Today's Obsession: PianoImpro
PianoImpro is my new favorite proof of real authorial creativity in the endless stream of online information. It’s a Tumblr account owned and run by a musician who creates improvisational pieces upon request, records them, and posts them, then sells his tracks via Myspace Music. The Tumblr moves slowly, which I love—I still think the web moves too quickly to hold attention—so take a look at the current entry; an improvisation based upon Edvard Munch’s painting, “Madonna,” and enjoy ten peaceful minutes.
The thing I love most about this site, and other notions with similar formats is that it points to an interesting way that public work gets made best these days. The work starts with a gimmick to get the initial views, but no matter—a gimmick works well when there’s actual inventive talent backing it up (see the ass-shaking videos from Pomplamoose and the hilarious-to-the-point-of-tears vignettes from Very Mary Kate). The gimmick, historically a devaluing aspect, makes the work more valuable by upping the ante: very few people can actually do what these people are doing. That they do it with consistency and speed makes their talent more astounding.