With this album, we let go of our traditions to a certain extent, to be able to create new expressions of our entangled present moment. The question that lies at the heart of our music is this: How can we sustain musical knowledge and skills embedded in our traditions as living meaning instead of preserving shells of the past?
We want this recording to relocate different legacies of rhythms, scales, and textures into our interconnected global now that we find right in front of our doorsteps. We are curious what the sheng’s or drum set’s answer is when electronics or the kanun ask a question. Not only through improvisation, these instruments can connect with each other. The album’s tans-traditional lineup and scores searches for new similarities. We find this place of coalescence in sonic landscapes that merge groove with lyrical, spherical, and abstract sounds.
In many places of the world, music and poetry were never strictly separated. On this album, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew poetic traditions contribute another sonic color. Their ambiguous shades articulate that which cannot necessarily be made explicit. Both, music and poetry, condense cultural, historical, or spiritual truths that reach beyond their times and places of making. What it needs to incorporate them with renewed meaning, is to let these traditions become new articulations of themselves.
The poetic pieces of this album all reflect our shared human condition. Their themes remind us that our own experience mirrors another’s and that we are not solitary beings. They all share an emotional terrain. They all “enable us to look at a thing and identify with it, strengthening in that way its being,” as poet Czeslaw Milosz once wrote. To us, this ability to shapeshift into different forms of being, to celebrate the ambiguity of life, and to disrupt tidied separations is what the Trickster embodies.