Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
Composer/Pianist Karen Jamali calls for peace and healing in the haunting "Angel Kamael" from the album "Hope Of Angels," a collection of 12 piano compositions that promote tranquility.
First and foremost, we need to tell her story because it's just too fascinating. A survivor of a near-death head injury, Jamali discovered that in 2015 after a three-year recovery period, she was suddenly able to play the piano even though she had never played before.
Let that sink in for a second…
Self-described as autodidactic, Jamali figured out how to manifest the compositions she was hearing in her head onto the piano without prior training and has since released seven albums and performed at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City 7 times. Jamali's mission statement is evident as she believes that music is her savior. That music came to her and instilled a duty to share it with the world.
Alright, now on to Angel Kamael.
Recorded live on an 80-year-old Steinway grand piano, the sound captured on "Angel Kamael" gives a very low-fi type of energy. Warm and yet, a tiny bit gritty in a very pleasing way. The natural reverb of the performance space gives a slightly distant feeling to the sound. As if the message being conveyed is coming from somewhere far away. According to Jamali, it's very fitting considering that the music she writes comes directly to her in dreams. The result is a very distinct sonic fingerprint.
Entirely instrumental, "Angel Kamael" showcases Jamali's faculty for improvisation. Her left-hand ties things together as it plays a steady stream of arpeggios creating a hypnotic, drone-like effect, while her right-hand tickles out a mournful melody in the upper register. At times, I detect a repeating theme with the right hand as it stabs out a melancholic sequence of repeating notes. I can imagine a singer belting out the three notes that serve as a constant throughout the piece. A piece like this seems more than appropriate as a backdrop to a silent film. Very calming and hypnotic and yet, a distinct sadness surrounding the record.
Be sure to catch Jamali on June 12 as she returns once again to Carnegie Hall and, be sure to give a listen to the other fantastic compositions of "Hope of Angels."
About Karen Jamali
Karen is a Professional Multi Award-winning Composer, Pianist, and Professional American Artist, for the last 30 years, born in Denmark, living and working in NYC. & Florida, voting member of the Recording Academy.
It wasn’t until an accident that caused a head injury and a near-death experience that Karen started to play music. Previously unable to play the piano, the head injury amazingly opened up a new world for Karen, and she began to play beautiful and meditative music. this music healed her..The music will put the listener into a relaxed state of consciousness. The accident occurred in 2012 and after a long recovery in 2015, she began to hear music in her dreams and decided to record & play what she was experiencing. After 5 years of playing The result are 7 beautiful Albums & 2500+ music compositions and more than a million listeners, her latest Album Sound of Angels was up for Grammy consideration in 2021 in the categories "Album of the Year" &"Best Contemporary Instrumental Album" & "Best Music Video" with the music piece "In Water". The Album “Sound Of Angels” is Inspired by the Angels.
For more information about Karen Salicath Jamali, please visit her website.