The Ragmala project brings together
Go: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive
"Two of the most interesting bands in the USA" (London Jazz Times)
into a synergistic exploration of
Indian classical music and American contemporary creative music.
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Music composed and improvisationally
conducted by Adam Rudolph
Purchase Double CD
The Ragmala Project is a 27-piece orchestra which speaks in a hybrid tongue that reflects the immigrant experience, with diverse cultures congregating and enriching one another in profound and surprising ways. While the music of Ragmala draws inspiration from the wealth of these traditions, the resulting sound is something entirely new.
Using a groundbreaking compositional and spontaneous conducting approach invented by Artistic Director Adam Rudolph, each member's distinctive identity shines through in a singular vivid tapestry of transcendent and harmonious sound or what critic Ian Ward of UK Vibes calls "a truly global, celestial, cosmic "world" music."
Ragmala / Go: Organic Orchestra is a 21st century vision of a "future orchestra". It's multicultural, multiracial, multi-gender and multigenerational dynamic expresses a vision of our shared humanity. Musicians and instruments from India, Brazil, Japan, USA, Canada, Cuba, Guinea, Argentina, Morocco and Bangladesh join together to create a realization of creative community in a world without boundaries; of culture as the vessel for understanding, empathy and sharing.
"Rudolph's massive catalog is chock-full of sophisticated and fascinating records. Ragmala, however, is his opus, a major work that establishes the ground for infinite possibilities in improvisational interaction for an ensemble, as well giving flesh to an expansive musical language that edifies players and listeners equally. A deeply attractive, aesthetically accessible, yet extremely complex tapestry of sounds, hues, and aural sensations".
- Thom Jurek, allmusic.com
"Ragmala A Garland of Ragas is magnificent music for our times: earthy, glowing, roving and boundless in its creativity and challenging vision for a world united by music."
- Boston Concert Reviews
"a stunning journey into the unknown"
- Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise, UK
"...the music on this double CD is remarkable, haunting and compelling"
- Jazz Journal UK
"I am deeply in love with Ragmala. It's beautiful, expansive and majestic with a palpable deep connectedness but a virtuosic freedom too. It manages to forge a focused synergistic relationship between jazz, Indian Classical, West African etc. music while still expressing individual voices and creating a universal, not generic, whole. It is an authoritative step forward in the evolution of a truly global, celestial, cosmic "world" music.
- Ian Ward, UK Vibe
"Earnest efforts to mesh the potentialities of Indian and Western musical instruments go back well over half a century…... Ragmala: A Garland of Ragas is one of the first to succeed on a large scale."
- Michael Schell, Sequenza 21, Italy
(5/5 Stars) "I don't feel equipped to review this album, neither emotionally or technically. It overheats my tiny brain and asks me "spiritual" questions I haven't begun to feel answers for. I don't fear it though, in fact, I am deeply in love with it, but I am a touch overwhelmed by it. It's beautiful, expansive and majestic: it's expansive otherness, its core rasa, reminds me of the feeling I get when listening to my heroes; Cherry, Sanders, Sun Ra, Coltrane. It is an authoritative step forward in the evolution of a truly global, celestial, cosmic "world" music".
- Ian Ward, UK Vibe
"While Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center has been presenting jazz, improvised and/or experimental music for half a century, it's still entirely possible this was the most sweepingly wide, boundary-defying cross-cultural performance the venue has ever seen."
- Geno Thackara, All About Jazz
“Two of the most interesting bands in the USA....In the jazz world, not since Sun Ra has this reviewer heard anything so successful at reaching the parts other music
generally fails to reach. This double album feels like a milestone in the evolution of truly world music.”
- Fiona Mactaggart, London Jazz News
"Sublime...a gorgeously complex tapestry of sounds, hues and sensations"
- Suzanne Lorge, DownBeat Magazine
"Expanding the notion of what raga—the immersive, epic form of Indian music—can mean...”
- Wall St. Journal
(4 Stars) ..this collaboration with the adventurous, multi-cultural collective Brooklyn Raga Massive is an absolutely inspired pairing. For the last seven years, Brooklyn Raga Massive has been fusing Indian Classical music, US minimalism and deep jazz to stunning effect. Moreover, both units believe in the power of music to transcend cultural boundaries and reach deep spiritual regions.
There’s a mysterious sense of scale and antiquity to the whole date even when it veers into the murky Bitches Brew-style electric jazz as on “Ascent to Now,” which combines Indian instrumentation with billowing horn charts and driving rim-shot momentum.
It’s a stunning journey into the unknown.
- Jazzwise (UK), September 2019
(4 Stars) "The sound has been called a Bitches Brew—Miles Davis (Columbia, 1970)—of the twenty-first century, but perhaps a more accurate comparison might be Alice Coltrane circa 1973, with her Journey to Satchidananda (Impulse! Records), painted, in Ragmala’s case, from a broader palette".
- Dan McClenaghan - All About Jazz
RAGMALA MUSICIANSGo: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive
Music composed and spontaneously conducted by Adam Rudolph
Brooklyn Raga Massive Performing Artists
Samarth Nagarkar - vocal
Arun Ramamurthy - violin
Neel Murgai - electric sitar, overtone singing
Jay Gandhi - bansuri flute
Mir Iqbal - tabla
Go: Organic Orchestra Performing Artists
Kaoru Watanabe - c flute, noh kan
Michel Gentile – c flute
Sylvain Leroux - tambin, c flute
Ze Luis – c and alto flute
Stephen Haynes - cornet, conch, kudu horn
Sara Schoenbeck - bassoon
Ivan Barenboim - b flat clarinets
Trina Basu - violin
Julianne Carney-Chung - violin
Sana Nagano - violin
Richard Carr - violin
Stephanie Griffin - viola
Gwen Laster - viola
Jake Charkey - cello
Mia Theodoratus - harp
Kenny Wessel - electric guitar
Alexis Marcelo - piano and electric keyboards
Damon Banks - electric bass
Harris Eisenstadt - drum kit, bata
Rogerio Boccato - percussion
Tripp Dudley - cajon, dumbek, frame drums, percussion
Tim Keiper - gourd, pandeiro, dusu n'gonile
Concert & Workshop Bookings
For concert and workshop bookings for Ragmala, please contact:
Alison Loerke - ALIA Productions
Ragmala is available for performances in 3 formats:
1. The full ensemble of 21 to 27 performers
2. A chamber group of 8 to 12 performers
3. A core group of 3 to 5 performers to collaborate with local musicians. These can be classical orchestras, jazz big bands, college student ensembles etc For more on how these collaborations work, please click here.
Workshops: In addition to Mr. Rudolph's workshops on the elements of the Go: Organic Orchestra concept, many members of Ragmala are experienced teachers who can offer workshops in music history pedagogy, practices and instrumental technique in music from North and South India, European Classical Music, Jazz and modern improvisation, traditional Japanese music, Brazilian music and West African musics.
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