Berklee has developed the talents of some of the world’s greatest guitarists, but none of them approach the instrument quite like experimental alumnus Roopam Garg, aka The Surrealist.
For Garg, the electric guitar is a means to channel his avant-garde textural topography - something that’s very much in evidence on this exclusive premiere of new track, Arcadia.
In the video - shot at Abasi Concepts HQ - Garg opens the track with fret-hand harmonics performed simultaneously on two Abasi Larada 8-string guitars, before conjuring a desolate, uneasy atmosphere via the use of ambiguous chord tonalities and sparse lead lines. Tones come courtesy of Neural DSP plugins.
Like much of The Surrealist’s work, Arcadia is highly disciplined without sounding technical - and retaining that sense of musicality and human emotion certainly took some time.
“Arcadia took nearly a year to write, because there was so much going on both inside and outside the composition,” says Garg.
“It’s one of my first experiments involving left hand-only harmonics. I also wanted to challenge myself to compose a piece involving only natural harmonics with standard tuning.
“Everything centers around a motif that never changes, while the surrounding elements change and layer over time. I love exploring the interactions between lower and upper structures, and how the movement of one but not the other affects our perception of each layer.”
Garg retains a similar approach to all his compositions, one that both drives and haunts his creative output.
“With all my releases I try to deepen my search for the interior landscape of mind that is inherently dark and existentially unknown. Arcadia represents this pursuit, and mirrors a dark underbelly present in all things.”
For more information, head over to The Surrealist.