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Journey (live recording)



 Genre: Piano

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WARNING: This is a long piece of work so don't hit play unless you have 11 minutes to waste! This is also an old live recording done by an amateur sound guy. There are crowd noises and all that stuff. There is a small hitch in the recording around 7:30 - sorry for that.


Journey is a 3-part Suite for Solo Piano that I started writing in 2000 and finished in 2001. It began as a soundtrack to a great little short film that a friend of mine was making about a woman's journey through her life - past, present and future. Unfortunately, the film never got finished, but the music is here!

When the film fell through, I had only about 1/3 of the suite finished, and then I set it aside and didn't think about it for awhile. A couple of months later, I was fortunate enough to take composition lessons at a local university and this suite became my project to finish. A requirement of the lessons was that at the end of each semester, all composition students had to perform the piece(s) they had worked on. So this performance is the end of semester recital - December 2001.

I must admit to being a procrastinator, and as such, I finished writing parts of this in the car on the way to the recital hall. Most of the second movement I had not played before. haha...I was sight reading my own music. So there are some flubs and goofs in here, due to both my unfamiliarity with the music and my nervousness. But that's all part of the charm of these live recordings, right?

ok, about the music. 3 parts and each part is loosely based on a classic musical form. I was combining my new-age composing tendencies with the theory I was learning in my classes.

I. Present (sonatina) an expirement with the circle of 5ths and key changes

II. Past (theme and variations) an exercise in using my left hand differently

III. Future (rondo) an experiment in time signature types and changes

I had every intention of re-recording these pieces, but I just haven't had time so I'm posting this for your enjoyment. I've played around with the idea of adding orchestration - not quite sure if that's going to happen. I kind of like them as solo piano.

Anyway, take a break from work or tv or kids or life. Sit back, relax for 11 minutes, close your eyes and listen. Let me take you on a journey.

PS - I do have pdf files of the sheet music for these pieces if anyone is interested. Just send me a note.

PPS - the song art is affectionately borrowed from Worth1000.com and is called "Unknown Road".
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Song Stats
Hits: 4484
Comments: 50
Fans: 28
Plays: 124
Downloads: 196

Uploaded: Jul 09, 2008 - 02:12:35 AM
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2009 - 11:59:28 AM Last Played: Jan 11, 2019 - 11:21:02 AM
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Feter said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
well the opening as always shows your own character
open and pleasant toward the future where were alot
of words you said about through the lines .specialy
with the minro change at the end of first movment ..
goin back to past seems so much of a sigh with dark
and more pale ..but you fuse all that with some soft
chords in major which explain part of you.you are
sayin a word to the past and its so nice to be heard
here .push your left hand with diffrent timming was
so berilliant ... within time you let this piece
progress into a higher phase its like a whole chapter
in the past there .then back to the samew color you
started with ..then the rondo the promises you gave
to the future .lots of confidance lot of waves there
some minor chords change this more a color than any
other feeling maybe just a serious look and then this
beat with all the stride in the chords at the left
hand ...and a stand up with the last chord...
I m aplauses and clapping with both hands Bravo ...
what awonderfull project and sonata ..free character
and honest live playin even if you were nervous ...!
thank you so very much for the gem !!!!!
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Feter, you are awesome! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. You really "got" the music - your journey of words is a perfect match for the piece. I was trying to use key changes, modality changes, time changes as a way of constantly looking back, looking forward and examining the NOW. Thank you for listening.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
cjhoose said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
I've got well over 11 minutes
especially when something is this beautiful. It really is a journey, though I'm not sure where it took me.

For an amateur *live* recording, it's not bad at all. I mean... there's no hiss or clipping... and I can hear the piano clearly. *shudders at own attempts and sobs in a corner*
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
CJ, don't cry! I really appreciate you listening and leaving such kind words. I've been listening to this live recording for 7 years, so I've kind of gotten used to it's little glitches, but I'm glad that it sounds okay to other ears, as well. Thank you for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
magnatone said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Shay, I'm so THRILLED you posted this!! As you already know, I totally love every second of these 11 minutes, and it still blows my mind that you performed it without ever having played parts of it before. That shouldn't be possible, or at the very least, should be illegal but it appears it only strengthened your tendency for procrastination (since you pulled it off!) As you also know, I especially love part 3 (Future), even if the timing and timing changes defy gravity to me. You are a tremendously talented composer and pianist and I'm so happy all of MJ can hear this amazing peace. Now go re-record it (and add timpani to Part 3 - LOL)
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
yes ma'am!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
MarkHolbrook said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
I had just gotten up, showered, got the Fav email saying a new masterpiece had been posted by Kassia so I rushed down stairs half dressed (sorry not a pretty sight!!! Perhaps too much information!)

