Hania Rani & Dobrawa Czocher – Inner Symphonies
Inner Symphonies is entirely written and performed by Hania and Dobrawa, and recorded in Szczecin’s Philharmonic Hall. ‘It really comes from our two very close but very different worlds,’ explains Hania. ‘Inner means something little, private, intimate, while the symphonic means something huge. It’s a new adventure for us.’
Hania Rani and Dobrawa Czocher are the youngest female composer duo signed to Deutsche Grammophon. They began making music together in their early teens, discovering an instinctive artistic connection with one another. Both are now successful musicians in their own right, but that special bond remains unchanged. “There’s a lot of sisterhood between us,” explains Rani. Czocher agrees, adding, “When you’re siblings, you can be honest. We trust each other.”
That sense of mutual trust and understanding has inspired their debut DG album. Written by composer-pianist-singer Hania and composer-cellist Dobrawa, and recorded by them in their native Poland, Inner Symphonies is their first full album of original works and is set for international release on 15 October 2021.
The central element of Inner Symphonies is hope. During lockdown Hania and Dobrawa were able to encourage each other both as friends and as musical collaborators when they began composing this distinctive set of pieces. “I remember Hania telling me her grandmother would say, ‘Spring will come, that’s for sure’”, recalls Dobrawa. “The world seemed to be falling apart when we began work on the album, but we had hope for a better future. And it was a joy to have the Deutsche Grammophon team on our side. They were so supportive, and that gave us the freedom to develop our music.”
Inner Symphonies began life with video calls, then flowed spontaneously when Hania and Dobrawa were finally able to meet at Hania’s parents’ house in Gdańsk and renew their long friendship in person. They explored ideas together, improvised material that formed the foundations of individual tracks and, when not writing, reflected on their values and artistic insights. “We had a lot of time for talking, for asking what you really want right now, what music means to you,” recalls Dobrawa. “That time was really precious. We also had a lot of fun. We would do yoga and go for walks in the forest.”
Their love of the natural world is reflected on the album, together with the themes of friendship and hope. Its contrasting tracks work together in light and shade to construct a unique, introspective soundworld, from the slow, mysterious beauty of “Whale’s Song” to the headlong movement of “Con Moto”, whose restless energy is heightened by the gentle melody that emerges amid endlessly rushing notes on piano and cello.