Music transcends borders and boundaries. It has the ability to connect with people from diverse nationalities, communities, and cultures. Tarun Balani’s Jazz Ensemble Dharma is further proof of this amalgamation of cultures. A confluence of his Indian roots and the geographies and cultures that his band members bring with them, his latest EP, The Shape of Things To Come released on 02 October 2020 under Berthold Records explores these varied influences and ideas.
The band features Finnish guitarist Olli Hirvonen, New York native trumpeter Adam O’Farrill along with his friend and pianist Sharik Hasan from India. The EP is the result of exploration of inspirations and influences across borders to create a contemporary modern or rather a free jazz sound. The Shape of Things To Come delves into the terrains of free jazz which is an experimental approach to the traditional genre of jazz. The sounds are based on improvisation between the bandmates and the composer in order to create a heightened aesthetic and sound that expresses the collective emotions and thoughts of the band as opposed to the traditional form that only takes into consideration the composer’s ideas.
The EP’s title is a nod to the ambiguity and creativity that directs this genre which broadens the horizon and scope of the song and gives it shape as it forms. In the given massive transformation of 2020, it also becomes rather ironical as it is the idea of the ‘new normal’ that is moulding the world in its future shape, it is also a way to explore the intensity of human emotions in unprecedented times like these.
Of the EP title, Tarun says “Initially, the title The Shape of Things to Come was conceived more from the perspective of the band embarking on a sonic exploration which was limitless and not premeditated. However, over the course of time, this EP title and the music felt more and more apt considering that the past few months have been extremely difficult for all of humanity and that we have a chance to decide the shape of things to come, and we must choose wisely.”
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