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Earlier this year, avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington premiered Harmony of Difference, an original six-movement suite, as part of this year’s Whitney Biennial.
The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic.
Harmony of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” Washington’s suite includes visual elements married to the musical works and draws voraciously on jazz for its foundation. Each of the first five movements is its own unique composition. “Truth,” the sixth movement, fuses all five compositions into one simultaneous performance.
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. In his own words, “my hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”
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