Today, the celebrated global Indian music collective Berklee Indian Ensemble released their highly anticipated debut album Shuruaat, marking the Ensemble’s first decade together. The innovative, multicultural Ensemble has earned acclaim for its unique style that honors Indian traditions while boldly experimenting with a cross pollination of genres, cultures, and multidisciplinary art forms. After enthralling millions of fans through live performances and viral YouTube content, this is the first time that audiences will be able to enjoy the Ensemble’s music via streaming services worldwide. Listen to Shuruaat HERE.
The 10-track stand-out compilation features an impressive total of 98 prolific musicians from 39 countries, and also highlights the pinnacle of Indian artistry, including Grammy-winning tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, virtuosic composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan, Oscar and Grammy winning Kannada vocalist Vijay Prakash and one of Bollywood’s finest playback singers Shreya Ghoshal. Every track is nuanced with the Ensemble’s diverse musical influences including jazz, progressive rock, Indian classical, Sufi and Middle Eastern flavors.
In addition to the much-admired Indian musicians, alumni and students from Berklee College of Music, Shuruaat boasts collaborations with contemporary-classical duo, Shadow and Light, and features two Shakti tributes, as well as four original compositions.
Berklee Indian Ensemble Founder/Director Annette Philip notes, “Shuruaat (meaning new beginning in Hindi) showcases our journey thus far and the one we’re about to embark on. Our audience has been begging for this music to be available on streaming platforms for a decade. It is fitting that our debut album gives a glimpse into the global family of musicians who’ve been part of the Ensemble since 2011, alongside historic collaborations with many of our musical heroes. The 10 tracks on Shuruaat showcase the depth and breadth of our 10-year journey with original music, tributes to ‘Shakti’ and ‘Remember Shakti,’ as well as signature Berklee Indian Ensemble reinterpretations of Indian film music.”
Reflecting further on how the concept of unity and open mindedness plays a pivotal role in the origin of the album Annette expands, “There is a unique power when musicians from different cultural or musical backgrounds make art together in a space that celebrates their similarities and differences. The music that gets created in this vulnerable space comes across viscerally, and allows a song in a foreign language to feel completely relatable because of the human connection. It changes from ‘their story’ to ‘our story’. Bridge building has always been at the heart of the Ensemble’s intent, prioritizing the people who create this music, regardless of genre or form. And Shuruaat mirrors this intent.”