- April 17th, 2015
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If you wonder how GéNIA’s work as a concert pianist, composer, and pioneering creator of the Piano-Yoga® method fit together, you might find an answer by looking at the attitude with which she approaches her projects.
The material featured on her acclaimed ‘Dreams of Today, Thoughts of Tomorrow’ recordings, performed in full for the first time at Arts at Stowe, was inspired by a cup of coffee –not a rushed cup, but rather one consumed slowly and thoughtfully. The music itself is a reflection of the mood that might accompany such a drinker.
The sound is tranquil and musing, though not without its flourishes – GéNIA reminds us of her virtuosity with beautiful sections of high cascading notes through the recordings, which most would struggle to imitate. She moves from the melancholic to the quietly optimistic with subtlety and nuance, but nonetheless with dynamism and emphasis where she sees appropriate. It is music that has been featured on Classic FM, and throughout Café Nero’s coffee shops worldwide.
GéNIA seeks to produce the compositions’ own thoughtful qualities in her listeners, and something very similar is happening with her work in Piano-Yoga®. In taking inspiration from Yoga to create a unique musical method, GéNIA has drawn on a discipline with a strong mental and meditative dimension, and as a result Piano-Yoga® is not simply a method for increasing flexibility in one’s hands. It is a holistic practice; through working on posture it also seeks to change the psychology of performers and the way it feels to perform, with real implications for the sound that pianists are able to produce.
In both cases, it is through a focus on reflective awareness and state of mind that GéNIA has shone, and she brings this same focus to her experimentation with different performance situations, including her appearances in a café at Heathrow Airport where she sought to sooth passengers before setting off on their journeys.
By continuing to pay attention to this important dimension of the musical experience, GéNIA brings us something unique with her ‘modern twist’ on classical music, which will no doubt be on show at her Arts at Stowe performance.
Written by Alex Chalk