The big European Music Fair is held every year in Frankfurt and I have attended a number of them in recent years. This time it was rather different for me – I had my own section of the Schott Music stand, including my own table and chairs. I’ve finally made it!
This meant I could talk to people very easily and I saw a constant stream of visitors during the days I was there – from Germany, but also from France, Belgium, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands and yes, Lichtenstein! Most (but by no means all) of the people I spoke to had heard of Microjazz and were very interested to see (and hear) the repackaged books with CDs attached. There were quite a number of teachers and dealers who were interested in American Popular Piano as well and I created lots of openings for workshops and presentations in Europe for both series. These workshops will often be in music schools, but there will also be promotional work to teacher groups and combined presentations with Roland Europe.
This Frankfurt Music Fair was the launch event for the three Microjazz Collections for piano, beautifully repackaged. Microballads was also presented for the first time and a new German-language book, grandly entitled Der Pop-Klavier-Workshop, which will be available in May, was also being pre-sold. This meant 5 new publications were launched, which is quite something in the present climate.
On the Friday night, I provided some entertainment for a large group of music industry guests, including Hal Leonard executives, other publishers and Schott and Boosey & Hawkes staff. It was the official launch of the “Christopher Norton” Roland HPi-6 and HPi-7 pianos – these splendid beasts have a CN button, which unlocks 340 pieces from my entire body of work, including very recent pieces, with great sounding backing tracks and on-screen music display. I used the HPi-7 to play a mixture of Latin, rock and swing pieces for the delectation of the assembled guests, including some audience participation (a duet with the official photographer for the event, a non-pianist!)
I had interesting discussions at the Fair about a Microjazz APP for i-pad, which would initially involve video footage of performances with teaching notes for every piece. And plans were put in place for a Chinese version of American Popular Piano. And of course the big Australian tour in July was discussed further. Watch all these spaces!