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Album Review: Finding Forever
Sarah Dukes
Cover image of the album Finding Forever by Sarah Dukes
Finding Forever
Sarah Dukes
2011 / Sarah Dukes
43 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Finding Forever is the debut album from Sarah Dukes, a young composer/pianist from New York who completed the fourteen piano solos on this album by the time she graduated from high school. The album was recorded in 2011 by pianist, composer, and director Yaron Gershovsky since Ms Dukes feared she would not be able to perform the music perfectly. A North Carolina native, Dukes started playing the piano at six years old and composed her first song when she was eight. She was classically-trained until the age of eighteen and went on to study music at New York’s Yeshiva University. A self-taught composer, her music has won a number of awards, is featured in several documentaries by Jewish Educational Media, and is played on a variety of internet radio stations. Melodic and flowing, her music shows a remarkable maturity for one so young. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from and about Sarah Dukes - hopefully very soon!

Finding Forever begins with “Star Catcher,” a dreamy piece with a gentle energy and a warm sense of optimism. “Wings of a Butterfly” is light, graceful and a little bit wistful. “Tomorrow’s Dream” looks to the future with wonder and anticipation. The title track reminds me of being in my later teens and wondering what life was going to bring - so many unknowns, decisions, and hopefully adventures! I really like this piece! “Up Towards Heaven” is a bit more dramatic and mysterious, and I really like the intensity of the deep bass passages. “Reflection” is another highlight with its rolling left hand broken chords and a passionate melody that comes from the heart. “The Memory That Lives On” is dark and turbulent, expressing intense emotion. Gently optimistic, “Rays of Hope” evokes images of beams of sunlight shining through dark clouds. The fervent “If Only” expresses a wide range of emotions that flow effortlessly and spontaneously, almost like a conversation with a trusted friend. “Dreams Can Come True” seems to offer warm-hearted encouragement. “A Breath of Fresh Air” is just that. Warm, open and soothing, it’s a lovely way to end this very promising first effort.

Since it has been five years since this album was released, I am anxiously looking forward to hearing what Sarah Dukes has been working on in the interim! Finding Forever is available from sarahdukesmusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
January 16, 2016
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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