From Raj Manoharan,
"Dreaming Still, the appropriately named debut album from pianist Kathryn Kaye, could very well be the soundtrack to a dream: it’s lyrical, beautiful, and, well, dreamy.
"The compositions are simple yet elegant, much like Kaye’s brilliantly understated piano playing, which is tinged with the gracefulness of the hymns she learned during her Appalachian upbringing. She makes full use of the keyboard, anchoring soaring melodies in rich, deep chords, and yet manages to keep it all reigned in and prevent it from becoming overbearing or overwhelming. The result is a pleasant listening experience that is perfect for both intellectual stimulation and emotional refuge.
"Kaye is backed on this recording by a solid lineup of musicians including Charlie Bisharat on violin, Eugene Friesen on cello, Dan Greenspan on bass, Jill Haley on English horn, Derrik Jordan on percussion, and Noah Wilding on vocals. The Grammy Award-winning team of producer Will Ackerman and recording engineer Corin Nelsen brings a polished sheen to the proceedings, resulting in a crisp, crystal-clear sound that practically puts listeners up close with the musicians in the studio.
"Dreaming Still will leave piano music aficionados, as well as casual music listeners, in a positively blissful, dreamy state of mind."
From Kathy Parsons,
"Dreaming Still is the debut CD by pianist/composer Kathryn Kaye, and what an auspicious beginning it is! Produced and mastered by the legendary team of Will Ackerman and Corin Nelsen and backed by Imaginary Road’s incredible musicians plus violinist Charlie Bisharat, Ms. Kaye has launched her recording career in a very big way. Some of the albums produced by Ackerman have a very distinctive sound, but Kathryn Kaye has established her own voice here, and it is lovely! Many of the fourteen tracks are solo piano, and there isn’t a weak track on the whole album - very unusual!
"Kaye grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of southeastern Kentucky and began playing the piano at the age of four. She majored in voice and keyboard in college and then moved to Germany to continue her training, performing as a folk singer and soprano soloist in concerts, recitals, operas, and on television in both Germany and the US. Her music has been influenced by the simple harmonies of folk songs and hymns, classical music, and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains where she now lives.
"Dreaming Still begins with 'Time Moving Slowly,' a warm and graceful daydream of a piano solo. This one reminds me just a bit of Robin Spielberg, and that is a very sincere compliment! 'Waiting For the Rain' is much darker and one of my favorites. There are two voices in the melody, one in the treble and one crossed over in the bass. The second movement brings in the cello (Eugene Friesen) and English horn (Jill Haley), and the third is a duet with Haley and Kaye that almost cries out with loneliness or loss. Amazing! The title track has an effortless, leisurely flow that meanders as it tells its gentle story. I love the way it trails off at the end - much like dreams do. 'Leaf Dance' is an incredible duet with Kaye and Charlie Bisharat. The energy is exhilarating and then becomes tender - another favorite. 'Smile For Me April' is a sweet love song for someone with the blues - simple and heartfelt. Haley’s English horn enhances the beautiful simplicity of the piano. 'April Did You Call Me' changes it up a bit with a song without words. Light drumming and Noah Wilding’s haunting vocals in the background give this piece a very distinctive sound. I love 'August Light,' a gentle solo piano waltz that expresses warm contentment. This is one of those songs that makes my fingers itch! I also really love 'Taos Song,' an ensemble piece that again features Haley and Friesen. Pensive and deeply emotional, this one grabs me every time I hear it. The poignant 'Fred’s Farewell' has light hand percussion behind the piano that gives it a slightly Latin flavor. Gorgeous and very sad at the same time. Kaye ends this wonderful album on an up note with the sweet and happy 'Mom and Pop’s Waltz.'
"What a great album! I’m excited to learn that Kathryn Kaye is returning to the studio to record her second album in March - I can’t wait! Dreaming Still is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. I give it my highest recommendation!"
From Michael Diamond,
Music and Media Focus
"Maybe it’s the rarified air of the higher elevations, but there’s something about the magic of the mountains that seems to inspire the vision of artists and musicians alike. So it is with gifted pianist Kathryn Kaye, whose roots are in the Appalachians and her branches are in the Colorado Rockies where she currently lives and draws deep inspiration from. The folksongs and hymns that she heard growing up in southeastern Kentucky were fertile soil for her musical growth, which began at the tender age of four as she began playing piano. The seeds of those early days took root as she went on to major in college and later perform as a pianist and vocalist in a genre-spanning career that ranges from folk to opera and beyond. Additional musical training in Germany only served to nurture her blossoming skills.
