PUSH video with Mike Belleme

A few months ago I was play­ing piano at a house par­ty in West Asheville (the noto­ri­ous Mon­tana House) with Reese. We were trad­ing places at the piano bench and mix­ing it up with some four-hand­ed stuff and real­ly just hav­ing a blast play­ing and enter­tain­ing the folks that crowd­ed around the sway­ing, rock­ing old upright. We beat that piano to a pulp for five hours, and my old friends Mike Belleme and his girl­friend Kris­ten were there for much of it.

A few weeks lat­er, Mike asked me to be a part of a skate video fea­tur­ing the skaters of Asheville’s PUSH Skate Shop that he was going to be in. He’d filmed all his parts and there was a rough edit but no music yet. Inspired by the music that he had heard Reese and I play, he asked me to play the sound­track. So we met over at World Cof­fee, where they have a beat up old Wurl­itzer spinet in the back, RJ Hess (the film­mak­er) set up some record­ing equip­ment and I impro­vised some music while I watched the rough cut. I treat­ed it like I was play­ing to a silent film, try­ing to accen­tu­ate action. After about six takes and some great ideas from Mike, the above is what we got. Damn it was fun. Mike said we made his­to­ry — he did­n’t think any skater had ever had a live piano track before.

In exchange for musick­ing his video, Mike took some pro­fes­sion­al head-shots of me. Here they are:

I even got a shout out in the Moun­tainX. Kind of weird see­ing my name list­ed next to the Rolling Stones. I love a good col­lab­o­ra­tion, and though the out­put is unique, what made it work was not. Can’t wait til the next project.

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