Advice about music and entertainment for your affair.

STAN WIEST INTERVIEW NORTHPORT OBSERVER AND SMITHTOWN NEWS - Stan's Music Notes


Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

STAN WIEST INTERVIEW

NORTHPORT OBSERVER June 6,2013

SMITHTOWN NEWS June 20,2013

by COREY ADWAR

LOCAL PIANIST OFFERS “MUSIC TO DRIVE BY”

The journey that culminated in  Fort Salonga resident Stan Wiest’s first- ever commercially produced solo piano album began decades ago as a broke recent college graduate, when he knocked on the door of a Great Neck home and asked a family he had never met for permission to play their piano.

A young Mr. Wiest had just heard that the hand made grand piano originally owned by famed 1930’s and 40’s American pianist Eddy Duchin was to be auctioned off by the owners of a wealthy Great Neck estate. Mr. Wiest knew he could never afford to win the auction, as he had barely enough money to scrape by at that stage in his life. “I was just barely making it from week to week”, he recalled. But his passion for piano and his love for Eddy Duchin inspired him to try to convince the owners of the piano to grant him a few moments to play it before they auctioned it off. He showed up at the Great Neck home unannounced  and rang the doorbell. “I said,  ‘I hear you have Eddy Duchin’s piano and it’s going to be auctioned off on Wednesday.  Could I  just have five minutes to play it?’ And they kind of looked at me like, Are you out of your mind? And I guess they felt sorry for me.” Mr. Wiest recalled.

The family granted his wish, but five minutes turned into three hours. From 9 a.m. to noon that morning, the family was captivated as they listened to Mr. Wiest play classical and jazz music on Eddy Duchin’s original grand piano. Since they never asked Mr. Wiest to stop, he kept on playing, When the family invited him to have lunch, Mr.  Wiest accepted on the condition that he could play the piano in the afternoon. When the family invited him to stay for dinner, he accepted on the condition that he could play that evening. When Mr. Wiest finally stopped playing at 11 p.m., he thanked the family and told them it had been the greatest day of his life.  When the family asked him how much he had available to pay for the piano, Mr. Wiest told them the most he could raise on short notice was $450. Upon hearing that number, the homeowners left the room and Mr. Wiest feared he had insulted the family. “Ten minutes later they came back and they said, ‘Would you bring $450 tomorrow and take the piano?’  I almost passed out”. Mr. Wiest recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t do that- this piano is priceless’ and they said Show up tomorrow with the money and a moving van and the piano is yours.’  I was beyond astounded. I guess it was because they probably wanted somebody who really would love the piano and knows it for what it is, being a phenomenal instrument. I guess it was more important for them that the right person had the piano.”

Decades later, Mr. Wiest still has Eddy Duchin’s original 1910 Steinway Model B grand piano in his home, which he estimates is valued  at more than $100,000. He is president of A. Stan Wiest Music based out of his Fort Salonga home which provides music and entertainment at parties, weddings and events on Long Island and the tri state area with his personal orchestra called the Stan Wiest Orchestra.

In November 2012, a man belonging to an exclusive north shore country club where Mr. Wiest has performed over many years approached him to ask if he would perform 24 of his wife’s favorite songs from the Great American Songbook, composed primarily  in the 1920’2 and 1930’s at a surprise birthday party for her. Mr. Wiest obliged and following that surprise birthday performance, the client was so impressed that he offered to pay for Mr.Wiest to record an album of his wife’s favorite songs.

Fully funded by the client, who has wished to remain anonymous, Mr. Wiest spent eight hours straight performing the 17 track elegant piano album at the prestigious Orpheus Studios in Manhattan. He chose a method of recording which results in a greater quality but is far more labor-intensive, since it involved playing the songs straight through with no opportunity of fixing mistakes with overdubbing. The songs were originally written for full orchestra, but Mr. Wiest prepared and arranged them to be recorded as piano versions.

In March, Mr. Wiest’s anonymous client contacted him about selling the album commercially, and he assured Mr. Wiest once again that he would pay for all the necessary expenses. “I said, ‘Why are you doing this for me?’ and he said, ‘It’s time for you to be recognized and we can have fun doing this.’ I was in a total state of shock.I just couldn’t believe this,” Mr. Wiest recalled.

The album was regarded as a tremendous success, and the accomplished pianist Peter Duchin, the son of Eddy Duchin, sent a letter to Mr. Wiest’s client praising the album. “I wanted to thank you for the wonderful CD you sent me. Not only is he a terrific pianist, but his choice of material is absolutely first rate- some truly great songs – very well played. Again much thanks,”  read that letter from Peter Duchin.

Mr. Wiest spent 16 hours over two days filming a one and a half minute long promotional video with a production company in his home on Eddy Duchin’s  grand piano, featuring interview clips. The production company also took more than 350 still photos of Mr. Wiest and worked with him on the album design,

Next Mr. Wiest set about on the task of copyrighting and uploading his songs online, as well as registering the songs for royalties, which took him more than eight hours to complete due to a lengthy, complex online process.

He also spent hours interviewing several actresses and selecting one among them to provide an introductory and ending voice-over on the promotional video.

“It’s a phenomenal amount of work,” he said.

Now, Mr. Wiest is preparing to launch an ecommerce website dedicated to the sale of the new CD and is also lining up locations on Long Island to do performances of the songs to promote the album, He said production of the album is expected to be completed Wednesday, June 12 and the record company shipping the finished products to him the next day.

The commercial CD, titled Music To Drive By, is marketed as the first volume of a series titled Music You Will Love. “The client is so thrilled with everything that he’s already talking about songs for the next album, so I’m just trying to stay above water with doing what I have to do with this album because as soon as this is made public, he wants to start talking about the next one,” Mr. Wiest said.

Mr. Wiest is anticipating a full release around June 15, with the commercial album immediately available on its website,  music-you-will-love.com   for $18.95  . The album will also soon be available for purchase on cdebaby.com, amazon.com and iTunes.

Mr. Wiest and Peter Duchin now have plans to meet with each other in the coming days to talk about Mr. Wiest’s successful commercial album and about the incredible story of how Mr. Wiest came to own Eddy Duchin’s grand piano. Mr. Wiest said Peter Duchin has never known who the owner of his father’s original piano was until learning recently of Mr. Wiest’s story. Peter Duchin has given permission for Mr. Wiest to include his favorable review of the new CD on the album cover.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m calling this man my guardian angel,” said Mr. Wiest of the anonymous client who has backed the entire production and promotion of the commercial album, “He is a guardian angel for me. He’s beyond wonderful. I just never expected something like this to happen. I’ve always wanted it but now I think the realization is  hitting me that it’s happening and that’s so great.”

IMG_2540

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.