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Album Review: Serenity
David Hicken
Cover image of the album Serenity by David Hicken
David Hicken
2013 / Enchanting Music
73 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
David Hicken burst on the music scene in 2007 with three incredible solo piano CDs in quick succession - Goddess, Angels, and Faeries - and then disappeared until very recently, emerging with one of the best Christmas albums I’ve ever heard, Carols of Christmas, and now a “best of” collection from his first three piano albums called Serenity. Born in England and classically-trained from the age of three through college, Hicken attended the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland from the age of seventeen. A virtuoso organist as well as an amazing pianist, Hicken founded The David Hicken School of Music a few years ago in Honolulu where he has a very full roster of students. In a 2008 interview we did, Hicken mentioned Kevin Kern and Michael Dulin as two of his favorite composer/pianists, and I really think if you like their music, you’ll love David Hicken’s as well. His mastery of the piano and sensitive touch are on a par with those two artists, as is the beauty of his music. Serenity contains a total of sixteen pieces for 1 1/4 hours of graceful, peaceful music. Six tracks come from Goddess, seven from Angels, and three from Faeries. A companion sheet music book is on its way!

All of the tracks on Serenity are worthy of mention, but with space constraints, I’ll talk about a few standouts. The album begins with “Celeste,” a gorgeous piece that conveys a delicate beauty as well as deep emotion - definitely a favorite! “Sekhemet” is a warm and softly energetic piece that expresses contentment and joy. “Saravati” is wistful and dreamy with just a touch of melancholy - another favorite. “Ellette” is completely different with strong feelings of mystery and tension. Played mainly up in the high end of the piano, the rapidly-alternating intervals are magical and sparkling - love it! I also love the graceful day-dream feeling of “Seraphina” - as warm and tranquil as a springtime nap in a meadow. “Aurora” is light and optimistic with a gentle melody that seems to dance on the piano keyboard. “Lakshmi” is another favorite with its simple melody and rolling broken chords - this would be a wonderful movie theme! The bright and intense “Shaylee” has an uncluttered melody within a flurry of notes that create a swirling effect - an amazing piece! “Sedna” ends the album with warmth and a tranquil grace that gently touches the heart.

Sure to be on my list of Favorite CDs for 2013, I’m so glad that David Hicken released Serenity to introduce his wonderful piano music to those who missed it the first time around and to remind the rest of us just how good that music is! Serenity is available from davidhicken.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. I give it my highest recommendation!
December 1, 2013
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Kathy's Favorites: 2013