"All of which brings us to the present moment and the release of her first CD, Dreaming Still. It seems these days, with the advent of computers and recording software, that so many first albums are self-produced in home studios. Not that there is anything wrong with that of course, but Kathryn Kaye has taken a giant step further… more specifically to Vermont. There she was guided in manifesting her musical creation by none other than Will Ackerman, the Grammy winning guitarist and founder of the legendary Windham Hill record label, which was home to many of the finest musicians in acoustic new age music. In the wooded sanctuary of the famed Imaginary Roads studios, Kathryn flourished creatively, aided by the production team of Ackerman and mastering engineer Corin Nelsen. Working in an environment such as this has its perks, not the least of which is the opportunity to enlist the accompaniment of some world-class musicians. Among them was one of my favorite violinists, Charlie Bisharat, who has toured with the likes of Yanni, John Tesh, and numerous others. Also adding to the talent pool on strings were virtuoso cellist Eugene Friesen and bassist Dan Greenspan. Further instrumentation included Jill Haley on English horn, percussion by Derrik Jordan – along with Ackerman and Nelson, as well as a bit of vocals on one song by Noah Wilding.
"With a stable of talent such as this, it’s easy to imagine the music becoming overwhelmed by complex arrangements and over production. However, this is far from the case. In fact a number of the album’s 14 songs are solo piano or duets, with the accompanist adding subtle but tasteful touches to accentuate the evocative simplicity and melodic beauty of Kathryn’s compositional style. I think that listeners who enjoy the expressive keyboard artistry of David Lanz, George Winston, or Liz Story would find a lot to like in the music of Kathryn Kaye. Dreaming Still is an impressive effort, made even more so by the fact that it is Kathryn’s first. Luckily we won’t have to wait long to hear the second, as she already has plans to come down from the mountain and head back to the forests of Vermont to pursue another step in her unfolding musical journey. If this album is any indication, it will be something to look forward to."
From Keith Hannaleck,
"Kathryn Kaye is an instrumental New Age artist that offers varying tempos on 14 tracks of piano based compositions on her new release Dreaming Still. The title implies to me that if you listen to the music and relax and just look at the picture of the tree, a still life photo if you will, you can find yourself Dreaming Still. It is so simple and elegant and the perfect backdrop for what you find on this CD.
"Kathryn along with many other artists, are turning to veteran New Age artist and producer William Ackerman to create their art and set it to music. He is the man who put countless artists on the map with his label Windham Hill. His studio is set in a beautiful New England area called Windham County based in Vermont.
"Kathryn puts together a lovely recording that will give you every reason to let go of stress and empty your mind. Her influences are derived from a variety of sources including simple folk songs and hymns inspired by the sheer beauty of the Rocky Mountains that surround her. Knowing that will help you to understand the driving creative force behind everything that you are about to hear.
"While this entire disc is quite enjoyable and does offer some variation with the addition of English horn, cello and violin on some tracks, the solo acoustic piano tracks seem to blend into one another. You can look at this in two different ways, one is to appreciate how seamless and flowing the music is or you can find it uneventful and boring. I find that both points of view apply dependent on my mood. And I must emphasize that this kind of music should be listened to with the intent of emptying your mind and doing some day dreaming or meditating. If you’re looking for a shot of energy you will not find it here but you may find yourself refreshed and renewed after an entire listen.
Dreaming Still accomplishes everything it sets out to and for Ms. Kaye I think this was like painting a musical picture, one that brings the photo of the tree on the cover to life in your mind’s eye. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
From Serge Kozlovsky,
"As rapid rain falls down
On a tranquil Summer evening
Life passes by"
"I began my short review of the album Dreaming Still with the words about Summer rain not by chance. The moving piano music of Kathryn Kaye flows like quick drops of a downpour. And they are filled with warmth and conciliation. This falling rain brings a long awaited refinement. It washes away all the grime that has accumulated for a long time. You feel yourself young and full of positive energy. Your creativity is with you again and nothing can take it away.
