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Lumpenbangen Piano Institute


(See Music Downloads Below)
 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          (For Songs see Contact us/Songs)

 

Founded in 2005, the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute is dedicated to producing original piano compositions played (a typical Lumpenbangen stroke–deft and brilliant) on the piano. Dr. Idel Dreimer, a retired High School teacher, the President of the Institute and Chief Composer, is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds the B.Comm. and M. A. degrees from that Institution. His doctoral certificate in Musicology -- from the Nigerian University of Musicology -- bears every hallmark of authenticity. 

His original compositions are played on the piano by the much younger, gangly and gap-toothed Rufus Allthumbs, who very nearly graduated from Elvira Oldenstone Primary school in South Hoboken, New Jersey. As Rufus likes to tell it, his grade eight teacher, Miss Shipley, said she had never seen anyone come quite so close to passing, without actually doing so. Rufus has a very solid job with E-Z Clean Industrial Cleaners in Hamilton, Ontario, but finds scope for his musical talents with the Lumpenbangen Institute on a part-time basis.


            General Comments on Lumpenbangen Music

Through the admittedly biased eyes of Dr. Dreimer, much of modern popular music is characterized by a strong beat, a lack of melody, a strong visual “video” element, and words that are barely articulated and hence often unintelligible. The Lumpenbangen music is at a considerable remove from this popular standard. It focuses chiefly on melody, and is often quiet and melancholic.

It is, of course, entirely unsuitable for anyone under twenty years of age, and we would warn of serious consequences which may ensue in the event of even brief exposure of those in this age group. According to the eminent neurologist, Dr. Heinrich Von Klinkenhoffer, the synapses of those whose central nervous systems have been shaped by the constant bombardment of popular music are in a weakened and vulnerable state, and even the briefest exposure to a real melody can have disastrous mental and physical effects.


In the case of his own son, fifteen-year-old Jamie Von Klinkenhoffer, the boy happened to be in the hallway and overheard a part of the Lumpenbangen melody “The Pool” which Heinrich was listening to in the living room. The effect was instantaneous: the unfortunate lad collapsed with an exclamation, lapsed immediately into an apostrophe, and from there drifted into a comma in which he has remained for the past two years.

 

In view of this rather disturbing outcome, we would strongly urge discretion on the part of all potential listeners. Quite possibly, those under thirty should not undertake an initial listening without assuring themselves of the fairly close presence of emergency medical services, with the usual complement of defibrillators, stimulants, and heart-lung machines. (We think fifty feet would be about right.)

Neither, it should be noted, is this music suitable for those over sixty years of age. It is well known that those approaching retirement--and beyond--are likely to be worried about health, income, and the onset of old age; they may become preoccupied with significant thoughts about the meaning of life, wonder whether they should have taken Advanced Anthropology instead of Commerce and Finance, lived on the East coast of Florida instead of the West, and become subject to increasing fits of melancholy and depression. Lumpenbangen Music has been clinically proven to exacerbate such symptoms.

We are required by the Regulatory Authorities to make the following disclaimers:

1. Do not listen to this music if you take regular medication prescribed by a doctor, herbalist, naturopath, or veterinarian.

     2.  Do not play this music within the hearing range of household pets. Fish in aquaria and the black hairy giant tarantula may be especially vulnerable.

3. Do not listen to this music if you have musical training, natural sense of rhythm, or above average pitch perception.

4. Do not listen to this music if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder or perfectionist tendencies.

The Lumpenbangen Institute will accept no responsibility for homicide, fratricide, patricide, or any other cide or violent acts or anti-social behaviour exhibited by those who have been exposed to this music.


 

Post Script: We recognize that some recipients of our mailed Christmas discs rely on them to get through the Holiday Season without lapsing into an unhealthy optimism, experiencing inappropriate feelings of contentment or satisfaction, or becoming contaminated with a positive view of their fellow human beings. We can take no responsibility for delays in shipment.

 

These melodies may be played or downloaded.

In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that with playing of any melody, a modest amount -- a thimbleful, perhaps-- of psychic income may accrue to Dr. Dreimer's pitiful account in the mellow thoughts memory bank. To play a melody, left click on the "(play)" link next to the title.

