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Essence of Duality explores and crosses the boundaries of jazz and Indian classical music, making aesthetic connections between the two. The music is a sincere attempt to get out of the exotic yet stereotypical image of the Sitar, the main instrument of the album, in the West and Indo-Jazz fusion in particular.
The album is the logical result of moving to Germany in 2015, in search of new sounds and compositional styles. An immediate impact was to be confronted with a new culture and so also a challenge for Hindol Deb, to overcome both the cultural and musical differences, finally merging both perspectives and making the connection.
Hindol’s formal study of jazz, his experience in collaborative music making, and his developed insight into Western culture, coupled with his background in Indian classical music, inspired him to experiment with a ‘bold’ new style of composition while striving to keep the two genres on par. The biggest challenge was finding a convincing role for an instrument as traditional as the sitar, without losing context.
The compositions have a strong polyrhythmic aspect, which makes them both interesting and challenging for the band members. Indian modes have been broken up and adapted to the jazz harmonies in the compositions. Except for the sitar, the quartet has a typical jazz instrumentation.
Deeply rooted in Indian classical music, sitarist Hindol Deb explores the infinite Possible combinations in the crossover of Indian music with various other genres such as contemporary western classical music, jazz and Nordic folk music. Hindol is a recipient of the State and National Scholarship for Sitar and has been invited by Recollets, Rikskonzerter, Academy of Carnegie Hall, Goethe Institute for music residency programs. He has worked with some notable artists and musicians like Marina Abramovic, Renaud Garcia Fons, Markus Stockhausen, Sebastian Gramss, Christina Fuchs, Nina and Mattias Perez among others.
Hindol published his debut crossover jazz album ‘Essence of Duality’ in 2021 and shortly after, ‘Northlight’ – a Nordic crossover Album. He collaborated with the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra on a piece ‘Ceremony of Innocence’ exclusively composed for Sitar and Orchestra by Filip Sijanec from London. His latest production is ‘SAMHITA – Sitar meets Jazz Ensemble’ together with 14 musicians which a rare and unusual combination.
Clemens Orth is a master of a very sophisticated harmonic language, which ranges from classic counterpoint to atonality. He uses external musical influences to set new accents in improvisations and to connect seemingly distant musical points with each other. His encounters with musicians from all over the world made him a stylistically well-versed and versatile player who brilliantly masters the transfer of his musical cosmos into a wide variety of contexts.
Christian Ramond studied at the University of Music in Cologne. After receiving a scholarship from the Academy of Fine Arts in Banff to study in Canada, he quickly established himself as a sought- after bass player for a variety of musical styles. Christian has worked with Joe Pass, Albert Mangelsdorf, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Doug Rainey, Michael Pilz and Phillip Catherine, among others. He has played in numerous television, radio and theater productions, at festivals and toured in many countries.
Christoph Hillmann (1964), drums, percussion; has been playing with national and international greats of the jazz scene for years and has participated in countless radio, CD, dance, theatre and radio play productions. He has received prizes at the jazz festivals in Leverkusen, Leipzig and Brussels, has been involved in two ECHO-JAZZ award-winning productions and is the winner of the NEW GERMAN JAZZ PRIZE in 2014. He is considered a particularly interactive player who elicits an unusually wide range of sounds and rhythms from the drums.