Sarathy Korwar Photo: Rishabah Sood


Introducing Composer Sarathy Korwar

Meet IN·FLO·RES·CENCE Composer: US-born, Indian-raised, London-based Drummer Sarathy Korwar!

For IN·FLO·RES·CENCE, Sarathy Korwar is 1 of 10 composers from around the globe commissioned by Reece Ewing to create a composition for solo piano around 1 minute in length responding to the changes to daily life during the global coronavirus outbreak. As part of the platform hosted by The Showroom, these 10 individual pieces have all be interpreted and performed by the project’s first Artist-in-Residence, Pianist Elio Villafranca, throughout the duration of the project.

His piece Internal Monologue started with giving Artist-in-Residence, Pianist Elio Villafranca, a set of instructions:

  1. Set up to record yourself
  2. Load the audio track (internal monologue.wav) in to your DAW
  3. Sit down at the piano
  4. Hit the record button
  5. Listen to the track

This track entailed Sarathy requesting Elio to respond to the upcoming music, with this response on the piano becoming the final piece of music that everyone will hear, which is presented below. Then, to ‘get ready with both your left and right index fingers on the C keys on the piano, any octave of your choice. Start playing when you hear the music, and stop playing when the music ends.’ A drum piece follows, and Elio’s piece responds – a call and response between two percussive voices.

In the below intimate conversation with Kevin Le Gendre (Broadcaster and Writer of Don’t Stop the Carnival: Black British Music, 2019) Sarathy discusses his most recent album More Arriving, current creative output in a less pressured context, rejuvenating experience reconnecting with his band at Real World Studios, his interpretation of drumming as harmony and layering, his communication of an Indian diaspora experience in contemporary Britain, and emerging out of isolation.

Sarathy Korwar is a US-born, Indian-raised, London-based drummer, producer, composer and bandleader. His music is predominantly based in jazz and indian classical music but also incorporates elements of hip-hop and electronic music. Having been mentored by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Fourtet, Floating Points and Emanative through the Steve Reid Foundation he has established himself as one of the most original and compelling voices in the UK jazz scene.

He has released music on the record labels Ninja Tune, The Leaf Label and Gearbox Records to critical reception and has collaborated/ toured with the likes of Anoushka Shankar, Shabaka Hutchings, Yussef Kamal and Moses Boyd. He recently won a 2020 AIM Independent Music Award for Best Independent Album in association with Spotify for his groundbreaking second studio album, More Arriving, exploring the reality of being Indian in a divided Britain.

On his AIM award winning album More Arriving: ‘Basically for me it works as a protest record on a number of different levels – one, just being the mere fact that me as a South Asian first-generation immigrant is making a jazz record or whatever you call it, a contemporary music record that’s being played out in the UK, is itself a fact that is political. You can’t shy away from that because there are very few other people making this kind of music at the time. But equally, also the things that I’m talking about on record are we are stereotyped all the time, the fact that we don’t get to control our own narrative. These are the issues that start with me and those are the things I’m talking about on the record.’ – Sarathy Korwar

Photo: Elisabetta Colaleo



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