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Small Treasures by Kerani
- posted by Lillian on 1/8/2019
KERANI ONE OF THE TOP NEW AGE MUSICIANS

KERANI PROVES AGAIN TO BE ONE OF THE TOP NEW AGE MUSICIANS

Kerani -- whose last album, STARDUST, went to #1 on the prestigious international Top 100 Zone Music Reporter Chart for contemporary instrumental music -- returns with her most personal collection of original material, SMALL TREASURES. This new recording features more of her piano performance than ever before, and was inspired by poetry, history, ancestry, dreams and fantasies. This almost-completely-acoustic album has her piano backed with a real string quartet plus a variety of top flutists and the occasional solo violin or acoustic guitar or wordless vocalization. This is her sixth album. Based in The Netherlands, Kerani in recent years has become recognized globally as one of the top composers, arrangers and performers in the genres of new age and neo-classical. This is absolutely gorgeous music, extremely melodic, with stunning arrangements.
Rating: Excellent
SINDHU by Caro Pampillo
- posted by R J Lannan on 1/3/2019
Aqua Pura
Caro Pampillo
Sindhu
Aqua Pura
Water is the life giver, the nourisher, the source of many of our beliefs. The theme for musician Caro Pampillo’s new album is water. Sindhu is the Sanskrit word that can mean ocean, river, and rain. All varieties of water. Pampillo’s eight mantra album offers up humble and loving prayers to Water. From actress to musician Caro Pampillo believes that water plays an essential part not only in her life, but in all life. Caro wrote the music for the album as well as co-producing it. The music is a blend of New Age and World genres with a few others making an appearance. Overall the compositions are smooth and at the same time energetic. Hidden in there are some loves song, but more about that later. Joining Pampillo on Sindhu are Mario Siperman, Lucas Villemur, Christian Tomas, Javier Pomposiello, Gabriel Roca, Diego Gago, Dave Norwood, and Gary “Dov” Gertzweig.
Om Namah Shivaya begins with a deep breath, a single note, and a bell in the background. Pampillo’s sweet voice sings this mantra in a soft and gentle manner, but you can feel her restrained exuberance in the song. It is as if she wants to burst forth with her strong belief at any second. As in most of the songs, there is an overall message of peace.
The greeting of peace and calm are matched with the sound of the known universe in the song Om Shanti. Keyboard, guitar, and quiet percussion join in a warm entreaty. One of my favorites on Sindhu is called I Shin Den Shin. It is completely understandable that we take great ideas from one place and use them in others. The words actually come from an old Chinese proverb, used by Japanese culture, and they are handed to us like a gift. It means “To speak by heart to heart” or “to speak to mind, from mind.” In other words, to speak without actually using words. Pampillo’s song is a tender message of acknowledgment from one soul to another.
Om Mani Padme Om is a love song. I can hear Caro’s love of her Gods and for her world. There is a deep, sensual element in the song that is translated as love for all. With the wind blowing, the voices rise into the heavens in the song Gate Heart Mantra. The gate in this instance is to your heart. All you need do is open it and the world will coming flowing to you. Understanding will come into your heart. This is another gentle song with Caro’s compassionate voice and her dreamy music. OM has purring in it. What I think is the purring of a cat and the toll of a single bell opens the tune OM. The music is quite dramatic. The intro builds, the echoing vocal commences, and with the violin, swirls in and out of the music. This is an ambient tune full of drifting sounds, breathy whispers, and sensual hums.
Signos de Amar or Signs of Love is sung both in English and Spanish, Pampillo’s lingua maternal. It is a dynamic song with a lot of rises in the vocal and Caro does a fine job. Love is definitely all around us according to Caro’s dynamic ballad. And so is water. We are water. We need water. We worship water. But I understand from Caro Pampillo’s album that love flows like water. Caro’s voice is light and sincere in every cut. I liked the album and I look forward to hearing more from this artist and learning more about her ideals.
Rating: Very Good +
Little Red Boat by Mary Lydia Ryan
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 12/21/2018
A delightful sun kissed album
I had been desperate of some much needed ambience this morning, the world and its news is a turbulent place these days, so a sanctuary in music was the ideal plan to make happen. I found that doorway to solitude and calm through the refrains of one of the most beautiful solo piano albums I have heard for some time, namely Little Red Boat by Mary Lydia Ryan.
