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Kathryn Kaye | What the Winter Said

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Piano
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What the Winter Said

by Kathryn Kaye

Exceptional instrumental music by a very talented pianist and composer and several great backing musicians, this haunting collection of evocative songs, inspired by the season and the holidays, is simply beautiful.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Rose in Winter
3:34 $0.99
2. Brightest and Best
3:20 $0.99
3. Midwinter Lullaby
3:23 $0.99
4. The Shortest Days
4:16 $0.99
5. Sky Full of Stars
6:45 $0.99
6. A Slow Walk into Dusk
3:19 $0.99
7. The Arrival
3:51 $0.99
8. Carol of the Birds
3:46 $0.99
9. What the Winter Said
6:38 $0.99
10. Huron Carol
4:28 $0.99
11. The Close of Another Year
4:38 $0.99
12. The Holly Bears a Berry
2:31 $0.99
13. The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter
4:21 $0.99
14. Frost
5:07 $0.99
15. Cumberland Mountain Hymn
2:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This is the third album from pianist-composer Kathryn Kaye, whose first two CDs, Dreaming Still and Heavy as a Feather, were nominated for Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) Best Instrumental Album – Piano in 2011 and 2012. A holiday album like no other, produced by Will Ackerman, and featuring a stellar group of supporting musicians, What the Winter Said will draw you in, capturing your senses and your heart with what Daniel Burgan (StillStream.com), described as “some of the most thoughtful and profound piano work I have ever heard.” The CD has 10 original compositions and 4 old, beautiful, but seldom-heard carols, plus a cover of Will Ackerman’s The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter.

Here is what some of the reviewers have said about What the Winter Said.

Bill Binkelman, of Zone Music Reporter, wrote: “As on her two previous releases, her piano playing is restrained, subtle, never overreaching into melodrama, sometimes somber but always laced with a gentle sense of beauty, occasionally tinted with a dash of nostalgia or romance. Kaye excels at a careful, nuanced style, letting individual notes work their magic on the listener’s emotion, and not putting any of the intended reactions in bold face or underlined, an approach of which I am a particular fan.
“Kathryn Kaye is carving out a specific niche for her talents, a niche of being musically soft-spoken, playing and composing in a style that bears witness to the gentler side of human emotions, whether they be the pleasant ones or the ones that remind us we are, after all, human because we also feel pain. However, in many cases with Kaye’s music, it is the pain of regret and remembrance, not outright sorrow or loss. What the Winter Said … is the perfect soundtrack for falling leaves, falling snow, and falling temperatures - all best savored in front of a hearth with a crackling fire, of course!”

Dana Wright, of Muzikreviews.com, said that "Kathryn Kaye is a musician that will sweep you off your feet. Her music tugs at the deepest parts of you, coaxing rich emotion from subtle and complex melodies. Her newest album, What the Winter Said, is a beautiful journey through snow covered hills and the days of holly and ivy, midwinter and starry crisp nights spent with the one you cherish most.
"Kathryn Kaye has graced us with another beautiful album. It is snowy wonderment in wintery glory. As with much of Kaye’s work, nature is a central theme. Taking subtle nuances of an ice covered branch or a snowy field, her playing brings the scene to life in the listener’s mind. She is an evocative and thought provoking artist and I clamor for more of her playing each time the album comes to an end. Her third CD, What the Winter Said is a unique and profound album, drawing you in to her unique and elaborate style. This album looks at Yuletide with an all new vision. There are original pieces and some rarely used carols to stir the blood. Throughout the album, Kaye is supported by a cast of talented musicians, crafting a sound experience that has given me many nights of enjoyment and will do so for many more to come. This is piano music at its finest.

