Kazzrie Jaxen | Prayers and Mad Laughter

Kazzrie Jaxen – Pianos/Voices


Two Pianos multi-tracked

Tracklist: 1. Astral Projection (5:59) 2. Chunks of Night (2:19) 3. One Day You Change Your Name 4. Spiraling (1:19) 5. Shine The Warrior’s Heart (6:09) 6. Cartwheeling (5:07) 7. Silhouette (4:34)


with John Roth, vocal

8. bandeebandu (for Warren & RJ) (5:52)


Six Pianos & Voices multi-tracked

9. Prayers and Mad Laughter (33:07)

All Selections by Kazzrie Jaxen, Bluetown Jazz (ASCAP) 2003. Recorded at Big Twig Studios, Roscoe, NY. Engineering and Mastering: Dana Duke. Photography and Graphic Design: Dana Duke. Liner Notes: John Grabowski. Poetry: Eli Goodwin, Mark Weber, Rumi (Andrew Harvey) (Permission granted by Eli Goodwin, Mark Weber, Andrew Harvey)

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Dana Duke

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Dana Duke


is an expression of the evolutionary process we are engaged in at this point in history. It begins in the 2-dimensional world which is personal, visible, rhythmic, content-oriented, with glimpses of a world beyond. (COUNTERPOINT, 2 pianos.) It then bursts into laughter which, according to the Sufi poet Hafiz, is “the soul waking up”. (ADAM AND EVE, TAKE 2.) The laughter serves as a doorway into the multi-dimensional realm which is universal, invisible, vibrational, not bound by time or space, beyond content.

(RE-CREATION, 6 pianos and voices.) It is a personal expression of my “re-naming” process, and an expression of the global “re-naming” that is taking place.

This CD is a dimensional adventure you can experience. People have emailed me saying it’s inspired them to create art, that their hair tingles when they listen to it, that tears start streaming. . . and then they’re laughing. It’s an expression of the state of “madness” we’re all going through as we release the “old” and embrace the “new” – as we evolve into what Barbara Marx Hubbard has named “The Universal Human, an emergent species coming out of and evolving from Homo Sapiens.” This CD -after all the wild music – ends on a unison “C”, as if the heart and mind have come together to “see” in a new way. A reorganization has taken place. The CD has moved from duality through multi-dimensionality to unity.

This wasn’t planned. It just happened in the improvising. My only intuitive “instructions” were, for COUNTERPOINT, to take photographs of Nature, place them on the piano and ‘play’ them as if they were written music. For PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER, I kept hearing a voice tell me to “create an architectural structure out of music. It will be twelve by twelve.” Though I did not (could not!) keep track as I played, this piece of music is indeed expressed in twelve sections “horizontally” (alternating 6 pianos, then 6 pianos plus 6 voices for a total of twelve sections) and twelve “vertical voices” (6 pianos plus 6 voices.)

Afterward, I wondered if the architectural structure I had been instructed to create was in fact a new species of human. The experience was primal, of the earth, deeply feminine, all-consuming, terrible and beautiful, pounding, delivering – a birth! Was this ancient goddess energy rising up and playing through me? Oceans, volcanos, wild animals – Mother Earth? What had happened? I felt as if I was giving birth and being birthed at the same time. The experience was an immersion in many realms at once.

When we live through chaos, the world as we’ve known it suddenly disassembles – we feel as though we’re coming apart. We’re taken out of our comfort zone to experience what feels like chaos, then we’re put back together in a new way, more unified and harmonious. We stay there for a while, getting used to a new state of order, and then the whole process happens all over again. Just about everyone I know is experiencing this kind of thing in their personal life – sudden job losses, illnesses, relationships ending -custom made for each of us. Globally we are seeing chaos to an extreme degree.

PRAYERS AND MAD LAUGHTER is an expression of surrender to this process. The music itself requires the listener to surrender at the level of vibration, beyond the world of content. When the mind lets go of trying to understand the music (which represents the life process), chaos and order become equally beautiful because they are accepted as equal parts of the whole. We can then ride the waves of expansion and contraction, opening to oceanic awareness while managing to stay in our bodies and function in daily life!

The music is intense, complex, dense – it takes you apart and puts you back together again. It moans, screams, thunders, dances, swings, ripples, giggles, spirals, cartwheels. The sounds are unfamiliar, it doesn’t fit into a recognizable category, it’s not the way we’re used to hearing pianos and voices. It invites us to embrace the extremes of duality – dissonance as well as harmony, dark as well as light -so that we can expand to contain it all. It’s a celebration of being human in an infinite universe, an invitation to become active participants in our own evolution.

This CD can be listened to with or without headphones. Listening with good quality headphones in a comfortable setting will intensify the inner journey and multi-dimensional experience. The treble and bass settings should be straight in the middle – just as it was recorded – nothing added or taken away. The listener should open to the adventure, trusting the process, breathing into the chaos. Each person will have a unique listening experience, and each listening will be different. The quality of the listening equipment will make a big difference in how the music can be received.

