Even After All This Time… takes its text from a beautiful quote by 14th century Persian poet, Hafiz, in a translation by Daniel Ladinsky. The text of the piece is simply “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that: it lights the whole sky.” The text is set in English, with translated words from the incredibly expressive Persian language woven into the texture.
This piece was written for the wedding of Lindsay Pope. Lindsay is an incredible choral conductor, and has been a long-time collaborator and champion of my work. She first commissioned Tuttarana, in 2015, which has since become one of my most performed pieces, and she then went on to write a dissertation on my work, entitled “Beyond the Binary: The Intersection of Gender and Cross-Cultural Identity in Reena Esmail’s Life and Choral Works”.
This is the beauty of being alive. To grow with a collaborator who can perform, conduct and contextualize my music, who can show me my own practice through such a multitude of new lenses over years — it redefines who I am, and it reshapes what I write. Lindsay’s depth and passion truly does light the whole sky.
Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens
with a love like that:
it lights the whole sky.”
— Daniel Ladinsky
This piece was commissioned by Lindsay Pope. It was premiered on June 18, 2016 at First Congregational Church in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.