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Album Review: Forget Me Not
Kayka Yano
Cover image of the album Forget Me Not by Kayka Yano
Forget Me Not
Kayka Yano
2024 / Kayla Yano
35 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Forget Me Not is the first full-length instrumental album from pianist/composer Kayka Yano. The eight original tracks on the album are mostly solo piano, and a few have light strings as well. In her childhood, the New York City-based artist developed a love for beautiful instrumental music with wind-up dolls and music boxes that played classical music. She started piano lessons at the age of 8 and continued to study classical music into her early twenties. In her teens, she also started playing the guitar and singing. Kayka spent many years playing rock music as a singer/songwriter as well as performing in cover bands and acoustic acts. She continued to play the piano, but mostly at home for her own enjoyment. As time went on, Kayka discovered the music of artists such as Ludovico Einaudi which eventually led her to start composing her own pieces as well as making and posting videos that featured her original compositions. She released her first single, "Snowfall" in late 2023.

Forget Me Not begins with "Courage," a piece that expresses strength and determination as well tenderness and sensitivity. Courage itself comes in many forms, and this piece gets that point across very well. "Finally Free" seems to tell a story. Some parts of the story are lively and upbeat while others are a bit darker and more turbulent. The title track is a piece for piano with ambient string washes in the background. It has several themes that flow together as they express a variety of emotions. I really like the feeling of this piece, and it's my favorite track on the album. "You and Me" conveys a gentle kind of happiness and contentment - light and optimistic. "Distant Longing" also weaves several themes together to create a colorful tapestry of moods and feelings - some light and some on the darker side. The animated and carefree "Afternoon Tea" feels much like catching up with friends and/or family with some tea and tasty goodies to share! This one also has strings in the background. Looking back on the past can be bittersweet and poignant, but "Reminiscence" expresses happy memories and joyful moments. Lively and rhythmic, it gets my toes to tapping every time I hear it! The album comes to a close with "Sanctuary of Sorrow," a piece for piano and strings. As the title suggests, the piano expresses deep, passionate emotions that the strings enhance and emphasize. It's a lovely ending for an impressive first album!

Forget Me Not is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and many streaming sites including Spotify. Check it out!
June 5, 2024
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