Similarly, the downloading of any melody may result in a minor jolt of self-esteem for Rufus Allthumbs which will help him to endure the dreariness of his regular employment at the E-Z Clean Industrial Cleaners in Hamilton, Ontario. In order to download a melody, right click on the "(play)" link next to the title. 

 

The Lumpenbangen Piano Institute

We are pleased to present the 2016 Xmas CD, entitled Winterscape. The title was selected at the annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, which is held every year in early December -- as soon as Mr. Althumbs has completed his playing of the melodies.

As usual, the title was drawn from a hatful of suggestions made by the Lumpenbangen staff. It is a vile rumour that some make their suggestions without actually hearing any of the melodies.

In previous years, there has been much acrimonious discussion over the titling of the disc. Words – hurtful words – have been hurled which have made contact with exposed feelings of exceptional fragility; it has been claimed – by the victims – that certain self-esteems have been significantly compromised.

In view of the prevailing temper of the times, in which it is agreed that harmony is the chief good to which mankind can aspire, it was decided that this year, no discussion would take place: the first title to be drawn would be selected. Thus anyone attempting to visualize a winter landscape or even an escape from winter while listening to the title track, may not be entirely successful. However, we have no doubt that the attempt will be a worthwhile exercise of the imagination.

Unfortunately, once a concession to fashion is made in one area, it may seem foolish to insist on obsessive traditional values and persnickety standards elsewhere. Usually, each subsequent title on these famed Lumpenbangen discs is selected through a rigorous protocol which involves Dr. Dreimer’s sitting in the lotus position, with his eyes fixed upon the ceiling for at least three minutes. For this disc, Dr. Dreimer assumed the omphaloskepsis position for less than two.

We should hasten to assure the recipients of these discs that no other compromises have been made: the discs have all been blessed by a registered Scientologist, and the plastic jewel cases have been washed in the Ganges. Dr. Dreimer has composed each melody using the traditional Mayan algorithms, and Rufus Allthumbs has played them in his own – fortunately inimitable – style.

We are also pleased to announce that we have begun to take steps – small steps, to be sure – to raise the quality of the melodies on these highly regarded CDs. Dr. Dreimer had composed -- and Rufus had played – fifteen melodies in total. One was rejected on grounds of general tiresomeness, one because of Mr. Allthumbs’ lack of manual dexterity, and the other for a profound deficiency in the area of the crucially important gluteus musicalis.

We cannot predict – at this point -- whether the increasingly high expectations of the modern musical audience may lead to a higher quality of musical composition, or simply a diminution in the number of melodies accepted for each Xmas disc.

 

 

A Selection from the 2016 Xmas CD

 

Winterscape  (Play)

The Wheel  (Play)

Summing Up  (Play)

Riding the Wave  (Play)

Winter Reverie  (Play)

The Ascent  (Play)

On the Chinese Screen  (Play)*

"For Once, Then, Something"   (Play)*

 

*Played on the 1912 Gerhard Heintzman


 

A Selection from the 2015 Xmas CD

Spring Breeze  (play)

Backward Glance (play)

Wood Sprite  (play)

Fallingwater Brook  (play)

Easy Street (play)

Rainy Day Reflections  (play)

Fireside Reverie  (play)

Fleeting Fragment  (play)

All the Old Familiar Places  (play)

Antiguan Memory  (play)

Gerhard Gesture (play)

It's Getting Late  (play)


 

A Selection from the 2014 Xmas CD

A Certain Slant  (play)      ("There's a certain slant of light/ On winter afternoons
                                              That oppresses, like the weight/ Of cathedral tunes.")      

