The Nashville-based pianist and composer delivers her most personal album to date.
In her younger days, Cristina Spinei wanted to be a ballerina. While her life’s journey didn’t end up on that path, Spinei has likely made a greater impact on the ballet world through music than she ever would have as a dancer. Along with her 2016 debut album, Music for Dance, the Nashville-based pianist has done highly-acclaimed work for the Nashville Ballet and the New York Choreographic Institute, as well as numerous other orchestras and ensembles (the discography on her website is extensive; “If Beethoven Danced Merengue” is a highlight).
Now Spinei has released her second solo album, Ex Voto, on Sonder House Records. The nine-track album consists of seven solo piano works and two tracks with accompaniment, “Il Nodo” with Christina McGann on violin, and “Peregrine” with Alexis Lee on violoncello. Described by Spinei as “more personal and exposed than anything else I’ve written,” Ex Voto is certainly emotional, yet it never loses that rhythym of a dance, the melodies still tethered to the movements of some unseen ballerina, maybe one that never quite got to grace the stage.
The Ex Voto release show will take place at Brooklyn venue National Sawdust this Saturday, February 29. Along with Spinei on piano, Alicia Enstrom (violin), Emily Brausa (cello), Colleen Phelps (percussion), and Paul DeFiglia (electric bass) will all play live with her, performing tracks from the new album as well as works from the Nashville Ballet.
You can stream lead single “Chant” on Spotify, and the rest of the album here.
-photo by Darling Juliet