From the moment we pushed away from the dock I found a most charming narrative indeed, the title track Little Red Boat manifested such a smooth and peaceful refrain it soothed my soul, the musical story told here is so very redolent of being on an actual boat, and one that has such a sweet melody to accompany you too.
As we drift slowly down the stream of this musical voyage we come across a delightful opus called Woman In The Moon. I have heard many charming piano based pieces in my time, but this now must be added to that “A” list, here we have a glistening track that has such a fluent performance within, the tones paint a picture of night, gazing up at a full moon and watching images change, perhaps even the face of a woman in the moon appears!
I have spent many an hour on boats on one description or another, and it must be said that I absolutely adore albums on the subject, here on Floating On A Gentle Breeze we have just that, the artist has such a wonderful way of painting with music, that it draws us into the narrative with ease and here we are, listening to Mary Lydia Ryan as we float gently upon that warming summer breeze, idyllic and perfect in every way.
The tempo picks up on this next piece called The Joy of Ten Knots. I used to live in an old English fishing village, and each Sunday the visitors during the summer would come down to the coast to sail their boats, I would watch them navigate the sand banks and drag themselves into the flow of a helpful breeze, this composition is a perfect soundtrack for that. It is rare to hear a pianist with such an excellent standard of musical description, but in Mary Lydia Ryan we have just that.
There was something truly to admire about this next offering entitled In Wonder. It had a timeless feel to its construction, one could truly imagine floating down a small river on our journey and coming across some of the most marvellous countryside ever and we would drift simply in wonder.
As we glide towards the half way marker of the album we come across a little cove, here we can hear the artist perform an almost cinematic offering called Sailing This Sea Alone. The sense of sailing on the ocean is incredibly peaceful and brings one back to the true realities of life, here the musician paints a graphic picture of a vista so blue, but also so vast, a slight ethic of wonder can be found here, and the feeling of a deep sense of solitude as well, a superb performance indeed.
How Did I End Up Here is a composition that is perhaps an open ended question. The journey could have taken us to a place we never expected to reach, or life’s journey may have taken us on a path that we had not realised would happen. Regardless of which story you turn the page on, the artist really creates a colourful description that allows us the listener to make up our minds through both the major and minor refrains of this most clever composition.
There is nothing like a little Gentle Sunshine, we have that right now outside our studio window and we’re grateful as it is deep midwinter, this melody and arrangement is a real light hearted moment of happiness and one that fits my mood perfectly as well.
Now it’s time for a dedication, as this next piece is entitled Waltz Under The Sun (Kevin’s Song). This for me, has the energy of a celebration, one could feel a reality of pleasure and cheer within the construction of this offering; after all there is nothing quite like a good waltz is there?
Now here in Cyprus it is always exciting to watch the turtles swimming in the lapis seas, it’s a real sign of high summer, so on A Song About Sea Turtles we have the description of that moment in music to a tee. Through Mary’s performance and fluency we can actually watch their huge bodies rise and fall back into the depths of the ocean, in this most picturesque of offerings.
In the distance we can see our docking bay, but before we reach that point we have a gift from the artist, one more track, the penultimate one and called Sparkle Of My Soul. I found this easily the most uplifting piece on the release, this composition was brimming with enthusiasm and hope, and her performance it has to be said, sparkled with an abundance of clarity and happiness.
So let’s moor our little red boat as we now arrive at the final chapter of the album, and the one we finish with is entitled Ocean of My Soul. This at well over six minutes, is the longest offering of the album and one that is also probably the deepest in arrangement, the moody swell here is attractive and very graphic and once more has that feeling that could be classed as possible film score music. The smoothness and pristine quality of performance on piano here was very classy indeed, and the perfect way to leave what has been a truly fantastic album to have sailed upon.
Little Red Boat by Mary Lydia Ryan would win with ease an award for charm, if there was one, this has to be one of the most delightfully descriptive and sun kissed albums I have heard in the solo piano genre this year. Little Red Boat is an album that will lift your mood and soothe your soul and performed by an artist who clearly is in-touch with her muse. If you’re looking for an album packed with relaxing, but descriptive music, a warm and friendly narrative, performed with a skilful talent and produced with care and attention to details then this must be the album for you.
Rating: Excellent
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