Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Krysia Kocjan

Hi, I'm Krysia's husband, Rob. On another blog here called Time Has Told Me, there have been a number of very kind and thoughtful posts over the past several months relating to Krysia's life, her music and the fact that she died this past February. She was only 53 years old when she passed. Over the past couple of days, I've been trying to post to Time Has Told Me unsuccessfully, so I thought I would start this blog about Krysia and her music here.

Krysia was variously a folk singer, a singer songwriter, and something of a rocker who had an absolutely amazing voice. She grew up in Scotland outside of Glasgow and was one of the original founding members of the Natural Acoustic Band. She also put out one eponymously titled solo album in the early 70s and did a lot of recording and touring with Al Stewart. In her musical career, she was variously known as Krysia Kocjan and Krysia Kristianne, and her married name was Krysia Kocjan-Haber. I have seen posts and searches under all of these three names.

She was a strong and beautiful spirit, and her music and lyrics were often infused with a sense of the mystical. This mystical sensibility was always beautifully counterbalanced by her sense of humor and mischief. She had a sense of what is sacred in life and a deep fascination with what lies underneath things, but she never fell into the trap that a lot of people can fall into of taking herself too seriously. Combined with her intelligence, her charm, her beauty, and her amazing singing voice and musical talent, she was really quite something in my opinion.

I'm just doing a quick post today to get the ball rolling. I wanted to let people know that I have been going through her music over the past few months, and I would like to make some of it available to those of you who have been looking for it. Her solo album from the early 70s has long been out of print, and due to a number of health problems, Krysia never recorded or performed as much as her talent warranted.

I would eventually like to do a small website related to her life and music and also a compilation CD. I'd like to sell the CD for whatever the fair price for a CD is these days -- $15 or $20 -- and put all the proceeds towards one of the causes that Krysia supported while she was alive. She had a lifelong interest in Tibetan Buddhism among other things, and she always donated whatever she could to helping Tibetan refugees, Tibetan nuns, etc. I think Krysia would really like that her music was somehow still going out into the world and having a positive effect like that.

The number of people who are looking for Krysia's music is small, so such a venture probably wouldn't raise a ton of money, but that's okay too, I guess. I'd also really just like to put her music out there. She was damn good in my opinion, and her music and voice deserve to be heard.

So... if anyone has any ideas about where/how I could post a couple of MP3 files for people, that would be a good start. I have some MP3 versions of songs from the Krysia album, which I would like to make available for free to whoever is interested. My stepbrother found a copy of the LP on the internet. He played it on a turntable and digitized the output. In other words, you will hear a lot of the pops, etc. from the record on these versions, but Krysia's voice shines through.

I know some of you would really like to have some of her music, and I don't see why that shouldn't be made available to people.

So write with suggestions please. I'll try to post some photos on this blogsite soon.

Thanks,

Rob

32 comments:

Scion said...

Rob,

Who currently holds the rights to her solo album - still RCA?

The Natural Acoustic Band stuff is out on CD albeit as an (expensive) import.


SCION

DontUseThis said...

Rob,

Thank you for this. My thoughts have been with you and Krysia over the last two years since learning that her cancer had recurred. I will post again when I am ready.

Please know that every time I breathe in to start to sing, I am mindful of many things I learned from Krysia and often am conscious and mindful of her.

Warmly,

Ruthanne Williams Roussel

kaneix said...

I would certainly be interested in obtaining any CD you put out there Rob. And I know others here in Scotland who knew her 'way back then would like to hear it too.

All the best,

Allan

Allan said...

My friend Alan Jamie has some master tapes from the early days recording in London. He asked me to tell you he's happy to make them available to you.

Allan

DrTim said...

Tears fill my eyes as I write, I played "Lament" from a "Celtic Tale" at my 22 y/o son's funeral. Krysia has a voice of an angel, I hope her voice greets me at my next level after this plane. Rob, you have my deepest thoughts and you were lucky to have Krysia in your life. Her music will live on in my life.

Steve said...

