Grej Releases “Part 3” From Upcoming Four-Part Project “I/Variations”

Toronto-based percussionist and composer Grej has shared “Part 3,” a component of his newly-released solo project i/Variations.

According to him, i/Variations is a representation of a merging of “[his] classical percussion background with electronic music.” He’s used the instruments unconventionally on this project in an attempt to bring them closer together.

Part 3 is the third of four main parts of i/Variations.

If one could sum up Part 3 with one word, it would be “cinematic.” Early parts of the track build a sense of what can best be described as dread (or the feeling that something climactically ominous will soon occur).

Roughly halfway through, the song experiences a subtle change in tone; one that is so subtle it may go missed by some listeners (yet it does not hinder the song at all). What was once a hovering feeling of uneasiness turns into something that seems motivational—conclusive, even—or as if one has just overcome a tremendous obstacle.

The one thing that remains consistent throughout the entire track is the mini-movie listeners may make in their head. Something is to be said of Part 3’s atmospheric nature, and the ease with which one can conjure up multiple images in their own minds to accompany the sounds. If Grej simply wanted to impress the world with his music, Part 3’s song component would have accomplished his goal.

Thankfully, he didn’t stop there, and the visuals provided to go along with Part 3 are no less creative.

The video begins with artist Carlos Delgado frantically tracing the image of a person’s silhouette on cloth before they begin moving sporadically on the other side. The eccentric dancing continues until professional dancer Mateo Galindo Torres emerges from the other side of the cloth and approaches the bust of a mannequin typically used for fashion design.

The choreography (also put together by Torres) and frantic drawing remain for the duration of the video; beautifully simplistic yet noticeably innovative at the same time, they prove to be exceptional visual representations of Part 3 by exploring “the process of expressing and absorbing rebellious actions.”

Though both are strong enough to stand well on their own, the music and visuals are best experienced together. Part 3 alone is evidence enough that Grej has taken his time with i/Variations and has made sure to share only the best of what he could come up with.The percussion experimentalist is certainly well-adjusted to the responsibilities of being a composer—what with his many past projects and acts he has been part of and performed with—and Part 3 absolutely shows that he’s still got it.

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Willard Givens

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