Murali Ensemble is an exquisitely produced flute-driven soundscape of classical and traditional free-styling melodies.
Coupling virtuosity with a distinctly wild attitude to scales and tempos, the Murali Ensemble is a quartet of hugely accomplished master musicians from India and Ireland. Fronted by two of the world’s most celebrated flutists Ravi Kulur and Alan Doherty and anchored by the depth of Trevor Hutchinson’s double bass and Gerry Paul’s crafted rhythmic guitars, Murali Ensemble is vibrant collaboration infused with an inspiring blend of influences and improvisations.
With their roots in Indian scales and Irish melodies and with Eastern European and Breton influences, the ensemble’s collectively composed tunes are an enchanting and seductive dance between the two flutes. Together their clarity of individual notes and high-paced dexterity is an infectious experience that redefines the concept of brilliance.
In The Beginning ~ Sweet Serendipity
Kulur and Doherty first met at Germany’s Rudolstadt Festival in 2013 as guest artists representing the flutes of Ireland and India. Having discovered a deep musical union they were keen to reunite to further explore the traditions of their instruments. Three serendipitous months later they were collaborating in Germany. The duo invited guitarist Gerry Paul and double bassist Trevor Hutchinson and together with a shared love for Irish and Indian tunes, playful time signatures and spirited improvisation the ensemble had created and recorded their eponymously titled debut album Murali Ensemble, due for release in summer 2015.
Ravichandra Kulur (Bansuri)
Initiated into the hallowed realms of South Indian Carnatic classical music by his father; a respected flutist from Bangalore, Ravichandra Kulur was a musical prodigy who, by the age of nine, was performing solo concerts and duets with master musicians. Throughout his youth Kulur experimented with jazz, world and Hindustani classical music, carving an inimitable style in a field governed by great maestros, to emerge as one of India’s most sought after flutists. In 2005 Kultur met the legendary late sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar who invited him to join his band for his prestigious 2005/6 Festival of India concerts series. Subsequently, he became a permanent member of Shankar’s band and also the band of his daughter and protégé Anousha Shankar on her own world tour. To date, Kulur has recorded over 300 studio sessions and has toured the world extensively, performing at many of the world’s leading festivals, symphony and concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Centre, Royal Festival Hall, The Boston Symphony Hall, Vienna Kozerthaus, WOMAD, Paleo and San Francisco Jazz Festival.
Alan Doherty (Irish Flute)
Alan Doherty, the original front-man and co-founder of traditional Irish group Gráda, is one of Ireland’s leading flutists who was catapulted onto the world stage as the lead soloist on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. He has toured worldwide, performing at some of the greatest festivals and has opened for acts such as Joe Cocker, Blondie and even Metallica. In studio, Doherty has recorded and produced numerous albums including Julie Fowlis and Four Men and a Dog and regularly makes guest appearances with Damien Dempsey and Kíla, amongst others. With his latest band ALDOC, Doherty is driving a new adventurous sound, firing up new audiences with his unique improvisational approach, enigmatic stage presence and free-style toasting. Dedicated to the education of traditional music, Doherty recently opened the first Folk Music School in Germany and with his growing reputation as an exceptional teacher, Doherty has students travelling the world for a one-to-one masterclass opportunity.
Gerry Paul (Guitars)
New Zealand’s Gerry Paul is an award winning songwriter, musician, television presenter and producer, as well as an in-demand guitarist who regularly performs with some of the greatest folk musicians from Ireland and America, including Grammy Award Winning bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien. A prominent figure on the Traditional Irish Music scene, Paul has recorded and performed with artists such as Damien Demspey, Mairtín O'Connor, Finbar Furey and Karan Casey. He was a long-term member of Gráda and the Sharon Shannon Band and is currently a member of the ground-breaking Irish-International group ALDOC with Alan Doherty. A successful artist and producer in his own right, Paul’s eclectic and prolific portfolio ranges from winning the prestigious 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, writing and presenting a children’s television series in Ireland, to performances at the Sydney Opera House, the National Geographic HQ in Washington DC, WOMAD and Roskilde Festival.
Trevor Hutchinson (Double Bass)
Hailing from Cookstown in Northern Ireland Trevor Hutchinson is credited with redefining Irish music with his distinctive playing on the upright bass. Having made his name with The Waterboys in 1986, he moved on to record three albums with the Sharon Shannon Band and from there co-founded Ireland’s supergroup Lúnasa. As well as playing double bass, fretless bass, electric bass and bouzouki, Hutchinson is an arranger, composer and producer and, having recorded and produced five of Lúnasa’s albums, has become a highly sought after producer working with artists such as Gráda, Tim O’Brien, Slide and Susan McKeown. A much-in-demand session musician he has recorded and performed with Natalie Merchant, Eileen Ivers, Dónal Lunny, Carlos Nunez, De Danann and John Renbourn, amongst many others. A lifelong member of Lúnasa, Hutchinson also plays with Liz Carroll, Solas and blues legend Eric Bibb.