I found the work and I hit play... I was late already to get my 12 year old up and off ready for camp...

I have to admit that with many songs on MJ I listen initially to 30 seconds or so and skip around sometimes stopping short but I always come back and listen a 2nd or 3rd time or perhaps I download it and listen later if there is even a hint of interest on my part in the piece.

I hope this doesn't make people mad. It's just time management. I can usually tell from 30-40 seconds of a song if I like it and I'll fav and comment. Then later I'll give it the serious listen it deserves.

Futzpucker knows this as I've written back a few times to him about his pieces after listening 5 or 6 times...

But Kassia... You took 11 minutes of my life this morning when I didn't have it to give!!! And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I sat back in awe and wonderment (and a sense of sadness). The emotional content of this piano piece for me was unbelievable...

See last night my wife and I discussed our plans for my little Max cat, the white cat in my profile picture. He's 16 years old and his health is fading and he seems to be uncomfortable these days.

I've always been a believer that as a friend and care giver to animals if I can save them pain and discomfort when they reach elderly years it is my duty to do so...

But in this case I'm so weak for never in 51 years of life has a small domestic animal affected me like this small special white cat.

Next week sometime his little life will end and so will a fairly big part of me it seems...

Kassia, your piano piece took me through a journey of his life. The intro so perfectly had him playing as a frantic, lovable little kitten, full of tender moments and hilarious comedy, taking on life as fast as he could.

The middle part perfectly painted Max in his middle yeas. So full of love and yet still adventurous and always present. But in this middle was the sadness the recognition that he is declining.

The last part was so much Max I was in tears. Here at 16 he doesn't show his pain often, he still is every bit the lovable kitten he was 16 years ago... I had to look deep, past my own emotions to see that he really was not feeling well. The music in this part showed me his spirit helped me to see the amazing cat he is and was.

I know that this piece was titled Journey and it was meant for something else as you describe in your note. But one of the most beautiful and special things about music is it can mean something totally different to each listener.

I hope you don't mind but in my download of this piece I have renamed it to "Max's Journey".

I also know that some how might decide to read my comment will wonder what kind of idiot I am to become so emotional over a mutt domestic cat. I mean hundreds are killed each day in accidents or to control population. Whats the big deal right? It's just another cat.

Well I can't really give a good answer except to say to me that domestic animals, cats, dogs, are more than possessions to me. They are my friends and perhaps I'm a little strange but I tend to interact with these animals often better than I do with humans.

So thank you Kassia for 22 minutes of joy and tears this morning. I know that number will go up as I will listen to this piece for a very long time!

Thank you from the bottom of my troubled heart!

So enough about my pain. The piano sounds gorgeous, you play as if you were born with a piano!

It is pieces like this that make me want to simply hang it all up and become a listener. I have tried for years to inject emotion into my music and I don't think I could ever even come close to this.

The right music, the right keyboardist, the right composer, the right performer at a time when I needed it!

It simply does not get any better.

Thank you so very very much!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
MarkHolbrook said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Oh ya... one more comment...
Don't you EVER start your comments with "if you have 11 minutes to waste" again!

If you do I'll paddle your little hide. Your music could NEVER be a waste!!!

If you don't believe I could paddle your hide I think there are quite a few here on MJ that would gladly help me!!!

So... don't do that again!!! EVER!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
You are a beautiful soul. I've sent you a PM to say what I needed to say to you. You've brought me to tears this morning, as well. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
rabittwhole said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
right then
absolutely wonderful
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Thank you sir! Very glad you stopped by and enjoyed it.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
MarkHolbrook said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Flubs and goofs... Didn't hear a one. Simply brilliant on the 4th listen!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
caroline said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
gosh - this is lovely...
i listened to it with a prayer in my heart for mark - it is lovely and i look forward to finding out what you do with it next - thank you xox
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
I have a feeling this will become my life's work. The thought of orchestrating it scares the crapola out of me, but with all the great support here and on iComp I'll probably get it done one of these days! Thank you so much for listening and leaving kind words. I'm really glad that you like it.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
Bubowski said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Well played and written. Lot's of emotion coming through which is the most important in a live performance. Recording is fine, a little distant, but clean and pleasing. Nice to listen to between meetings and otherwise. Fav'd and downloaded (it's a habit of mine with your music :) )Thanks for sharing this.

