Drawn together by a shared desire to create fresh & exciting approaches to music making, Indus brings together four passionate performers with roots in diverse musical styles. Firefly, their first album, represents a significant chapter in the group's fascinating and remarkable journey. Through this live studio performance of over an hour of inspired music, Indus have combined carefully crafted arrangements & compositions with free flowing passages of improvisation & interplay. Their music endeavours to navigate through uncharted musical terrain while embracing the rich musical tapestry of India and Pakistan. Firefly mirrors the warmth & spontaneity shared with audiences through their live performances to-date and captures the group's integrity, sensitivity & aspirational vision. Indus is... Henrik Linnemann - Flute, Bass Flute Shahbaz Hussain - Tabla, Voice John Ball - Santoor Mohamed Assani - Sitar ALBUM REVIEW, FROOTS MAGAZINE, Aug/Sept 2010: Firefly is the debut release by the UK-based Indus. The quartet features Mohamed Assani (sitar), John Ball (santoor), Henrik Linnemann (western flute) and Shahbaz Hussain (tabla and vocals on 'A Night at the Court' and bols - rhythmic mnemonics - on 'In the Round.') Recorded live in studio, track titles like 'Mind the Gap,' 'Kafi Lounge,' and 'A Night at the Court' give flavours of what to expect. The music is out of a similar frame of mind that guided the Indian Quintet of Daya Shankar, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Tarun Bhattacharya, Ramesh Misra and Kumar Bose on their 'Raga-Ragini' back in 1988. What shines out is that this is an improvised art form. These compositions were not made for exact replication. Indus' progress is going to be one to keep a beady eye upon. Suggested entry points: 'Firefly' and 'In the Round.' (Ken Hunt) ALBUM REVIEW, FLUTE MAGAZINE, June 2010: The new CD from Indus, a four-piece ensemble predominantly formed of instruments from the Indian sub-continent, will be of great interest to those who want to explore how the western concert flute can cross cultural and stylistic borders. Henrik Linnemann, the Sheffield-based jazz flautist, is to be heard on a standard (silver?) concert flute as well as bass flute. His fellow musicians are Shahbaz Hussain on tabla and vocals, John Ball on santoor - a traditional Indian instrument closely related to the zither - and Mohamed Assani on sitar. The combination of instruments is particularly interesting as the upper partials and resonances of the two stringed instruments (santoor and sitar) combine to produce a bright, almost crystalline sound which contrasts with the much rounder, boomier sonority of the tabla. The flute slots in between these two opposing timbres and although the modern western instrument might lack the flexibility and tonal variety of the traditional Indian flute, especially in the execution of the characteristic meend or gamak - the microtonal slides and ornaments so much a feature of Indian melodic improvisation - it does bring a depth, clarity and precision to the ensemble. Listening to Linnemann's improvisation, one can definitely detect his western jazz roots even when using Indian ragas as his source material. Linnemann's talents as a flautist are particularly well showcased in this recording (for example, in the extended bass flute solo that opens the first track), although the disc as a whole is impressive for the equal integration and interplay of all four musicians. Out of the six tracks, four are extended compositions lasting more than eleven minutes, all sharing a sectional structure and, as with much Indian music, alternating highly complex rhythmically pre-determined sections with passages of freer improvisation. Kafi Lounge and In the Round have a more laid back, western jazz feel. By contrast, the evocative vocalisation of Shahbaz Hussain which opens A Night at the Court immerses us in the Indian classical tradition, as does his use of solkattu - the alliterative technique of rhythmic syllabic vocalisation so unique to the music of the subcontinent - in this and the sixth track Isfahan. The CD cover tells us that 'their music endeavours to navigate through uncharted musical territory while embracing the rich musical tapestry of India and Pakistan.' Although uncharted territory may be an exaggeration, the ensemble has produced six tracks full of variety, contrast and invention which will appeal equally to world music enthusiasts and flautists searching for something different for their CD (or iPod!) collection. Jonathan Booty) The group's music has also received rave reviews from audiences across the UK: "I felt amazed - like a child!" "Absolutely beautiful! I feel reconnected and refreshed." "Truly unbelievable....a real joy to get lost in what they were doing." "Am not normally able to listen to 'sit down' music, but this was riveting!" For more information about the group or to listen to more Indus music, please visit www. Indusmusic. Co.UK. A Bit More About the Artists: Shahbaz Hussain (Tabla) Shahbaz is fast emerging as one of the most promising tabla virtuosos of his generation. He has received numerous accolades for his captivating performances, including recently receiving the prestigious "Son of Lahore" Award from the Pakistan Arts Council. He is much sought after for his accompaniment skills by many of the great masters musicians of India & Pakistan (including Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and ghazal legend Ghulam Ali to name a few). Shahbaz has performed in many prestigious venues around the world, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York and London's Royal Albert & Queen Elizabeth Halls. He began his grooming in the art of tabla at age five with his father, the late Ustad Mumtaz Hussain - a prominent vocalist. He later went on to study with tabla legends Ustad Faiyaz Khan from the Delhi Gharana (school), the late Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan from the Punjab Gharana and finally the late Ustad Allah Rakha Khan. Shahbaz is based in Rochdale, England. Henrik Linnemann (Flute) Henrik is renowned as one of the most versatile flute players in the UK. Since he graduated from Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music, he has worked in film, radio and theatre as well as pop sessions in and around the north of England. He also fronts the quartet 'LJQ' with which he has recorded two albums of his own jazz originals. Their latest album, 'Dancing Peak to Peak' has been widely acclaimed. In 2003, Henrik started exploring Indian Classical & Euro fusion music and this work now forms a major element in his playing career. From his home in Sheffield, he continues to teach and perform and is much in demand not only for his knowledge of the classical flute repertoire, but also for his ability to comfortably improvise in a variety of musical genres. Mohamed Assani (Sitar) Mohamed is widely acclaimed for his mastery & creative use of the sitar. His musical background includes training in Indian Classical, Western Classical, jazz & fusion. Mohamed began his sitar training with Sri Dharambir Singh, a senior disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan. Mohamed plays sitar in the style developed by Ustad Vilayat Khan, which focuses on gayaki - a vocal style in which the sitar is made to emulate the human voice. He plays Indian Classical music as well as his own creative compositions which draw upon musical influences from around the world. Mohamed regularly performs across the UK and in Europe as a soloist and with larger ensembles - including his band Indus, members of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Black Dyke Brass Band & Grand Union Orchestra. He has also taken his music to the theatre, composing and performing as part of Rani Moorthy's acclaimed 'Dancing Within Walls ' and North Country Theatre's 'The Man Who Would be King.' He is currently a visiting lecturer in Indian Music & Ensemble Technique at the University of Huddersfield and teaches sitar at the University of Leeds. John Ball (Santoor) John has been performing Indian music since 1996 playing the santoor and tabla both as a soloist & accompanist. He began his training on the tabla with Prof. Sudhir Saxena in Baroda Gujarat in 1992. He later went on to study tabla with Ustad Faiyaz Khan of Delhi and with Sri Yogesh Samsi. During this time John also began his study of the santoor, a one hundred stringed instrument that has it's origins in the valleys of Kashmir. He has developed into a skilled santoor player and continues his study with Sri Harjinder Pal Singh, a senior disciple of the maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. John regularly travels across the UK to perform and teach. He has composed and performed music for several theatre productions including North Country Theatre's production of "The Man Who Would Be King." He also recently completed a tour with eclectic world music group Rafiki Jazz, featuring BBC World Music Award Winner Juldeh Camara. John is based in Sheffield where he currently works as Musician in Residence at the University of Sheffield.