Country Ramble  (play)          

Happy Foot Hop  (play)

Turning Wheel  (play)

Rainy Panes  (play)

Toy Dancer  (play)

Summer Shores  (play)

Ember Reverie (play)

Old Time Piano*  (play)

Sachet* (play)

Sepia Tones*  (play)
 

*Played on the 1912 Gerhard Heintzman


 

The Lumpenbangen Piano Institute

2013 Xmas CD

Once again, the Lumpenbangen Piano Institute has created a special Compact Disc for the Christmas Season. The title of this year’s disc is Elizabethan Dance – a title carefully chosen to ensure an immediate popular appeal and subsequent long lasting success in the public sphere.*

Of the eleven tracks on the disc, ten represent new melodies composed by Dr. Dreimer. The last track, Summer Wine appeared on the 2010 disc, Light on Dark Waters. On that disc, the melody was very brief, but seemed worthy of elaboration. Of course, it may well be that history will decide that the shorter any Dreimer composition, the better. We can only make decisions which seem appropriate in the light of our present imperfect knowledge.

We are not certain, but we have the distinct impression that the melodies on this disc do not reach the standard of melancholy which we have always managed to attain in the past. It has always been our aim, with each Christmas disc, to tap into the deep-rooted misery and sadness of every day life which is an unremitting constant – a constant but poorly masked by the enforced jolliness and bonhomie of the season.

If, in this instance, our standards of gloom have not been met, we can only endeavour to create music in the coming year which will inspire a greater depression and a more profound despair for the Christmas of 2014.

Here are the titles of the melodies. As usual, most of the titles have been developed by staring at the ceiling with a sense of urgency inspired by the Christmas mailing deadline.
 

*When one considers the nearest contenders, Sex in Miami and Cocaine Carousel, the decision of the Lumpenbangen Board of Directors appears to have been a no-brainer.

1. Elizabethan Dance     (play)

2. One Bright Day          (play)

3. Memory Chain           (play)

4. Old Roots, New Flowers  (play)

5. Moonlight on Velvet   (play)

6. Clockwork Rabbit      (play)

7. Tranquility Bay            (play)

8. Frippery Walk             (play)

9. Midnight Blue**          (play)

10. Sunlit Waters              (play)

11. Summer Wine             (play)

**An Improvisation by Rufus Allthumbs. Improvisations require a confident knowledge of how the next desired sound is to be achieved. Rufus’s regular job at the E-Z Clean Industrial Cleaners in Hamilton presents a considerable barrier to his acquiring the necessary savoir faire. We are hopeful that he will, one day, find less demanding employment and be able to spend more time at the Institute perfecting his skills.

 

Earlier Melodies

1. All that Jazz. (Early) Dr. Dreimer was fooling around with a couple of chords from Sentimental Journey when they morphed into this uncharacteristically energetic piece. It developed through the usual inexplicable intuitive process through which the human mind creates. As Archibald MacLeish would say--it does not mean, it is. play
 
2. Earth, Sea and Stars. play
3. Mirage. This is the title track from the 2007 Xmas CD. The melody begins, gently, remotely, as if a faint appearance on the horizon. In time, it becomes stronger, and more fully realized, the powerful answer, perhaps, to the desperately thirsty desert traveller--or possibly just an object of idle curiosity to those comfortably ensconced in an air-conditioned Escalade. Soon, however, the vision, like all mirages, quickly fades, and returns to the emptiness from which it emerged. play
 
4. Photo Album. (2008) The photo album is a gateway to memory. The book is retrieved from its place on the shelf, the dust brushed away, and the gate, with a sense of wonder, opened. Within is the quiet, rueful magic of the past: the Christmas of so many years ago--toys piled high under the tree; our parents when they were so very young; the wedding; the fabulous trip; the old flame. It is not reality, but the static echo of it, of a world that no longer exists, but which, sometimes, we wish we could once more inhabit. play
 
5. Study in Blue. (2007) It is summer. The sun has finally gone down and the street is dark. Some of the leaded glass windows on the main floor of the mansion are open, allowing a clear view into what appears to be a panelled library, with old leather-bound volumes seeming to be in preponderance. Although it is not visible, there must also be a piano in the room, for the sounds, filtered by the windows, and the adjacent trees, wend their way to the darkened streetscape. No, it’s not Summertime, when the living is easy--but rather the quiet melancholy of Study in Blue. play
 
