Meet Joanna Estelle, a Canadian composer, lyricist, and arranger whose music has won critical acclaim from Parliament Hill, Ottawa to London (UK), Barcelona (Spain), and elsewhere around the world. Her most recent album EMERGENCE is a compilation of works produced under her personal philosophy that “quality music uplifts humankind.”
Today, Joanna is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to hear about Joanna’s love of the city of Paris…
Who was your first favorite artist growing up?
Growing up, my first favorite artist was the great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. In addition to his incredible artistry at the keyboard, I was completely mesmerized by the fact that he hummed while he played… and wore a really cool tweed cap too.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a composer?
I came to the realization that I was in fact a composer relatively late in life, around my mid 40’s. As a child, I had read many books about the lives of famous composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, but never did I imagine that one day I too would be writing music. I recall that in many of these stories the composers’ parents were vehemently against their following of this vocation. Little did I know my life would take a very similar turn.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Paris is the place where I feel most inspired creatively. This is probably because I find the atmosphere there to be quite joyous. Even simple pleasures such as drinking coffee and people watching at an outdoor cafe seem that much more satisfying when in Paris. I try to spend as much time there as I possibly can.
What was your favourite musical moment on the album?
My favorite musical moment on the CD is at the end of the track Song for Abwoon when all of the choristers, soloists, and instrumental musicians crescendo to sing “Let us not enter earth life without Your song.” For me, life without music is simply not worth living.
What does this album mean to you personally?
EMERGENCE is the culmination of several years of study and professional effort that involved the surmounting of many obstacles. PARMA’s interest and confidence in my work has been very gratifying. They have affirmed that my goal of sending quality music out into the world can indeed be realized.
Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?
I think that listeners should tune into whatever their feelings are at the time in relation to each piece. These feelings will vary, depending upon the personal experiences of each listener. However, my general hope is that they will feel uplifted when hearing my work.
EMERGENCE is now available through Navona Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.