Inner Voices
I've been working on arrangements for solo piano lately. Most of the repertoire is standards, with a few modern favorites of mine. There is a great challenge in utilizing the piano to its fullest, to make the instrument sound like an ensemble. Whether its Somewhere Over The Rainbow, or Paranoid Android, the challenge is to negotiate eighty-eight keys and ten fingers in a way to get a full, rich sound. Sometimes this can be done playing stride piano. Sometimes it is accomplished with right hand chords with the melody as the top voice. But as of late, I have found playing three to four voices in two hands extremely effective, and very difficult. There are dozens of exercise books that focus on playing multiple voices in the hands for piano. The overall effect sounds as if two people are playing the instrument instead of one. Exemplary models of this include Mario Laginha and Brad Mehldau.