You can work with this music to bring forward an intention for what you want to give birth to in your life. State your intention, and allow the power of the music to guide you in your own process. — Kazzrie Jaxen

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale

Prayers and Mad Laughter

Come into my parlor
under the piano — just lie down
We’ll start you off with a sip
of rising moon,
Show you how courage sounds
in the tongues of trees,
Your face unclenches, ears blossom in your chest
Somewhere off to your left —
a pack of musically trained coyotes,
Niagra falling from 10,000 feet
At the edge of Rhythm, Chaos teasing,
teasing Locomotive wheels wail against tunnel walls
Choirs of flowers chanting from the shadow side of Neptune
Gospels and Sutras sent to bed without their supper
rise hand in hand to the glories of morning
Chaos sucked into the vortex of Love gains a pulse
Look at you adorned now with feathers and stars
You’ve entered the Tribe of the Witch-Goddess,
Who startles 88 voices to prayers and mad laughter
This Art Nouveau fairy who
at the Portal of Flesh cried, “Fingers be my Wings!”
Who discovered long before Columbus
that the World was Yes.

Eli Goodwin


cycles of regeneration, cartwheeling
all those highways, roads, river paths
one day you change your name
you were up for huge chunks of the night
nothing to betray you in such solitude
where quiet is blessing
we should all change our names, we should all
walk to the river, it is good to remember who
you once were, all those lifetimes
the Sioux and Cherokee change their names
at every turn of life
adjusting syncopation
piano absorbs shock waves, resonances
one day you change your name
photographs of morning glories, dust particles
floating in shaft of stairwell light
the Delaware River eases the veil aside
this name, or a line or two of music, unforced
only gently nudge it
this clarity
cartwheeling regeneration, chunks of night spiraling
you have many names waiting for you
you have been many names
many trees, the river, silhouette

Mark Weber

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale

The Evolution of Kazzrie

Some of you may know her in another life as Liz Gorrill, but Shakespeare said a rose by any other name still has amazing chops. Okay, he didn’t say that. But that’s only because he wasn’t lucky enough to have heard Kazzrie Jaxen. She is amazing — startling, innovative, filled with virtuosity, always exploring. Kazzrie plays the piano. All of it. Cosmologists have recently decided everything in the universe is composed of tiny “strings” that by way of vibration morph into anything and everything around us. I don’t know if that really describes the universe, but it certainly does describe the music here. It keeps changing as you’re listening to it, into things familiar, things not. It’s avant-garde. . . only, wasn’t that a blues lick there? Yeah, right before that asymmetrical cascade of notes that sounds like it’s out of Schoenberg. The one supported by the bluesy down-to-earth four-to-the-bar pulse.

That’s Kazzrie.

She’s been away for awhile, out in the woods in New York State. Beethoven did the same thing when he had to escape the craziness, and the result was some of the most profound music he ever created. Seems to have worked here too. The music on this CD is immense, but intimate at the same time. Organized and chaotic, bizarre and familiar, silly and sublime, structured and free — why should there be boundaries?

Most of all, it is one great big emphatic YES! A thank-you to the universe, in song and verse and laughter. Lots of laughter. The universe has been recreated, and it sounds wonderful. Maybe with this CD, the world will learn what an incredibly gifted pianist and improviser Kazzrie is. Not that people don’t already know, but even I, who have been a fan since I first laid ears on another version of “Astral Projection” back in 1985, was simply startled by the originality of this project. Jazz is alive and free, and pulsating with life! Thank you, Kazzrie. — John Grabowski, July 2003

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale

Kazzrie Jaxen | Photo by Jim Gale


to Dana Duke, for creating the universe of recording “heaven” that is Big Twig Studios. In a magnificently beautiful space that he designed and built himself, Dana offers recording, mastering, photography and graphic design — all at the level of true artistry and genuine feeling. His spirit is intrinsic to the creation of this CD.

to Eli Goodwin, Mark Weber, and Andrew Harvey, three profound poets whose words weave universes throughout this music. . . whose words ARE music.

to John Grabowski, who writes like a jazz musician taking a solo — spontaneously and from the heart. He has been a source of unwavering support and inspiration.to John Roth, for his wonderful voice and laughter, and for the gift of fun he brings to everyone who is lucky enough to meet him and experience his whimsically creative perspective on life.

The following poem by Rumi is one of 108 poems in the book “Love’s Fire: Re-Creations Of Rumi” by Andrew Harvey. (Meeramma Publications, 1988, Ithaca.) Several years ago I memorized all 108 poems. It was an extraordinary experience, the poems becoming elixirs that flooded my cells with Rumi’s passion and play. The poems are now part of me, and have a way of bubbling up from within, fully remembered, at unexpected moments. This is what happened when I was improvising the final track of this CD, “Prayers and Mad Laughter”. The poem became the music, the music became the poem, and the universe became song.

White flame
On a day without wind
My love is burning
Away my mind.

Kazzrie Jaxen, July 2003

Dana, Kazzrie & John | Photo by David Duke

Dana, Kazzrie & John | Photo by David Duke

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