My first review of 2023 is a beautiful solo piano album by Croatian pianist/composer/educator Nina Feric. People, Places, Moments
is the first album where she is both the composer and the performer, and the fourteen original tracks reflect on a variety of moods and life experiences. The album was awarded the Bronze Medal from The Global Music Awards for December 2022 - the first of many awards, I'm sure! Nina's record label, Big Round Records, very accurately describes the album: "Feric’s compositions often alternate between lighter and darker moments, while the use of modulation and chromatics give the melodies a certain dose of playfulness. Thoughtfully composed and masterfully conveyed through a single piano, the main message behind Feric’s music speaks clearly and warmly throughout: a positive outlook on the future and the joy of living." I think we could all use a healthy dose of that! Also, there are gorgeous music videos for all fourteen tracks on Nina's YouTube channel
Nina Feric was born in Zagreb, Croatia and began her musical studies at the age of six. Her very impressive bio/resumé includes a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Music Academy of the University of Zagreb and a Postgraduate Course in Music Disciplines at DAMS in Bologna, Italy. She has won numerous prizes, awards, and scholarships, and has performed in a large number of concerts, recitals and festivals all over the world. An expert in the area of cinematic music, Nina has performed in dozens of recitals and concerts to honor Enrico Morricone and is recognized as an expert on his vast body of work. She has also arranged the film music of Nino Rota, Hans Zimmer, Henry Mancini, Yann Tiersen, Nicola Piovani, Luis Bacalov, and Aaron Zigman and performed various cinematic music programs and concerts all over Europe. Nina is also widely known as the creator of the educational project, “English in Music,” which is included in the school curriculum in several European countries. I could go on and on, so if you're interested in learning more about this amazing artist, be sure to read her bio
People, Places, Moments
begins with "Walk With Me," a light-hearted and gently energetic invitation that weaves together a variety of themes exploring various aspects of life, much like long walks and conversation with friends do - a very promising start! "Marta's Song" expresses the sweetness and innocence of childhood with much of the piece played in the upper octaves of the piano keyboard. The peaceful and contented feelings within "Sunday Theme" effectively convey the warmth and relaxation of a lazy day when nothing of importance needs to be done. "Over & Beyond" begins with very dark, dramatic tones that are almost ominous, and gradually brightens to more optimistic themes. In "Jure & The Sea," the expressive melody tells a story without words while the left hand emulates the movement of the ocean's waves. And what a charming story it is! "Lighthouse" seems to express feelings of solitude and grace tinged with a bit of loneliness. Gentle and very spare, that beacon of light stands watch, always ready when needed. Dark and very intense, "Cosmic" goes in an entirely different direction. "You" feels like a love song - pure, simple and heartfelt. "Tomorrow" brings the album to a close with a dreamy, peaceful sense of optimism that assures that everything will be okay.
People, Places, Moments
is a wonderful introduction to the music of Nina Feric, and I look forward to many more albums from her in the future! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, streaming sites like Spotify and many more. Be sure to give it a listen!