"The piano music of Kathryn Kaye is just perfect. And this statement is not given casually. Her debut album was produced by none other than famed artist Will Ackerman. In recent years he has made a great work by helping unknown gifted musicians to be heard by wide audience. Now Will Ackerman discovers the incredible talent of Kathryn Kaye for listeners. Brilliant artists helped them to create a new exquisite project. These are acoustic musicians Charlie Bisharat (violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), Dan Greenspan (bass), Jill Haley (English horn) Derrrik Jordan (percussion), Noah Wilding (vocals) and, certainly, distinguished sound engineer Corin Nelsen with participation of some other truly skillful assistants.
"The album Dreaming Still must be heard by not only admirers of new age music. It will be very interesting for all lovers of acoustic music and also, for a wide circle of practitioners in the field of relaxation and anti-stress therapy."
From John M. Peters,
"As you would imagine with a title like Dreaming Still, pianist Kathryn Kaye's new album is a reflective one, containing fourteen slow and dreamy instrumentals. The settings are stark - solo piano with occasional washes of string trio and English horn on assorted tracks. The tempi are slow and the music has a pastoral, wide open landscape feel to it. Definitely music to relax to, to draw inspiration from and perhaps to utilise while weighing up difficult decisions. Produced by Will Ackerman of Windham Studios fame and recorded there, the sound is crystal clear, the piano ringing with a pure clarity. Some of the track titles are: Time Moving Slowly, Waiting For The Rain [a national pastime here in Britain!], Leaf Dance, A Calm Awakening, August Light, and The Wind Is A Lady. As you would imagine from these titles and my opening description, the music has a timeless aspect to it, it passes effortlessly and facilitates a strong sense of peace within the listener. Though January has a pulse of bluster running through, rather like a British winter January gale. With New Age albums being rather passive and restful by nature it is difficult to differentiate between them, but I think that Dreaming Still has a melodic edge that pushes it above the average."
From John P. Olsen,
New Age Music World
"Kathryn Kaye is a talented pianist releasing her first piano and instrumental album. After learning every detail like her lifetime of music experience, the collaborating artists and production credits, I had a feeling her new release was going to be great. In fact Kathryn Kaye's new release greatly exceeded my expectations since this album really goes the distance.
"Dreaming Still is an Acoustic, Contemporary Instrumental, New Age release having many integral advantages, one being the importance of music in Kathryn Kaye's life, which began with playing the piano at age four. She attended college and began working toward a major in music, earning a performance degree with a double major in voice and keyboard. In addition to her strong educational background she pursued classical training while living in Germany, appearing on television in both the U.S. and Germany as a vocalist during concerts, recitals and operas.
"Kathryn Kaye is a musician and songwriter presently residing in Colorado. The beautiful Rocky Mountains region and Appalachian mountain territories in Kentucky recalled from childhood are in part a focal point for this contemporary nature inspired release. Dreaming Still contains 14 songs she composed, half of which are Solo Piano, with the balance in piano and instrumental harmony support by violin, cello, bass and English horn.
"The world-class musicians providing instrumentals with piano are commendable, and are as follows: Charlie Bisharat (violin) Eugene Friesen (cello) Dan Greenspan (bass) Jill Haley (English horn) Derrik Jordan (percussion) and Noah Wilding (vocal). Dreaming Still is a Will Ackerman production, with recording, mixing, and mastering by Corin Nelsen at Imaginary Road Studios. The assistance from these two Grammy Winning talents is a fine enhancement to her proficiency as a composing pianist.
"Dreaming Still is a delightful album, and I was pleased to hear a wonderful cinematic touch at times. Waiting For The Rain with piano and cello, then a Solo Piano song August Light were my two favorite songs, however this album is consistent and enjoyable throughout. I believe Kathryn's commitment and expertise in music has been vital to the level of quality on her first album, and her choice of music artists was first-class. In contrast to the vast expanse of the Appalachian territory, I expect the appreciation for this beautiful album will go the distance and travel far. Note: At the time of publication, Dreaming Still by Kathryn Kaye is listed at #1 in the ZMR top 100 Radio Chart for January 2011."
From Mich Hancock,
"For those that love the piano, this is a wonderful offering. Kaye, who began playing piano at the age of four, graces us with her debut CD, DreamIng Still. The various movements will have the listener feeling as if they are dancing with leaves, waiting for rain and calmly awakening. This is the perfect accompaniment for contemplation. Produced by Will Ackerman..."
