“Couple years ago when I was on Prairie Home Companion, I played a Chopin Nocturne – jazzed-up style. I had played it in a ragtime piano contest, and I won the contest when I played that."
“I was shocked. I got all these emails and letters, first from other piano players who wanted me to write down the notes, and so I eventually did. Now other piano players are playing it. There’s one guy on YouTube who plays it a bit differently than me. It’s great to see that...and a concert pianist named Richard Dowling just sent me a CD. He played my Knocked Urn as an encore after Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto with the Bozeman Montana Symphony.”
Charlotte, North Carolina-based ragtime pianist Ethan Uslan’s stoptime arrangement of Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2, when he plays it, is spelled, “Knocked Urn.” He might be Chopin’s opposite in temperament, but what drives Uslan to do what he does mirrors the poet of the piano’s own impetus:“You know, I’d like to say it’s to please other people and heal the world, but honestly, it makes me happy. And it’s just a great bonus that it makes other people happy. And so it becomes a mutually-beneficial relationship: If someone likes the music and I like doing it, everybody wins.” - Jennifer Foster