Rez Abbasi releases new album, ‘A Throw of Dice’

    A soundtrack commissioned for a vintage silent film.

    Rez Abbasi Silent Ensemble A Throw of Dice
    Image: John Rogers

    Pakistan-born, California-raised guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi has released the new album A Throw of Dice with his group The Silent Ensemble.

    The album is a soundtrack Abbasi was commissioned to create in 2017 for a vintage silent film of the same name—the composer’s first ever film score. Shot in Rajasthan by German director Franz Osten, the 1929 film A Throw of Dice retells an episode from the Sanskrit epic The Mahābhārata. Consequently, Abbasi employed instruments like sitar-guitar, bansuri flute, ghatam, mridangam and kanjira for the cinematic score, which was influenced by ragas and Indian rhythms.

    “This album is quite different from anything else I’ve done—something I would not have created had it not been for the film’s guidance, which is so pleasing,” Abbasi said in a statement. “Engaging with the characters’ emotional and psychological content [and] the visuals, along with other stimuli, galvanized my ideas. However, as subservient as I was to the film, knowing that the music was going to be released separately made it important to create an engaging listening experience that would be strong on its own.”

    Stream A Throw of Dice below: