"Minimalist, intimate, sometimes passionate and sometimes subtle, Lucas Kirby invites us to impressionistic music; full of clarity, color and light. Not in vain, immersed in his music is equivalent to walking through the water gardens of Claude Monet ... "
It is my pleasure to introduce to you my second piano album, Onward. After some extremely difficult moments in life, I was forced to make the decision of what I really want to do with my life. After asking myself the simple question "what is going to make me happy?", my answer became very clear; I want to write more music and allow the world to hear what I am most passionate about - the piano. This feeling was familiar. As a child I had a grown up wanting just that; the ability to reach out through my music. The ability to express myself to all those who will lend me their ears. This joy was once lost but is now re-found. I have made a commitment to myself and to those fans accumulated throughout the years, that I will dedicate my life to this dream. Therefor, I am pleased to announce that more music is to come!
As we all would agree, the beauty in life is not necessarily the joys that come along, but the ability to appreciate those joys through the tribulations that accompany them. Within the last few years, I had hit what I would call an early mid-life crisis. Being devastated by a series of difficult events, I found myself waking up every morning completely unhappy, with no motivation or desire to move ahead. I had literally given up. Once this moment has been reached in ones life, the ability to get out of it is of the most difficult. After a couple of years of attempting to dig myself out of this hole, I became inspired by the simple realization that: As long as I am willing to pick up the pieces and start over, I will always discover a place that I never expected. "Onward" is the ongoing theme in this album. To move forward, no matter what is trying to hold you down, and no matter how difficult it is to take even the smallest of steps, is to acknowledge to yourself that you cannot and will not give up. I hope you enjoy the roller coaster of emotion that I present to you. Enjoy!
Behind the Music:
It was in 2006, when I was watching the old Stanley Kubrick film, "Spartacus". I don't know what it is about the love theme from this movie, but every time I hear it, I just want to sit down and play the piano. So, at about 3:AM in the morning, I sat down till noon the next day and wrote "Kamillya's Theme". If you listen closely, you can hear a subtle influence from the films theme.
Many always ask me who Kamillya was, assuming she was an old love interest. She was just as gorgeous as her name, but to put it simply, she was just a friend. I asked her if I could use her name for the piece and she was ecstatic about it. Shortly afterwards, I had moved to Spokane WA. Despite my efforts to find her, I have not seen or heard from Kamillya since.
The piece was used in the film "College Debts". The film was never officially released, but according to film producer, Aaron Warr, it will have its chance in the middle of 2013.
Kamillya's Theme has been one of my more popular creations. It is humbling to receive requests for its sheet music from all over the world. I'm happy to say that it IS available!
Some times (at least for me) a project can last an eternity and never reach completion. I had been writing this piece for my girlfriend at the time, and during that process we had broken up. It wasn't an easy time for me. As I'm sure you're aware, when it rains it pours, and I was fighting some other battles that had surfaced as well.
It is odd, the forms that inspiration will come to us. What was intended to be a romantic piece of music, ended up coming to fruition through the pain caused by the end of that romance. And so, with my new found pain and desperate need to move on, I completed "Clarity". I named it this, not because I had reached that point yet, but because I knew deep down that someday I needed to find it. After time passes, it is brilliant to look back at our sorrows and realize how they helped us grow.
Fixed in a world new
Today begins time
Swallow shards of past
Longful nursery rhyme
Cranking strings of steel
Fingertips to keys
Attempt to learn the poor boy
Who's heart could never freeze
Save to memory a Gem
For sparkle it no more
Holds it in his pocket
Fate knows not its store
BEFORE THE STORM
I had just been offered a position with Steinway in Spokane, WA. Although I had moved numerous of times as a child and young adult, I had never moved out of state. As excited as I was to make the transition, I dreaded it all in the same. To even think of moving away from Salt Lake City, where I had grown up and where all my family and friends were, was one of the scariest things I had ever done. I knew that, although the position was desirable and that the decision just made sense for my life, that there was going to be a lot of transitioning and difficult times ahead.
