“La Quête” is truly a quest for knowledge and the musical possibilities that can result from combining cultural and musical influences together.
For a Western trained musician, four of the five elements that comprise music are easily accessible-melody, harmony, color and form. The element of rhythm has yielded jazz and its offshoots of pop, funk, etc. as well as intricate mixtures of meter from the contemporary classical composers (Stravinsky, Schoenberg etc), but it is in other parts of the world where the idea of “groove” has been explored in all its manifestations for thousands of years. It in India and to some degree parts of Africa and the Slavic cultures where the most sophisticated aspects of this area of rhythm have been developed. For a musician like myself to play in this context is ALWAYS challenging and a learning experience. I have to really check myself, asking basic questions like “where is the one (first beat) or more precisely “what meter are we in?”
Ravy Magnifique, coming from a very unique part of India (Pondicherry) is an expert in rhythm and has as well incorporated jazz and pop beats into his vast base of knowledge. I recognized his talent when we did a project of his compositions playing some difficult (for me) odd metered music. I suggested that he and I play duo, admittedly so I could learn more from him. The music on this recording was completely improvised, usually beginning with a rhythm and texture that Ravy would play for me. He used all kinds of instruments from African kalimbas to Indian drums to the normal jazz trap drums with vocalizations as well. This music represents a visit for me to another world which is full of beauty, sincerity and spirituality. David Liebman
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