Greg Thelen | Nap Time: Peaceful Piano for a Busy World

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Classical: Keyboard Music New Age: Relaxation Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Nap Time: Peaceful Piano for a Busy World

by Greg Thelen

Solo piano that invites you to relax those language processing brain centers and ease into a personal, mysterious experience. Aaaaah. . .
Genre: Classical: Keyboard Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Once I Had a Dream the World Was New
2:23 $0.99
2. Opening Inward
4:58 $0.99
3. What'll You Do?
2:44 $0.99
4. Forest Dance
1:39 $0.99
5. Rain Play
2:20 $0.99
6. Mesmerized
1:49 $0.99
7. Return Passage
2:06 $0.99
8. One Day
2:22 $0.99
9. Sea Change
2:05 $0.99
10. A Minor Essence
2:31 $0.99
11. Dark Sky
2:22 $0.99
12. Try It out on Me
1:33 $0.99
13. Moving Day
2:20 $0.99
14. Elysian Fields
3:22 $0.99
15. Crimson Floating
3:53 $0.99
16. The Deep End
2:51 $0.99
17. Waves
4:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Why Nap time?
These songs each began as a fresh (to me) sounding riff or chord change that came while I was at the piano playing around, or as a bit of melody in my head that took further shape as I sat down and worked it out. Often by playing or repeating the passage, it would naturally extend as if there was somewhere else it was calling out to go, and I would simply follow. By trial and error and keeping what seemed to feel right, the music would grow and expand, with new phrases or sections building until I had the outlines of a complete song. This was the process I followed, never a straight line forward, but with many diversions and blind alleys, until the work had a feeling of completion. The pieces generally seemed to take on self-guiding lives of their own.

This creative process organically flowed, and felt very free. At no time during the composition was there conscious projection of an idea, a goal, or the telling of a story, as there has usually been in other work I’ve done, where the intention was to get a particular idea across to the listener. I believe that this disengagement of the verbal part of the brain allowed me to access a different and deeply satisfying place during this project.

It was only when each piece was finished that I consciously attempted to sense its emotional content in order to attach an appropriate title. To me, each has its own emotional hue.

Learning to actually play these songs has been another journey. I have never seen myself as much of a pianist. A few years of accordion lessons in grade school taught my right hand the secrets of a smaller keyboard, and how tear off polkas and other zippy numbers. Musically, I was never a good reader and relied on my ear to set me straight. That, and an ethic of, “If I just capture the feel of it and get it mostly right, I’m good”. As an adult I bought a piano and loved to bang away in jam sessions, and even learned a few cool jazz voicings, but never really settled down to learn to play anything exactly the way it was written.

After composing these songs I knew I wanted to record, but found them devilishly difficult to play to current recording standards (flawless), even though they are mostly relatively simple arrangements. I was still banging on the accented parts and glossing over the harder sections. I was lining the notes up like little toy soldiers and trying to order them to march double time. My polka habits weren’t cutting it.

Struggling, I got some good tips from my friend Kendra Carpenter at Swaha Studios here in Portland. She suggested I play with less forceful effort, and leave more space in the music. Under her guidance and with lots of practice, my playing improved. I noticed that thinking about anything other than the music while playing was a distraction that would often cause me to get lost or to make silly mistakes. I tried to give every note my full attention, and I gradually learned to focus better. As I simply concentrated on what was at hand I could sense my nervous system settling down, and noticed more vulnerability and space in my expression. Playing these songs became a voyage into peace and tranquility. . . a restorative. Almost. . . like. . . taking a nap. Nap Time was born!

At some point I realized I wanted to connect with an audience through live performance of these songs, and began to organize them into a natural flow. Noticing the possibilities of the seventeen songs with regard to overall feel, key signature, pace, beginnings and endings; with a little experimentation I arrived at the current Song Cycle in three movements. The song order on the CD and in the Nap Time Music Booklet follows the order of the live performance. May you enjoy! ~G



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