Beings

Beings, is the New York City-based supergroup quartet of Zoh Amba (saxophone, guitar, vocals), Steve Gunn (guitars), Shahzad Ismaily (bass, synth), and Jim White (drums). From the start, the quartet found a rare spark together, the music flows naturally as an ever-transforming organism built on the quartet’s openness and willingness to explore together. Each musician brings their own sensibility and distinctive voice to the music, which contributes to its fluidity and singularity. They explore a variety of styles: structured songwriting, improvisation, spun out drone, free jazz etc. They have their first album out on the US label No Quarter summer 2024.

Zoh Amba is a composer and instrumentalist from Tennessee residing in New York. Her music blends avant-garde, noise, and devotional hymns. Before studying music at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music, New England Conservatory and studying with David Murray in New York, she spent most of her time writing and practicing saxophone in a remote forest near her home alone where she started to develop her distinct sound and approach. Today, her powerfully unique avant-garde music is full of folk melodies, mesmerizing refrains, and repeated incantations. Amba released her first two records in 2022. Her debut record O, Sun which was produced by John Zorn and released on his prestigious label Tzadik. Zoh Amba’s second record, Bhakti features Micah Thomas, Tyshawn Sorey, and Matt Hollenberg. She has collaborated with a variety of high profile musicians such as Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, legendary bassist William Parker, Bill Orcutt, Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jim White (Dirty Three), Steve Gunn, etc. Amba has also performed at well respected venues and festivals Roulette (NY), Ars Nova Workshop (Philadelphia), Vision Festival (NY), ReWire (NL), BRDCST Festival (BE), Angel City Jazz Festival (LA), Jazz En Agosto (Portugal), Saalfelden Festival (AU), and Big Ears Festivals (Knoxville).

Shahzad Ismaily is a Brooklyn-based musician, composer and engineer. Born to Pakistani immigrant parents, he grew up in a wholly bicultural household. Exploring improvisation, tonal shifts and rhythmic movement, Ismaily worked with a number of avante-garde musicians and composers including Laurie Anderson, Anthony Coleman, Milford Graves, Eyvind Kang, Butch Morris and Marc Ribot. Over the last thirty years he has played electric bass, drums, percussion, guitar, synthesizers and all manner of sound-makers procured in life’s travels. Ismaily has done work for dance and theater pieces, such as the film Frozen River (Oscar-nominated and Sundance award-winning) and Inkboat (a butoh crew from California/Switzerland). He has recorded and performed with a diverse crew of artmakers: Yoko Ono “Plastic Ono Band”, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Laura Veirs, Beth Orton, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Marianne Faithfull, Faun Fables, Feist, Bryce Dessner, Dustin O’Halloran, Elysian Fields, Shelley Hirsch, Nels Cline, Bill Frisell, Guillermo E. Brown, Graham Haynes, Keiji Haino, Colin Stetson, Ben Frost, Damien Rice, Ceramic Dog, Laleh Khorramian, Jolie Holland, JFDR, Secret Chiefs 3, Sam Amidon, Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer and more.

Jim Ronald White Jim White is a New York based, Australian sourced drummer, composer and
producer. Originating with Venom P Stinger in Melbourne he escaped with his band Dirty Three who became well loved on the international stage. He has gone on to also form bands Xylouris White, Jim White and Marisa Anderson, Springtime and The Double as well as recently releasing his acclaimed first album under his own name alone All Hits: Memories.
He has recorded and performed extensively with many others including Guy Picciotto, Bill
Callahan, Catpower, PJ Harvey and Mary Margaret Ohara. His extensive career has also
included curation , creating a celebrated dance work “More up a Tree”
as well as composing for TV and film. PJ Harvey has compared White to a ballet dancer while
Spin magazine notes “Jim White’s drumming is the abstract-expressionist masterpiece to
modern rock’s paint-by-numbers mediocrity”. Time Out New York referred to Jim White as “indie rock’s drummer of choice”, saying, “Those who play with White speak of him with the ardor of religious converts”.

Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings on labels such as Matador Records, Three Lobed Recordings, Paradise of Bachelors, and RVNG. His albums represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven material, and forward thinking songwriting. Steve has steadily processed his inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Close listening reveals the influence of blues, folk, ecstatic free jazz, and psych in his continually unfolding output. Steve is currently somewhere working on new music.

 

Press Links

Aquarium Drunkard – There Is A Garden Review

The Quietus – There is a Garden Review