Pre-order of Truth BeTold. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it's released.
‘Truth BeTold’ is a transformative journey, told through personal life experiences of childhood, finding identity through revolution, love, disillusionment and hope. These experiences are sonically and lyrically embodied through water forms such as playful creeks, melting river-flows and the terrible, calm beauty of the sea. The album is thematically arranged into three chapters reflecting Sufi poet Rumi's questions: 'Is it True?’, ‘Is it Kind?’, ‘Is it Necessary?’
Recorded live, the album showcases Rahman’s unique approach to sitar performance and composition, with electro-acoustic tracks seamlessly crossing genres, including jazz, dub, worldbeats, swing, electronica, Indian classical melodies and more. The album is the first to feature the groundbreaking 'mi.mu gloves' throughout; cutting edge, wearable tech that allows the artist’s movement to trigger sounds and effects as part of the live performance, underlining Rahman’s status as a ‘futuristic storyteller’.
More than just a collection of songs, the album is a continuous flow of music and spoken word interludes, backed by sitar soundscapes. The result is a wonderful, genre-bending opus, illustrating an artist confidently reaching new musical and storytelling heights.
Shama Rahman comfortably takes her sitar out of the traditional context, demonstrating a versatility rarely heard. The innocent, happy childhood chimes of ‘Choto Meye (Little Girl)’ give way to ‘Liquid Blue’ a unique mix of jazz and latin fused with contemporary Bengali rap; a song about the impatience of wanting to grow up and start living life.
Title track ‘Truth BeTold’ is a standout, dreamy track with trip-hop vibes and a Bjork-like quirkiness. Switching between English and French vocals, while mixing traditional and contemporary melodies, this track has a true international sound, while also offering the strongest nod towards the metaphysical filter of Rahman’s sufi leanings. The effect of the 'mi.mu gloves', as part of the futuristic live performance, can be clearly heard as part of the vocal intro on this track.
‘In My Line Of Sight’ explores the sound of jazz improvisation and crunchy, sub-Saharan, Ethiopian-esque electronic guitar sounds. The album’s water themes are lyrically, most apparent in this track, with different stages of love represented by analogies of a river, lake and the sea. ‘Deshlai Kati’ brings together dub, reggae and the traditional sound of the sitar electronically manipulated live, to create something new. This is a song about finding identity through revolution. ‘Personal Grey’ is the ballad of the album, with Rahman using the sitar to give a new twist on Western melodies. ‘City In The West’ takes the energy up, underpinning the song with an infectious, driving riff. ‘Ships In The Night’ sees Shama and her band effortlessly switch from a downtempo groove to upbeat, bouncy swing, before the album closes with the beautiful, melancholy reflections of ‘Love Was Not Enough’.
Between each song an interlude adds to the story being told, alluding to the theme of the upcoming song, as well as adding an experimental element to the music. Traditional beats and instrumentation blend with electronic sounds, spoken word and poetry, creating an immersive listening experience.
Shama Rahman performed ‘Truth BeTold’ live at the Alchemy Festival at The Southbank Centre in London in May 2016. This avant-garde performance broke through the boundaries of live performance, delivering something completely new. The 'mi.mu gloves' system was used as a centrepiece, allowing for freeform improvisation and direct interaction with dancers and visual artists, to create a futuristic storytelling loop; a stunning, immersive and interactive glimpse into the future of live performance.
releases September 8, 2017
All tracks written, composed and produced by Shama Rahman
Co-produced by Tilé Gichigi-Lipere and Dave Holmes
Truth BeTold lyrics co-written by Line Al-Khayer
Storm So New co-produced by Christopher Barrett (PTC)
Recorded and mastered at Soup Studios
Album artwork and design: Andrea Sartini
Photography: Ty Faruki and Swara Kadir
Thanks to all the wonderful musicians who have played on this album:
Christopher Barrett (Electric Tuba)
Rachel Bartlett (sax/flute),
Moses Boyd (drums),
Inga Eichler (bass)
Sarathy Korwar (Tabla, KAOSS pad)
Christopher Lane (guitar),
Tilé Gichigi-Lipere (live electronic sampling),
Shama Rahman (Sitar, Voice, Ukelele, Wurlitzer, 'mi.mu gloves'),
To my Father and Mother;
'Mi.mu gloves' team - as artist-in-residence, I recorded the world's first full live album with these pioneering wearable tech that allow music making through gestural movements in space and freehand draw sounds in multiple dimensions, spontaneously creating and manipulating the sound in an intuitive and expressive way. The movements were choreographed into a form of dance, leading and led by music into a cross-arts performance at London's Southbank with live band, dancers and real-time generative visuals. Thanks to visual artists Matteo Zamagni and Claudio Giambusso, choreographer Jorge Crecis, and dancers Jessica Razia Kenny, Patrick Connelly III, Dan Thatcher, Kessi Rowlands;
Filmmakers Swara Kadir, Margarita Milne who filmed a documentary of the artistic process or recording and performing this album.
All those who have believed in and supported the project especially all our succesful Kickstarter backers.
Shama weaves stories, sitar and song seamlessly in her forthcoming album "Fable:Time" and combines influences from
everywhere she has lived and loved. Across 3 continents, she puts World music in context coining: Urban Folk. Shama is a Sitar-player, Singer/songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, actress/spoken word artist and scientist (PhD in the neuroscience of musical creativity)....more