The art of recorded music as a form of living mythology takes a renewed shape and focus in the 21st century on Sands Of Time—the seventh album by Holland’s esteemed keyboardist and composer Kerani. Although Sands Of Time is inspired by ancient Greek mythology and its lasting imprint on humans, the music of Kerani is a still unfolding story and her compositional genius is further revealed with stunning results on Sands Of Time. Released during the height of the global pandemic of 2020, Sands Of Time is a perfect sonic antidote for a war-weary world poised still on the precipice of the New Age that we all crave. In her 2020 interview for mwe3.com, Kerani explains, “I’m confident that we, humans, will have the wisdom to save the world well before it’s too late. All we need is collective consciousness. We need to connect with our inner-self, to become conscious of our lives and of our actions and their consequence.” A veritable sonic safe-haven featuring some of the finest musicians of the early 21st century, Sands Of Time is an epic recording of musical majesty that skillfully merges the time-honored traditions of classical music with the contemporary sound of instrumental New Age music. Fans of Kerani’s noteworthy catalog of previous recordings will find new inspiration and renewed hope for our planet on Sands Of Time.
mwe3.com presents the 2020 interview with KERANI
mwe3: Congratulations on your new album. I wanted to clarify if each of the tracks on Sands Of Time correlates to a certain deity in mythology and why you didn’t go into it deeper in the CD packaging?
Kerani: Sands Of Time was based on the story of creation according to Greek mythology. A few tracks do correlate to a deity. “When The Night Comes”, for instance refers to Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night. “The Touch Of Love” refers to the moment when Eros created life on Earth by firing his arrows deep into the earth. “The Philosopher” and “Road To Wisdom” refers to all the knowledge we have inherited from the great Greek thinkers such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, etc. I didn’t feel the need to elaborate on this in the CD package. I wanted the music to speak for itself.
mwe3: Can you give me some parameters about the Greek archetypes that affected the writing of certain tracks? “Endless Skies” is wonderful. Can you tell me if any specific inspired that track? It’s all very mysterious sounding.
Kerani: The ancient Greeks believed that in the beginning, the world was in a state of nothingness which they called Chaos. Suddenly, from ‘Light’ came Mother Earth and from her came the ‘Sky’ and the ‘Oceans’. And then, came the goddess of beauty Aphrodite. Everything in this story happens somewhere in the sky. The early Gods didn’t walk the earth; they created it from above. That is where “Endless Skies” found its seed and that is why it sounds mysterious.
mwe3: It's so orchestral sounding… I'm sure Sands Of Time is your best album yet. Did you set out to make a very strongly melodic album? Is that a trademark of the Kerani sound or could you work in a more ethereal and abstract style as well? Your sense of melodic invention must be expanding as this is the most mature-sounding album from you yet. How important is melody on this specific album or did it all just “pop”?
Kerani: Well, it certainly didn’t just “pop”! It took me 13 months to compose and orchestrate the pieces. Melody is very important for me as a composer. The flow, the intervals, the surprising chord progressions are my story. Over the years, I’ve become known for my distinct melodies. Some people claim to be able to recognize my songs by ear when listening to the radio. So, it’s clearly my forte. But I can equally work with a more ethereal and abstract style, although I find that less challenging.
mwe3: Would you say you have been influenced by composers from Holland? It's a very special sound indeed.
Kerani: I don’t know anything about Dutch music, to be honest. I was raised with the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and their peers. They are my biggest influence. If you analyze my orchestrations, you will hear a lot of details and elaborate counterpoint. I learnt that by listening to the classical masters.
mwe3: Writing this music, what was it about Greek mythology fascinated you the most? There's so much mythology in all the old countries, why Greek? Every track is a standout as there’s no less than brilliant moments.
Kerani: I chose Greek mythology for its human aspect. Contrary to other mythologies, the Greek gods have flaws. They sin against their own principles, they show human feelings like envy, anger and revenge. I find that very appealing as I didn’t want to “worship” any deity with my music.
mwe3: Can you offer another example of how you applied the imagery of the mythological archetype to the music? It’s so Mercurius! Did you say, everything is based on Greek mythology? What would the Romans say? lol There is so much to draw upon it boggles the mind. “The Ancient”…
Kerani: Oh dear…, this is very difficult to explain! For starters, I could have taken out the timpani and the big drums to describe the story of creation, but I chose not to. I’m a New Age composer who wanted to tell a powerful story in a delicate way. Therefore, I used melody with subtle cinematic elements to bring forward the imagery. The Roman Mercurius is the Greek Hermes, by the way! (lol)
mwe3: You are unique in some ways as your music always follows a concept of thought, especially of a historical nature. Having that added dimension to the album an important aspect of your music as there's more of a musical message in the meaning.
Kerani: Creating music around a specific content enhances my storytelling. That’s why my music is so visual.
mwe3: Tell me about the musicians backing you. How closely did you work with guitarist Max Jeschek? Who else was key to making Sands Of Time, pre, during and post production?
Kerani: Max Jeschek is a German guitarist and composer who I met online earlier this year. Before he joined me on “When The Night Comes”, he accompanied me on a single called “One World”, that I released during the Covid lockdown period in March. We’ve become good friends since then. Key in all my productions are the strings. I’ve worked with a small string section of André Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra. Those ladies are worth their weight in gold! Then, there’s my husband Arno Op den Camp, of course. He’s not only my sound-designer and engineer, but also my sounding board.
Kerani: We both run our own recording and multimedia studio - Kerani Music Studio, where all my albums were recorded. In order to avoid unnecessary fuss and stress, the recording sessions are always carefully prepared. The musicians receive their scores well in advance so that they can rehearse their part. I always give them the freedom to try out different articulations and very often I rely on their expertise. Communication is very important!
mwe3: Sands of Time is clearly New Age music, are you happy being called a 21st century Symphonic New Age composer? How do you think that description will feel when the history books get written?
Kerani: If I knew that I would go down in history called a 21st century ‘Symphonic New Age’ composer, and if they will still talk about me in 2060, I would die as a very happy woman!
mwe3: What about reactions to Sands Of Time from other countries? Have you gotten exposure on other continents? I know the world is in a melt-down era but you're a "world-class" artist now. Now all we need is for the Earth to recover. Where will we go as a planet and how does living in these conditions affect our hopes? I know that Sands Of Time will bring the people some much needed sonic good will.
Kerani: It’s great to see Sands of Time getting some nice exposure in Europe, Canada and Australia. My fanbase is growing steadily. I receive feedback and positive reactions almost on a daily basis. Mind you, I do work very hard to get my music out there!
A few words of comfort… Earth will be just fine. I’m confident that we, humans, will have the wisdom to save the world well before it’s too late. All we need is collective consciousness. We need to connect with our inner-self, to become conscious our lives and of our actions and their consequence. Like you, I hope that my music will bring people that much needed sonic good will.