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Karen Olson and Crispin Barrymore - A Hero’s Journey

   We hope this music will be a landscape for your own personal voyage of discovery. Our answers lie within; even though people cross our path and offer us support in the form of assistance or teachers of our lessons, we find our own answers and we are our own heroes.

   The evolution of this CD followed this path as well; the opportunity was given us, we helped each other, had our own experiences and we are grateful to share our music with you. Music is a gift to be experienced and shared. We feel the presence of a Higher Power that gives Divine guidance and deeper meaning in all that we do.

Crispin's Journey:
   We are all on our own, personal journey. For some it is a deep, inner journey, full of self-discovery and gaining of wisdom. For others, the journey is more about outside sources and interacting with the world around us. Still others find their journeys take them to worlds where the line between one dimension and another is blurred.

   However, in any personal journey, a person chooses. There is always one common denominator: Self. This makes us the hero of our own journey.

   As a composer, it gives me a sense of meaning and joy when I can provide a musical support system for others to explore their thoughts, emotions and beliefs. To this extent, I consider myself to be blessed to be able to collaborate with Karen Olson in the creation of this CO.

   I want to thank two of the biggest heroes in my life, my mother and father Susy and Carroll Barrymore, who provided for my music education in so many ways, and have been here for me through thick and thin. I also want to thank Musicares and the Recording Academy for helping me get back on my feet. Without them, I would not have found my studio partner Peter Goverts or my composing partner, Karen Olson.
   Together we would like to give special thanks to: Jimmy, for your patience and support. Gloria for keeping us strong, and Pamela Rutledge and Austin Muhs, if not for them, it would have never happened.


Karen's Journey:
   Every part of this CD has been filled with many blessings. I am especially grateful for this opportunity to work with Crispin who generously shared his enormous gifts. Peter's valuable role also can't be overstated. The making of this CD has given me "full circle" moments: over 15 years ago. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on a programmatic piece by Berlioz that featured the viola. "Harold in Italy". The viola represented a Romantic hero figure (Harold) and his quest to find himself. The hero represents an immortal being battling evil in order to rescue himself and "the people". On Harold's pilgrimage to find his "true self", he related to nature on his trip through the mountains. Being in nature connected him to a Higher Power's ability to create and he found that a reflection of this world existed within himself. Harold was his own hero. Tapping into God's creative power and claiming his own creative process allowed him to bridge a gap between his dream world and reality. By finding himself, he also "rescued" his fellow travelers. The viola has historically been an isolated, rather unheard voice, so Berlioz's choice to use a viola to "sing forth a message of empowerment ... and bring a searching soul to a higher level" was historic. The mountains on his journey represented peaks, valleys, sunshine, wind and rainwater. We are like the water as it finds its way from the mountain top, moving through obstacles and joining with the river as it dances down to the earth.

   The various tracks on this CD represent different states of mind and fears that we need to move through, and celebrate, during our quest. It isn't about arriving in any particular place but about each step and moment of the journey.

   The process of creating this CD has given me a chance to pause and look at my life. I see how I transcended through different levels of fear and self-discovery, understanding and acceptance. I've learned that I don't need to go outside myself in a vulnerable, unobtainable search for answers and acceptance. I now know that I am not an isolated, unheard voice and realize that twists, turns, ups and downs can be part of a Divine plan, events that don't need judgment.

   May you have many powerful discoveries on your path. Remember to be mindful, to be aware, to be grateful, to be here now.

   My overwhelming feeling of grace and gratitude includes many and much:

Countless thank yous to Crispin for sharing your huge gifts, for being a gift, and for helping me sing! Peter, I will always be indebted to you for making all of this possible; you were the glue and foundation.

   My love and gratitude begins with God, my parents who taught me about love and faith and to Lisette and Scott who add so much joy and meaning to my life, to Beau who has given me endless love and support, and to all of those who help me believe: Mary Adams, my sister Mary. Kathleen, Andrea. Amye. Claire, Judy, and each person in my heart.

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