Maui Rain The ethereal infused into the mundane is what I strive for in my music, acknowledging the Divine spark that exists in everything around me. Golden Dolphin Waves play, dolphins dance and golden sunshine sparkles on the water as Chester Washington and I improvise on my tune about the enlightened ones that precede the creation of a new civilization. Your Eyes Eyes are the windows to the Soul, and a lover's eyes reveal all that is beautiful within us, affirming that two souls in love can see each other even when apart. 'Your Eyes' was my first recorded improvisation, thanks to the insistence of Ed Hollcraft. This version is based on that performance. I dedicate this song to my husband, the love of my life, in whose eyes I see only love. Haleakala Sunrise This song began as a beautiful improvisational idea from one of my piano students, Scott Karpowicz. I loved it so much I went home and wrote the first theme in an hour. This piece reminds me of the quiet solitude of dawn in Kihei on the island of Maui, and the brilliance of the light of the sun at the moment it peers out from behind the majestic Haleakala Crater. Gem Reflections Gems are the flowers of the mineral kingdom, and are often given as expressions of beauty and love in our life. Each gem, like a star, shines with it's own brilliance. Rainbow Mist As an improvisation, Rainbow Mist reflects the intense immediacy of ideas newly created, not organized, nor perfected. Rainbows are a symbol of hope after the rain, and remind us of the wonder of beauty in nature. From earth to sky, the miracle of transformation lies within us all, allowing freedom, new life and expanded experience. We Are One The ancient Mayans said, 'In Lake'ch,' which means 'I am another yourself.' All the people who show up in our lives are reflections of who we are. For those who see clearly, we are one. Conversation Generally, people talk in words, but musicians may use melodies, rhythms and harmony as well. The haunting quality of this song comes from the sonority of fifths in each hand as they outline the melodies. When you listen to the music, what do you hear? Missed Looking into your beloved's eyes, you have a window into the divine. When they're with you, you can see the light and life that fills your heart with love. When they're gone, you look out the window of your soul, waiting for them to come back. This memory of the connection with the divine keeps them in your heart forever. Maui Rain On a dreamy, rainy day in Maui, this music came to me as I began to feel the abundant life around me in the rain forest. Later, in California, early on a stormy morning, the introduction splashed through my fingers. Towards the end of the recording, as I captured the feeling of raindrops, Chester Washington began to make whale calls on his sax. I have always wanted to put humpback whales singing during that sequence, as I have heard their enchanting songs underwater on Maui. Raindrops and whale calls join Hawaii and California, and the music blends both places in this magical piece. I love how the combination of natural sounds and musical inspiration transport the listener to the Islands and the beautiful Aloha spirit there. BIOGRAPHY CHRIS ELISE Chris Elise began piano lessons at age 3 with her mother, a concert pianist and piano teacher, and continued classical training with Doris Brill, Tanya Ury, Margaret Saunders Ott and recently composition with Allaudin Matthieu. She won her first piano competition at age 13, and continued winning honors and studying classical music until she was 26, earning a B.A. in music at U.C. Berkeley. In 1994 she won the Mu Phi Epsilon competition, and in 1996, the Berkeley Piano Club competition. Chris Elise spent several years as musical director for the On Stage Theater in Pleasant Hill, and Eden2 Theater in Marin. In 1986, she and her mother, Alice Mae Keller joined as a classical duo piano team, performing regularly in the Bay Area. From 1986 until 1998, she taught music in the private music school, Music Time to children 18 months up to 5 years old. During this time, she became the music specialist in the In-School program with the California Symphony for the kindergarten and first grade, which she continues to do. She also began to play on various recording projects and study jazz piano. In 1992, Chris joined a rock and roll band, playing the music of Ray Manzarek and the Doors. She also played with the original bands Das Conrad and later with Oz. That same year, she recorded some duo piano pieces with her mother, and put 3 of her original songs on that recording. This was the first impulse that set the CD in motion. Four years later, she gathered more songs and began composing, improvising and recording the rest of the album. The project has now become larger, and two albums are being released: Maui Rain, with slow, relaxing music; and Islands of the Sky, the soundtrack for the film, Islands of the Sky, written by her husband, David Anderson. Her other projects include the signature music for a local TV program: The Legal Show, the soundtrack for a short 3D graphics piece by Clay Hagebusch and composing music for a new vocal album. Chris Elise continues to play, compose and teach, living and breathing music daily. VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO: * David Anderson, my love and my greatest fan, for his belief in me, his love of my music, and his generous and unconditional support in so many wonderful ways. Now that's my kind of husband! * Joe Hoffman, whose talent as an engineer made his nine foot Steinway grand and the saxophone sound incredible. * Chester Washington for creating such a dreamy atmosphere on Maui Rain, and playful abandon on Golden Dolphin. * Alice and Richard Keller, my parents, for their impeccable 'classical' ears which helped me arrive at the beautiful piano mix, for piano lessons and musical coaching growing up, for their modeling as excellent musicians, and for their love and support all my life. Also special gratitude to Alice, my mom and duo piano partner, for helping me stay grounded in classical music and musicianship as I explored jazz, rock & roll, and New Age forms of music. * Arin Crumley for his creative approach and excellent editing of the music video. * Allaudin Mathieu for his astute compositional guidance. * All of my family, friends, students and colleagues whose love and support made this album possible. * Great Creator for the gift of my talent. * The Muses for their generous inspiration. * 'Fritz' the 3D microphone 'head' which gives the piano that rich sense of depth.