Piano-Heaven Award Winner:

Faeries

David Hicken

Enchanting Music

2008

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In a musical world arguably saturated by relaxing piano albums, it takes something special for a listener to sit up and take notice. It would seem that David Hicken has the gift to make his listeners do just that. Not only is he able to create beautiful, melodic pieces of music, he is able to do it with a remarkable degree of consistency.

"Faeries" is the third installment in a themed trilogy of recordings from this Hawaiian-based composer. ‘A prolific composer’ would be an apt description of David Hicken, for this is his third release in under a year- the others being Goddess and Angels. "Faeries" features David's trademark gentle, melodic piano compositions, but the listener is also treated to more up-tempo tracks. Whilst many of the pieces retain their soporific feel, others have real energy about them and I very much enjoy this variety in his work.

This CD opens with Faylinn, which means Fairyland in the Celtic world. The composition's style is a cross between Kevin Kern and Bernward Koch. It's a delicate piece, played with grace and straight from the heart. A lovely start to the CD. This is followed by Rhoslyn (of Welsh origin, meaning ‘Lovely Rose’). This is more playful in form, and an image of a fairy dancing from flower to flower springs to mind. Lovely from start to finish, there is mischievousness and energy in this fairy- and this is conveyed by some sweeping notes and a more up-tempo feel.

The third track, Titania (of Greek Origin, meaning ‘Fairy Queen’) returns the listener to an altogether gentler world. David plays the piano with grace, and his playing of keys is like droplets of rain tickling the ivories.

Having listened to all three of David's recordings, "Faeries" is definitely the more energetic of his releases. Track 4, Oberon (‘King of the Faeries’) provides ample illustration of this. Oberon is dancing, playing and in high spirits- not to mention full of life. This is a fun piece for the listener. Ellette (‘Little Elf’) is a much gentler piece, perhaps suggesting the delicate nature of this individual. It is a very beautiful piece, and is music for drifting.

Track six, Rusalka (‘Mermaid / Wood Sprite’) epitomises the easy-going nature of the CD. As with every piece on this album, it is very accessible, and functions equally well as background music and the focus of the listener's attention.

It might well be Donella who features on the back cover of the CD as well as the album's seventh track. She is the dark-haired Elfin girl, and the music which represents her captures her beauty.

Alberich (‘A Dwarf’) is another gentle, heart-felt track reminiscent of the style of Kevin Kern. It's followed by Arethusa (‘Nymph’) which is my favourite track on the CD. Featuring a delightful melody, it is a perfect illustration of how David's aim of "creating and performing beautiful music that provides a sense of reflection, peace and harmony" (linear notes) has been fully realised with the release of this album.

Lorelle, track 10, is apparently ‘Elfin Laura’- and she certainly is a free-spirit. This is finger-tapping stuff and great fun as well. David's hands dance wildly on the piano in a way not heard on either of his other CDs. The pace is slowed for the album's penultimate track, Nerida (Aboriginal for ‘Flower’). It's as graceful as the title would suggest.

All good things have to come to an end, and so it is with this CD. The album's closing track is entitled Shaylee (of Celtic / Gaelic origin meaning ‘Fairy Princess of the Field’). It's quite an upbeat track. Shaylee is busy and always on the go. I enjoy this new side of David Hicken very much.

Faeries is an excellent album. David Hicken deserves a wide listening audience. His music is consistently of a high standard. Recording quality is excellent, and this album- along with his others- holds great melodic appeal. An interview with David Hicken is in the pipeline. In the meantime, be sure to check out his latest release. ‘Faeries’ is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Piano-Heaven Award.

S.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID HICKEN: Faeries

Faeries

David Hicken

 

 

David Hicken

 

 

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