Avataar – Worldview

Avataar – Worldview

September 19, 2021

Sundar Viswanathan: alto and soprano saxophones, bansuri, vocals
Felicity Williams: vocals
Michael Occhipinti: electric guitar
Justin Gray: electric bass
Ravi Naimpally: tabla
Max Senitt: drums & percussion
Aaron Lightstone: oud (4)
Todd Pentney: piano, synth, Rhodes (1, 2, 4, 6, 8)

Avataar is an award-winning world-jazz group featuring a cohort of some of Toronto’s finest jazz, world, funk, and pop musicians. The music is inspired by the deep musical traditions of India, Africa and Brazil, and is rooted within the framework of modern jazz. In an innovative marriage of ancient and modern, driving grooves intersect with cinematic atmospheres and soaring melodies, creating a fresh sonic experience.

The music in Worldview represents a logical artistic evolution for its leader, Sundar Viswanathan. The album is a musical commentary on the state of our world, on the pandemic, and on the inability of our leaders to lead with integrity, honesty, and compassion. While the actions of our leaders affected so many, some of the songs started as gut responses to the treatment of children, our most valuable and vulnerable citizens, and act as vehicles of catharsis for the composer. Song Song explores ideas of childhood nostalgia and memory, and the homesickness and saudade one feels when trying to recollect that song that’s just out of  our memory’s reach. Little Kurdi (for Alan Kurdi) is a lament and memorial for three-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, who washed up on an Italian shore, a victim of human trafficking; and Innocents (12/14/12) is a dedication to all those who were murdered in Sandy Hook in 2012, tragic victims of gun violence. Together these pieces comment on the honesty and fragility of children faced by a world of uncertainty and confusion created by adults.

Isolation during the COVID lockdown presented not only challenges but an opportunity for a great deal of introspection. The time spent alone offered a potential for creation and self-discovery, and a chance to see things from many perspectives. The fundamental message of this album is that all should have a place of safety, physically and emotionally.


Release Date: Friday, October 29th 2021 on InSound Records