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A Look at Groundbreaking Album The Resonance Between

The Resonance Between Project

By: Kimberly Porter | The Resonance Between Project | Image: supplied

The Resonance Between is a mixture of Indian and European classical music — producing a one-of-a-kind project from artists Alam Khan, Arjun K. Verma, and Del Sol Quartet. The resulting work boasts a strong unity of vision, something that creates a synthesis that doesn’t bounce as back and forth between influences but creates a new place to go musically.

Indian and European classical music aren’t often given such a thorough treatment together. Typically, artists who mix the two genres engage in pastiche, placing pieces of each side by side without any coherent aesthetic. But The Resonance Between delivers exactly what its name suggests — a new style that arrives by working these two traditions off of each other. That’s no doubt because the artists behind it are so uniquely suited to the task.

How the Album Came to Be

The Resonance Between began with sarod player Khan and sitarist Verma. Their artistic journey has been one deeply rooted in identity — both have Indian and Euro-American backgrounds. For the new album, they dove into this subject matter directly, employing the help of Jack Perla who has extensive experience in cross-cultural composition.

Together, they wrote pieces that took many of the sonic qualities of Indian classical and detailed these with Western sensibilities that fill out the texture and flow. Add in raga and a contemporary approach to production and you begin to grasp where The Resonance Between comes from.

But that’s only half the story.

The Del Sol Quartet is a highly innovative chamber music ensemble led by violist Charlton Lee. Though born out of the European string quartet, they eschew any strict adherence to tradition and instead prefer a stance that crosses any border it finds — blending cultures into a distinctive sound all their own.

Their inclusion in The Resonance Between means the entire work is showered in their stunning strings, amping up the emotional intensity.

To round out the studio, the key contributors welcomed in Ojas Adhiya, Ishaan Ghosh, and Nilan Chaudhuri — a bevy of young tabla drummers that are already establishing themselves as leaders in the field.

Taking a Journey - The Resonance Between

The Resonance Between utilizes its incredible musicianship and sharp production to great effect, producing a cinematic landscape that carries us through major feeling and interesting, sometimes even cerebral, moments.

The journey through the album represents a journey in time that takes us from the heights of Indian and European classical to the 21st century. Because while the work is innovative in many ways, it is not a total rupture from the past. For both Khan and Verma, the project is a way to develop what they inherited, not break from it entirely.

Alam Khan is the grandson of the legendary Allauddin Khan. This is the master who taught Ravi Shankar — perhaps the greatest global ambassador of the Indian sound in the 20th century. These virtuosos, like their teacher and like Alam Khan, were transcendent talents that were able to bridge the east-west divide with their music.

Alam Khan is also the son of Ali Akbar Khan who popularized the Indian sound around the world with continent-hopping tours, and he now runs the illustrious Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael.

As Alam Khan says himself, “Making this music was my way of honoring while attempting to further the innovations made by both my grandfather and father. Incorporating my sphere of musical influences and conceptual nature allowed for me to express that world between worlds As a mixed-race multidisciplinary musician, creating from this world between worlds is my way of sharing my identity and unique upbringing both musically and culturally. It is of the utmost importance to convey this through my contemporary works."

Arjun K. Verma also comes from a legacy of classical music. He was born the son of renowned sitarist Roop Verma who began teaching his son at the age of five. The younger Verma then studied with none other than Ali Akbar Khan. He has gone on to enjoy success performing on national television, at the UN, and recording with Grammy award-winning artists and the London Symphony Orchestra.

These profound connections show the meaningful ways that the past shows up in The Resonance Between, working in tandem with the future to produce something special today.

Something New

While it certainly respects and engages with tradition, The Resonance Between is home to many firsts. It is the first musical work to ever be composed expressly for sarod, sitar, violin, viola, cello, and tabla. Because of this, it is able to use the strengths of these six instruments in collaboration, resulting in a blending of styles forms that rare achievement: a genuinely revolutionary listening experience.

"So many cross-cultural projects with Indian instruments are rooted in other genres, so creating a contemporary album rooted in Indian classical music is really a dream come true,” says Verma. “But, there was not much precedent for us to follow. Composing for string quartet along with Indian instruments opened up a lot of possibilities in terms of harmony and new textures, but at the same time challenged us to figure out how to make each instrument shine in its own right without being overshadowed by others. Ultimately I feel that we discovered a lot of new musical territory, and I'm excited to share this with the world."

Jack Perla was indispensable in making this leap happen. He has long worked on genre-hacking projects that blend jazz, improvisation, world, and classical. That experience is clear on the album, as the combination of influences feels bold and sophisticated.

It was up to Neil Godbole to turn this heady mix into something that could be engineered, mixed, and mastered into something polished. That’s not so easy given the diversity of instruments, and yet Godbole was up to the challenge. The Resonance Between has a sparkling sound that lets the music tell its story.

Todd Boston mixed and mastered “Ascent” — the one single off of the album offered in the popular Dolby Atmos. That makes it one of the first ever Indian classical tracks made available in this new format.

Using groundbreaking technology is not so different than the way they make bold new choices in composition. As Verma says, "Embracing this cutting-edge technology is indicative of the ethos behind the project: bridging the gap between traditional and modern, classical and contemporary."

For more information on The Resonance Between, check out its website.


San Francisco, CA

Oct 13 - 14, 2023

Presidio Theatre Tickets

Artist links:

Alam Khan: Arjun Verma: Del Sol Quartet:

Jack Perla:


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