Glimmerings Elika Mahony 2012 / Pro Soul Alliance 43.2 minutes
"Glimmerings" is a collection of original piano instrumental pieces composed and improvised by Elika Mahony, a vocalist, composer, pianist, and artist who currently makes her home in China. Calling herself a world citizen, her parents are from Iran, she was born in the US and raised in Kenya, and she has also lived in Israel and Hong Kong. Elika studied classical piano from the age of five and started composing instrumental music in college. She also began singing and setting Baha’i writings to music at that time. Of the twelve pieces on "Glimmerings," some were composed more than ten years ago while others were created “on the spot” as the inspiration came. The album tells the story of a soul’s spiritual journey, “of glimmerings and confirmations along the path of search” - a path that is not without its twists and turns. Some of these pieces are solo piano and others include Elika’s voice and Bo Peng’s soulful cello. The music is often passionate and compelling and sometimes quiet and more reflective. Elika’s classical training is apparent, but this is music that is timeless yet very rooted in the present.
"Glimmerings" begins with “Commencement,” a graceful piano solo that conveys the hope and optimism of a fresh start as well as a little bit of the fear of the unknown. I really like “Awakening,” which feels like soul searching but also suggests moving forward despite any obstacles. The title track introduces Elika’s wordless vocals, creating a passionate duet for voice and piano. “Dawning” is another favorite with its sense of urgency and beautiful flow. “Daybreak” is a quiet, soothing, and very peaceful piano solo that becomes more vibrant as it evolves, describing the colors of the sky at sunrise. “Reflection” hints at Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and then goes in an entirely different direction, but the passion and beauty of the piece are similar to the classical master’s - also a favorite. I love the combination of piano and cello, and the duet of “Realization” conveys a mournful sadness and regret that touches the soul. “Evanescence” begins peacefully, expressing longing and becoming more intense as it builds to a passionate outburst of deep emotion, then tapering off. “Final Journey” is a heartfelt duet for piano and cello that was composed on the day Elika’s mother-in-law passed away. This lovely and loving piece is sad, but also hopeful - more like a “so long” than a “goodbye.” I really like this one, too!
"Glimmerings" is a wonderful introduction to this composer’s music! I am not yet familiar with her other four albums, but this one is a beauty! It is available from www.elikamahony.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more