Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and TheRajasthan Express’ Junun released on November 20, 2015.
Recording process in India documented for Junun film,directed by Paul Thomas Anderson Nonesuch Records releases Junun – an album from composer/musician ShyeBen Tzur, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and The Rajasthan Express, a group of Indian musicians – on November 20.
Recorded earlier this year in a makeshiftstudio inside the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India, the album wasmade with Radiohead’s producer Nigel Godrich, who worked with the ensembleto create this two LP/CD album.
The album comprises Ben Tzur’s compositions, which feature devotional Sufi qawwal musicians who sing in Urdu as well as in hisnative Hebrew. Pre-orders of Junun (an alternate spelling of “junoon”, whichmeans “mania”, or “the madness of love”) are available now from iTunes andfrom nonesuch.com with an instant download of the album track ‘Roked’; a filmclip featuring ‘Roked’ can be viewed here.The filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, a friend and frequent collaborator ofGreenwood, came along to document the recording sessions as well as daily life and the close camaraderie of artistic collaboration.
Anderson’s resulting impressionistic film, also entitled Junun, debuted at the New York Film Festival onOctober 8 and began streaming exclusively on MUBI from October 9, where it willstream for 30 days. Junun also will be shown at the Rome Film Festival in mid-October.
Greenwood made a guest appearance last year during Ben Tzur’s London concert, where they previewed some of the music of Junun, and this summer, thetwo were joined by the qawwali party for two performances at the JerusalemSacred Music Festival. Further concerts are being planned for the future, as are additional screenings of Anderson’s film.
Shye Ben Tzur is an Israeli composer/producer/poet and performer who lives inIndia and Israel. He composes qawwalis, instrumental and devotional music, inHebrew, Urdu, and Hindi. A concert by Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasiathat Ben Tzur attended as a young man was life-changing. “It touched my heartso deeply,” he says. “It was at the time the deepest musical experience I had gone through.
It moved me so that I could do nothing but go find out what it is. Ifeel I’m still in that spot. I don’t think I have achieved it. Indian music is so vastand so deep and the more I learn different things about it, I realize how ignorant Iwas. It just doesn’t stop.”
“When I was in the Negev desert in southern Israel a couple of years ago, I heard a band playing a song using an Arabic violin called a rehab,” Greenwood told London’s Evening Standard. “It was a strange mix of Arabic and traditional Indianmusic, one that I’d never come across before.” He continued, “The best song, I found out, was written by Shye Ben Tzur, an Israeli musician who had been livingin India until this year. I set out to discover more about him… I’m always a little wary of rock bands half-heartedly dabbling in world music – itself a slightly greasyterm – but there are exceptions.
Damon Albarn is one: his work with musicians inMali is something he’s clearly fully committed to.
And I think Shye Ben Tzur isanother.”Widely known as the guitarist for Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood also is a highlyrespected composer.
In addition to his soundtracks to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, There Will Be Blood, and The Master, Nonesuch also released hisscore for Norwegian Wood and his collaboration with Polish composer KrzysztofPenderecki.