British nu jazz collective The Cinematic Orchestra comes to India for the first time for Echoes Of Earth

British nu jazz collective The Cinematic Orchestra comes to India for the first time for Echoes Of Earth

Jason Swinscoe who founded the iconic British nu jazz project The Cinematic Orchestra talked to FPJ during their first India visit for the Echoes Of Earth eco-music festival

Kasmin FernandesUpdated: Friday, April 14, 2023, 09:04 PM IST
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The Cinematic Orchestra. Photo by Jassy Earl |

British nu jazz band The Cinematic Orchestra – founded by virtuoso jazz producer Jason Swinscoe – has been captivating audiences since their debut in 1999 with the album Motion. Their sound is like nothing else out there – a fusion of jazz, electronic, and classical music that creates a dreamlike atmosphere. The Cinematic Orchestra's music is both complex and accessible, with intricate rhythms and melodies that somehow manage to remain incredibly soothing. They are true masters of their craft, and their immersive live shows are a testament to that.

They've gained a loyal following because of their ability to evoke emotion through their music. Their compositions have a cinematic quality to them, as if they are telling a story through sound.

Their music is a testament to the power of collaboration, with Swinscoe working with a revolving cast of talented musicians to create a sound that is truly unique.

Swinscoe sat down with FPJ for a chat on their first India visit for a three-city concert tour with eco-festival Echoes of Earth. After the Bangalore edition last year on its home turf, 'Echoes of Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi' will be a one-day affair in each city, offering the experience of Echoes while highlighting each city’s local ecosystems. The Cinematic Orchestra will be touring all the three cities: Bangalore on 14th April, Mumbai at Mehboob Studio, Bandra on 15th April, and closing in New Delhi on 16th April at 1AQ.

The concert envisions focusing on education and celebrating these urban ecosystems through powerful art and music, connecting with the audience, and starting important, inclusive conversations about the need for their conservation and sustainability. Furthermore, the event will also serve as a platform for experts to deep-dive into the wealth of environmental diversity in the most prominent ecosystems across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore through various talks and panel discussions.

At the same time, Echoes will also lend a voice to powerful human-impact conservation and restoration stories and struggles of local communities and ecowarriors whose positive human interventions are actively aiding in preserving these ecosystems at a grassroots level. “It's crazy that we've been playing for over two decades but we've never been to India,” said Swinscoe.

Jason Swinscoe from The Cinematic Orchestra

Jason Swinscoe from The Cinematic Orchestra |

Which musical genres do you find the most exciting to blend jazz with?

Jazz is more like a feeling, an idea. It's like American folk music; it can be blended with anything. Historically, it has been blended with Asian and African music through the 60s, 70s and 80s. Ustad Zakir Hussain is one percussionist I've been inspired by. I like putting fundamentally different music ideas and forms together and generate something super exciting. There are no rules or boundaries to indicate that you can't mix things together.

What drew The Cinematic Orchestra to collaborate with the Echoes of Earth music festival?

We have been offered to play at Echoes of Earth a few times but unfortunately, it didn't work out earlier. To be able to perform at a green festival in a nation that we've been to is fantastic. Come to think of it, it's crazy that The Cinematic Orchestra has been doing shows for 20 years but we never ended up coming to India. So, we are super excited and happy to be here.

What do you look forward to on this visit?

I have tried to go to India many times before but something always got in the way. I am going to be open-minded and experience the rich culture and the streets, meet people and feel the vibe. The energy is unique. It's a beautiful part of the world.

Jazz was usually considered the discerning man's music but the improvisational structure of jazz is finding takers among millennials and Gen Z too. Have you noticed this in your listeners too?

Yes! There is no boundary for Gen Z, even in appearance or gender. Everything is being broken down and explored. TikTok is the biggest music curation platform out there. Younger listeners are exploring so much more new – and old music – on TikTok and Reels without the genre boundaries, than on Spotify. TikTok is so much fun. People are hearing things they wouldn't otherwise find through recommendations and algorithms on these digital platforms.

What's next on your discography?

My next record will come out early next year. This month is going to be the 20th anniversary of the studio album titled Every Day. Later, August 2023 will be the 20th anniversary of the soundtrack album, Man With A Movie Camera. Both the anniversaries will be celebrated with the release of exclusive, unreleased material. In Spring 2024, there will be a brand new album.

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