"Before the Storm" is my interpretation of the calm we often feel after making a decision to do something we know or think will benefit us, but proceeded by the difficult trials that will always lay ahead. Just because something is right, doesn't mean it will be easy. In fact, in my opinion, it is often times that the harder decision is usually the correct one.
The intro contains the first 20 seconds to the old popular song "Cherish The Love" by Kool and the Gang. My parents used to listen to this all the time and it was always stuck in my head - a good example of the influential impact music can have on us as children.
"The storm will rage; the quicksand, swift. And to every thunder, there will be a silence..."
NO MOMENT TO SPARE
"No Moment to Spare" was what I would like to call "forced inspiration". Film producer, Aaron Warr, had contacted me asking if I would release licensing rights to "Kamillya's Theme" to be placed in his film project "College Debts". He had also asked if I could write two more piano pieces specifically for the film. I was more than happy to oblige.
The music needed to be finished by a particular date, and with my wonderful talents of procrastination, I just couldn't come up with anything. So, I forced myself to sit down at the piano and create something that I thought would be worthy of his depiction of the film. And so, after a couple days of nothing but sitting at the piano writing music, the title came to me fairly easy.
This piece is important to me. It was the first time I realized that sometimes you can't just wait for inspiration to come, you have to create it yourself. I'd like to think that this goes along the same lines of that old saying "work hard and luck will follow". I couldn't agree more.
I don't think I need to tell you what time of the year this piece was written. After moving to Spokane WA, the year after brought some great experiences. I was happy, doing well, and making a lot of new friends in the area. One thing about me, however, is that I do get melancholy at times, especially when holidays are about to come about. This sadness arises when I'm missing friends and family from back home.
It had been the first year I had ever been away from home this long, and while life was good, some moments warranted feelings of sadness. I had made the realization that I am truly on my own. Not in a negative sense necessarily, but in the sense that I am my own person and only I can control what I do with my life. This is a powerful transition, and while ultimately a positive, it becomes time to let go of some of your past, so you can move onto the future. September is my farewell to that past.
Later on, the piece would be featured at the beginning of the film "Her", by film director and producer Michael Santana.
"For every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
THE SOUND OF HIS INSANITY
I love film - especially epic ones that depict people in history who influenced our world. "Immortal Beloved", by Bernard Rose, is is one of my favorite films of all time. Beethoven, played by Gary Oldman is getting to the point in his life where his realities are setting in. According to the film and from what I've learned of him, I think they portrayed his discontentment towards these realities very well. During the film, Beethoven is trying to convince someone of the power of music. He is telling a small story about a man trying to get to his loved one, but is unable to do so because his carriage is stuck in the mud. He says "this is the sound of his agitation", and later says that this feeling can be captured by a composer and the listener has no choice but to be hypnotized by the composers intent. Later on in the movie, another character is reading Beethoven's music, and explains to another "This is the sound of his insanity".
Those quotes hit the nail on the head for me. With the loss of my job as well as some frustrating moments with a girl I had been chasing; as well as the questioning of who the genuine people in my life were - I just had to get those feelings out. Sometimes, you feel that you just can't take anymore. It is these moments that change us either for better or worse. I wrote "The Sound of His Insanity" to portray this feeling. To me, insanity is the constant feeling of wanting something that you simply cannot have, and the inability to move on from it. It is all of the emotions combined followed by the obsession of the need to get rid of those feelings; but in return, the obsession to want to hold onto them. Confusing? Welcome to "insanity"!
This is one of my favorites to play.
"It is the capacity of our love that is capable of sending our minds into the depths of hell"
After a 4300 mile bicycle ride across the United States, I was filled with more inspiration than I could imagine. "From Within" is the only piece that I wrote to commemorate that journey.
I met some of the most amazing people along the way. It was a time in my life that taught me that our lives should not be judged by the amount of money we have, the cars we drive, or the worldly success that we achieve; but by the things that we do to push ourselves beyond what our logic and emotion tell us.
