“Hamari” By Slowspin
Zeerak Ahmed AKA: Slowspin—is set to release her first full-length, collaborative album titled, TALISMAN. The full-length was recorded and produced with a notable lineup of New York-based musicians, including executive producer Shahzad Ismaily and co-producer Grey Mcmurray, Slowspin paints a story of the migrant’s journey into the unknown: the abyss of love, loss and longing. The album blends North Indian classical vocal traditions, combined with shoegaze, psychedelic-rock, folk, ambient and experimental music.
The US-based Pakistani artist and singer/songwriter’s album started with an improv session with Shahzad Ismaily (Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Arooj Aftaab, Love in Exile), Grey Mcmurray (Gil Scott-Heron, Tongues in Trees trio, Beth Orthon, Ali Sethi), Aaron Roche (Kjartan Sveinsson, JFDR, Sam Amidon) and Greg Fox (Liturgy, Z’s) at Figure 8 Studio in Brooklyn. Three days of boundless explorations with Slowspin singing to her finger plucked guitar, Ismaily on bass, Roche on acoustic guitar, Mcmurray on electric and Fox on drums, grew into three years of pandemic production. In quarantine’s solitude, Slowspin and Grey Mcmurray dove into the myriad of immediate and ancestral memories, which birthed a collage of melodies expressing the tenderness of home, the lover’s voyage and desire for oneness. Through words, vowels and howls in Slowspin’s mother tongue(s)—Urdu, Farsi, Purbi and English—uncanny and heart wrenching refrains build new soundscapes. With the addition of sublime contributions from Alison Shearer (flute), Rich Hinman (pedal steel), Eve Lawitts (double bass), Adriana Molello (violin) and Michael Beharie (bass/synth).
Slowspin says, “the TALISMAN is a tightly woven amulet made from devotional expressions. Braided from the metallic threads of the ecstasy of my highest loves, the smokey whispers of my deepest, quietest losses, and the over pouring rivers of my loudest calls. The TALISMAN or طلسم holds the telos: it is an amulet for the journey into the unknown, a balm for the pilgrim traversing the abyss of love, loss and longing.” Guitarist, singer and co- producer Grey Mcmurray, who is revered for his intuitive musicality, eloquently narrates enchanting as well as feverish scenes. Through his chord washes and poignant rests between notes, he effortlessly holds space for Slowspin’s lilting arrangements that recall the journey to the divine.
In 2013, she became a formative member of the independent music community in Karachi, Pakistan. Frequently moving between Pakistan, Germany and the U.S., she has performed, exhibited and curated shows at a number of international venues. After the completion of her MFA in Creative Practice, she served as the Assistant Curator for the Inaugural Karachi Biennale 2017 and began teaching as Associate Professor for Studio and Liberal Arts Programs the following year. In 2022 she received the Akron Museum CAN Triennial Prize and is presently teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
order Talisman by Slowspin HERE
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