Album NotesSolo Piano Albums

The story behind: The Journey We All Make

Solo piano album by Roger Evernden

I had a lot of compositions that went back over many years – they’d been written but I’d never produced a recording that I was happy with, as a completed work. As I went back over some of these pieces I was also reflecting on life. OK, I guess I’m at an age when you become more philosophical about your own life. And I also have friends and family who are getting older… and young people who are… well, getting older. Which led to the title of this album: The Journey We All Make.

Life is a journey that we all take. It’s a journey we all have in common. We are all born, and we all die – wow, that’s a bit blunt! But the exciting thing is that everything in between is what we make of it.

The individual tracks reflect key transitions in this journey – the points where you reach a crossroads; the important steps on the journey, or decisions that determine your destiny. Each track was inspired by some thought or event in The Journey We All Make:

1 Calm Seas – This track was written on the very day that our first grand-child was born. For many years it was called Chloe; Chloe is now 11, and I asked her if she would like to give this piece a new title, so it is now called: Calm Seas. Dedicated to a very special grand-daughter who is already making a wonderful journey.
2 116 – There are many places that had a big impact on my life, but our second family home – where I spent most of my younger years – is probably the most important. It was a place of many family gatherings – at Christmas time, birthdays, and afternoon teas at the weekend. It was also a place where friends came to play – in the paddling pool in the sunshine in the garden (it was always sunny), or with the toy trainset… It was also where mum and dad bought an old piano so that my brother and I could play. The house number was 116.
3 A Heart That Gladly Beats – I was lucky. I am very grateful for a joyous childhood. I am very thankful for the very special love of my mum and dad. In the early years I had no idea how much I would miss them in later life.
4 Serendipity No. 1 – Yesterday – This first Serendipity is a reflection on the past. Our thoughts about yesterday are so often a mix of regrets and gratitudes.
     5 Joanna – My brother has been a constant and very special friend throughout my life. Although he is younger than me, he was the first to start a family. I wrote this piece, as a song, for my niece. The lyrics were all about getting out there and making the most of life – which is what Jo does. Here is an instrumental version – “because the good times may not last too long, you’d better live for today”.
6 Much Getting Around – Just before I wrote this track I was talking about how much travelling around we all do in our lives today. My love, Elaine, and I have a reputation for moving house and travelling around a lot! Which is why this piece is called Much Getting Around.
7 A New Light Shines – This piece was written on the day that I found out that I was going to be a father – wonderful, amazing, life-changing news.
8 Serendipity No. 2 – Today – This second Serendipity is a reflection on here and now. Not whatever was or whatever will be. A time to be enjoyed to the full.
9 You – And then “you came along, with your song, and you knocked me off my feet”. I feel so lucky to be able to share my life with Elaine. This is a song that we wrote together, not long after we met. Elaine wrote the lyrics, I wrote the music – this is an instrumental version.
10 Castaways – This was a piece that I wrote more than 20 years ago. I can’t remember now why it has the title Castaways, but it seemed appropriate for this album as I sometimes feel a bit of a castaway… castaway from the family and friends of childhood, castaway from life.
11 Friday Night – Friday night always used to be a night for going out, but that doesn’t seem so important as you get older. This is a track that has a lot of structure to it, but also a lot of improvisation.
12 Your River Flows (Endlessly Into Our Sea) – We are all part of the whole. Everything we say and do contributes to the lives of others in some shape or form. This track was written around 1982, and each time I play it, it comes out differently. There’s always a couple of verses that are improvised – like life.
13 Serendipity No. 3 – Tomorrow – The final Serendipity is a reflection on what might be on our journey in the future. Some things we can plan and prepare for; others things unexpectedly come our way. Serendipity.
14 Never Dying Fires – People come and go in our lives. Each one lights a light; each one ignites a spark that becomes a fire.
15 Getting Off The Bus – While I was putting this album together we got an invitation to a 90th birthday celebration for Vi. All the family were there – it was a time to get together and remember our journeys together; but Vi was taken ill just before this surprise party, and was sadly unable to attend. She shared the videos and photos from hospital, and a few weeks later went back home again. Shortly afterwards, she passed away – having lived a glorious life to the full. Her grandson talked about her life, and mentioned something that his uncle had said about life: that it was like a bus journey, with people getting on and off at the stops along the way.
16 Reflections – A meditative piece – what’s it all about then? Making this journey matter? Making the best possible choices along the way? Who knows?
17 And In The End – And finally, our journey comes to an end – our spirits and memories live on. Life is a wonderful journey.

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