One particular thing that was a constant reminder for me was that every day will bring us peaks and valley's. While riding the the Ozarks of Missouri I was taught a term by a truck driver that I had met. I was so exhausted from the constant climbing and descents. His exact words were "those are called PUD's son". "PUD's?" I asked. "Yes", he said. "Pointless Up's and Down's".
Boy, if that weren't the truth. I think life is full of "PUDS". Often times they are necessary, and often times we bring them upon ourselves. But it's how we get through those peaks and valley's that define who we are. I wish I could say that I took all those lessons and lived by them to the tee. But that simply isn't life. We forget, and it is that forgetfulness that is our constant reminder that we need to get back on track.
"From Within" was also featured in the film "College Debts". It is one of my favorites to play.
Dreams was written when I was 13 years old. I was pretty convinced that I was in love with a girl that I did everything I could to be around. It was your typical Jr. High crush, I suppose. And although this crush lasted for many years after, nothing ever came of it.
One thing I learned however, was that I was one passionate guy when I was young. I guess that still hasn't changed. I was pretty convinced that her and I were going to end up married with 10 kids by now! Of course, I won't deny it, I wrote it to impress her. After playing it for her in the choir room after school one day, I was so proud that I had written my very first song for a girl! Silly, I know, but who wouldn't want to do that?! The name of the piece has changed several times since then; first being called "Walk through Heaven", then "Heavenly Dreams", then finally plain old "Dreams".
While I did write this for someone that I still will never forget, it's meaning has changed quite a bit. To me, it no longer has a romantic appeal to it, but is more inspirational to me. It builds from subtle to powerful and back to subtle. To me, it is the sound of the roller coasters that life carries us through while chasing our dreams.
"But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" ~ William Butler
INTO THE ABYSS
As with everyone, there becomes a time in ones life where the world is crashing down and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Of course, the struggle becomes even more difficult when you do try to stop it.
Followed by a break-up, just a couple days afterwards, I had found out that I would be losing my job. The economy had tanked the piano business and it was not a good time for many. With those two events back to back, I knew I was in for it. Unfortunately, the storm was just beginning. About a week later, I had needed to see the doctor for some chronic throat infections that would not go away. As a vocalist, these throat infections pretty much destroyed my voice. They had been going on for a couple of years and the doctors didn't know what was causing it. We tried everything. Of course, just days afterwards, I had visited another specialist for yet another issue that proved to be an illness that I'd rather not go into detail about. Nonetheless, my world was crashing before me and I had no way of processing all that was going on. I felt that I was going through it all alone and no one to tell. It was the darkest my life has ever been. When you go through something alone like that, you learn that in this world, you are truly the only one responsible for your happiness. I'm not sure there was any other way to learn this lesson, but it was the most difficult one I've had to learn so far.
While trying to find motivation to fix the things that I had control over, all I could think about was the loss of my previous relationship as well as the child that was involved. I didn't care that I was sick, and quite frankly, I really didn't care to continue on.
"Into the Abyss" is my story of these moments. It was the only way I could express what I was really feeling inside, and I hope that you can hear it through the notes. I'm happy to say that I'm healthy again for the most part. The throat infections are gone, and as of now, the other illness is as well. It hasn't been easy, but I can say that after a couple of years, I've started to see the light at the end of the tunnel after trying to dig my way out of the state of hopelessness and depression that I believe hits all of us at some point in our lives.
This piece is important to me. It was the first thing I had written in almost a year, and inspiration to compose music was very scarce. In 2010, I had moved back to Salt Lake City to take a position in a piano store which ended up being short lived. After the loss of my relationship, illness knocking on my front door, and the inability to find motivation to even wake up in the morning, I knew that it was time for a change: I needed to move back to Spokane. And so, in 2011, a few days after Christmas, my father helped me move back and I started a new life with no job, no money, and a desire to sell and tune pianos out of my home. I also enrolled in college, which was a complete blessing, yet an extremely difficult transition. Although I didn't have any overwhelming feelings that this was what I was supposed to do, it was the only thing that made sense for my life. To some degree, you could say that it was like throwing a dart on a map and hoping that the destination was where I was supposed to go.
