Junjun incorporates Arabic, Indian and western music.
Jonny Greenwood’s new album Junjun is a collaboration with Israeli-American singer and composer Shye Ben Tzur and 19 Rajasthani traditional musicians. For Junjun, Greenwood and Tzur tapped The Rajasthan Express, an Indian supergroup that specialises in a unique blend of three strains of traditional music: qawwali, Manganiar court music and Rajasthani brass band. Junjun was mixed by Greenwood’s Radiohead bandmate Nigel Godrich, whilst director Paul Thomas Anderson, an old friend and frequent collaborator of Greenwood’s, captured the whole thing in a short film.
Speaking to India’s The Sunday Guardian in February, Greenwood revealed that he and other musicians wrote the album in the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. “We’ve been living here for nearly three weeks and recording an album here, in the fort,” he said. “The Maharaja allowed us use of the fort, and we’ve basically been living here with 12 Indian musicians and we’ve made a record.”
Greenwood continued: “It’s been amazing, actually, working with Indian musicians. They have such a different energy and enthusiasm for music. It’s just, it’s part of life here, it feels, rather than just being an occupation. It’s different; there’s music everywhere. Like when we’re playing and recording or rehearsing with these musicians, when they take a break, they go and play more. That’s not true in England. We just take a break. But here, it’s just this urge to make music, and it’s really inspiring.”
Junun is released on November 20. Stream the album below via NPR.