Kerani is Dutch composer who won ZMR Awards for “Best Neoclassical Album of the Year” in 2014 and 2018. Her new album, Sands of Time, was inspired by Greek mythology. Each song reflects the beautiful powers that swirl around human life – love wisdom, beauty, and light. Kerani performs on keyboard and synth and is backed by a live string ensemble, a vocalist and other musical guests playing guitar and flute, and a vocalist.

The album opens with the title track “Sands of Time.” The song opens gradually into a slow, stately symphonic texture with keyboard leads and strings. Vocal tracks fill out the texture midway. This song was inspired by the notion of being conscious in the present moment and appreciating life’s blessings. Track 2: Shores of Gold transitions into a delicate song with a descending scale on piano anchoring the ambient instrumental textures surrounding it. A guitar adds airy pulsing of the melodic elements. Track 3: When the Night Comes was inspired by the moments before falling asleep and drifting into relaxation, supplemented by guest artist Max Jeschek on guitar. This lullaby has a soothing, tranquil melody with lacy textures. Track 4: Echoes of the Past is a reminder that the past makes us who we are. Each person keeps moving forward but can tap into senses and memories. A flute trades melodic material with the keyboards.

In Track 5: Endless Skies, an electric guitar opens with the introductory melody. The theme is soaring and rising above mundane life, and features ethereal vocals and string accompaniment. Track 6 – 7 is a The Touch of Love-Prelude and the main song with that title. The inspiration is from one of the later Greek creation stories. Eros created the cosmos but realized something was missing. He shot arrows to Earth and forests, animals and humans started to appear. The prelude begins with the sound of ocean waves and a growing surge of sound. The main song replicates this structure. A slow piano theme opens and is gradually accompanied by more and more instruments. The music swells to a dramatic climax midway and then shifts to developmental motifs. The musical theme is resolved; ocean waves return as the song fades out. Track 8: The Philosopher is a musical dialog reflecting verbal discussions. One melodic phrase answers another. Track 9: Moments of Beauty is a chorale-type piece.  Track 10: Road to Wisdom is a march in minor mode, reflecting the process of going through trials and difficulties to gain wisdom. There’s extensive development of musical ideas (6:45 min). Track 11: Muse ends the album with a song about sources of inspiration. It’s in a major mode and feels more hopeful and buoyant after the previous piece.  

This is a lovely album. The music is gentle and slow and most of the tracks feature a lead piano melody. The themes behind the songs make this a collection of inspirational music to lift the spirit and senses.

Artist: Kerani
September 2020
Kerani Music Studio
11 tracks, 61 minutes. CD $16.03, mp3 $9.49