In a rash moment a few months ago, I offered to do some recording for Jocelyn Freeman, who's studying piano at the Royal Academy of Music - rash because although I used to run an audio equipment company, I'm not exactly a recording expert and I've never done this sort of thing before, and while I love our piano dearly, it is a Yamaha upright - not exactly crème de la crème.

A quick trawl of the web for tips on "how to record upright piano" was less than helpful: all the advice I found was for rock or jazz, and most of it was pretty bizarre, involving moving the piano around the room and taking various bits of it apart. For want of anything better, I opted for the "stick a couple of microphones somewhere in the middle of the room where it sounded nice" approach.

In the end, it all went rather well, I thought. Jocelyn's playing was very impressive, and everything was recorded in a single take. After an hour or two of faffing with microphone placement and reverb settings, our Yamaha came out of it sounding more than adequate (to my ears, anyway: I'm sure the golden-eared fraternity would find plenty to complain about).

The real treat of the occasion was hearing Poulenc's Novelettes for the first time. These are lovely miniatures, and no.2 particularly took my fancy: it's quirky, fun and quite unlike anything else I've ever heard.

Here's what it sounds like - any comments on the recording quality are welcome, as are any good suggestions on how to record classical piano in a living room! If anyone's interested in the details used here, contact me or comment on this blog and I'll let you know.

24th May 2009