George Howlett: Musical CV

 

[Formulaic promotional material – but let’s face it, nobody likes hanging around on LinkedIn so here it is instead]

 

E713 copy

 


Current Projects

 

– Right now I play guitar, tabla, and santoor in the London area, performing and finding open-minded collaborators. I recently started releasing music as ‘Rāga Junglism’, loosely fusing jazz and jungle with Indian classical concepts (sample: No Kanjira, with Indo-jazz sax master Jesse Bannister).

 

– I teach on these instruments, and run private sessions and group workshops on raga, global rhythm, self-learning techniques, and the psychology of improvisation (get in touch if you’re interested!). I’m a regular MusicRadar contributor, writing online lesson articles on global topics such as Indian Melodic Ornamentation, Raga Basics for Jazz Guitarists, and Odd-Time Songwriting Grooves (next up: West African Rhythm Primer).

 

– Recently I launched a collaborative research effort – Which Ragas was John Coltrane Listening To? – analysing the spiritual jazz pioneer’s handwritten notes and sketches to reveal which particular Indian ragas captivated him so much. I’m linking up with some leading jazz and Indian artists to crack this truly fascinating musical puzzle – watch this space!

 

– I’ve been working with my friend Mark Claydon (former Peter Gabriel producer at Real World Studios) on developing his ‘groove engine’ – AI software which uses neural networks to generate curious new rhythms by ‘shattering’ the sounds you feed in. An absolutely engrossing improvisatory challenge, not sure where we’re heading yet…

 

Early Training, Past Experience, Etc

 

– First learned guitar from jazz master Guy Harrup in Bath at age 14. Received Grade 8 (for what it’s worth), awarded first place in the electric and acoustic guitar competitions at the 2010 Mid-Somerset Festival. Built up performance experience around the South West with a Stratocaster and a 12-string acoustic.

 

– Studied Hindustani classical music under Pandit Shivnath Mishra in Varanasi, living at his academy under the traditional gurukul system and completing introductory training in sitar, tabla drums, and Indian music theory. I now also play the santoor (‘hundred-stringed Himalayan box’), having self-taught it for the past few years.

 

– Various session projects, including recording guitar parts for a primetime BBC2 wildlife soundtrack (The Great British Year), playing tabla for an ambient house producer, and imitating Nick Drake’s style of acoustic fingerpicking for a folk album.

 

– Taught guitar students for over a decade now, spanning ages 6-60, and including schools, youth centres, and dozens of private students. Delivered some school workshops on Indian classical along the way, explaining core concepts with live instrument demonstrations.

 

– Wrote a theoretical article in 2015 – Shakti’s Remainder Bar Rhythms – investigating how the pioneering group’s cyclical view of time allows them to flow over odd time signatures. John McLaughlin, guitarist for Shakti and Miles Davis, praised my analysis (…and I discovered I wasn’t as immune to fanboyism as I thought).

 

Get in touch! george@ragajunglism.org

Writing CV here

 


Featured Compositions

 


 

 

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