Esperanza Spalding has released her latest project, Triangle – a suite of three songs each developed to foster emotional and physical connections to listeners. The tracks, “formwela 1,” “formwela 2” with Ganavya and “formwela 3,” were created with consultation from experts on music therapy, neuroscience, Black American music, Sufism, and South Indian Carnatic music.
“I was remembering ways that music had supported me and wondering if we could go deeper into those themes,” Spalding told The New York Times.
Each of the three songs pull inspiration and influence from the aforementioned fields. For example, “formwela 1” was crafted with the goal of fostering memorization and self-soothing through internal hearing.
Triangle was created as part of Spalding’s Songwrights Apothecary Lab, an experimental space that aims to explore music and musicianship as a means of healing.
“Half songwrighting workshop, and half guided-research practice, the Songwrights’ Apothecary Lab (S.A.L.), seeks to develop a structure for the collaborative development of new compositions designed to offer enhanced salutary benefit to listeners,” the official statement of the lab reads. “The course is rooted in a transdisciplinary station, orienting itself towards archives and literature that study healing strategies drawn from a diverse range of music-based creative and therapeutic practices.”
The project arrives with a nearly 17-minute long accompanying visual in which the meditative tracks are performed. With a few, centered settings, the focus remains on the function of the music itself without distraction.
“Formwela 1, Formwela 2 and Formwela 3 were composed and developed while residing in Wasco County, OR,” the statement continues. “The feel and aesthetic of these songs were inspired and encouraged by Esperanza’s nourishing encounters with the land and peoples of this arid and sage-drenched region of her home state.”
Triangle was produced by Spalding, Alicia Keys collaborator Saadiq and keyboardist Phoenix. The three songs will appear on Spalding’s forthcoming album which will follow up the jazz musician‘s Grammy Award-winning project 12 Little Spells, released in 2018.
Learn more about the Songwrights’ Apothecary Lab here.