‹‹ Centennial Sounds

Reena Esmail’s ‘Nishani’: Matthew Dane Plays A Musical Keepsake For 14 Strings

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<p>(Photo: courtesy of the artist)</p>
<p>Composer Reena Esmail</p>

There’s no obvious reason why Reena Esmail and Matthew Dane became musical collaborators.

She’s a composer in Los Angeles who blends her favorite sounds from Indian and Western classical music. He’s a musician in Boulder who plays the viola d’amore -- a unique instrument that captivated composers more than 300 years ago.

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Matt had never met Reena. But his 14-string instrument brought the two together to make an extraordinary piece of music called “Nishani.” Here’s the story behind that music, and an exclusive recording of it in the CPR Performance Studio. Click the audio link above to hear the debut episode of Centennial Sounds, the newest podcast from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.

Further listening:

  • Watch Matthew Dane play “Nishani” in the CPR Performance Studio
  • Hear a live recording of “Teen Murti,” a piece Reena Esmail wrote for River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
  • Watch Matthew Dane perform “roll/rush,” another new piece for viola d’amore, written by Boulder composer Michael Theodore