From Erin Legg,
"The debut album of musician Kathryn Kaye, Dreaming Still (Imaginary Road Studios), offers a composition of piano expertise certain to engage listeners with its enchanting melodies.
"Kaye has an extensive musical background which she drew from to create this chart-topping new age piano album.
"Dreaming Still is an album surely to complement anyone’s time for relaxation and meditation, as it offers calming and emotionally soothing songs.
"The album was currently ranked Number One for January and February of 2011 by the Zone Music Reporter.
"Musician Kathryn Kaye
"Kathryn Kaye started her love affair with the piano at the age of 4. Since then, she has dedicated her life to music. Kaye studied voice and keyboard in college, and toured various places showcasing her vocal talents as a folk singer, soprano soloist, and operatic singer.
"Kaye’s musical influences stem from her childhood upbringing in the Appalachian Mountains, her exposure to folksongs and hymns, her classical music background, and the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she currently resides. The result is a unique emotional musical style, blended with a hint of meditative qualities.
"Dreaming Still a Chart-Topping Album
"Kaye composed each track on the album, which was produced by Grammy Award winner Will Ackerman. Dreaming Still features an astounding composition of piano, violin, cello, bass, English horn, and percussion. Listeners will transcend from their busy, hectic day to a state of complete emotional stillness and dreamy relaxation.
"It’s Kaye’s unparalleled ability to infuse both rich, dramatic melodies with ones a bit softer, a bit dreamy, that engages listeners’ entire being. Kaye’s debut album reached the number one spot on the Zone Music Reporter New Age/Ambient/World Music Top 100 list in January and February 2011.
"Upon hearing the album’s first track, 'Time Moving Slowly,' I knew I was in for a real treat. Kaye’s piano playing ability took my breath away. Each song on the album offers its own contribution to the Dreaming Still masterpiece.
"The title track 'Dreaming Still' conjures up that other-worldly feeling one gets when at the border between awake and asleep. One of my favorite tracks, 'Leaf Dance,' showcases Kaye’s skills and passion for the piano. And the intriguing melody of 'April Did You Call Me' had me hitting the repeat button a few times.
"Listeners to Kathryn Kaye’s Dreaming Still will have the album playing over and over again, allowing Kaye to recapture their amazement each time."
From Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf),
"There are times when you know right away that you are in the presence of a true artist, and I’ve found that to often be true for solo pianists than for other players. Just listen to the opening track, 'Time Moving Slowly,' and you’ll know why I’m saying that. Kathryn’s style on the keyboards reminds me of folks like George Winston and Susanne Ciani (as well as many others), but what’s distinctive about her playing is that there is nothing 'rushed'… it’s what I like to call 'natural playing.' She also has Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin and Jill Haley on English horn with her. As you listen to the beautiful 'Leaf Dance,' the whole season will come rushing into your ears… simple, yet beautiful. I’ve no doubt that piano lovers ’round the world will agree when I declare her work on this 14-track journey to be HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and give her an 'EQ' (energy quotient) rating of 4.96."
From Alejandro Clavijo,
Reviews New Age
"Dreaming Still es el placentero y delicado debut de la pianista Kathryn Kaye. Producido por el legendario Will Ackerman y masterizado por el ganador del Grammy Corin Nelsen, este primer trabajo de Kaye es un ameno recorrido por los sentimientos que afloran en diferentes estaciones del año, una música suave, punto de encuentro de pasión, melancolía y ternura. Acompañada por Charlie Bisharat (violín), Eugene Friesen (chelo), Dan Greenspan (bajo), Jill Haley (Cuerno inglés), Will Ackerman, Corin Nelsen y Derrik Jordan (percusiones) y la dulce voz de Noah Wilding, Kathryn mantiene un armonioso contexto musical con su frágil piano, mientras los diferentes instrumentos le acompañan sin romper el magnífico y agradable ambiente."
"'Time Moving Slowly' es una tierna pieza para piano solo que combina una melodía entrañable con instantes donde las notas muestran un estado desapacible, de angustia solitaria. Me gusta esta pieza, una música de lo más interesante!.
