"Pensyl Sketches #1" When artists draw upon their special gifts to communicate, no matter what medium, they strive to touch our hearts and minds, to forge a common bond. Such communication is difficult to achieve, but very special because it provides a glimpse of the artist's soul. My music is an essential part of my being an artistic, emotional, and intellectual portrait which I offer to you. Listen to my feelings, we may share that common bond.
"Pensyl Sketches #2" Creativity is a unique phenomenon. What else is so mysterious and inexplicable yet so universally appreciated? As listeners to music, we focus on the creative results on what the music does to us, on how we react to it. As a composer and performer, I deal with the creative process the inspiration through which I try to convey my energy, vision, and passion. So here is my art; may you enjoy the result as much as I enjoy creating it!
"Pensyl Sketches #3" Striving for excellence; working to be the best; pursuing an ultimate goal...these are the essence of perfection to me and through my art I constantly strive toward this end. Although my inspiration comes from many and varied sources, I am greatly motivated to pursue excellence by those who have reached the pinnacle of their profession or art. This album is dedicated to that pursuit of excellence, and especially to four of the best who exemplify the ideal.
"A Kim Pensyl Christmas" The holiday season enriches our lives with special feelings. The Spirit of Christmas is a glorious celebration of life filled with religious faith and the joy of family love and tradition. It renews our devotion and refreshes our mind. Music is an important part of the celebration; this is "My Gift" to you.
"3 Day Weekend" Technology surrounds us with open-ended possibilities. For a musician, it brings unlimited sounds, tools, and effects to challenge and excite. Old technology offers very special rewards, too; my Steinway concert grand is also technology at its very finest. But technology, even at its best, is limited until touched by human emotion and intellect. In my music I have tries to find that combination of technology and feelings, to create a style which is both artistic and full of life. If you listen closely, somewhere between the notes you'll hear my passion.
"Eyes of Wonder" Motivations for an artist, whether musical or graphic, are complex things. There are many, of course, ranging from physical needs to emotional. Those which come from within are most important to me and the most influential. The freedom an artist feels when motivated by emotion can be exhilarating. Constrained only by the limit of his "vision," he can express anything. I am drawn to Nierman's work, I think, because it seems so musical to me. I see complex and moving harmony in his colors, melody in his shapes and lines, musical structure in his composition. As I grow and experience things, my music changes as my perspective changes. Old questions are answered, and inevitably new ones take their place. The recent birth of my daughter has provided some of those answers, and brought special feelings and motivations. She has given me a new kind of vision as I see life through Catherine Grace, and her "Eyes of Wonder."
"When You Were Mine" When a composer gets up in the morning, he goes to work at his instrument. On the best days, it's creative and exhilarating; on other days, it's nothing but work. The moment of inspiration that sparks the music may come quickly, but finishing can take weeks, even months. That creative moment leads to decisions about production arrangements, instruments, style, keys, tempos and all the questions the composer must ask himself to achieve what he feels is right. Composing is a complicated process, but no greater joy exists. When I feel good about my music, when it makes me happy, then I can give it to you. That's my reward.
"Under The Influence" I am often asked who has most influenced my music over the years. Describing the influence is often difficult, as I was exposed to many types of music in my childhood. So, the best way I can demonstrate it is musically. With that thought, I have decided to start a new series of records. The first record is devoted to those who influenced me during my school years in the 70s. The musicians of that period left their mark on an entire generation, and their music is a permanent part of our culture. The Pop and R&B artists that are most precious to me from that period are: Earth Wind & Fire, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau and the Doobie Brothers. With respect to each, I have tried to come up with a new way to present their compositions and, also, to share a composition of mine written and dedicated to them. With that, I give you a glimpse of my musical background.
"Quiet Cafe" This album is dedicated to the loving memory of my mother. She gave me the love of music. She had such beauty and kindness, it affected all those she touched. Although the cafe is now quiet without her, I will remember when my father said, as he tipped his hat, she's the top. I can see her shadow dancing right before my eyes, tickling me again and telling me to stand tall don't change your mind. Then all at once you realize your old friend is gone. Well, as long as I make music she will live on; my music is a living portrait of my mom. Good-bye old friend from your very loving son.
