Interpretations Volumes 1 & 2

Total Time — 2:02:49

DISC ONE — 62:21

  1. Half-Step Etude 3:45
    (Rick Crummins)
  2. 512 3:03
    (Christopher Ziemba)
  3. Through A Clouded Window 4:40
    (Nick Weiser)
  4. 394 Oakdale 3:48
    (Erik Stabnau)
  5. Reminiscence 4:58
    (Matt Podd)
  6. Blues For Woody 2:25
    (Joe Connorton)
  7. High Tide 2:55
    (Gaby Thurston)
  8. April 2:44
    (Celia Cooper)
  9. Sunny Weather 3:42
    (Evelyn Munson)
  10. E Waltz 1:38
    (Matt Swensen)
  11. Lone Light On 3:04
    (Kate Martinelli)
  12. French Songbird 2:32
    (Joshua Condon)
  13. Rod’s Ballad 4:37
    (Rod Blumenau)
  14. Barbara’s Holly 4:06
    (Barbara Sassano)
  15. Stop, Drop And Roll 3:30
    (Pat Holland)

    Bonus tracks:

  16. Mad World 6:18
    (Roland Orzabal)
    Chrysalis Music Pub. BMI
  17. Ring Of Fire 3:34
    (June Carter/Merle Kilgore)
    Painted Desert Music Corp. BMI

DISC TWO — 60:28

  1. Blessing 5:00
    (Milt Mashner)
  2. Dave’s Blues 3:08
    (David Reino)
  3. Scarlet Sun 3:25
    (Brandon Werlin/Paul Hofmann)
  4. Prelude 1 3:21
    (Rob Blumenau)
  5. Love Song 4:16
    (Grayson Morley)
  6. Spring Windows 2:26
    (Emma van Hise)
  7. Monk’s Monkey 1:00
    (Jeff Grinberg)
  8. Autumn Vibe 2:51
    (Howard Potter)
  9. Arlington 4:31
    (Matt Swensen)
  10. The Crooked Stairwell 1:52
    (Amanda Mette)
  11. Snow Affinity Music 2:23
    (Barbara Sassano)
  12. January Journey 6:03
    (Sean Lyness)
  13. Etude No. 1 initial themes 4:27
    (Tom Phillips)

    Bonus tracks:

  14. August Improvisation 4:16
    (Paul Hofmann)
    PBH Music BMI
  15. Relaxin’ At Ron’s 2:30
    (Paul Hofmann)
    PBH Music BMI
  16. Suite For Karl 5:03
    (Paul Hofmann)
    PBH Music BMI
  17. Blues For Bill 2:49
    (Paul Hofmann)
    PBH Music BMI
  • Produced by Paul Hofmann
  • Recorded August 23, 2004; August 9, 2005; August 17, 2007; and April 22, 2009 at Soundtrek Studio I, Kansas City, MO
  • Engineered by Ron Ubel
  • Digital editing by Jeff Schiller
  • Art direction and design by Keith Kavanaugh

Interpretations Volumes 1 & 2

“Ah, music. A magic beyond all that we do here!”

—J.K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1996)

For years it has been my happy habit to regularly return to Kansas City (my home base for a few years in the 1990s), where back in the friendly confines of Soundtrek Studios I’ve enjoyed recording solo piano versions of various student compositions. Never intending to release any of this music, earlier this year I realized that I had amassed enough material to release an ‘official’ compact disc of the collection. Indeed...two full discs. I wondered: Should this be the next MHR production?

Then, a parallel realization: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to showcase the unique talents of many of my best students in this way? If nothing else, we’d all enjoy this memento for years. And so, I proceeded to contact everyone involved. After I graciously received permission from each of them to include their music in this package, I began compiling several listening sequences which seemed to me to flow well.

As I was further preparing this project for release, repeated hearings of these sequences confirmed something else...something deeper: The capacity of each of us to create meaningful compositions (whether we are beginners or professional musicians) is astonishing. And inspiring.

I have always been inspired by my students (and I am fortunate that so many of them are also good friends), but never to a greater degree than now. For what I hear in this collection is an engaging combination of tempos, styles, dynamics and other techniques, reflecting in varying degrees the personalities and experiences of each composer. And I am grateful each writer enjoys my rendition of their creation. All this musical variety, coupled with the freedom to record each piece with my own interpretation, has led to a satisfying overall result.

While lack of space prohibits me from acknowledging every student composer represented here, I’d like to give special mention to Chris Ziemba, Nick Weiser & Matt Podd (all current Eastman collegiate students, and all names to remember as their very bright musical careers unfold); to Rod Blumenau & Tom Philips (wonderful composers and pianists with uncommonly broad musical appreciations and insights - over the years I have surely learned as much from Rod and Tom as they have from me); to Jeff Grinberg (an inspiring composer if there ever was one); to Grayson Morley & David Reino (Grayson and David are special young men, both of whose futures are unlimited); and to Joshua Condon & Matt Swensen (two of the most outstanding high school musicians I have been privileged to teach).

Rounding out this collection, the bonus tracks on disc one constitute my interpretations of two pop tunes: Mad World (from the 1980s group Tears for Fears) and Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash’s biggest hit, from 1963). These performances were inspired both by the very talented singer Adam Lambert and by the very talented daughter Sarah Hofmann! The bonus tracks which close disc two are pieces of mine - again, not originally intended for release; but I think they work well here. Other than the August Improvisation, this music is dedicated to Ron Ubel (Soundtrek’s great engineer), Karl Stabnau (another current Eastman undergraduate) and Bill Loftus (a valued friend and a wonderful student).

As I am so fortunate to have a substantial number of additional students, both past and present, whose special music I’d like to record, my hope is that there will be new editions of “Interpretations” in the not-too-distant future. For now, please enjoy these first two volumes.

Paul Hofmann