“Hope for Harmony” is the solo piano album by pianist/composer Kathryn Toyama, composed and performed in solitude. Her music has been described by Solo Piano Publications as "passionate yet serene," setting a mood of “quiet yet intense peacefulness.” Although for her, the art of musical composition did not develop in the most conventional or idyllic way. It wasn't until she was able to “roll away the stone,” that she realized she could compose her own music.
As a result of personal catharsis and the circuitous path of life's journey, her music has evolved on a spiritual path that hopes for harmony within each individual and reaches out to global peace through acceptance and tolerant understanding. In the words of the artist, "My hope is to musically inspire positive relations through our human interconnectedness by awakening the spiritual light which exists in us all."
Music has had a powerful effect on her since infancy, and according to her mother, she could always depend on beautiful music to stop her from crying, as she always became calm and quiet when the music reached her ears. Music continued to inspire Kathryn and by the time she could walk, an inspirational piece could fill her entire being, freeing her spirit to express the music through dance movements in her own world.
Kathryn began piano lessons at age 9, but from the very beginning, she found that she could not resist the natural inclination to weave her own melodies from the musical notations. In spite of her defiant creative spirit, her mother found a concert pianist who was grooming her students for piano competition, and today she is thankful for the rigorous scale work. However, because of the constant pressure to compete and to perform so precisely to the unyielding structure of sheet music, she had lost all desire to play and stopped when she reached the age of 16, and focused on her other childhood dream - dance.
However, her attempts in the dance world were sporadic. After almost 25 years later, many life lessons, deeper healing and spiritual influences, she finally returned to the piano for catharsis mostly due to our wonderful digital era. It was with the new capacity to play a musical instrument in complete privacy with headphones which allowed her creative side to secretly reemerge and avoid critique. Today, she is with abandoned freedom to compose music from her heart as an open window to the Universe. What has become most important to her as an artist now is no longer based on technique, but on a soul level, expressing her deepest truths.
Having come full circle, Kathryn says in her words, “I feel blessed and honored for the opportunity to raise awareness through my personal journey of hope, heartache, healing, and faith. We can always choose a more peaceful path to relate to each other. Violence in any form is a devastating force, yet wars continue in our lives each day, personally and globally. My wish is that through my music, harmony may somehow be inspired, that by reaching out with our hearts and letting go of our egos, a new understanding might evolve, that we may learn to respect each other in spite of our fears, differences or beliefs, and finally let go of the need to be ‘right’ – because we are, after all, interconnected as one family of humankind.