Spotted: Emma Paunil – Nebula

Spotted: Emma Paunil – Nebula

Today I’m introducing you to the latest track, Nebula, by American composer Emma Paunil, living on a 80 acre ranch in Southern Arizona. She started playing, memorizing and performing at the age of 4, and got classical trained by Ashley Hendrix and the Arizona Study Program.

Although I performed well with this, for the 18 years it took me to complete the program, I often felt very stressed by the piano. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I moved into my first apartment alone, that I started (oddly enough) desperately missing the piano as one of my limbs. The same piano I’ve had since 4 years old was moved in with me, and my composition life slowly began.

The track Nebula is taken from the album Ataraxia: Transformative Piano, which was released on December 11th of 2020.

Tell us something about your track Nebula!
“Nebula” is different from my other tracks in Ataraxia, because its inspiration came outside of me, rather than from within. I am 100% an improvisation artist when it comes to composing (even though I used to live and breath sheet music for over a decade). When I sit down on the piano, what usually happens is that I express my inner feelings or emotions through the keys: “speaking.” The presence of “Nebula,” however, seemed to stop me right before I began to play. By that, I don’t mean the sound of the melody coming to mind. It was almost like a presence knocked on my brain and said, “Hey, I’d like to tell you how feel.” This is what I like to call the balance of “listening” in improvisation. I can always tell a difference between when an improvised piece is in, “Emma’s voice,” through the piano, or if it’s some other voice that wants to speak. I’ve had several other pieces do that to me, and I always love when it happens. It’s somewhat hard to explain the phenomenon of the feeling, but that’s the best way I can! 

Thanks for this Emma!

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