A live performance CD by
A new sound combining several disciplines of Asian music and Jazz fusion.
The Silk Sound ensemble has taken very old, traditional Asian music and given it a contemporary, Jazz sound. Some very prominent and talented musicians are part of the project.Musicican Bios - Click to Expand
Jeff Berman – Multiple Instruments
Jeff Berman is a multi-instrumentalist, improvising artist, composer, and educator whose work reflects his global musical vision. A native of NYC now living in Pittsburgh, his genre-extending concept on vibraphone, percussion, and mountain dulcimer has allowed him to collaborate, across stylistic boundaries, with a diverse group of artists from across the planet. Josef Woodward has described his music as “a worldly folk-jazz”, Jazziz has written “…hypnotic vibes work…Berman not only play vibes, he sounds like he created the instrument”, and Bill Milkowski has called Jeff’s writing “…hauntingly beautiful…”.
He has performed internationally both as a solo artist and as a member of various ensembles. Some of the artists he has performed, recorded, and collaborated with include Andy Statman, Paul Bley, Linda Thompson, Robert Een, Susan Mckeown, Tony Trischka, Arthur Russel, AppalAsia, Tibetan singer Pasang Dolma, and choreographers Yin Mei and Gia T. Cacalano, to name just a few.
He has several recordings on the Palmetto label featuring his compositions, and his music has been used for performance, dance, theater, and film – including the Academy Award nominated documentary In Our Water.
Matt Booth grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to Pittsburgh in 2005 to study music at Duquesne University. Since graduating, he continued living in the area and is active as a music educator and performer. Matt is a member of the Americana band City Dwelling Nature Seekers, the David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti tribute act Silencio, the tango group Cuidado, as well as freelance work accompanying singer-songwriters and jazz musicians. In 2012, Booth cofounded the Space Exchange, a weekly live music series at the Thunderbird Cafe.
Samir Chatterjee – Tabla
Samir Chatterjee is a virtuoso Tabla player of India. He travels widely across the world throughout the year performing in numerous festivals as a soloist or with other outstanding musicians from both Indian and western musical traditions. Samir performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway on December 10th, 2007. His compositions are widely acclaimed as well as his writings.
Samir Chatterjee is an A-rated artist of the national radio and television of India. He can be heard on numerous recordings featuring as soloist, accompanying many of India’s greatest musicians and in collaboration with western musicians of outstanding caliber. In concert Samir has accompanied many of India’s greatest musicians including Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ud. Vilayat Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee, Pt. V.G. Jog, Pt . Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, M. S. Gopalakrishnan, Ud. Amjad Ali Khan, Ud. Salamat Ali Khan, Smt. Lakshmi Shankar, Ud. Ashis Khan, Ud. Shujat Khan, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Rashid Khan, Pt. Tejendra N. Mazumdar, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya, to name only a few.
Samir Chatterjee lives in New York-New Jersey area, where he has become a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and Western music, performing with Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Douglas, Myra Melford, Steve Gorn, Glen Velez, Boby Sanabria, Ben Verdery, Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Philharmonic, Ethos Percussion group, Da Capo Chamber Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva and other jazz, classical and avant guard musicians and ensembles. He is member of jazz trio SYNC with Ned Rothenberg and Jerome Harris and quintet Inner Diaspora together with Mark Feldman and Eric Friedlander. He also collaborates with Sufi-Rock singer Salman Ahmad of Junoon. He is also the composer and director of Nacho Nacho – Gypsy Storyteller and Chhand-Anand, World percussion Ensemble and Dawn to Dusk and Beyond. He performs with Sanjay Mishra on his CD “Blue Incantation” featuring Jerry Garcia as guest artist.
Samir Chatterjee has been teaching for the last 30 years and many of his students are established performers. He is the Founder-Director of CHHANDAYAN, an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Indian music and culture. He is the author of a comprehensive 654-page book entitled ‘A Study of Tabla’ and a guide book to Indian music titled ‘Music of India’. He is on the faculty at Yale University, Manhattan School of Music, University of Pittsburgh, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and University of Bridgeport in CT.
Mimi Jong – Erhu
Mimi was born and raised in Indonesia, educated in Germany, and is now home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been performing erhu, an ancient Chinese two-string bowed instrument, since age eleven.
Mimi performed with members of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, renowned jazz musicians and folk musicians. She collaborated with Mary Miller Dance Company in “The Gathering of Women”, and taught and performed at Huntingdon Council for the Arts “Folk College”. As a guest artist, Mimi has performed with renowned erhu virtuoso Karen Han, Pipa virtuoso Min Xiao Fen’s New York based ensemble Blue Pipa, and has has toured and collaborated with poet/activist Huang Xiang. In addition to performing within the U.S., she also performed in Germany, Spain, China and Indonesia.
