The composer, who brings Hindustani and Western classical music together, will be a part of Yale Schola Cantorum's India tour
Reena Esmail’s musical work couldn’t have been more in alignment with her identity. Born to a Catholic mother and Muslim father in Chicago, US, she composes pieces that unite Western classical and Hindustani classical music. While the latter’s essence is improvisation, the former’s is clockwork precision. Esmail specializes in finding the sweet spot between these two. You can see glimpses of this—the way the cello in her quartet evokes the mood of a raga—in the performance videos available on YouTube. But it is perhaps best enjoyed live, and Indians will get the chance when her compositions are performed in the multi-instrumental glory of a full-blown chamber choir.