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Explore the works Voce Velata studies and performs.

Teen Murti – Renna Esmail

Teen Murti – Renna Esmail

Teen Murti Composed by Reena Esmail Click “show more” for program note and composer bio. Performed by: Salastina Music Society Joshua Roman, cello Recorded during the 2016 Hear Now Festival! Program Note: Most Indians will immediately recognize Teen Murti as name of the New Delhi residence of the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The residence, which now serves as an incredible cultural resource (library, museum, and planetarium) is named for the sculpture that stands in front of it. ‘Teen Murti’ means three statues, figures, or representations in Hindi. Though not directly based on the sculptures, this work shares their title as it is centered around three large musical ‘figures’ that are adjoined by short interludes – similar to the idea behind Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. It lays out three tableauxs: each is rooted in a specific raag and its Hindustani melodic tradition, and those melodies are interwoven using a more Western technique. At the many concerts of Hindustani musicians I attended while I was in India, I noticed a curious thing that would happen before each performance. The artist would announce the raag to be sung or played that evening, and immediately, many of the cognoscenti in the audience would begin humming the characteristic phrases or ‘pakads’ of that raag quietly to themselves, intoning with the drone that was already sounding on stage. It had a magical feeling – as if that raag was present in the air, and tiny wisps of it were already starting to precipitate into the audible world in anticipation of the performance. I wanted to open this piece in that way, and continue to return to that idea in the interludes. While I never made it to Teen Murti during the time I lived in Delhi, coincidentally, the first time one of my compositions was premiered in the city was at a concert at Teen Murti, barely a few months after I had returned to the US. Composer Bio: Indian-American composer, Reena Esmail “creates richly melodic lines that imbue her music with the heights of lyricism, balanced by winning textural clarity.” (AAAL) A graduate of Juilliard and Yale School of Music, and a 2011-12 Fulbright grantee to India, Esmail’s work draws elements from both Western and Hindustani (North Indian) classical music. Esmail’s works have received honors from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP, and have been performed throughout the United States, in India and abroad. Esmail currently resides in Los Angeles, California. More information about her work is available at

Work Gallery

Performances, recordings and projects of Voce Velata Ensemble and collaborators:


STRUM: Jessie Montgomery (June 2022)

Three Chorales: Kebra-Seyoun Charles (June 2022)


June 9th: Live-streamed debut concert. 

June 17th: First session of the New Narrative Work-study group for music educators.

UNABRIDGED: A Composer Story Project

Young musicians collaborated in three distinct virtual workshops to produce a visual retelling of the story of Teresa Carreño, complete with an original soundtrack featuring her String Serenade.  They creatively selected and created images that captured the essence and impact of her life as a composer, world-renowned performer, virtuoso pianist and loving mother.    

In the same workshops, another group of young musicians collaborated to produce a visual retelling of the life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier De Saint-Georges.  They chose several mediums, including collage, drawing and poetry to delightfully convey his extraordinary life as a composer, champion fencer, virtuoso violinist, renowned conductor and colonel within the French army.  

Interactive Composer Timelines Created By Voce Members:

Voce Velata member, Makayla Harris, co-directed a Virtual Musical Vigil in the summer of 2020 to honor the lives lost due to police brutality.  

Unabriged Videos
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