JUNO Award Nominated Toronto Tabla Ensemble Release New Album
Bhumika Marks Release #6 for Canada’s Foremost World Music Artists
— Available Now!
JUNO Award nominee Toronto Tabla Ensemble have released their newest album, Bhumika — available now!
Led by Artistic Director and Canadian tabla master Ritesh Das, TTE is the area’s foremost non-profit charitable organization of its kind. Das’ groundbreaking blend of world music influences — from Japanese Taiko, to Celtic, to Flamenco, to rock n’ roll — with traditional Hindustani instruments and the tabla have been long-lauded for introducing the style to the mainstream public.
Also released is the music video for “Faceoff”, described as “an energetic meeting between Hindustani and Carnatic rhythmic systems,” by Das. “It’s a song where we translated traditional compositions and classic grooves between the tabla, mridangam, and violin.” The music video features San Francisco-based kathak dancer Labonee Mohanta and violin player Raginder Singh Momi, two of the Ensemble’s newest guest artists.
Featuring intimately inviting closeups of five players’ hands and faces, the video for “Faceoff” slowly pans out to reveal the setting for song play. “The mystery builds. There’s dramatic lighting, intense shadows, and ‘looks’ from the players.
Suddenly we see a top view of a beautiful dancer clad in a red dress sitting in a white space. As if broken from deep meditation the dancer gets up and decides to join the players.
What ensues is best revealed within the video’s start-to-end, but rest assured it speaks truth to its title.
“Faceoff” is the newest single of what marks Toronto Tabla Ensemble’s sixth full-length studio album. Produced in dedication and inspiration of Das’ brother, kathak legend Acharya Chitresh Das, and Das’ guru, tabla master Maestro Swapan Chaudhuri, Das shares how they “greatly influenced (my) identity as a composer.” Maestro Chaudhuri’s own son, Nilan, is a recent addition to the TTE and plays drum kit and tabla on the song “Sare Nau”.
It’s Das’ imaginative and unabating artistic vision that lies at Bhumika’s core; TTE’s cohesive display of intensity and complexity in North Indian classical rhythm through collaboration with other World music forms means each song draws from the tabla’s solo repertoire and the mathematical complexity of Indian rhythmic cycles.
Under Das’ guidance, guest artists on the release contribute to Bhumika’s musical magnitude in a way that supports and suits the theory and style of classical Indian music, while lending a transformative synergy all their own.
“We have a mission to share the depth and excitement of classical Indian music, as well as culture and history, with audiences around the world,” Das enthuses. “The result is a novel, contemporary sound.”
Toronto Tabla Ensemble was nominated for a JUNO Award for their album Firedance, and their compositions have been licensed for numerous commercials and films. TTE created the theme music for CBC Radio’s daily Metro Morning.
Bhumika is available now.