Sunset serves as the first single off Ruminate, highlighting the soft, subtle sound of the double reeded, Armenian duduk woodwind.
As a co-founder of critically acclaimed jazz fusion act Consider The Source, renown multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Akhmad Marin deftly delivers a new album of instrumental improvisations on ‘Ruminate’. Listeners will be struck by the seemingly endless layers of melodic nuance while simultaneously lost in musical thought from hypnotic Sufi-inspired rhythms.
Recorded over the course of two evenings June, 2021 at Slamhouse Studio and the artist’s home in Queens, New York, ‘Ruminate’ amalgamates numerous Silk Road musical instruments and genres that are rooted in the traditions of distinct regional performance-practices yet infused with melodic phrasings and strumming techniques spanning across Eurasia.
In lieu of predetermined composition, the record is driven purely by improvisational technique. As a virtuoso of the fretless guitar, Marin manipulates modal effects that digitally mimic natural reeded woodwinds. As an ustod of two-stringed lutes, he proceeds to dazzle his audiences with strumming so sophisticated in its complexity and articulation that it raises the bar for all acoustic lutes: the minimally strung chordophone conversely creates a Babelesque “Wall of Sound” that never falls but merely softens into silence.
Sunset serves as the first single off Ruminate, highlighting the soft, subtle sound of the double reeded, Armenian duduk woodwind while unchangingly performed on a single-neck fretless electric guitar. The main plangent melody infuses a mélange of melodies from the Southern Caucasus Mountains along with subtlest of polyphonic accentuations. For many, a sunrise symbolizes the start or commencement, but on “Ruminate,” our musical journey instead begins at dusk, for it is only after “Sunset” when our dreams take hold and guide us back to the light of our imagination.
“I feel Sunset does a good job of being emotionally expressive yet existing in a rhythmically free space,” continues Marin. “It shows the blend of East and West so naturally that it doesn’t seem to be able to tell which is which. It is all played live on a fretless guitar, which is not at all what people would think hearing it. People will think it is the Duduk, but it isn’t.”
Known to “boasts insane chops, impeccable time, mastery of diverse traditional scales, rare fretless guitar fluency and a gift for manipulating effects.” (Premier Guitar Magazine), Marin once again proves with Ruminate that he is a musician beyond compare. Passion, expressionism, meditation and urgency – each feeling ripples outward with every note Ruminate has to offer.
Gabriel Akhmad Marin’s Ruminate: Improvisations for Fretless Guitar and Dutar is out 5 November, his first single ‘Sunset’ is out now on Worlds Within Worlds.