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All-star trio channels Alice Coltrane for 50 minutes of musical 'Bliss'


Three musicians pose in arts space with harp in background
Turiya. Photo by Tashi Hall

Prepare to be transported on an idyllic journey through jazz, R&B, pop, and classical traditions as Turiya, an all-star trio hailing from Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, unveils their anticipated debut album, "Bliss," set for release on June 28th.

 

Drawing inspiration from the ethereal harp glissandos and eclectic jazz compositions of American jazz composer and spiritual luminary, Alice Coltrane, the album invites listeners to transcend the ordinary for 50 minutes of musical “Bliss”.

 

This rare incarnation of a harp trio featuring Michelle Smith on harp, Kate Pass on double bass, and Talya Valenti on drums, will open your mind to how diverse the harp can sound, making it an excellent lead instrument.

 

Forming in 2020, Turiya emerged from the harmonious collaboration of three established musicians and close friends. Kate and Talya's musical bond traces back to their days as students at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, while Kate and Michelle's connection spans over a decade.

 

"In Hindu philosophy, Turiya represents the true self," says harpist Michelle Smith about their band name. "Our main inspiration, Alice Coltrane, adopted the name 'Turiya,' embodying both a Hindu spiritual leader and an extraordinary jazz harpist."

 

Individually, each member of Turiya brings a wealth of experience and accolades to the project.


Kate Pass, an award-winning bassist currently on scholarship at The New School in New York, leads the Kohesia Ensemble, fusing Persian music with jazz. Her performances span prestigious venues worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and festivals across continents.

 

Talya Valenti, a highly accomplished drummer with nominations from the NLMA and multiple WAM Awards, has toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed acts such as Methyl Ethel, Stella Donnelly and ‘Songs for Freedom’, and has played at major events including Glastonbury Festival and Fuji Rock.

 

Michelle Smith, mentored by jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and trained at Berklee College of Music, has captivated audiences across Australia and the USA with her solo harp performances and collaborations with ARIA Award-winners Karnivool and hip-hop artist Mathas.

 

'Bliss' emerged from casual improv sessions during the COVID lockdowns, which blossomed into collaborative songwriting, with all three members contributing tracks to the album. Their sold-out debut at the 2021 FringeWorld Festival marked the beginning of their journey, with subsequent performances at RTRFM92.1's Courtyard Club and Fremantle Arts Centre's 'Sunday Music' series.

 

"The beauty of this band lies in our diverse influences and musical trajectories," reflects drummer Talya Valenti. "We've borrowed from a spectrum of genres to collaborate and create something truly unique."

 

Bassist Kate Pass adds: "Working with harp brings a new palette of colours to our music. It's inspiring to write specifically for each other and to witness the magic that unfolds when great friends come together."

 

In addition to Alice Coltrane, artists like Dorothy Ashby, Robert Glasper, and Shostakovich have left an indelible mark on 'Bliss', shaping its rich and diverse sound.


The lead track from their album, ‘Serendipity,’ reflects Michelle's sentiment of emerging from darkness into a brighter chapter of life. ‘Solace,’ featuring lyrics and vocals by POW! Negro stands as the album's sole vocal track and is inspired by Talya's exploration of spoken word and admiration for artists like Aja-Monet and Kassa Overall. Tracks like 'Romance' and 'Labyrinth’ invites listeners to explore themes of romance, acceptance, and the journey that is life.


As Turiya prepares to launch the new album at The Rechabite, Perth on July 4, 2024, ultimately, they hope to leave listeners with a sense of peace, beauty, and 'Bliss' – a sublime offering in today’s world.



‘Bliss’ by Turiya will be released digitally on 28th June 2024, with vinyl available for pre-order on Bandcamp.

 

The album is being launched on Thursday 4th July at The Rechabite, Perth WA. TICKETS 

 

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