A drishti is a focused gaze, usually on a single point. The word became known in the West through the practice of yoga: as the body moves through a series of postures, the drishti remains a constant. It is the grounded center that allows everything around it to move and transform.
In this work, the drishti is explicit: it is a series of miniatures, each connected to the next through a high E harmonic. That single, clear, distinctive pitch is the beacon — both the unchanging point of return, and the singular portal that connects disparate worlds to one another.
Drishti was premiered by Simone Porter on February 9, 2022 at Boston Celebrity Series, in Boston MA.
“Simone Porter’s Celebrity Series debut at Pickman Hall Wednesday night proved revelatory on two fronts. The violinist’s bracing accounts of mostly 21st-century works confirmed the good reasons for her quick rise to fame. And a world premiere by composer Reena Esmail proved a remarkable discovery.
Each has established a unique voice at a relatively young age. Porter continues to earn acclaim for her silver-toned virtuosity and probing interpretations. Esmail blends Western and Hindustani styles—drawing on her Indian heritage—with stunning originality.
Her Drishti, written for Porter, proved an ideal showcase for the young violinist’s artistry. Scored for solo violin, Drishti refers to a concept familiar to practitioners of yoga, where a gaze channels one’s focused energy. Throughout its ten-minute span, the score explores transformations in color—subtle glissandos and harmonics gradually take added weight in bluesy arpeggios. Yet there are spare moments where trills outline a single note. Drishti never feels gestural, and Porter revealed the work’s spiritual essence by conveying its inner power and meditative ease.” — Boston Classical Review