"Places I've Been" There's a similarity between the music business and computers new tools, toys, and gadgets show up every day. Many musicians fall into the same traps as computer enthusiasts, too, convinced the new technology will make their lives better, more fun, more successful. Well, I have to plea guilty to that charge, myself. (And I'm convinced that Bach, Bartok, and Bernstein would have done the same if they could.) Recent technology can challenge your senses, can help make good music even better, and brings exciting creative possibilities. Well, maybe it's the encroaching middle age, but lately I've felt a strong need to make music without so many modern devices. With real drums, real bass guitar, a borrowed nylon string acoustic guitar, I set out to recapture the fundamental sounds I love so much. I even cleaned the dust off my beloved old 1978 Fender Rhodes electric piano (most of the keys still worked!), and dragged it up from the basement. These 10 songs were born as I renewed my passion for the great old instruments. It was utterly refreshing and stimulating to compose directly on acoustic instruments. I wrote all of the music this way. In fact, I had so much fun writing, arranging and recording this record that the world could have stopped and I wouldn't have noticed. Lastly, for all those who have asked, I recorded a new version of Alone, a favorite song from my first CD, Pensyl Sketches #1, which has been unavailable for some years. So, reset your senses back a couple decades, and visit the musical Places I've Been.
"At The Moment" Liner notes written by Chuck Berg. No Pensyl Notes for this recording
"Solo Sketches October" This is my first collection of solo piano music. It features six brand new compositions, four of my favorite works from previous CDs, and one new collaboration. I've written a brief description of each of the pieces so that you may have a better understanding of me and my music. This is my most personal, intimate, and musically rewarding work to date, challenging in both its composition and performance. I've tried to achieve a balance of mind, body, and spirit that can communicate to the listener on a different level. I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do, and that it touches you in an important way.
"When Katie Smiles" "When Katie Smiles" has been, like all my music, a labor of love. And like those albums before, through this I've tried to communicate feelings born of my life experiences. This makes each album something very personal, emotional and expressive, but I am a bit apprehensive, since I must put myself in such a vulnerable position to share such feelings. But the chance to communicate deeply with the listener is certainly worth the risk, for it creates a bond of understanding that I value so highly. My music is a positive light, deeply committed, and is sincerely offered with the hope that it will bring joy to your life by sharing part of mine. I hope that we may connect on this level through the music.
"On The Horizon" I grew up at a time when pop and jazz music were reaching for new heights, pushing the boundaries. The music was exciting and challenging for me, and it profoundly shaped my ideas. And I wasn’t alone. The jazz of the 1960s created a whole generation of composers and performers. Perhaps jazz has always done that – pushing the limits and evolving into each new musical generation. I hope this musical DNA continues forward for many generations to come. Surely the greatest legacy of jazz music and jazz performance by the masters is their continuing influence on others. This recording pays tribute to some of those whose music most touched and guided me – those whose legacy I have inherited through pop and jazz.
"Melodious Monk" Monk’s genius was reflected through in his brilliant performances, his moods and emotions, but most of all in his timeless compositions. A master of musical structure and perfectly placed notes, his work influenced a generation of composers. By adding just the right colors and textures “Melodious Monk” becomes a musical canvas that portrays an old master in a new light.
"Three Voices - Transitions" The 20th century left a legacy of truly great songwriters, providing an endless source of inspiration and exploration for creative musicians. Their songs have become a rich palette of harmonies and rhythms, creating a musical landscape of beautiful ideas filled with dancing melodic shapes. Rusty, Mike and myself -- the “Three Voices” -- want to share with you a visit to this wonderful place through our interpretations. While each of our voices brings its own color and style, the real artistry is in the blending of the three, our interaction and interplay. We hope you enjoy "Transitions" as much as we enjoyed creating it.