Kamasi Washington’s new EP Harmony of Difference is set to be released on 29 September 2017 via Young Turks / Remote Control Records. This is the first new music from Washington since his acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic.
Harmony of Difference originally premiered as part of the Whitney Museum of American Art 2017 Biennial. It appeared alongside a film by A.G. Rojas and featured artwork by Washington’s sister, Amani Washington. The new music is an original six-part suite that explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint”. Washington defines this as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies”. 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.
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 created five paintings focused on raw shapes and colours. Each was 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, 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.
Harmony of Difference will be available on all digital services. But for the avid fan, it will also be as on 12” vinyl – with a 14-page concertina booklet featuring original artwork by Amani Washington and still images from the film by A.G. Rojas. The EP is available to pre-order HERE.
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television