Avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington today debuts “Truth,” the sixth movement from Harmony of Difference, a new EP set for release this summer. The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic, and will be released via Young Turks. Washington has signed to the iconic London label, the home of The xx, Sampha, FKA Twigs and more, worldwide.
“Truth” is accompanied by a new short film from director A.G. Rojas, watch/listen here.
Harmony of Difference, an original six-movement suite, premiered as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial alongside a film by Rojas also featuring artwork by Washington’s sister Amani Washington.
Harmony of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.”
Washington’s suite includes visual elements married to the musical works and draws voraciously on jazz for its foundation. Each of the first five movements is its own unique composition. “Truth,” the sixth movement, fuses all five compositions into one simultaneous performance.
Echoing this fusion, Amani Washington created five paintings focused on raw shapes and colors, each inspired by one of the first five movements of the suite. Amani then combined these paintings to create a sixth: an abstract depiction of a human face.
The film, directed by A.G. Rojas and presented in partnership with WeTransfer Studios, brings the metaphoric ideas found in both the music and paintings to life. While still quite abstract, it focuses on the harmony found in people from South Central and East Los Angeles and shows the beauty in their differences.
Beyond the artistic impulse to expand the possibilities within counterpoint, Washington wanted to create something that opened people’s minds to the gift of diversity. In his own words, “my hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”