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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Thanks Graham! ewwww...meetings. If my music can bring any comfort to you between meetings then download and play, play on! I'm really glad you stopped by for a listen and enjoy this piece. Thanks for your wonderful comments.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
drakonis said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Excellent work
Very strongly emotional, not only in composition, but in playing.

Gorgeous and tentative first movement. The slow pause at 2:42 as part 1 comes to a close feels like a real pause in thought, I saw you looking back, thinking, before moving on.

Part 2 was slow and thoughtful, wistful. The sparkles in the right hand were grounded by the solid earthy left hand bass. Nice slow morphing of the theme here.

Part 3 started as a bright sunny romp, confident, upbeat. I sort of like the Rondo style, so I'm sort of attached to this part... it probably could have gone on for another hour or so, but given the energetic left-hand 16th-note banging, *you* probably couldn't do that for an hour, so I'll just have to play it again :-)

I can completely understand Mark's sentiments, not only for the music, but for his family member. Mark, you're too far away just now, but you get a big warm hug from me. My cat (who passed away several years ago at 19 years) took a big chunk of me with him too.

Shay, your musical talent is quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I have run out of superlatives, so, uh, I'll just stop typing now. I'll play this for my daughter and step-daughter too.

Check out my latest song called Miwok
kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
As always, mr. dragon, your comments are insightful and supportive. Much appreciated. I'm honored that you want to take this and play it for others. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
KissMeKate said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
I started to fall in love when listening to this suite
Years ago, when Shay and I were just getting to know each other, she let me listen to the piece and I was blown away. I HAD to get to know the soul that had such music inside of her, flowing through her fingers and onto the keys.

"Past" is my favorite, and my most favorite music in all the world is in the middle of it, from 4:47 to 6:06.
kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
tokai said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
great journey, played with style and finesse. Beautiful arrangement and it did take me away to better places. A proper mucho craft piece...well done
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Thank you so much!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
michael2 said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
this is intense. you play so beautifully and I love the chord changes in here. this makes me feel like a complete hack. really impressive. i think anything under 11 minutes would be shortchanging the song. i'm blown away. plus i'm jealous that you live in the santa cruz mountains.
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kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
You are anything but a complete hack. You music is creative and intelligent in ways I can't even fathom. I'm very excited that this piece has brought you some pleasure and hopefully a little peace. Thank you for your wonderful comments. (we moved to CA a little over a year ago and got very lucky in finding a house to rent in the mountains - although I'm melting in the heat right now!)
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
saymme said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
i got to hear this again....thankyou so much what a pleasure..WOW
beatuful picture as well ( : lena
kassia said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
I'm so glad you like it! Definitely download and listen over and over again. that's what it is for! Thank you, Lena, for your kind comments.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
rsorensen said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
wow. i was going to say that was time well wasted, but there was no waste of time involved whatsoever. really great piece. the build is phenomenal in that first part, then it keeps getting better from there. really - great job.
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kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
Hey! Thanks for stopping by. You know I love your stuff, so it's awesome to see you here. Really appreciated!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
You already know
how I feel about this piece of art, it is a Gem and I hope someday you will put a little orchestration with it, it's such a fine piece and I feel privileged to have heard it...

kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
Very sweet of you to stop by at both sites, Dave. Thanks for your support - I will definitely work on some orchestration, but I can't promise it will be done anytime soon!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
said 4122 days ago (July 9th, 2008)
Great work. Simply gorgous. You must have a beautiful heart to make
angel music like this.
Thank you for sharing.
kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
Let the Music Play
Thank you so much! If you really want to hear the angel music of a good heart, go over to Magnatone's page and listen to "Angel Convention". It's one of my favorites!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
dreadmon said 4121 days ago (July 10th, 2008)
As my first exposure to your music, this was simply breathtaking. There were no distractions to pull me out of the reverie - it was a delight to be guided through so many emotions in one piece. And the fact that you pulled this off live just makes it all that much more compelling. I see you live in the SC hills, where I'll be performing and teaching in a couple of weeks. I've already downloaded this tune and am really looking forward to getting a few more onto my iPod for the long trip there. It would be great to meet you. Excellent composition and performance!
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drakonis said 4120 days ago (July 11th, 2008)
how lucky you two are...
sigh... two wonderful people... Bing and Shay, I hope you get a chance to meet each other! And I hope to meet each of you sometime soon too! A couple of great talented souls! Glad you found her music, Bing... and Shay, I think you'll enjoy his dulcimer music a great deal.
Check out my latest song called Miwok
lavalamp said 4120 days ago (July 11th, 2008)
very pretty
Hope all is well back home, regarding the fires.

