This World of Dew is the third release of Aaron Shragge’s duo with Ben Monder. The duo, an exploratory meditative collaboration, has been praised as both “thoroughly modern with a definitive sound...” (The Birmingham Times) as well as “…lyrical and heartwarming…” (Jazz Times).
The album features guitarist Ben Monder’s otherworldly harmonic virtuosity in expansive sonic textures that highlight Shragge’s subtle and distinguished lyrical voice on the shakuhachi and dragon mouth trumpet(custom microtonal instrument). New compositions by Shragge are inspired by the writings of both ancient and modern poets: Kobayashi Issa, Matsuo Bashō, Li Po, Nishiyama Sōin and Charles Bukowski.
The inspiration for these new pieces came partly from Shagge’s immersion in the poetry of Charles Bukowski in which he read all of the poet’s work over the span of a year as well as from translations found “The Poetry of Zen” (Shambala, 2007) first introduced to Shragge on a Zen retreat lead by Roshi Enkyo O’Hara. Tracks 2-7 make up “This World of Dew Suite” which following the emotional arc of poet Kobahashi Issa’s grief in mourning the loss of daughter at a young age. What ties all these compositions together is how they explore themes of loneliness, perseverance and impermanence.
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