Here’s an excellent mix of classical Indian, and Indian-inspired music from Polish clarinet maestro Wacław Zimpel. In addition to being a virtuosic clarinetist, Zimpel is a ‘musical chameleon’, applying his dexterity to Moroccan, Japanese and Indian musical traditions. This mix includes three tracks from Zimpel’s recent record Lines, which draws deeply from the labyrinthine well of Indian classical music. I can’t put it much better than Tristan Bath in his Quietus review of Lines, when he wrote: ‘Melodies collide and intersect throughout, and like the lines of a spirograph they only form the real whole after a few dozen cycles’. More words from Waclaw below.
‘I prepared this mix based on my Indian inspirations. There are pieces originating directly from India – representing both carnatic and hindustani styles – and pieces which are inspired by these traditions, including my own compositions.’
Waclaw Zimpel – Alupa-pappa (Instant Classic)
Tracks 1, 6 and 10 are from my solo album Lines (Instant Classic), and are very much inspired by the music of American minimalists and Indian rhythm patterns.
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse Records)
Track 2 is classic piece from Alice Coltrane’s fantastic album Journey in Satchidananda. Her music was one of the links which brought my attention to Indian music.
Sheik Chinna Moulana – Endaro Mahanubhavulu-Sri-Adi (Tyagaraja)
Track 3 is a beautiful composition of Tyagaraja – the greatest Indian composer from 18th/19th Century. This composition is played by Nadaswaram (south Indian oboe – one of the oldest Indian instruments) master Sheik Chinna Moulana. The composition is set in Sri Ragam (Ragas are the Indian scales which are the basis of all Indian compositions).
Saagara – Hastipaka (MultiKulti Project)
Hastipaka is a composition from my record Saagara – the first album of my group which consists of carnatic musicians from Bangalore and myself. The composition is based on raga Rasikapriya.
Terry Riley – Anthem of the Trinity (CBS Masterworks)
Terry Riley’s work forms another link to Indian classical music for me and is a very big inspirations.
Ali Akbar Khan – Gat in Jhap Tala
Track 7 is by Ali Akbar Khan – a sarod master of Hindustani tradition. One of the greatest musicians in history. For sure one of my absolute favourites.
La Monte Young – Bb dorian blues
Another big inspiration, La Monte Young’s ideas stem directly from Indian classical music.
S. Balachander – Rasikapriya
This uses the same raga as track 4, performed by the great S. Balachander – one of most the most creative artists in India’s history. He was a self-taught veena player. He was also an accomplished filmmaker, as a producer, director, music director, actor, singer and dancer. This piece comes from an album of full Melakarta performance. Melakarta is a collection of the fundamental 72 ragas which are basis of all other ragas.