Calm, peaceful, and cathartic. These are three appropriate adjectives that you may come to mind when considering the brand new music video for “The Other Side” from Quest Ensemble. The beautiful, piano-driven instrumental sounds like something right out of an art film, with its delicate, atmospheric tone enough to send chills down your spine.
“The Other Side” is the title track to the trio’s brand new sophomore album, a compilation of songs featuring musical styles blended together to create an ensemble of sound, with a heavy dose of improvisation. Ambitious in its nature, the record creates its own universe of sound that thrives somewhere within the space between chamber music, jazz, folk, and contemporary classical. There are dashes of the contemporary minimalism of musicians like John Adams and Steve Reich, but there are also experimental melancholic textures typical of Radiohead. It’s a truly well-rounded musical experience.
Explaining the inspirations behind “The Other Side,” Quest Ensemble said, “We wanted to write a song, a song without words, a lament to the other side yet at the same time an ode. Inspired by the stillness of early choral music and harmonies of contemporary choral works. Close harmony piano chords play the role of the supporting choir as we explore the fragility of the voice. This particular film is a response from visual artists/photographer Rosie Reed Gold, It is her own interpretation of what the music communicates to her, leaving space for the listener to create their own narrative.”
All classically trained and extremely skillful, Filipe Sousa (piano), Tara Franks (cello), and Preetha Narayanan (violin) all graduated from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music Leadership Programme. Each member of the group brings their own unique style and influences to the table, with backgrounds in western classical, Indian classical, jazz, and improvisational techniques. Quest Ensemble’s debut record, Footfall, was released in 2014, a collection of compositions that were part-composed and part-improvised.
In their time together, the group has become renowned for their live show to the point where, in 2018, they were commissioned to create a show with visual artist Somang Lee that premiered in Lisbon, Portugal as part of that year’s edition of the Big Bang Festival. For over a decade, Quest Ensemble has frequently worked with academic institutions and youth and community groups across England in order to create music projects with musicians of all ages and backgrounds in an attempt to help others learn how they go about creating their art.
With such grand instrumentation and prolific songwriting, we’re willing to bet you won’t hear anything quite as intoxicating as Quest Ensemble anytime soon.