I mean, what can I say, you've got some real talent here.

Go for it!

Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
Thanks Dave! We are doing well here, but I'm afraid there are many places that are still suffering from the fires. Thanks for stopping by for a listen and your kind thoughts are much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
Roxylee said 4120 days ago (July 11th, 2008)
A Journey, indeed
with much feeling and power. Wonderful playing, as always, and a very enjoyable way to welcome the sunset this evening. Wow, Shay, you are amazing at painting piano stories! :-)
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kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
I'm really glad you enjoyed this journey and found a perfect setting by which to listen. Thank you for always giving such thoughtful comments about how the music touches you. It encourages me a great deal.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
thetiler said 4120 days ago (July 11th, 2008)
Wow what a pic too!

Enjoy the flow of this, has a nice chordal structure. Again the pic adds alot to it I think, help gives drama I think.

Enjoy the contrasts in the music!

Thanks for adding so much to the Macjams music scene!
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kassia said 4119 days ago (July 12th, 2008)
Wow! Great comments, Bob. Thanks! I must admit to "borrowing" most of my song pics from the world wide web, but I'm glad you like them!
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
josephgvincent said 4118 days ago (July 13th, 2008)
This is a very nice song Shay. I heard it just once so far and it is a very beautiful heart felt song. I could hear orchestra strings in this. Something to consider for this song. It is like movie music. Awesome Shay...Keep up the great work!.......jgv
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kclements said 4117 days ago (July 14th, 2008)
Just wonderful
I agree - this could never be a waste of time. Such feeling in your playing and emotion. It is just a pleasure to listen to. I think with all of the modern recording software and samples... we sometimes forget how simply beautiful a solo instrument can be. It is like when the power goes out, and all of a sudden you remember what silence is like - without the fridge motor sound, and the tv and the phone. Just simple silence. This track reminds me that there is beauty in simplicity. I lesson I often forget.

Thank you for sharing this with us. It is truly a wonderful 11 minutes spent with an old friend.
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LunaTrick said 4116 days ago (July 15th, 2008)
I've been away a while...
and this was nice to come back to. Lovely playing.. build up.. and some nice transitions...

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peacepiano said 4098 days ago (August 2nd, 2008)
Sound is just fine. This is an excellent performance. Your playing covers the wide range of what is expressible on the piano. Your touch and dynamics sound so relaxed and natural. Bravo!

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notsosweet said 4070 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
I absolutely love this piece. 2nd part is just breathtaking - so very contemplative and meaningful. Nothing wrong with a live recording, but if you ever do re-record, please promise that you'll post it!!
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VicDiesel said 3983 days ago (November 25th, 2008)
quite a trip
For as far as I can judge from my small speakers here in my office there is not a lot wrong with this recording. It sounds natural and very dynamic. Great performance!

Regarding your composition. I just read your interview, the remarks about your love for new age music and your teachers' horror at that preference. Maybe I can see their point. Most classical piano music can have pretty drastic changes in mood and speed from measure to the next. Also, there is precisely identifiable melodic material that undergoes lots of development. In pieces such as yours the concern seems to be with setting a consistent mood that lingers for an appreciable time. You have some clear motifs, but development doesn't seem like the prime concern.

It's a bit like the difference between those fussily precise old paintings and modern canvasses which can have large monochrome fields.

So what do I think of it? I must say that I like the first movement best because the key changes drive some sort of musical narrative. The second and third movement are a bit static to me. Each individual phrase is lovely, but I'm not sensing the overall architecture. That's probably not the point of the pieces, but I miss it a bit.

Still, lots of loveliness here, and your piano playing is very good.
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Char said 3827 days ago (April 30th, 2009)
Best use of
my time that I could imagine. What a remarkable musician you are! I was lost in this. Thank you.
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Schello said 3794 days ago (June 2nd, 2009)
Check out my latest song called Snozz'en (Cronik Mix)
PatriciaGirl said 3608 days ago (December 5th, 2009)
In awe...
Such beautiful playing, I don't know where to begin. I can only describe how this piece makes me feel. Thinking way back when my mother used to play, I would feel a sense of awe and wonder. You put such emotion into your playing that make me in awe of such talent. From a flowing sounding cadence to a melancholy sounding middle and finally to a sound of joy and hope in the last segment, puts my mind at ease and I begin to drift again. I enjoyed this piece greatly and have downloaded it to my ipod. Thanks for sharing this piece with me.
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Name: Shay
Location: Humboldt County CA
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