With the mission of weaving cross-cultural experience, Mimi collaborated with first-class artists from China to form “Jasmine Dynasty”, introducing Chinese dance and music to schools in the Western Pennsylvania region. She co-founded the band “AppalAsia”, combinding the influences of Appalachian and Asian music traditions with original composition and inspired improvisation to create a unique musical voice. Using erhu, dulcimer, banjo, AppalAsia creates cross-cultural musical experience that draws on their collaboration of traditions with an ear toward the future.
Saxophonist, bandleader, composer, educator; currently artist lecturer in music technology atCarnegie Mellon University, former faculty at Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Currently leads or co-leads Thoth Trio (intense acoustic jazz), OPEK (Sun Ra-inspired big band), Flexure (groove-based improvising sextet); also playing with David Throckmorton Group (improvising drum and bass/hip hop/experimental). Chief coordinator of the “Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton” festival, bringing avant garde stalwart Anthony Braxton to Pittsburgh for a series of concerts and collaborations. Recipient of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Creative Achievement Award.
Chris Parker is a Brooklyn-based drummer and guitarist and a member of folk-rock group City Dwelling Nature Seekers and jazz sextet Flexure. He is the cofounder/co-curator of the weekly live music series Space Exchange at the Thunderbird Cafe, where he leads his own groups and participates in others. Chris also does freelance session work for film & TV including the MTV series Finding Carter.
Harish Saluja has been the co-host of the radio program Music From India on the NPR affiliate WESA-FM, since 1972. He is also a filmmaker, artist (painter) and entrepreneur. His film, The Journey (www.newray.com) won several awards and was distributed by IFC. He is the founder and Executive Dir of Silk Screen, Asian Arts and Culture Organization.
The Music- Click to Expand
1. Noble (Vaishnava Jan): This is a variation of the song (prayer) Vaishnava Jan. It was a favorite of Mahatma Gandhi. The text enumerates the virtues of a noble person. The original melody and rhythm is straightforward but this performance explores a bit more on both aspects.
2. Slake (Desh): Slake is a refreshing piece with a dualism of satisfaction and longing. It is centered on a monsoon Raga named Desh symbolizing relief and release (after the summer heat), romance and growth (cultivation). It is set to fast tintaal, a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats divided 4/4/4/4.
3. Sun Gate: As the last stop for travelers exiting ancient China onto the Silk Road, Sun Gate was one of the two gates of the westernmost frontier, fortified by Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty around 100 BC. The Eighth Century poet Wang Wei of the Tang Dynasty wrote a farewell poem to his friend, which became a well-know song. The current melody is based on a late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) tune, originally played on guqin, a seven-string zither.
4. Bilawal : Based on a major raga in the Indian melodic system, it portrays the energy of the late morning sun; that of rejuvenation and exploration. The rhythmic feel of five corresponds with Jhaptaal in the Indian tala system. The melody is oriental and universal at the same time. The mode is similar to the Ionian scale, with a variation on the seventh note.
5. Drunken Ecstasy: This guqin (ancient zither) piece was believed to have been composed by Ruan Ji (210-263) from the Three Kingdoms Period. It reflects the discontent of intellectuals, who lived in a period of political power struggles, corruptions, conflicts between the haves and have-nots, and upheavals in the society. They took comfort in wine and music
6. To-I-Light (Marwa): This piece has a contemplative mood, reflections on the day as it winds up. It is based on Raga Marwa. The meter of the piece is a deceptive interpretation of regular four, which doesn’t feel like one.
“Last nights performance was magnificent……what you have created, nurtured and brought to fruition is nothing short of amazing and I anxiously await another chance to experience Silk Sound…..the city is enhanced by what you do”
- Bob Studebaker Legendary Jazz host on the NPR radio station WESA 90.5FM
“Usually, these cultural collaborations do not work. Silk Sound is a rare exception. The ensemble offers a rare blend of sensitivity and virtuosity presented with insight and conviction.”
- Mark Yacovone, Producer – broadcast and recording
“We just got back from that Asian fusion jazz concert, and it was fabulous! What great artistic live music. We really enjoyed it immensely.”
– Joan Cucinotta, Sewickley Academy
A clip from the piece Noble (Vaishnava Jan):
A clip from the piece Slake(Desh):
Silk Sound performs for Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto’s Inaguration