Materials to Download:
- Bio (Download)
- Press Photos (Download) – credit Chris Rivera
- Album Artwork (Download) – credit Safwat Saleem
QAIS ESSAR ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
THE GHOST YOU LOVE MOST IS OUT APRIL 13, 2018
QAIS IS PERFORMING THIS WEEK AT SXSW AND RECENTLY AWARDED
A CANADIAN SCREEN AWARD FOR ‘ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – BEST ORIGINAL SONG’ FOR ‘THE CROWN SLEEPS’ FROM THE MOVIE THE BREADWINNER
Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist and producer who channels his melodic designs through the rabab, a 2,500 year old instrument from Afghanistan. He has toured extensively, sharing his new genre of music nationally and internationally. Essar has released two LPs, four EPs and one live album. His first LP, The Green Language (2014), quickly became an Amazon #1 bestseller, followed by his second LP, Tavern of Ruin in 2016. He has contributed original music to feature films and recently was recruited by director Nora Twomey to compose an original song for her Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated film, The Breadwinner (produced by Angelina Jolie). His song won the Canadian Screen Award for “Achievement in Music – Best Original Song” for his piece The Crown Sleeps, which marks an indelible achievement for the young musician and composer.
In 2017, Qais also orchestrated a sold-out run of the musical Tear a Root from the Earth at the OBIE award winning Ice Factory at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City. Essar continues to be featured in festivals and venues around the world including the Newport Folk Festival, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, Treefort Music Festival and more. Essar is planning to tour and release his 3rd LP on April 13, titled The Ghost You Love Most.
The Ghost You Love Most was recorded in bits and pieces in studios around the world from Los Angeles to Kolkata, Montreal to Istanbul, in studios big and small. Contributors were sprawled across the globe, so much of the album was recorded remotely between July through December 2017 in this fashion, where it was then mixed down and produced in Phoenix and finally mastered in Toronto in February 2018. The album features a bevy of unusual and fascinating instruments. Starting with the Rabab, the album highlights Indian Santoor and Slide Guitar, Fretless Guitar, Kaval, Bass Veena (one of a kind)- in company with western instrumentation such as 12 String Guitars, Cellos, and Harps. The instruments create a soundscape and conjure up a cinematic narrative throughout. The featured musicians and instruments include Cenk Erodgan on Fretless Guitar, Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) on Bass, Zach Tenorio – Miller & Ray Belli (Arc Iris) on Keys and Drums, with Kamaljeet Alhuwalia on Santoor, Sheela Bringi on Harp, Rhitom Sarkar on Indian Slide Guitar, Justin Gray on Bass Veena, Eric Zang on Kaval, Brian Wilson & Christopher Votek on Cello, Jason Wiedman on Drums, and Dallas Huber also on Bass.
Qais, who resides in the unassuming city of Phoenix, AZ, strikes a fine balance between his Afghan roots and western sensibilities. He elaborates, “When I approach composition, I do it as two different musicians -as the musician trained and versed in eastern music, and as the musician trained and versed in western music. Being able to see with two different perspectives both independently at the same time, and to be able to see where and how they come together puts me at an advantage to offer a never before heard amalgam.” This unique style comes across powerfully on his upcoming 7-track album. Qais states, “This is the most complete artistic statement I have made to date. It took a couple LP’s and a few EP’s to create the genre, and now I having paved the way – I am able to confidently put forth a piece of a work that is the culmination of all my artistic endeavors. Along with the assemblage of talented musicians and featured artists, it’s made for an unprecedented sonic tapestry.”
Catch Qais Essar during SXSW on Tuesday, March 13th at The Russian House. More info at https://schedule.sxsw.com/2018/artists/21839
The Ghost You Love Most – Tracklisting
- The Culmination of a Sorrowful Life
- The Ghost You Love Most
- Journey to Qaf
- Sohini Surf / Emerald Waves Part 1
- Sohini Surf / Emerald Waves Part 2
- The Simurgh