"Sincere" was written after meeting someone that helped me find some perspective in my new found world. Deven, a great person, and someone that I consider a friend, was able to help me find my passions for life again. I can tell you, that when those passions have disappeared, life is a very grim thought. I'm happy to say that thanks to her, I re-found myself. My inspiration to write music is now back, as well as my desire to focus on it and make the piano a constant part of my life. I named this piece "Sincere", because to me, it is the trials and tribulations in our lives that truly humble us. And when we overcome those obstacles, we become sincere in the way we live our lives. It is a reality that I will try my hardest to never lose sight of. This one is for Deven. Thank you
THE SOUND OF HIS INSANITY (FULL VERSION)
After a couple of years, I had decided to add onto this piece. The original version of "The Sound of His Insanity" was very dark and heavy. However, "insanity", to me, has moments of happiness and joy that when taken away, will result in that insanity. I had completed this piece while in a relationship that had brought me a lot of joy (and of course, some unhappiness when it ended). I wanted to depict that "roller coaster" in this version. I believe that experience taught me something important. Sir Isaac Newton once said "What goes up, must come down". I believe that we can live by this in our lives. It is safe to say that happiness is followed by pain and sorrow, and vice versa. Not to say that we should expect that things wont ever last, but to me, it is important that we realize that they often don't. Learning this has helped me cope with the unexpected tragedies that I know life will bring to me.
The end of the piece reverts back to the beginning of how it started, with a little more emphasis on the dark and heavy.
Masie Rae, was a child that brought an unexpected joy to my life. It is children like her that help us really put things into perspective. There are many variations of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Nonetheless, it was important for me to make my own.
Masie is the daughter of a former girl friend and, like many children, sang it often. I've always loved being around children. They bring a simple happiness that helps me realize how precious life really is. I'll never forget Masie and what she did for me as a human being. She helped me realize the more important realities in life. Miss you Masie!
The summer of 2011 proved to be one of the most difficult times of my life. With an identity crisis at hand as well as not knowing if the world I had created for myself was really the one I wanted, I was pretty much in for it. I knew that it was going to take some major transitioning. Those transitions would come on every level. There comes a time where you can either decide to ride it out and let things pass, holding onto the past and letting your pain numb you. Or, you can decide to go through the growing pains of changing your life. Slowly but surely, I decided to take the second option.
"Onward" is the theme song to the album. To me, it is a very powerful piece that helps remind me of the importance of picking ourselves back up each and every time we fall. To learn the concept as a child is one thing. To apply it to your life is another. I decided that no matter what, I didn't want to keep focusing on the pain that I had been going through for quite some time. So I decided to change my life. It certainly wasn't easy and I'm still going through the process.
Since writing the piece, I knew that I would let that theme be my focus for the next while. I got out of the retail end of the piano business and I now run my own business, tuning and working on pianos. Although difficult, it has been quite rewarding. It has helped me realize just how much I love the instrument. It is a career I will be able to learn from for years to come. I also enrolled in college, something I never thought I'd get a chance to do. Although I know I'm not too old, I certainly thought the option of going to school had come and past. Also at the time, I decided to move away from Salt Lake City and back to Spokane. Something has drawn me back here. It's just a good place to be and I have some amazing friends here who I consider family. They have been extremely supportive in a transitional time that has proven to be pretty difficult. Last but not least, I decided that writing music was going to be something that I want to take more seriously. It is my ultimate goal to only compose and perform piano music. I truly believe that if I keep working hard at it, that this dream will come true.
