Mahajanaka EP is the forthcoming solo release by Oxford-based producer and multi- instrumentalist Sebastian Reynolds. The EP is being launched to celebrate the preview live performance of Mahajanaka Dance Drama at Wiltshire Music Centre on 4th April. The Mahajanaka track was produced as part of the research and development process for the stage show. The EP features the original track, that was released in Autumn 2016 and received airplay from Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft on 6Music as well as remixes by Colombian producer Atlasov and UK producer Emseatee and a live performance of Mahajanaka by Sebastian Reynolds with the ensemble that he collaborates with, Solo Collective, featuring Erased Tapes cellist Anne Müller and German violinist and producer Alex Stolze. Solo Collective released their debut record Part One via Nonostar Records in November 2018, they have toured the UK and Germany and received glowing praise across the board.
The brand new video made to accompany Mahajanaka was produced collaboratively with footage captured by filmmakers Sam King and Liam Martin who travelled with Sebastian to Bangkok for his research trip in May 2016, the trippy visualisations of the sound frequencies of the track were produced by physicist and artist Benjamin Outram. The footage and visualisation graphics were then painstakingly edited into the final cut by filmmaker Adam Hale. The video is a study of modern day Bangkok, and how it is shaped by its ancient, spiritual traditions.
Mahajanaka is based around sampled loops of performances by the Thai pop band the Krajidrid Band, performing piphat musical repertoire under the direction of composer and producer Pradit Saengkrai, recorded with engineer Kijjasak Triyanond at Pollen Sound Studios in Bangkok. The recording session took place during Sebastian’s British Council/Arts Council England funded research trip to Thailand in May 2016. The research trip was to inform the development of Mahajanaka Dance Drama, a project in collaboration with trailblazing contemporary dance company Neon Dance and acclaimed dancer and choreographer Pichet Klunchun to create a new dance and music stage work that fuses Thai traditional forms with western contemporary dance and music, telling the story of Mahajanaka, a story from the Jataka mythology, one of the oldest and largest collections of stories surviving in the world.
The Jatakas tell the stories of the Buddha to be (the Boddhisatta) in his previous lives, as he perfects himself in order to be able to become enlightened in his final life. Mahajanaka features keyboard parts performed by Sebastian’s long time musical collaborator Jody Prewett, formerly of Trophy Wife. It was mixed with Mike Bannard at The Aviary in Oxford and the whole EP was mastered by Lupo at Calyx in Berlin.