Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive – Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records, 2019)
Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas is a fantastic project envisioned by American percussion maestro, world fusion pioneer and composer Adam Rudolph, who leads the groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra. This extraordinary double album brings together forward thinking contemporary jazz, classical and world music via the Go: Organic Orchestra and the unconventional approach to Indian classical music of Brooklyn Raga Massive.
The 40-piece ensemble performs a set of composed and improvised pieces that defy musical boundaries with a mix of captivating global percussion, exploratory winds, marvelous strings, mesmerizing Indian vocals and instrumentation, exquisite electric piano, dreamlike harp, and Moroccan Gnawa trance music.
“This album feels like the culmination of everything I’ve been reaching for in my creative pursuits,” explains Rudolph. “With this music I can hear the humanity of all these different musicians shine through, and their voices bring forth something that’s never existed before.”
Violinist Trina Basu, a longtime member of both Go: Organic and Brooklyn Raga Massive affirms, “In the history of Indian Classical music collaborations, we have never heard anything recorded like Ragmala. We feel this is a new high-water mark for all of us.”
The impressive ensemble includes Jay Ghandi on bansuri; Arun Ramamurthy on violin; Trina Basu on violin; Samarth Nagarkar on vocals; Neel Murgai on rhythm sitar and overtone singing; Sameer Gupta on tabla; David Ellenbogen on electric rhythm guitar; Abhik Mukherjee on sitar; Bala Skandan on mridangam; Mari Tanaka on tampura; Kaoru Watanabe on C flute, fue and noh kan; Michel Gentile on c flute; Sylvain Leroux on chromatic tambin, tambin, c flute; Ze Luis on c and alto flute; Mariano Gil on bass flute; Avram Fefer on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet; Sean Sonderegger on bass and contrabass clarinet, soprano saxophone; Sara Schoenbeck on bassoon; Ivan Barenboim on b flat clarinet; Charles Burnham on violin; Julianne Carney-Chung on violin; Sana Nagano on violin; Gwen Laster on violin; Richard Carr on violin; Stephanie Griffin on viola; Leco Reis on acoustic bass; Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn, kudu horn and bamboo vaccine; Stephen Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn, solo alto, pocket trumpet, didgeridoo, conch and kudu horn; Peter Zummo on trombone, didgeridoo, conch and kudu horn; Libby Schwartz on french horn; Mia Theodoratus on harp; Marco Cappelli on electric and acoustic guitars; Alexis Marcelo on keyboards; Damon Banks on electric bass; Harris Eisenstadt on Cuban batá drums (iyá, itótele, okónkolo); Rogerio Boccato on caxixi, mineiro, temple blocks, bells, wood box and surdo; Hamid Drake on drum kit and okónkolo; and Adam Rudolph on iyá, itótele.
Special guests: Hassan Hakmoun on sintir and vocals; and Abderahim Hakmoun on karkabas and vocals.
Ragmala is an exceptional album conducted by talented composer, percussionist and visionary Adam Rudolph.
The album release concert will take place on Friday, December 13 at Live@365 Series, Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY, 365 5th Ave, New York City, USA.