Friday, August 30, 2013

In Reena Esmail's Swinging Hammock

The first time I heard Reena Esmail's Jhula Jhule (pronounced: jewel-a Julie) I didn't know what to say. I was completely mesmerized by this nighttime fantasy world that I was being spirited away to by the piano's introduction. Before last week I didn't know who Reena was. Luckily, I follow Composer's Circle on Facebook. Normally, I only occasionally check in there to find new music, but Reena came up on my news feed. (This was quite possibly a subtle push to get me to return to their fan page. And I did! At least after I could have the chance to find out more about her).

Reena is an American pianist-composer who writes music often infused with Hindustani themes, as is written in her Composer's Circle profile. While she has other works on Soundcloud that are notably more popular, this piece in particular deserves a little more love. It stands out among the rest with its gracefully soaring violin and a piano part that sounds as watery and dreamy as Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 (click the link if you've never heard it!) I would categorize this as "dream music" because if this is a swinging hammock, it does so across a clear night sky, over a lonely oasis, and through a sleepy village far away. I'm definitely keeping this girl's calendar on my short list. 

Speaking of, on February 8, 2014 she will be premiering a new arrangement of Jhula Jhule for piano and oboe at the Tenri Institute. I wholly intend to see it (partly because I hear the acoustics there are amazing). 


Reena said...

Hi there! This is Reena! I just stumbled across this post, and I just want to say that it meant the world to me that you enjoyed my music. Please come say hi at Tenri in February - I would love to meet you!

classical crush girl said...

Aw. Thanks for writing it! Looking forward to the concert.

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