The youngest daughter of the local postmistress and a coal miner/general store owner, Kathryn grew up in the Appalachian mountains of southeast Kentucky. At the age of four she began playing hymns, folk music, and children’s songs on her family’s old upright piano. She continued to play and sing at small-town churches, school and community events, county fairs, and on local TV and radio stations. At 17 she attended Eastern Kentucky University, where she first learned to read music, and with great enthusiasm seriously studied music and art. She eventually focused exclusively on music, and obtained a double major in keyboard and voice. To continue her musical training, Kathryn moved to Germany, where she studied piano with pianist Aldo Schoen, and voice with chamber music singer Josef Maria Hauschild. During her nine years in Germany, she performed professionally as a classical singer, folk singer/composer, pianist, and organist,
becoming particularly enchanted by the restrained yet deeply emotional chamber music of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, and Hugo Wolff.
Kathryn writes: “Although the inspiration for my compositions comes from a variety of sources, the strongest by far is nature. I’m moved by nature’s colors, sounds, and changing seasons, all of which blend with melodies and visual images from my past. I never have a goal when I write songs. Instead, I stay out of the way and allow the music to happen. It is my hope that what I write will resonate with someone else, but in that person’s uniquely personal way, even if it’s very different from my own experience as I compose and play.” She concludes: “Most of the music I write takes me by surprise, sometimes feeling like an accident! I’ve come to believe that nature, the world, and even the universe are full of creative accidents that are cause for celebration.”
A prolific composer of simple, haunting, lyrical melodies, Kathryn has an arresting style that some have compared to Satie, Liszt, and Brahms. Her songwriting is influenced by the simple harmonies of the Appalachian folksongs and hymns that she heard, sang, and played as a child, by her experience performing classical music, and by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains where she now lives. Bill Binkelman has described her compositions as “evocative, restrained, yet strongly melodic,” and John M. Peters of The Borderland wrote of her work that it is “quietly stunning,” and “musically rich and ideal for reflection or finding a little peace in one’s life.”
Will Ackerman produced Kathryn's first CD, Dreaming Still, at his Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont. Released in January 2011, the album was #1 on the ZMR Top 100 Chart for January and February, and it remained on the charts for 10 months. At the end of the year, it was ranked number 2 out of more than 2,300 CDs, and was a finalist for Best Album and Best Instrumental Album-Piano. She also was nominated Best New Artist.
Kathryn’s second CD, Heavy as a Feather, also produced by Will Ackerman, quickly moved to #2 on the charts, and was an outstanding critical success. At the end of 2012, it finished number 11 of over 2,300 albums, and was again nominated for Best Instrumental Album-Piano. Kathy Parsons wrote of this CD that “the uncluttered melodies are played with such heartfelt expression that each becomes a distinctive gem as well as part of a flowing, cohesive whole.” For Michael Diamond, her songs “evoke the earthy ambience and subtle shadings of an Andrew Wyeth painting.” And Dick Metcalf (Rotcod Zzaj, of Improvijazzation Nation) wrote that Heavy as a Feather was, “quite simply, the best piano/orchestral work I’ve heard this year…"



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
What the Winter Said is the third truly exceptional release from pianist/composer Kathryn Kaye, following her chart-topping "Dreaming Still" (2011) and "Heavy As a Feather" (2012). Will Ackerman again worked his magic as producer at his Imaginary Road Studios, and the line-up of stellar supporting musicians includes Charlie Bisharat (violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), Ackerman (guitar), Gus Sebring (French horn), and Jill Haley (English horn). Three of the compositions are solo piano, and the other twelve are ensemble creations. Ten of the pieces are original, four are old and seldom-heard Christmas carols, and one is a lovely cover of an Ackerman composition. Both of Kaye’s previous releases became “Picks” on my site and were included as Favorites for both years. "What the Winter Said" is also a “Pick” and will likely be on the 2013 Favorites list as well. This album is beyond beautiful, performed in a graceful and understated way. Even though the theme is winter, it is not music relegated to the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s only.

The album begins with “A Rose in Winter,” a sweet and gentle piano solo that suggests a peaceful landscape and the silent majesty of falling snow. I love “Brightest and Best,” a beautiful Christmas song I hadn’t heard before. Bisharat’s extraordinary musicianship floats on a cloud one minute and soars to the stars another - he chokes me up every time! “Midwinter Lullaby” is an elegant yet earthy trio for piano, cello, and English horn. “Sky Full of Stars” is another favorite. Anyone who has gazed into a dark night sky away from city lights will be enraptured by Kaye’s pianistic expression of twinkling stars. Violin, cello, and bass create musical magic as they paint vivid sonic images of a brilliant night sky. The soothing yet melancholy “A Slow Walk into Dusk” is a poignant trio for piano, cello, and French horn. Changing the mood to celebratory, “The Arrival” conveys excitement and anticipation. The ancient “Carol of the Birds” is arranged as a dark and haunting duet for piano and cello - also a favorite. The title track is a incredible piano solo that swirls and sparkles yet remains soft-spoken and subtle - effortless piano wizardry! “The Huron Carol” is Canada’s oldest Christmas carol (written around 1642), and Kaye’s piano/French horn duet makes me wonder why this is a fairly unusual instrumental pairing. Somber and very stirring, it’s another favorite. Will Ackerman’s “The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter,” arranged for piano and French horn, is a soft and gentle love song expressed with grace and subtlety. “Frost” is a sparkling piano solo that is more free-form than melodic, gracefully expressing a cold, still, beauty - superb! “Cumberland Mountain Hymn” brings this wonderful album to a close with an original folk-hymn for piano, accompanied by Tom Eaton on accordion and autoharp.

"What the Winter Said" is Kathryn Kaye’s third masterpiece (three out of three!). Very highly recommended!

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Kathryn Kaye's latest collection of piano-based music was designed with winter in mind, but it is actually an evergreen that can be enjoyed all year round in any season.

The compositions are all robust and heartwarming, with 10 originals by Kaye, one by producer Will Ackerman, and four traditional tunes.

While Kaye's classy and elegant piano skills take center stage, the keys are beautifully complemented with masterful instrumentation by Ackerman on guitar, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Tom Eaton on accordion, autoharp, and bass, Eugene Friesen on cello, Richard Gates on bass, Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Tony Levin on bass, and Gus Sebring on French horn.

Piano fans and music lovers in general will find something of value in this noteworthy recording.