whispered, "you played that last one a little longer than usual." I smiled back. I didn't have to tell anyone that I didn't know what I was doing. We ate cookies and juice after everyone was done playing. Ms. Jeans was proud of all of us. Then we drove home. That was my first theory lesson.

Guess what? They saved the dog.


From that old temple-box radio in Mom Mary's bedroom spouts out When the Lights Go On Again, All Over the World; This Will be my Shining Hour; and I'll Never Smile Again, Until I Smile At You. I was caressed and cradled by the coal-stoking handle orchestrated by grandpa working magic with the alchemy of bituminous and antracite. The house was humming with these furnace rhythms, like something beating in your chest. WJAS, WWSW, KQV, WCAE, KDKA -- with a thread of Pittsburgh's own Sid Hartman -- Reg Cordic -- making quips and jokes about the local fare, all building a tither in my looking-back eye. Mom Mary singing, "Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, Sweetn'n Frog for Mommy...Mommie's Little Sweetn'n Frog." Rachmaninoff, Fats Waller, The Andrew Sisters, Duke, and Charlie Parker everywhere. This all while I sat at an old upright adorned with family portraits and was mesmerized by the overtones of Eb, Db, Eb, Db, Eb, Db, Eb, Db. Trance-like, ethereal-dance like, first songs of my early reverie? Eb, Db, a temple full of F, C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C# and whatever is left.


I have musical memories too early for me to place my age -- of the Beatles, dancing on the front porch to Octopus's Garden and Why Don't We Do It in the Road? (I thought it was dancing they were talking about!) -- and especially of my mother playing Mozart and Schumann. It was quite disconcerting to realize as I grew up that people made careers out of playing this music, and usually imagined it in the concert hall instead of their livings rooms. Actually, I still find the idea a bit strange.

If there's a moral to these offhand stories, it's that devoted composers start out as recklessly curious young hooligans with some unstructured time and a few dozen keys at their disposal. And if there's a moral to tonight's concert, it's that we tend to stay that way.



Thanks to Severin Behnen for having the idea of this concert! We wish you weren't so far away.
Many thanks also to: Joyce Thomas, Lynn and Libby Harper, Don Betts, Vicki Patschke, Josh Plocher,
the Macalester College Music Department, our volunteer ticket-takers, and all the boddhisatvas and sleeping babies.


Bonus tracks!      More piano-spiced music from the same shady characters

Carei Thomas

Baby Baby HomeBuddy
Sound Bubble


Todd Harper

The Trout Will Eat You
Sadness of Lilacs


Paul Cantrell

...And the Morning Stars Sang Together
(see the written music)
Chopin Etude op. 10 no. 6