A virtuoso sarod player, British Indian composer Soumik Datta released last week a new 5-track EP entitled Jangal. Taking its name from the original Urdu word for jungle, Jangal is a protest EP against deforestation and the environmental crisis that affects the world. “Caged within phone frames, those burning branches in the Congo, in Peru and India feel so distant”, explained Datta. “But these trees, like gentle giants, tall, shooting skyward are the lungs of this planet. And they deserve our protection”. He adds:
“As an artist, I have to believe that we have a duty to rage on, to create, against all odds, against resistance, to play and create. I’ve never had the courage to make music in protest of anything before. But these melodies were raging in defiance, simmering under my skin for months on end, until I had to manifest them: songs that celebrate the jungles of our planet and the beasts that live within. A year later, here is this EP.”
To bring the album to life, Datta enlisted the help of some stellar contributors, including Manu Delago on hang, Al MacSween on piano, Moog, synths and harmonium, Bernhard Schimpelsberger on percussion, Ayoze de Alejandro Lopez on bombo and Latin percussion and Pirashanna Thevarajah on the ghatam and morsing.
Datta has released an excellent music video for the EP’s title track, shot in the Indian Sundarban forest and directed by Souvid Datta. Watch it below.
In other related good news, and to celebrate the EP release, Soumik Datta has announced a launch show at London’s Oslo on December 15th. What’s more, he will donate all the proceeds from his merch sales to charities dedicated to planting trees, protecting endangered animals and reforesting our planet.