Indian contemporary pianist Aman Mahajan launches debut solo album, Refuge in December this year

Aman Mahajan is an Indian pianist, composer and educator playing improvised music across a diversity of musical idioms. His current work is influenced by traditional and contemporary forms of music from around the world, often concept-driven, and inspired by a sense of unity and connection. He is keenly interested in improvised music as a medium of interaction and exploration.

Mahajan is presently based in Bangalore, involved with his solo piano project REFUGE, and other collaborations including Tinctures with Berlin-based guitarist Nishad Pandey, 2 For The Road with vocalist Radha Thomas, and cross-cultural trio Mystik Vibes with percussionist Muthu Kumar and flautist Amith Nadig.

He has performed widely on the Indian music circuit, and in Europe and USA, at a number of music venues, concert halls and music festivals, including Murszene Graz (Austria, 2019), Jazzwerkstatt Graz (Austria, 2018), Jazz Utsav (New Delhi, 2017), EUROPAFest (Sinaia, 2015), Festival of Sacred Music (Thiruvaiyaru, 2015), Goa Jazz Festival (Goa, 2014), IndiEarth XChange (Madras, 2014), Kasauli Rhythm & Blues Festival (Kasauli, 2014), goMAD Festival (Ooty, 2013) and MAD Festival (Ooty, 2012).

Focussed on the development of contemporary improvised music in India, he teaches privately at his piano studio in Bangalore, and has been a returning faculty member at the Global Music Institute, New Delhi.

Refuge is a reflective set of musical themes exploring ideas of home and paying homage to inward journeys. Although created through an intensely personal process, the music deals with the human condition, and finds resonance with listeners across the globe.

A work in progress since 2005, Refuge is also a musical scrapbook documenting the composer’s life and explorations of philosophical frameworks and intellectual ideas in tandem with musical concepts, along with a few tracks that are personal dedications.

The music thrives on a synthesis of myriad influences – jazz, Indian and European classical traditions, Brazilian music, West African music, Japanese and East Asian aesthetics, and folk music from around the world. Casual and extended improvisation play a key role in developing each piece. Equal parts structured and improvised, Refuge has been performed in various instrumentations, featuring instruments as diverse as tabla, duduk, saxophones, vocals, bass clarinet and drum set.

This is essentially a collection of pieces that originated at the piano, travelling across continents on various collaborations, meeting a multitude of musicians and audiences along the way, only to return to the piano in this avatar.
December 11, 2019
Track Listing:

01 Where Is It?
02 The Ten Thousand Questions
03 More Than You Know (VIDEO Premiere here)
04 Sitaphalmandi
05 Connections
06 Beginningless
07 Leifmotif
08 Where Is It? (reprise) // Refuge
09 Unnamed (live)
10 Sun Dance