For Tarun Balani, composer and drummer, his latest EP, ‘The Shape Of Things To Come’, has been an opportunity to explore the sonic potential of free jazz.
Through the album’s creation, Balani has challenged his musical preconceptions; a moment to rethink familiar constructs such as composer versus performer. Such roles or identities within the recording space hail from a European classical music tradition and New Delhi-based Balani is keen to dismantle this. The result is a fluid and satisfyingly indeterminate sound, with no single musical performance dominating.
Performing alongside his ensemble, Dharma, Balani is accompanied by trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, guitarist Olli Hirvonen, and longtime friend and pianist, Sharik Hasan.
The EP merges acoustic and electronic sounds, the unpredictability from track to track added incentive to keep listening, the layers of the ensemble guided by Balani’s delicate mastering of their collective rhythm.
Standout tracks include ‘Azaan’, a beautiful and soothing moment where O’Farrill and Hirvonen shine through. Another highlight of the EP is the title track, 'The Shape Of Things To Come’. Sharik Hasan’s piano jars with O’Farrill’s trumpet-playing, building in momentum only to rest in the final moments of the album with ‘2°’.
Tarun Balani is a thoughtful musician and this is an enjoyable composite of influences and sounds. If his other recent works are anything to go by - such as his solo project, Seasonal Affected Beats, a commentary on the climate crisis
‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ is perhaps as much a reflection on the potential of Balani as it is anything else.
Words: Tess Davidson
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