Music for Penguins!

I performed at the Penguin exhibit  at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) yesterday. This gig is part of my "LiveScore" series of performances where I play in various galleries at the aquarium, improvise new musical ideas and interact with the guests. Such an inspirational gig! 

Starting at 10 am, by far the earliest gig I've ever had, done at 6pm and home by 7. I love the hours. The best part though, is playing for and meeting guests. I get to speak with kids learning a new instrument, proud parents and musicians from all over the world. I spoke with families on their 20th visit! These kids are forming life-long memories of the first time they saw a shark, jelly, penguin and all the aquarium has to offer. There's a smart ongoing educational effort for ocean conversation on the fish and animals. Divers with microphones, feeding presentations and docents roam the exhibits sharing their knowledge with the guests. 

Musically, I couldn't ask for a better muse than the penguins. They swim, rest, feed and bicker throughout the day. I'm also responding to the guests flowing through the exhibit. The room goes from quiet to bombastic and back. I'm composing the music from what I'm seeing and hearing. It's all stream of consciousness improvisation. I don't prepare new pieces for this gig. I do practice a lot though.

I'm scoring a movie but the actors are penguins! I couldn't be happier.

Thanks for reading! You can hear a piece (lightly edited) on soundcloud here:

Musically Yours, Douglas


Technical: I'm playing solo piano on the Native Instruments S88 Kontroller with Kontakt in Logic using the Q Up Arts title, California Keys. This is the most expressive digitally sampled piano I've ever played. It's the Fazioli 10ft grand, Herbie Hancock's touring piano and signed by some amazing pianists. I'm recording the entire day into Logic Pro X. I'm playing through two Bose L1 PA systems in stereo. Love this system for this genre and venue. I later go back through the recordings, cherry pick and release. Some of these pieces will hopefully end up in the exhibits.