Souvenirs RELEASED 2014

Printed Songbook

Digital Songbook

About Souvenirs

About the Music . . . Creating this CD was an interesting journey for me. Like all of my albums, the writing came from many emotions and experiences, from feelings of joy and sadness, to gratitude and nostalgia. However, I experienced a new surge of creativity, fueled by my new piano, a Kawai RX-7, with its rich tone and incredible depth of sound, allowing me to express my feelings on the piano with a new freedom. For many, hearing a certain song can remind you of a place or time in your life, recalling memories and stirring emotions.  A souvenir is a memento or keepsake, yet the object is only significant to the owner because of the memories attached to it. Each song on this CD has special meaning to me, the songs a memory, feeling or image. Every album I create is a musical journey and the songs are souvenirs . . . I hope the music takes you somewhere memorable! Thank you for listening. Behind the Songs . . .  1) Rhythm of the Rain - Early one morning, the sky was dark and the clouds looked heavy, it began to rain. I listened to the different layers of sound, the dripping of water from the eaves, the trickling stream from the roof gutters, and the sound of raindrops hitting the ground. I heard layers of sound and rhythms of the water, with the underlying constant drumming of rain. This is one of my favorites to play! 2) Souvenirs - I composed this song after a friend passed, sad that he was gone but knowing he was in a better place. Initially, I named it "Bittersweet Waltz", a rather melancholy song with a simple melody. It felt familiar, like I had heard it somewhere before. Sometimes hearing songs can make you feel that way, take you back to a time or place you remember. That's when the idea of "Souvenirs" came to me. Souvenirs don't necessarily have to be objects, they can be memories of a person you miss and cherish. 3) Shiver - Written nearly 2 years ago, I had a difficult time naming this song. I composed this piece during a transitional period in my life, with a son off to college, and the other one graduating soon. I experienced a whirlwind of emotions with the pending change. I performed it a few times and asked the audience for their feedback. People had visions of a storm, darkness and cold, a windy night, a change of seasons.  Many titles surfaced, but I thought it would be "cool" to name it after what this would feel like, rather than look like. I came up with the perfect title, "Frozen", but heard it was already taken,  ha-ha! I had to "Let it Go" and decided to call it "Shiver" - brrr! 4) Prelude to Sunrise - I often compose first thing in the morning. I hear the sounds of birds in song, the quietness before the neighborhood bustle, feeling a sense of calm, beauty and gratitude for another day. Other titles were "Before the Sun Rises", "First Breath" and "Morning Awakening", (Morning Breath was quickly dismissed!) Because the music is really about the sounds of morning as the sun rises, it became a Prelude to Sunrise! 5) Chasing the Moon - An upbeat, fun and light song, this was inspired by a  gorgeous harvest moon, bright and golden yellow, hanging in the sky. My son and I were driving home on a crisp, autumn evening at dusk and opened our "moon" roof to view this incredible sight on our way, chasing the moon! 6) Aqua Abyss - The ocean is so beautifully calm and yet so powerful at the same time. When I began writing this song it immediately reminded me of diving into the deep blue sea. I envisioned serene images under water, sinking gently, spiraling downward into the unknown, dark and mysterious, yet peaceful and beautiful. 7) Silver Lining - The early stages of this composition sounded a little intense and mysterious, but it transformed into this rather fast-moving, fun piece. It reminded me that sometimes a difficult challenge can be a blessing in disguise, and every cloud has a silver lining. Though not my intention, this piece turned out to have an unexpected positive and energetic feeling. 8) Silhouette - One of the first songs I composed on my new piano, this piece feels very cinematic, like an old classic movie theme song. I explored the delicate touch of the instrument, the many dynamics and the rich deep bass notes, creating this rather sultry yet classical piece. I envisioned shadows, a silhouette of a mysterious figure, dark and majestic, like my piano. 9) Traveling Dreams - This has a sort of rambling feel, reminding me of a train ride across country, with a dreamy, lazy vibe to it. We took a train ride to the Grand Canyon with our boys when they were young, witnessing the awe and grandeur of the canyon, and it snowed a bit on the way, so mesmerizing! 10)  The Hour Glass - This song is reflective, conveying the unstoppable passage of time.  As I watch our boys becoming  young men, I want time to stand still, but how quickly it passes, like watching the grains of sand in an hour glass. 11) Morning Grace - I composed this song the morning after a big performance. Playing for this event was a huge honor, and I was so excited but nervous to play for an audience that included many of my peers and colleagues. Afterwards, I was so inspired and so grateful for the evening, the music, and being able to share my passion for piano. 12) Stepping Stones - This song reflects upon happy memories of life's milestones, birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc. They are all stepping stones on life's  path. This song just has a joyful feeling that reminds me of childhood and great memories with my family! 13) Guardian Angel - This was written for my brave sister who courageously survived a terrible cancer diagnosis. I prayed a guardian angel would help guide her through this challenging time. I like to believe that we all have someone above looking out for us. 14) Cashmere Clouds - Usually we are looking up to the clouds, and they are so beautiful! Once on a flight home,  the clouds below were like a solid white field, resembling a soft, endless cashmere  blanket. It was so dreamy and serene, I composed this lullaby.  The Album Artwork . . . I never really have a visual concept of the image I want for the album until I am actually finished recording. When I began looking at images, I wanted the concept to reflect nostalgia - travels, memories and souvenirs while also conveying the musical aspect. I liked these images of vintage suitcases and had the idea of adding old music manuscript sheets. My graphic designer, Matt Strieby of New Leaf Design, was able to capture my idea perfectly! Deciding to keep the CD graphics simple, the first proof was a solid black CD with just my name and title. Seeing the disc in black reminded me of my old records, so we designed it to look like a 45 record, which tied the vintage feel with my idea of music as a souvenir perfectly! Even though digital music diminishes the need for a physical CD copy, I feel that artwork is a big part of the album. An artistic package that conveys the music is so important. I hope you enjoy it!  


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