ABOUT THE ALBUM
Hmayra is a collection of new compositions that were written over the span of a year. Featuring eleven musicians, the album spotlights intricate rhythms and harmonies presented in a groove-oriented way. Opening with an ominous, percussion-heavy intro The Profane, the compositions vary from edgy to melodic, concluding with the upbeat rock song Ascent. The album is produced to retain the spontaneity of live music and the finesse of post-production.
The concept behind Hmayra stems from elements of Indian and Middle Eastern mythology. The album’s title is based on the ancient Syriac word hmayra meaning “hostage.” Historically, these hmayra did not have the negative connotation that hostages do today. Instead, ancient hmayra were handed over willingly to honor a pledge between kingdoms. Although they remained hostages in their new kingdom, hmayra often maintained lifestyles far superior to what they would have enjoyed at home. This exemplifies one of the central themes of the album: the readiness to suffer in order to achieve something greater.
THE MAKING OF
"Hmayra, the new debut full-length album by Indian-born guitarist and composer Shubh Saran is a real standout almost immediately from its start. Its mixture of the elaborate, sometimes edgy compositions of the progressive rock school, along with the harmonic influence and the horn arrangements of jazz and fusion provide great listening for those with a hankering for substantial, multi-faceted electric music."