Sometimes you just have to throw your inhibitions to the wind and bare down. You have to ignore your fears and doubts and not let them decide who you are or what you want to be. I still have to remind myself of this every day. It hasn't been easy and it will continue to be an upward battle. However, if one is too comfortable in their lives, perhaps they are not really living it. Moving onward is supposed to be hard. However, when it is hard, I quickly remind myself that it's only difficult because the reward is just as fulfilling. This helps me keep going. Sometimes we do it blindly, but always keep in mind that there is a surprise waiting for you in the end.
Inspirational ice trumpets
Ice trumpeted swallows
Goats clawing tower
Crystal stairs sliding upward
Tone perfect spirals
Onward through souls fire
Meet me marching homeward
I was in denial the day that I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. I had been extremely busy, trying to tie up loose ends to get "Onward" complete and released.
I had been speaking to my friend, Mel, about graphics design pointers for the album as she had told me the news. The first thing I thought about were the few children in my life who had impacted me in so many positive ways. I ignored the news and tried to continue my day.
The next morning, I woke up with the worst feeling. I knew that each one of the parents and loved ones who were connected to these children were also waking up to a new reality that they had hoped was just a dream - they'd never see their little ones again. For some reason, I became devastated. All the pain I had felt when losing connection with the child of my ex girlfriend had come back. And who was I to think of such pain, when others were facing the true bitter certainties that lye ahead?
A couple of days before the shooting, I had started working on a piece that was stumping me. I just couldn't move on to anything new or creative. It wasn't until the day after the shooting and all this emotion had come that I was able to put any true meaning to it. I sat at the piano for two days straight, hardly eating anything and not sleeping at all. For some reason, I felt obligated to write this piece for these children and all those who were effected. I hadn't cried so hard in a very long time. I could only imagine the pain that their loved ones was feeling.
After I knew the song was complete, the feelings didn't reside. I didn't know what to do. Why was I feeling this way? I had no connection to these children and horrible things happen ever day in our world. There was just something about this particular tragedy that shook me to the core.
I started looking up stories on the children, hoping that this would help. I then had the idea that I should make a video memorial for the children and their family's. I studied their birth dates, full names, hobbies, interests. I compiled the information and made the tribute video, which then took another day.
After three days of hardly any sleep or any food, I had completed my tribute. The only thing to do now was to post it. I don't know what it was about this project, but the only thing that brought me peace was to get it out there for whoever needed to hear it. Once I did so, a huge burden was lifted from me. It really was quite an amazing experience. I can only hope that it reaches those who truly need it the most.
A couple of days afterwards, I had received a call that a local news station had been trying to get a hold of me regarding "The Bittersweet". Apparently they were wanting to play the video. I gave my friend permission to give them my contact information. I never heard from them. I won't deny, I was excited for whatever possibilities may have come from this opportunity, but disappointed as well to have never received a phone call. Not necessarily because I wanted a song I wrote to be put on the news (don't get me wrong, who wouldn't?), but because my gut told me that the news was too old for them to pay any attention to it. It is proof that our society quickly forgets the tragedies that are not directly effecting them. This is the reason why history always seems to repeat itself.
I received a lot of comments on the piece - many saying that it helped them make sense of the horrible tragedy and others saying that it brought them peace. That alone brings me happiness and that is the reason I did it. It was within those days that the company who was doing my CD printing had called me and told me that we were good to go on the print. I had been waiting for them to fix some issues before giving them the go ahead. It was perfect timing. I told them to take the last song I had put on the album and replace it with "The Bittersweet".
It was an appropriate addition to an album that had taken many years of emotion to finally complete. There are actually two versions to the piece. The "sweet" version, which you have heard, and the "bitter" version, which I haven't decided if I want to make public yet.
Those lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy:
Allison Wyatt, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Daniel Barden, 7
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Dylan Hockley, 6
Emilie Parker, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Jack Pinto, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Jesse Lewis, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Mary Sherlach, 56
Noah Pozner, 6
Olivia Engel, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Nancy Lanza, 52