I loved playing with my last touring project, Lehera. Then I felt inspired to do a solo album of songwriting in English with all the world music influences I have imbibed over the years . I’ve written the songs for an album and intend to record them but feel like honing them some more. There are several projects that I am dividing up my time for - perhaps too many on the burner.
To list them not necessarily in an order of priority:
A duo/ trio with a Tibetan folk musician. The trio has a classically trained percussionist who is well versed in world percussion. We have started to bring cross-cultural elements into the Tibetan musician’s songs and vocabulary.
A duo/trio with a persian Tar player. He is learning some of my compositions - all instrumental. I am learning some microtonal Persian music from him.
Putting music to the spoken word of a Montreal artist who’s art and words I resonate with.
Collaborating on a recording with a film composer. We are co-composing. I am sending her the initial tracks of a simple composition of the mantra Lokaha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu which means may all beings be happy. We spoke in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing catastrophe and came up with this one as the first piece to work on.
Last but not least is the One Mantra Kirtan Band. Some singers and I will chant mantras without always sticking to the traditional. If I feel like making vocal harmonics out of the last word of a mantra I do. It has Lot s of world rhythms and melodies. It’s quite improvisatory but aspires towards spontaneous composition - like I feel all good improv should.
All these projects entail recording a Cd
I’m also giving and honing workshops that use Chant and movement to teach people rhythms. The basic idea is not novel. I hope to expand the participants’ sense of music and rhythm with the intention of creating a healing space - opening new ways of feeling and thinking and accessing the unconscious. They experience elements of trance even while learning. There is more experiencing the joy of it than the thought that they need to learn something.
Working on a new solo album so far to be produced by Gordon Grdina
Curtis Andrews - mbira and percussion
Indo - Persian Ensemble (To be Named)
A new project with
Niusha Shirvani - Tar and Setar (Persian plucked string instruments)