I loved Krysia's voice ever since I heard it on Al Stewart's Past Present & Future. She sang on a lot of his unreleased recordings, and I have the Shot In The Dark recording. I would also love to have some of her recordings.
I was very sad to hear of her passing.

Kurt said...

Hi Rob,
Just curious as to if you ever got a website up and running for Krysia.
If so,I would like to have a link to it.
Thanks.

philandjen said...

We saw Krysia (with the band) in Gravesend in 1971 if I remember exactly, at the Woodville Halls. We have been lifelong fans.

We just bought the CD of Learning to Live and Branching In from Amazon for silly money. Our vinyl versions are scratched and worn out as is our deck...

The two albums have haunted me all through our recent trip to Corfu and even now I have Free rattling round in my head. Maybe I wanted her children more than yours... or the colour of her voice in the evening...

Can't believe she has gone. What a terrible loss.

Phil

Steve J. said...

I am very sorry to hear that Krysia passed away last year. I took voice lessons from her in OR for about a year until I moved to CA. Krysia was one of those people you meet and never forget. She was a very interesting person to be around and a wonderful teacher, no nonsense but patient. To this day, whenever I learn a new song I hear her voice telling me to project, enunciate clearly and hit the note directly. Rob, I'm very sorry for your loss. I would gladly purchase any CD you put together.

philandjen said...

We adored Krysia. Had we had girls one would have been called Krysia. (We had boys)

We were teenagers when Natural Acoustic Band came to Gravesend. "First boy ever did love me... Fingertip patterns, way way way down low......"

Well that was Phil with Jen and 36 years later we are still together (with a vengeance.)

We were just married when we sat at Woodville Halls in Gravesend but 36 years later we stayed at Anna Studios in Arillas Corfu with Natural Acoustic Band on CD. It haunted me. I went to sleep with Free, Subway Cinderella, All I want is Your Love... ringing in my ears.

We even watched Tom and Robin try to keep it all together after Krysia moved on. We had sincerely hoped they would succeed but without her they were lost. Consummate musicians but it wasn't the same without Krysia.

Her voice was special. It was made up of technical expertise combined with the real gift of a great sound. Like Freddy Mercury the world has lost a magnificent trained and gorgeous voice. It is such a shame she never made the top league. Krysia deserved to.

Phil

prinzkurt said...

I was wondering if there is any video footage of Krysia or while she was in the Natural Acoustic Band?I would love to see it if there is.
I am a vinyl enthusiast who has her solo lp and both of the Natural Acoustic Band lp's.
She had such a beautiful voice.

Quaestor said...

What lovely, moving posts. I saw the NAB on a magical evening at Eltham in the early 70s when they were supporting Ralph McTell and I bought "Echoes" as a single. Krysia had a wonderful voice and unforgettable stage presence -I have often thought of her over the years and wondered how her career developed. Has anything happened with Rob bringing out a collection of her music?

Allan said...

I still think of Krysia very often and think back to the mid to late sixties when she lived among us. We are still here in Milngavie (Millguy) Krysia ~ but it was never quite the same after you left for America. And now you have left all of us. But not from our hearts...

mox said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.
In the 60/70's I was a session musician - Harmonica & Flutes -If my memory serves me well, then I played on her solo album.
Moxie

Kurt said...

Hi Mox,
Yes,your memory is spot on.
On my lp it says Mox: Flute
Just got done listening to You Should Have Been A Painter.What a great song!

Soul of John said...

I loved the Nautural Accoustic Band in the early 70's. Still got both LP's and have just found them on amazon and ordered them again! I loved Krysias voice......very evocative of beauty in music. If you do make he CD count me in! Bless her for leaving such a fabulous memory. she sounds to be been a very special lady.

mox said...

Well then if I am on it , I'd love to have a copy for my archives !

Kurt said...

My favorite album by the Natural Acoustic album is Learning to Live.The whole album is good.

Allan said...

