FolkWorld #73 11/2020
© Worlds Within Worlds Records

Silk Road

The Legacy of the Silk Road

3,14's debut album Bombyx Mori is a seamlessly crafted musical love letter addressed to the instruments of the Middle East and India ... and the legacy of the Silk Road.

Efrén López

Artist Video

As the passion project of Efren López, Ciro Montanari and Jordi Prats, 3,14 draws inspiration from music across the globe – ranging from the Eastern Mediterranean through to the Middle East, North India through to Central Asia and beyond. Using sarod, tabla and rubab, this recording comes as the result of two live sessions between three masters of their respective crafts: the final product being as close as you can get to a live performance without sharing the same air.

314: Bombyx

3,14 "Bombyx Mori", Worlds Within Worlds Records, 2020

“Conceptually, Bombyx Mori is an attempt to elevate the figure of the silk worm, a small creature that is not very much considered,” begins López. “On the other hand, the Silk Road has been a crucible of many cultures and a lot of music has been created using this concept. All the different songs in the album come from different modal music traditions - Egypt, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan - and some are original creations of Jordi and myself that respects the rules and the language of the specific modal tradition in which the song is made.”

Serving as both the introductory song and the record’s first single, The Secret (Sampurna Kanada) is as cleverly crafted as it is pleasurable to listen to. At first glance, the song is neatly sliced into segments, each of which flow into each other as naturally as rain down a mountainside. Only upon repeated listening does the true joy of the music reveal itself – the deep, clear rhythms of the tabla, the heady cyclical strumming of the strings and the subtle echoes rounding out the record’s production. For something so rich in ambience and atmosphere, it often catches one off guard with the intensity of some of its segments.

“This album brings together the journey of three European musicians that fell in love with Asian and Middle Eastern music traditions before journeying to learn from the specialists of these genres in their home countries,” says López. “What I particularly like about this album is our touch on it, our personalities are there coexisting and expressing the traditional melodies. When we sat and played together we realized there was a good mood and good sound. Personally I've been listening to a lot of music since I was a child but when I came across Indian music… something clicked inside me and I knew I had to go for it.”

Bombyx Mori is a record of satisfying paradoxes. The interplay between instruments creates something both deeply meditative, yet fast paced at the same time. Every song grants enough breathing room for each instrumentalist to display the full range of their talents within their own light. Yet, these encapsulating displays never overshadow one another – rather they lock into the juxtaposed elements in a perfect fit.

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) 3,14 (Efren López, Ciro Montanari & Jordi Prats) (unknown/website).

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