6. Thoughts for a Rainy Day. This is the title track from the Lumpenbangen midsummer 2008 CD. In the garden, petals and leaves give way to, then accommodate, the rain. It is Sunday afternoon; the bustle of the old week has faded, that of the new seems remote. It’s not really a good time for a walk, and the book has fallen aside. Now is the time for looking at the grey sky, the garden beyond the window, and drifting into the quiet thoughts of a rainy day. play
 
7. Reverie. Another very early work, replayed and improvised by Rufus for this compilation. Our thoughts are repetitive, meandering unfocussed. A quiet melody in the background mirrors the time--a time to luxuriate in leisure. The past is there--and the future, but not the antithetical reality of the present; wishes and dreams are the stuff of reverie. play
 
8. Sail Away. (2009) The bags are packed, the boat readied with provisions. The sun, once more, is in the ascendant. The breeze is rising; ripples flash in the sunlight. In the bustle of preparation, a sense of expectancy pervades: the sea is a great welcoming future which beckons us forward. Now it is time to sail away to that “untravell’d world whose margin fades/ For ever and for ever when [we] move.” play
9. This Song, My Song. (2009) play 10. Here’s To You! (2009) You may ask why we have arranged this meeting. Well, it’s simply to express our admiration! Here is a toast--I’m sure, somehow, it’s champagne--to you! play
 
11. Old Brewery Bay. (2009) For Dr. Dreimer, the melodies always come first, and the titles are attached, sometimes with much difficulty, afterwards. This melody had already been composed when Dr. Dreimer, a long time fan of Canada’s best-known humorist, Stephen Leacock, had occasion to visit, once again after a lapse of many years, Professor Leacock’s summer home on Old Brewery Bay in Orillia. He was impressed again, by the house and grounds on a considerable private acreage on Lake Couchiching, and could not help but reflect upon the era which it seems to represent--a less complicated time when it was possible to repair to an idyllic retreat for an entire summer of fishing, swimming, games, and “flannelled idleness”--as Leacock did when he was a professor at McGill. The melody seemed appropriate to the tranquility of the setting and the 1920's atmosphere of the house. play 12. The Pool. (2009--for G.B.P.) This is a dark jewel, suddenly encountered in the woods. But it is not bling, rather, shaded, sombre, and mysterious, its origin and depth unknown, and despite its modest size, a symbol of other majestic unknowables--life--love--the cosmos itself. play
 
13.  Breeze at Midnight. (2009) Like Reverie, this is a Rufus improvisation. It begins with a playful, gentle breeze on a summer’s night. But the witching hour is more than a time for playful breezes; it brings its own complement of malign spirits. The melody is overtaken, drawn downwards by dark forces, and, after struggling away briefly, spirals inexorably into the vortex, into the “heart of an impenetrable darkness.” play
 
 14. Friday Night at Midnight (Friday Night Again) (2007) Dr. Dreimer began to write this piece as a song: Maria del Carmen is drawn irresistibly to Louie’s Bar and Piano Lounge in downtown Hamilton, where, many moons ago, she met the devastatingly handsome Carlos. Inexplicably, he left one day on a train bound for Medicine Hat (or possibly Moose Jaw). He has never returned. Although she knows she is foolish, Maria returns to Louie’s again and again on a Friday night hoping that, just as he did so long ago, Carlos will come through the door at eleven o’clock: their eyes will meet; their romance will live again. Carlos, of course, has never returned, and Dr. Dreimer has never completed the words to the song. But, one day, perhaps, on a Friday night...who knows....? play

   15. Cascading Light, Dappled Ground    (July, 2010 )               play              

      16.  Becalmed      (2006. Full of weird chords. )    

Imagine a sailboat on a wide, calm sea, gently rocked by smooth swells. Occasionally a puff of wind pulls listlessly at the sails, but then dissipates before motion can be achieved. A longer rally of the breeze fills the sails, gives hope, but then dissolves like a mist at sunrise;  the sails are empty, the sailboat as before, becalmed.     play

               

17. Light on Dark Waters  (2010)      play 18. Moonlight: The Water Garden of Zen Chou Lai  (2010)   play


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