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"I think I am the same person as an artist and as a person. Music is my way of communicationand I see the art, the music as a whole thing, with no borders, divisions or even genres." (Hania Rani)
After several collaborations with artists like Christian Löffler, Dobrawa Czocher or Hior Chronik, Hania Rani recently released her solo debut Esja on Gondwana Records. The fact that Esja became an album for solo piano was never planned, as the Polish-born composer and musician sees herself much more as a composer and musician, who doesn't want to be reduced to a single instrument. And yet the compositions on Esja originated from Hania Rani's fascination for the piano as an instrument and her desire to create very personal sounds and harmonies. So the encounter with Esja is a bit like an encounter with Hania Rani herself: "No hiding behind the "collaborations" or "projects" anymore. For the very first time, finally – just me, as I am."
And where could Hania Rani have recorded such a personal work better than in her own four walls of her apartment in Warsaw and in the studio of her friend Bergur Pórisson in Reykjavik? The result is remarkable: Sensitive, rhythmic and atmospheric compositions, that let you forget time and give you the feeling of infinite vastness, whether exuberant or melancholic – Hania Rani's pieces cannot be assigned to a mood any more than they can be assigned to a genre. Rather, they seem to absorb and catalyse their own mood. Rani, who currently commutes between her apartment in Warsaw and Berlin, grew up with her parents in Gdansk surrounded by music and films. At the beginning she followed a strict classical music education, but soon she also discovered her interest in jazz and electronic music, which inspired her to name Dave Brubeck and Moderat as well as Chopin and Schostakovich, but also such diverse influences as Max Richter, Nils Frahm, Radiohead or the Beatles.
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