Piano Prodigy Hania Rani set to wow come May.

By Sammy Moynihan

Canberra Theatre will soon be filled with the captivating sounds of acclaimed pianist Hania Rani.

The Polish native—who has garnered much international attention in recent years, as evidenced by her extensive sold-out tour of Europe—has been described as a masterful storyteller. She weaves together intricate melodies and harmonies to create music that is both emotional and thought-provoking.

“I don’t know how it is, to not be able to play the piano,” she reflects. “My life is connected to music, particularly the piano. It is my language and my voice. It’s how I communicate with the world and I cannot disconnect myself. It’s very primal.”

Rani views the piano as an important friend that gives her a sense of freedom. She views her concerts as a conversation between herself and the instrument.

“The more I play piano and the more I learn, I realise you have to trust the instrument,” she says. “There is a common thread of trust between us. You can feel the energy under your fingers and move it forward again and again. Like with people, you’re having this great back and forth. It’s a dialogue.”

Rani’s music is inspired by a wide range of influences. Indeed, when asked to name some, Rani lists an extremely diverse variety of musicians, from Mozart to Radiohead.

“Classical music is a great thing to be inspired by, but I also have a big fascination with jazz. When it comes to a shift between classical and electronic, the band that really changed my life was Portico Quartet.”

“I also really admire pop music. I’m not an ideal user of Spotify”, she laughs. “The algorithm is totally twisted in all directions.”

“I just love music. I’m always fascinated by it and listen to everything.”

Her compositions are characterised by their minimalist approach, with simple, repetitive motifs building into complex and layered soundscapes. 

“My life is quite intense, so when I make music I’m looking for something very calm and very broad.” 

This leads to sounds that are deeply introspective, with each piece telling a story that is both personal and universal.

“Music is the language that we all can understand easily, wherever we come from. I often play for people that don’t speak my language at all, or I don’t understand their language, and we always could communicate. So, I think there must be something very special about this medium.”

For Rani, music is a way to connect with people on a deeper level. As well as conversing with her piano, her concerts are also a dialogue between herself and her audience, a chance to share her stories and experiences and to listen to the stories and experiences of others. 

“There is an amazing connection with people during a concert,” she entuses. “It’s a very special and rare feeling. It’s spacious; without borders. Sometimes, I look at the audience and they seem hypnotised; a feeling of deep relief and relaxation sweeping over them.”

Rani’s latest album, Home, has been hailed as a masterpiece by critics and fans alike.

The album was recorded during the pandemic lockdown, and its themes of isolation and introspection resonate strongly with audiences around the world. Her ability to capture the emotions and experiences of this tumultuous time in history has made her one of the most exciting and relevant artists of our time.

Rani’s upcoming concert at Canberra Theatre’s The Playhouse promises to be a night to remember. Her live performances are known for their intimacy and authenticity, with Rani’s soulful playing drawing audiences in and holding them spellbound. The concert will be a mix of original compositions and improvisations. Rani expects the performance, like all her concerts, to take on a life of its own.

“I think the audience will be surprised,” she states. “Even those who are familiar with my work. I’m also singing, and then just playing the piano. I’m looking forward to floating through the audience and going through so many emotions with them.”

If you are a fan of minimalist music, or if you simply appreciate the beauty and power of the piano, then Hania Rani’s Canberra concert is not to be missed. She is one of the most talented and exciting young musicians of our time, and her music has the power to touch hearts and minds. 

A night of magic and wonder with Hania Rani awaits.

Hania Rani plays at The Playhouse at Canberra Theatre on Thursday, 4 May at 8pm. Tickets are $75 + bf via the venue.

Listen to Hania Rani on Spotify

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