Living in Milngavie where Krysia grew up, only two minutes walk from where she lived adn remembering her beautiful elfin presence so well from the mid to late sixties I still think of her very often. She was one of the loveliest people I ever met and could ever hope to meet. I know my friends here still miss her very much. When she left for America she left a hole in our hearts.

I'll never forget her voice which was amazing and coming as it did from her tiny frame it was all the more impressive. There was so much power, emotion and longing in that voice, it was amazing.

I feel privileged to have known her and will never forget her.

Allan

Soul of John said...

Well the CD of "Learning to live" (fabulous on first time thro again) and "Branching in" (not got there yet, playing learning to live again!) arrived from amazon today! Now I am transported back to the early 70's and such beauty..and the second song "sometimes I could believe in you" I really thought was "sometimes I could be leaving you"...but now I have the lyrics too.....a great booklet with the package really brings it alive....so pure joy!

Thanks again Krysia for the emotion and depth that is your voice...where does it all come from? I guess you know all the answers now....

philandjen said...

Jen found the Youtube posts of Krysia singing traditional poetry and verses like The Lady of Shallot. (Sorry if I got the spelling wrong.) We have spent all week listening. Her voice haunts us, it was so special. As I write Jen has just fired up Youtube.

You loved her Rob, but so did we. And we probably miss her as muc as you do.

Phil and Jen

Engineer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Engineer said...

Hi, I'm so sorry for your loss.
My name is Richard Dodd
I was the recording engineer on the solo album produced by Del Newman in the '70 at Nova Sound, Marble Arch, London. I heard a voice on the radio (Sandy Denny) which prompted me to research Krysia
If you are able to track down the original masters it would be my pleasure to re master them for you at no cost so that you can have CDs produced.
My very best regards,
Richard

John said...

Rob

My brother remembers Krysia from the early seventies. He and his wife were on the folk scene in London working under the name Brown Reynard. Krysia and Shelagh McDonald used to visit their flat for tea and cake. Brown Reynard got the occasional gig supporting NAB at that time.

John

Daniel S. Duvall said...

I'd love to hear her solo album. Any chance of a CD version?

Michiel said...

Hi Rob,

Maybe you can make her music available through such websites as Grooveshark.
It's legal, free and people can hear her music, without having to download.


Kind regards, Michiel (Netherlands)

Michael Irwin said...

Rob,

I have her solo LP and, while playing it a few minutes ago to introduce my wife to Krysia's beautiful voice, searched online for her name, only to find news of her death four years ago.

I'm so sorry! Like many others I heard her first with Al Stewart, and then found the LP. I have always loved her voice - it's been a recording to turn to in the bleaker moments of my life for comfort, as well as to have fun with.

Did you ever gather her recordings? I'd happily buy some copies!

Mike

michelavazzana said...

Hi there, My name is Michela, I'm from Italy, I met in person Krisia in '94 at Al Stewart's home in Bel Air... Being a fan of Al I know her since '76....Very nice person... You could put the songs on SOUNDCLOUD, it's for free, and to make an album you should try to contact some of Al's musicians, or his manager Steve Chapman. I'm sure they'll be happy to help you, all in all she REALLY deserve it... Love, Rob.
Michela

David said...

Just got my turntable fixed and dug out some old vinyl. I remember NAB from the Ralph McTell tour in the seventies and they were superb, especially the vocals. I'm listening to the first NAB album," Learning to Live" , and the singing is really fabulous. I was just searching the web for any history and so sorry to hear of Krysia's passing.

murn1 said...

I seem to have started a Facebook group called simply Krysia Kocjan.. really I was just thinking about it and seeing what the procedure would be, and now it seems to be there ! So if anyone wants to post anything in future, please feel free ! - Neil Murray.

James Peterson said...

Sad to hear of Krysia's passing. Very gracious of you to put up this blog. I'd love to hear her music again and would gladly purchase a compilation as well as her solo album, Natural Acoustic Band or any thing that can be found. Grief is a long strange thing, my thoughts are with you, Rob.

Peri said...

I think that Krysia sining on do it yourself by Heron on the album Diamond of Dreams. Great stuff.