In lieu of program notes, here is a brief video I recorded for the release of the album Healing Modes, on which Zeher appears.
If you are performing this piece, please contact us for audio guides. (Zeher is under exclusivity with Brooklyn Rider until the end of 2020)
This piece was commissioned by Brooklyn Rider. It was premiered on November 2, 2018, and has been toured around the world since that time. It was released on BR’s album, Healing Modes, on March 27, 2020.
The piece goes out of exclusivity at the end of 2020, after which it will be available for performance by other groups.
“Reena Esmail composed Zeher (Poison) in the throes of a severe infection of her throat, one which hindered her ability to swallow, breathe, and even speak. Drawing on two Hindustani raags, Zeher (Poison) represents the feeling of release at that period’s conclusion. The quartet begins together with acrobatic, articulated flourishes. Ornate and elegant figurations are traded from cello to violin and back, framed and punctuated by the inner voices. With each iteration, violin and cello subtly re-shade their melodies, trading ecstatic embellishments for a resolute calm. In the final minutes, the punctuations elongate to overtake the cello’s melodies, and the piece exhales to a close” – I Care if you Listen