When we read and watch movies about great expeditions and impressive voyages into unknown territory we can’t help asking; what made these heroes do as they did? Why did they chose to make such enormous sacrifices? Kerani’s new album Arctic Sunrise is inspired by the story of Captain Robert F. Scott’s Antarctic expedition in 1912. Through her music she shows the larger-than-life aspecs of this undertaking, and you understand more of why Scott and the likes left everything behind to go exploring. There’s greatness to be found, both in expeditions and in music.
Kerani is a New Age musician from the Netherlands. She also makes music for TV and movie projects. I recently had the chance to interview her, and I asked her the following question:
BT Fasmer: Do you think you work differently with music when you are inspired by true events? Perhaps this makes it more visual in a way?
Kerani: Definitely! The perfect example on this album is “Far Away from Home”.
In order to create the perfect atmosphere, I did a lot of research and watched several documentaries when I learned about the true story of Captain Robert F. Scott who lead the Antarctic expedition in 1912. Of course, I knew about this event from my high school history lessons, but it never moved me as much as it did now. I found old photographs, I read and reread excerpts of his diary and the whole story came to life in front of my eyes.
The Light That Fills the World
The album starts with the title track. It is a wonderful piano ballad, showing both Kerani’s masterful melodic focus and her abilities as a storyteller on a grand scale. Fans of Vangelis, and movie music in general, will feel right at home. On this track, and the next Ice Kingdom, you can almost see Scott and his men in the snow, on their dangerous yet magnificent journey. As a Norwegian I’m grown up with the stories of Fridtjof Nansen , who in the same period did a successful South Pole expedition, so this is known territory for me – at least in a spiritual and narrative way.
The biggest exploration on Arctic Sunrise is the track Drifting Ice. So far on the album the songs are great, but nothing had prepared me for the treasure I would find on track 5; Drifting Ice is a true masterpiece. The piano, flute and guitar melody is simply wonderful. It is a song Yanni would be proud of. With a “real” drummer and a full orchestra, the song would have been perfect. But we can’t have everything, and this recording is also amazing. The song Aurora Sky is a great piece too. The album ends with the song The Last Wilderness. It draws a beautiful picture of the fragile – and dangerous! – beauty of the Arctic nature.
From time to time we all dream of going on great expeditions to the farthest corners of the planet. Kerani’s Arctic Sunrise is a magnificent soundtrack for such dreaming. It also captures the spirit of Scott’s voyage, and that is in itself a great achievement. Arctic Sunrise is highly recommended.
Score: 92/100 – See how I rate music here.