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Sephiro444 Feb 21, 2009

So I'm getting married.

I've played piano for some time, and At Zanarkand since it was first put to sheet music.  My fiancee has never really heard me play much, and part of that was intentional.  I wanted the first time I played for her to be significant, and now here we are years later and I'd like to capitalize on my holding back by playing for her at our wedding.  Specifically, I think I'd like to make At Zanarkand our first dance at the reception.

By far my favorite arrangement of the song is the piano and orchestral arrangement heard on More Friends, track 3 (available here if you haven't heard or don't remember it).  It begins alone with the piano original, the orchestra enters softly, then the piano fades away and the entire rest of the song is carried by the orchestra.  Ideally, I'd like to arrange for a piano to be in the room of the reception, I begin playing, then stand and we dance to the rest of the song.  Unfortunately, we have a DJ for the wedding and not an orchestra of our own, so the most direct solution isn't an option.

Just considering the More Friends recording, I could easily cut out the solo piano and substitute my own playing.  However, the piano plays alongside the orchestra for a good 20 seconds (0:40-1:00, or 0:44-1:04 in the cut-up Youtube link), and that part can't be cut.

Does anyone know of a piano-less rendition of that version of the song, or something substantially similar?

If More Friends is the ONLY source of that kind of At Zanarkand version, the only other option I can think of would be to cut out the solo parts, then I just don't play the 20 seconds of piano I can't cut and begin our dance there.  The only two problems I see with that are

1) continuity of sound - it's pretty unlikely the two pianos will sound tonally similar, not to mention the piano will abruptly begin coming from the DJ's speakers rather than the actual instrument (and the orchestral fades into the piano solo, so there's no easy break point), and

2) quantity of performance - at best, this plan involves me playing about 1 minute total of not terribly difficult music.  Even if you assume I might play some more just as the reception goes on, it almost seems like too much work to arrange for a piano to be on-site and surprise my fiancee with a whole 30 seconds worth of playing.

Any suggestions?

Carl Feb 22, 2009

She might wonder what else she didn't know about, and a wedding day isn't exactly the best time to be doling out "surprises".

I'd say just dancing to the song is enough, as you could personally perform it later during some other special occasion like valentines or Anniversaries or whatever.

Sephiro444 Feb 22, 2009

Oh she knows I play!  She just hasn't heard me play "for" her (and has lamented as much).

Smeg Feb 22, 2009

If the piano is mixed more-or-less dead center, you may be able to cut it out with "vocal removing" software. It's usually used for karaoke and is pretty hit-and-miss, but it might be worth a shot.

Sephiro444 Feb 22, 2009 (edited Feb 22, 2009)

I've been trying that idea, but unfortunately not to much success.  In trying to find and understand what those vocal erasers do, they largely rely on the voice being center-mixed across both the left and right channels, with other instruments leaning to one side or the other.

Since More Friends was recorded in a concert hall, I'm doubting the piano alone got any special center channel treatment, and the vocal removers I've tried are bearing that out.  I run the remover and... basically no change.

Angela Feb 23, 2009

I don't have an immediate solution to your problem, Sephiro, but this is most certainly a romantic gesture.  At Zanarkand, especially the More Friends version, is a lovely choice.  Hope you get it to fly!

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