Oran Etkin launches "Open Arms Project"
Collaborations around the world
On April 17, 2020, the musician and composer Oran Etkin began to opens up his new project: Open Arms Project. Every month, he will release a new single on the main streaming platforms as well as a video clip filmed and recorded during his tours around the world.
The first two singles/clips were recorded in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) with the famous Brazilian singer and flutist Danilo Caymmi and guitarist Davi Mello. They are compositions by Danilo's father, the legendary Brazilian songwriter Dorival Caymmi, born in 1914.
The first one, Retirantes, is based on a rhythm of African origin that prevails in Bahia: the Ijexá.
In a sweeter, lower register, the second track É Doce Morrer No Mar ("How sweet to die in the ocean") tells the story of a sailor dying in the ocean and thinking of his love ashore.
The third track was recorded in Marondera, Zimbabwe, with Musekiwa Chingodza. Entitled Nhema musasa, this traditional Shona song is about building a new house. This video was filmed outside Musekiwa's home.
In the coming months, we will discover his recordings in Prague (with gypsy and Czech musicians), Paris (with Thomas Enhco in duo) and São Paulo (with the great pianist Benjamim Taubkin, in quartet). Don't hesitate to subscribe to his youtube channel or his Facebook page so that you don't miss anything!
A commiment to share and open up
The name of this project, Open Arms, reflects the general attitude of the musician.
"It is at the core of how we approach making new music together with open ears, unafraid to discover a new side of ourselves outside our comfort zone. And it’s also an answer to the rigid isolation of hate and fear that has been growing in the political discourse all around the world, in almost every country I’ve traveled to."
Etkin's unique sound on clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone testifies to this openness to world music, this commitment to transcend cultural and generational boundaries. Etkin began re-imagining how touring could be part of the creative process with his Gathering Light project, released in 2014. Reversing the traditional “record and tour” model, he first toured in Indonesia, China, Japan, Israel and West Africa, and then let the rhythms and melodies he encountered influence his music.
Passionate about transmission, sharing and exchange, Oran Etkin is also the founder of the Timbalooloo educational program, making music from all over the world accessible to children, from Herbie Hancock to Mozart, including klezmer and samba. The musicien, described as "ebullient” by New York Times and “composer of eminent individuality” by Yusef Lateef, was voted #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll.
Photo credits: Pedro Belchior Costa - Mônica Born - John Abbott
► See Oran Etkin's artist page
► Follow Oran Etkin on Facebook
► Listen Retirantes on a streaming service
► Listen É Doce Morrer No Mar on a streaming service
► Listen Nhema Musasa on a streaming service