Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily: Love in Exile

THURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2023 at 7:30PM

VENUE Matthews Theater


Aftab, Iyer, and Ismaily reveal the beauty in quietude.

The Guardian

The trio of Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily first coalesced in 2018 in New York City; an unplanned, improvised performance that revealed their natural chemistry. Iyer, a pianist, composer, and MacArthur “Genius,” currently finds himself at the center of the galaxy of improvised music, guiding a storied career through continued evolution with new ideas and new collaborators. He finds worthy peers in Ismaily, a largely self-taught composer and musician who has mastered the electric and double bass, guitar, banjo, accordion, flute, drums, as well as various percussion and electronic instruments; and Pakistan-born, Brooklyn-based Aftab, the ascendant ambient musician and vocalist who was awarded the 2022 Grammy for Best Global Music Performance and is a 2023 United States Artists Fellow and a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Music. Their album Love in Exile is a sparsely recorded synthesis of their alchemical improvisation, an intricate yet minimalist universe built on a handful of Urdu couplets that, as Iyer says, “reveals not just the melody but the birth of a song.”