Bazantar/Sitar, featuring the composition Fool…, is the first recording to showcase the Bazantar. As a composer, Mark Deutsch has integrated many diverse elements into this work. He weaves Indian music’s sublime melodic contouring with the panoramic architecture of classical music, universal mathematical principles with a jazz musician’s commitment to spontaneous creation, and avant-garde’s visceral convulsions with folk tradition’s graceful simplicity to create a musical gestalt that defies simplistic categorization.
The composition Fool… expresses in its cyclical construction the evolution of a consciousness from oblivion and struggle, through a progression of states such as searching, contemplation, epiphany, and forgiveness, to arrive at awareness and transformation. The work’s underlying structure was developed from the concept of respiration, and employs many interwoven cycles, which are represented as the interplay between pairs of opposites. Though the composition can be seen as a journey from birth to death, in a deeper context it expresses the evolution of any idea from gestation to awareness.
While the Bazantar is the primary instrument used in the composition, the sitar serves an important role as a treble counterpart to the baritone voice of the Bazantar, with the percussion instruments used in the prelude and postlude conceptually binding the piece together. All the Bazantar and sitar tracks are live solo performances. There is no overdubbing, looping, or other studio effects on these tracks. Rarely attempted in today’s environment of digital manipulation, the method of recording requires substantial skill by both engineer and musician. The result is a work that reveals the creative process with a remarkable vitality.