Thursday, June 20, 2019

Album Review: Small Treasures by Kerani

Fresh off the heels of her highly-acclaimed Stardust album, Belgian-born composer Kerani stunningly impresses again with her follow-up release titled Small Treasures, which offers ten musical gems full of storybook charm. While her previous three albums were based upon distinctly thematic concepts, Small Treasures is a comparatively more intimate work that unfolds like a poetic narrative of both personal reflection and mythic imagination. In fact, the CD booklet not only includes some of Kerani’s favorite poetry, it also reveals her talent as an equally gifted painter, with her artwork beautifully adorning its pages.

Conveying an air of dreamy romance, Small Treasures seemingly transports the listener to another time and place located somewhere in the past, often evoking halcyon visions of mist-filled gardens and northern seas.

In familiar fashion Kerani interweaves piano, synthesizers and classical orchestration wherein she’s joined by a string quartet of violin, viola and cello. The result includes such lovely compositions as “Fields of Hungary”, “Where the Heart Belongs” and “Echo of Souls”, which perfectly exemplifies Kerani’s signature ‘neoclassical new age’ sound. Likewise, she revisits the Far East theme of “Fragrant Mountain” from her Equilibrium album with a piece called “Sakura”, which features master world flutist Ron Korb on Japanese flute.

Perhaps most noteworthy this time around is Kerani’s novel incorporation of gorgeous Celtic motifs which grace two of my favorite pieces. This includes the mysterious opener “Temple of Roses”, featuring the delicate ethereal vocals of Chanele McGuinness whose softly-sung lyrics are set to a magical wintry soundscape. Likewise is the processional “Celtic Mystery”, which bears a lovely touch of whimsical Irish flute and enchanting spoken word.

One of Kerani’s greatest musical inspirations is legendary Greek composer Vangelis. Although her alluring arrangements and melodies often boast strong parallels to his work, she is indisputably a first-rate composer who shines in her own light.

Another seminal work from this ever-impressive artist, Small Treasures will especially appeal to many fans of Vangelis (I was often particularly reminded of his mid-90s classic Voices) as well as pique the interest of those who enjoy Enya, Secret Garden and others in that realm! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.