Wednesday 1 December 2021, 8pm
The zerOclassikal project
Baadal Dvaar se Nazar (A Glimpse Through the Cloud Door)
William Rees Hofmann with Benedict Taylor
A new work for sarod and viola
Baadal Dvaar se Nazar explores both tradition and solitude through the dhrupad idiom on the sarod, and openness and experimentation through explorations of consonance, dissonance, harmony, timbre, and resonance on the viola. Inspired by the soundtracks of the films of Mani Kaul, the piece is a new work rooted in Indian classical tradition yet which moves beyond and experiments with form.
The zerOclassikal project has been a platform for emerging musicians from diverse heritages developing ‘British SACC (south Asian contemporary classical)’ musicianship, offering a radical approach by facilitating progressions, experiments and developments in the genre since 2013. The project challenges the conventions of ‘traditional’ labels of south Asian music by making sense of the contemporary that surrounds it.
Café Kathak - excerpts from ‘One’
The internationally acclaimed Kathak dancer/choreographer, Amina Khayyam treads new ground presenting Kathak in a way never before seen, with a set featuring the form’s intricate mathematical ‘compositions’ that are spoken as parhant or expressed by footwork. Here collaborating with India’s ‘A’ list Tabla artist Debasish Mukherjee, she freefalls into the rhythms, pushing the first beat of the cyclic time, the ‘one’, to its extreme computation, nesting it until it returns to the ‘one’ again; in the process reinforcing the fundamental principle of Indian philosophy and classical arts - of the cyclic phenomenon, where there is no beginning or an end.
The set presents Kathak compositions from the company’s stage production of ‘One’ which explores the idea that we are all but refugees of that cyclic phenomenon, questioning how we have become territorial of our habitats.
With Jane Chan on parhant and Natalie Rozario on cello
William Rees Hofmann is a multi-instrumentalist specialising in both the Indian Sarod and the Afghan Rubab. Representing the musical lineages of the Maihar Gharana as well as that of Ustad Nabi Gol of Kabul, he has been studying sarod for the past twelve years under the tutelage of Satyam Rai in Gujarat, India, and has been a student of the eminent rubab player and ethnomusicologist John Baily since 2013. Classically trained in viola, Hofmann earned a BA in Hindustani Vocal Music from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, and also holds an MMus degree from SOAS in Sarod and Rubab Performance. William has performed internationally both solo and with Jāmi Ensemble, including at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Patiala Punjab, Muzaffar Ali’s Jahān-e-Khusrau, Café OTO, Iklectik, Sage Gateshead, and the Edinburgh Fringe, among others, as well as run workshops on the classical music of Kabul. He has toured and performed extensively in the UK alongside artists such as Jonathan Mayer, Amina Khayyam, Sarathy Korwar, and Najma Akhtar, and released a cassette of solo viola compositions on Night Ritual Recordings in 2013, entitled A Burial Shroud. His most recent release was a split cassette under the Curling Hands moniker for Skell Records.
Benedict Taylor is a solo violist, violinist & composer, working in improvised and new music. As an improviser he likes to play and record with many super people, and over the years has worked with; Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Terry Day, Lauren Kinsella, Lawrence Upton, Alex Ward, Cath Roberts, Tom Jackson, Renee Baker, Paul Dunmall, Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Dirk Serries, Steve Beresford, Angharad Davies, Neil Luck, John Edwards, Ivor Kallin, Anton Mobin, Hannah Marshall, David Leahy, Adam de la Cour, Alison Blunt, Chris Cundy, Daniel Thompson, Kit Downes, Yves Charuest, Alexander Hawkins, Tom Challenger, Miya, Tetsu Saito, Erika Sofia Sollo, Gianni Mimmo, Stephen Crowe, Marcello Magliocchi amongst others.
Festival, venue and radio appearances include; Spontaneous Music Festival Poland, BBC Radio 3, Jazz en Nord Festival France, BBC Radio Late Junction, Cafe Oto, The Vortex, London Contemporary Music Festival, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Ronnie Scott's, Aldeburgh Festival, Galway Jazz Festival, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, Southbank Centre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Fête de la Musique Berlin, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Manchester International Festival, Royal Court Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, Manchester Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Festival, BBC Radio 2, Resonance FM, Radio Libertaire - Epsilonia - Paris, Rotterdam Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Berlinale, Palm Springs Film Festival, London Film Festival.
He has an annual ongoing series of solo string albums, investigating the viola and violin in all manner of ways.