Dear All, I'm happy to share with you today the first LP of 'Mai Farosh' ('Wine Seller'). The idea with this record was to use traditional indian instruments to make music that is not of this time or any time.
My family home is in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, India close to the birthplace of one of my favourite poets - Mirza Ghalib. I grew up listening to my father recite (at every fitting occasion) a 'sher' from one of the hundreds of 'ghazals' he had memorised. I was amused at first at the complex refinement of Urdu literature, but enraptured by his incantations, the wine like quality of spoken Urdu.
The words in this record revolve around themes of dreams, memories and time. They talk about a state of 'be-khudi'(being without the self/ being beside oneself), a forgoing of knowledge and righteousness, a surrender to the higher powers of beauty and love. These ghazals I wrote in 2016 are dedicated to my father, a small thank you for introducing me to the wonder of poetry.
Another feature of my childhood was the blaring of cassettes from small sometimes broken stereo decks. These memories are some of my first impressions of music and I cherish that acoustic, raw, real (distorted) sound, the perfect mix of virtuosity and spirituality in the recordings of Old Indian Classical music, Begum Akhtar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan. My inspiration for the sound design of this record came from these memories. Simple recording techniques to record complex music.
These songs are ecstatic because they came to me at a time in my life when I began to open up to the magical absurdism of everyday life. I am fascinated with energy and how multiple universes can co-exist (everything all at the same time), how clearly alien objects can come together in absolute harmony if there is a shared feeling, an openness to each other, a nurturing of all things that come with patience. These revelations are all contained in this record, I am happy that it is an honest representation of the last few years of my being here.
There's so much more to come in 2018. Until next time. Love, M 27th March, 2018
Madhav Agarwal : Voice, Harmonium, Ghungroo, Kazoo, Guitar (Yaar Ka Khat), Songwriting, Arrangement, Recording, Mixing, Mastering Rengert Eggink : Guitar (Waqt, Haaye Rabba, Beparwah), Cello (Savera, Dil, Haaye Rabba), Recording, Mixing, Mastering Rajat Mittal : Tabla, Dholak (Bemisaal, Dhuaan, Beparwah, Faraag) Kartikeya Vashist : Bansuri, Algoza (Bemisaal, Faraag) Lalit Sisodiya: Sarangi (Dhuaan) Joan Mena : Guitar (Pardaa-Poshi) Weronika Wrzosek : Violin (Waqt, Haaye Rabba) Cyrill Rafael Vasilyev, Dmitri van den Wittenboer, Stefano Sgarbi : Voices (Waqt)
Front and Back Cover Artwork by Erlend Evensen
Recorded/ Mixed/ Mastered at Slow Down Studio, Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2017/18