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What is the essence of joy?
What is joy, and how can it exist?
These questions can be posed and answered, not just conceptually, but also through a lived awareness that gradually reveals ever deeper nows, rich in relatedness and life.
The first half of this album is music that was preserved on cassette tapes many years ago. In 1988, I created a compilation tape of new and old music, as a Christmas gift for my father, and also to have something to give to friends who wanted to hear it. From this compilation I chose four pieces that I really like, and now present them again via today's improved technology. The piano is a Schubert studio grand.
Tracks 1, 2, and 3 arose sequentially as part of the new music created for the compilation tape. Track 4, "Seeing Things," arose in 1977 from a feeling that filled me as I finished reading a novel of the same name by Charlotte Painter, about a day in the life of three women from the point of view of their spirit guide.
The second half of the album is new music that was improvised and recorded on one or two MIDI keyboards between July and October, 2004. I recorded something every day, and selected material that met these criteria: It had to posess a certain lightness or depth or both. The execution had to be decent enough that it wasn't too difficult to edit it into a finished piece. And it had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, or at least a place that could be edited into an ending. I edited the recordings to remove or adjust extraneous or sloppy notes that clearly detracted from the music, but I avoided making too many minor adjustments, so the improvisations could speak for themselves.
In tracks 5 and 7, the piano part was recorded first, then the oboe part was improvised on top, while still in the same musical moment. In tracks 6 and 12, the piano and cello parts were improvised simultaneously on two keyboards. The oboe and cello sounds are from a Roland RD-700 keyboard. The piano sounds were originally improvised using the Roland SRX-02 Concert Piano expansion board, but the music was reworked for this release to make use of the superior piano sounds in the Synthogy Ivory VST instrument.
Rendered again and MP3-encoded at 192 rather than 128 kbps. No other changes.