"'Waiting for the Rain' traza las líneas de un escenario sombrío, de aislamiento absoluto. El toque continuado de los mismos acordes, pesados, lentos, simbolizan cada pensamiento o duda que nace en la mente. El chelo hace su aparición junto al violín para dar énfasis a la tristeza que muestra el piano. Me encanta esta composición!.
"La pieza que da título al álbum comienza con un toque íntimo; despreocupados acordes que acompañan a nuestros sueños con elegancia y cuidado para no perturbar fantasías inolvidables.
"'The Wind is a Lady' es la primera pieza optimista y radiante de Dreaming Still. Alegres notas a la deriva encuentran una melodía risueña, como si el vaivén del viento colocase con exquisito acierto cada nota en el pentagrama. Qué belleza!.
"La continuación de la pista anterior tiene nombre, 'Leaf Dance.' Un atractivo ritmo de hit hat de percusión y un fascinante violín acompañan y marcan el tempo del fabuloso piano de Kathryn. Fantástico entendimiento entre violín y piano, ambos se relevan la melodía principal con elegante soltura. Una de mis preferidas!.
"Encantadora composición 'Smile for Me April.' Una obra donde piano y cuerno inglés se unen en perfecta armonía, interpretando una relajada música, muy lineal en su melodía; capaz de calmar el alma más inquieta.
"Esperanza y bellos recuerdos evoca 'A Look to the West.' El toque no muy rápido de las notas, tanto en la zona alta como en la baja para interpretar la melodía principal, hacen de esta pieza una composición de lo más seductora.
"'A Calm Awakening' es apacible, sumamente delicada y sin alterar al oyente, Kaye acaricia las notas del piano para celebrar con justa alegría la llegada de un nuevo día. Realmente una melodía hermosa, frágil.
"Con 'April Did You Call Me' regresan las percusiones y con ellas, el ritmo. Junto al repetitivo piano aparece la poderosa voz de Noah Wilding que complementa a las simples notas que surgen de la zona alta del piano, mientras, la diestra continua marcando los mismos acordes en la zona más baja.
"Otra de mis preferidas es 'August Light.' Una pieza que posee una melodía sencilla pero realmente hermosa. Tierna nostalgia desprenden sus anotaciones que posteriormente se tornan poderosas. Esta es una de las composiciones más interesantes de Dreaming Still. Fascinante!.
"Un toque minimalista para 'January.' Un tema misterioso, interpretado por notas lentas y desconcertantes en la zona alta del piano mientras la mano derecha repite acordes. La música rompe en las escalas más bajas con fuerza, con una melodía llena de rabia que posteriormente torna a las mismas notas del comienzo. Interesante!.
"Mi preferida de todo el álbum es 'Taos Song.' Sin duda una de las obras más poderosas de este trabajo. La música es ligeramente apenada, pero en su cenit muestra una fuerza increíble, llena de ímpetu gracias a un estribillo alucinante que se ve acompañado por el cuerno inglés, lo que le aporta más energía si cabe. Me gusta!.
"La parte más triste de Dreaming Still lo escribe 'Fred's Farewell.' Una música interpretada en su mayoría en la zona más alta del teclado y acompañado por una percusión sutil. Ocasionalmente, Kaye se apoya en las notas más bajas, transmitiendo un sentimiento de fuerte dolor.
"Un breve y esperanzador final para este debut. 'Mom and Pop's Waltz' es otra de las piezas entrañables y emotivas de este CD. Menos de dos minutos de notas que irradian afecto. Qué maravilla de final.
"Dreaming Still es el primer trabajo de la compositora y pianista Kathryn Kaye, un álbum donde predominan melodías tranquilas, perfectas para momentos en los que se requiere deliberar o simplemente, recrearse con los hermosos recuerdos que esta música ayuda a recuperar. Compuesto por uno de los pianos más dulces jamás escuchado, Dreaming Still es un gran debut y un álbum muy recomendable."
From Gabriole Springford,
"This is simply a gorgeous album. The compositions are simple yet elegant, much like Kaye's brilliantly understated piano playing, tinged with the gracefulness of the hymns she learned during her Appalachian upbringing. She makes full use of the keyboard, anchoring soaring melodies in rich, deep chords, and yet manages to keep it all reigned in and prevent it from becoming overbearing or overwhelming. The result is a pleasant listening experience that is perfect for both intellectual stimulation and emotional refuge."