It began with a painting, moved to a poem and finalised in an album of the most exquisite music created to date, from Belgium composer Kerani, in a very personal offering of understated magic, Small Treasures. Noted as a composer of broad, sweeping landscape style pieces, this delicate and gently emotive collection is perfection.
Irish singer songwriter Chanele McGuinness introduces the charming collection, as she sings the delightfully written stanzas of the Temple of Roses, a poem by American lyric poet Sarah Teasdale (1884-1933), devoted to love and romance with the original title of ‘A Fantasy’.
A string quartet formed from members of Andrea Rieu’s orchestra, accompany Kerani on piano in the nostalgic Fields of Hungary, written to pay homage to her parent’s Hungarian background. Inspired by the poetry of Petofi Sandor (1823-1849), the piece rises and falls, charms and intrigues, with the melody carried by concert flute played by Helen Hendriks, adding a lovely dimension to this song.
Ron Korb contributes his brilliance on Japanese Flute in Sakura, a 700-year-old renga written by Monk Kusai, describing the seasonal and yet fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom, providing the inspiration for this exotic, dainty and flowing offering.
Oscar Wilde’s description of his love for a beautiful woman in the piece Fantasy in White has now become a light piano piece interwoven with the delicate touches of the string quartet, which fits perfectly to the sentiment; ‘Her ivory hands on the ivory keys Strayed in fitful fantasy……..’
Chanele McGuiness once again adds her dulcet tones to Celtic Mystery accompanied by Isaac ‘les’ Muller on Irish flute, with wordless vocals contributed Davina Van der Zee, which perfectly portrays the evocativeness of the Irish and Ireland. A long introduction simply sets the scene for the invocation from druid Amairgin in ‘Song of Amhairghin’, a beautiful and traditional blessing.
Classic flute ushers in the refreshingly lovely Garden of Dreams, enhanced by the singular beauty of the violin, to create a lovely reflective piece, which is followed by Where the Heart Belongs, written by Kerani at the age of fourteen years and only now put to an orchestral score.
Brazilian guitar, played by Carla Maffioletti, sets the mood for the Echo of our Souls, based on the poem ‘A Lovers Call xxvii’ from the romantic poet Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931); a man who was a poet, artist and considered as somewhat of a political and literary rebel: there could be a definite connection discovered here between Gibran and Kerani! A sweeping, hauntingly beautiful piece, reminiscent of Kerani’s recent album Arctic Sunrise.
Kerani’s mother, Ruff Roza (1935-2015) left a legacy of charming poetry, one of which, To The Heavens, has been used to form the reflective piece for orchestra and piano, enchanted with wordless vocals, which is a gloriously rich tribute to the love of her parents and their lives together.
Reflections of the Heart draw this outstanding collection to a finale, a piece once again inspired by a poem from Spanish Poet Antonio Machado (1875-1939) who feared he may be running out of inspiration, when he asks the poignant question “Has my heart gone to sleep………………..’. This piece may be familiar as it was originally as a 27 minute long piece, ‘Reflections’, for her mediative album ‘Wings of Comfort’, and has now been remastered as shorter orchestral piece, full of beauty and life.
A small booklet accompanies the CD with the snippets of poetry used as the inspirations overlaying a collection of paintings from Kerani as the background.
Regardless of which format you choose to enjoy this singularly beautiful work, as simple music designed to enchant and refresh, or as a music video, the work can only be considered as subtle, sensitive, intimate, presenting a very endearing perspective of this talented musician and her work.
Small Treasures rated 5th on the influential New Age Music Charts for October, only days after the release and could well be destined to be an award winner.