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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.