We are thrilled to present our newest music video:

Mambo 21 c.jpg


due to legal necessities, we have removed the music video from YouTube and our other social media channels.

Filmed last October on location throughout New York City, this was one of the most high-octane shoots we've ever undertaken. In devising the concept, we wanted to accentuate the mind-boggling aspects of Steinway's new Spirio* instrument while paying homage to the Big Apple: the provenance of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, Steinway & Sons, and our duo itself. (Incidentally our alma mater Juilliard now stands at the very locale of Bernstein's beloved, brilliant musical.)

In the history of our music videos, the scope of this project was unprecedented in terms of its location-per-duration ratio. (In two short minutes, we basically traverse Gotham!) When Greg and I originally conceived the concept of the video, we imagined the Spirio working its magic in various iconic NYC sites; in order to bring this vision to life, we had to jump through a variety of daunting logistical hoops (while trying to focus on our "day job," i.e. concerts), such as crisscrossing the city during the scouting process, applying for permits and insurance, anxiously awaiting approval of these applications, then anxiously checking the hourly weather forecast as the shoot approached ("What's the precipitation percentage??"), and finally schlepping one of the rare Spirios in existence from borough to borough. Such feats were made possible by our excellent producer, Victoria Sendra (who also collaborated with us on our Taylor Swift video, which we shot later that weekend) and our supportive colleagues at Steinway. Normally our filming operations are super small—just Greg and me with one or two people helping out—but this time, we utilized a talented and enthusiastic (yet still relatively condensed) film crew. When the first day of filming finally arrived, it was a butterflies-in-stomach sensation to arrive at Washington Square Park just after sunrise and take in the sight of the Steinway piano, grand and gleaming, between the famed arch and fountain. Amid the intensity of the day's schedule, I made sure to soak in the scene as well the excitement of the crowd that spontaneously gathered around us. (Shout-out to the NYU students, sightseers, and urbanites hanging out at the park that day!)

Some standout memories of Day 1:

  • Teaching our extras to shout "MAMBO!" on cue and urging them to jive to the music

  • Cutting my finger on the inside of the piano during our "percussion" shenanigans #bloodonthekeys

  • Getting photographed by celebrity photographer Christopher Peterson and appearing on his Instagram feed immediately after we wrapped our park footage (let's just say I was tickled to be featured among the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, and Naomi Watts):

  • Eating lunch with the crew on the park grounds, dazed and trying to process the epic madness that had just unfolded!

  • Right after lunch, piling into a cab to a street corner in trendy Greenpoint and watching the movers unload the Spirio in front of a graffiti-laden backdrop (with the Manhattan skyline majestically in view from another angle)

  • Jamming with our friend, Juilliard violist Drew Alexander Forde, for the Brooklyn scenes:

  • Finding random folks on the street to join our shoot, including the guys who supported our "busking" efforts and a mother riding on a tandem bicycle with her adorable kids (we love the gung-ho spirit of New Yorkers!)

Day 2 of the shoot took place at the Steinway Factory in Astoria (also the mise en scène for our spooky music video of Schubert's Der Erlkönig). This time we filmed in a cavernous woodshed on site, which was impressively lit by John Frisbie. We chose this location as a direct reference to the birthplace of the American Steinway instruments, but also for its raw, urban quality (a nod to the ghetto of West Side Story). We juxtaposed the grit of the environment with glamorous outfits and lighting for a cinematic feel.

Waiting between takes ... behind-the-scenes at the Steinway Factory in Astoria, NY

Waiting between takes ... behind-the-scenes at the Steinway Factory in Astoria, NY

In the end, this video celebrates bold innovation, joyous collaboration, and NYC's inimitable spirit. We give our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who brought their invaluable energy, skill, and passion to this project, and we thank YOU for watching! EJR (+ GA)

*Here is a video of us speaking about the Spirio, filmed last year after our very first encounter with this unique, state-of-the-art instrument:

Arts & Crafts with Anderson & Roe: piano mutes

Arts & Crafts with Anderson & Roe: piano mutes

We've received numerous emails asking about the following:

How do you mute the piano strings in your arrangement of Vivaldi's "Sento in Seno."

Good question! The score (which you can purchase here!) simply states: "All strings played by piano 2 (A-flat below middle C and higher) should be muted by a system of felts and weights." Not very helpful, right? 

But that's the fun of it! We love the "arts & crafts" aspect of our duo, whether it be making videos or muting piano strings, and we hope to foster this spirit of exploration when people purchase our scores. For example, in our four-hand scores, you'll note that we don't provide any choreography instructions. Figuring it out is half the fun! Besides, in the case of pianistic choreography, body types are different, and what works for us won't necessarily work for you. 

Similarly, in the case of muting piano strings, the insides of pianos are very different, and there is no way we could provide instructions to mute all the varying piano models.

That said, we'll show you what we do for Steinway D pianos, and maybe it will help you along. :-) After at least three dates with Lowe's hardware store, here are our mutes (don't miss the other pics -- click on "Click to read more" below):

Playin' Outdoors

We're excited to celebrate the summer in high style at the Huntington Summer Arts Festival. This Friday evening. FREE admission!

This promises to be a super fun and festive evening, and notably, the concert is outdoors (in Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY). We've never played a live duo concert without the predictable accousitcal space of a concert hall at our disposal, and we're admittedly a little nervous -- and excited -- about the affair. Will the audience talk through the whole event? Will the amplification hold up? Will the birds drown us out? Concerns aside, there's a certain celebratory feel to the whole event that is undeniably alluring. We're doing away with our usual controlled atmosphere and entering a world of spontaneity. We're making music in nature -- a source of so much inspiration and wonder. (And if the weather forcast holds out, we're all in for a beautiful sunset.) Whatever happens, we assure you that the music making will be fresh and alive!

Bring your family and friends! We're hoping for a large, cheering crowd to add to the joviality and unpredictability of the occassion.

And guess what? We'll be playing on two pianos: a traditional Steinway Concert D piano and one of the new white John Lennon Limited Edition Steinway Concert D pianos. What fun! "Imagine," anyone?

Photos from "Tuxedos by Steinway & Vodka by Chopin"

Sorry these pictures took so long to upload! It didn't help that I left my camera at Liz's apartment for the past few weeks.

Recently, we were asked by Steinway to perform release event for members of the press and media, celebrating the company's new line of concert clothes for men. (Read about our experience in an earlier post.) Unfortunately, the pictures taken with my camera didn't turn out so well (and we haven't yet seen the pictures taken by the Steinway photographer), so we'll just have to make due with what we have.

Exhibit A:
Here I am informing the audience of something very important. (Note: Liz's dress ... oh yes, and also notice the mannequin standing at our right, wearing a very fine Steinway tuxedo.)

Exhibit B:
Now Liz is informing the audience of something terribly important.

Exhibit C:
The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo with the director of the event, the wonderful and enthusiastic Elliot Rittenband.

Exhibit D:
An autograph to Greg & Liz by the emcee of the event, Howard Cross's (#87 of the New York Giants). We apologize to Mr. Cross for forgetting his name in our earlier post!