A diligent student of Indian classical music since childhood, Arushi Jain sees its myriad forms and rhythms as an endlessly renewable resource. The new age ragas she creates using her voice and synthesizer may come wrapped in the gentle ambient purrs and squelching drones that flow from her modular rack, but her compositions never drift into shapeless noodling. Building upon a six-beat classical composition known as a dadra, “Richer Than Blood,” the second single from her Leaving debut, Under the Lilac Sky, is a love letter to the timeless beauty and infinite malleability of familiar forms.
Even as Jain revels in singing the dadra’s spiraling melody, she slices it into fragments and sends them flying through the track’s carefully constructed modular pulsations. Jain refuses to be precious about preserving the song’s original intent or architecture, and how she discards elements reveals an intent all her own. Not only does she abandon the song’s intended taal, or rhythmic cycle, but Jain also transforms the lyrics, removing the male lover at the dadra’s core to ruminate instead on the magnificence of love itself. By positioning herself between iconoclastic deconstruction and faithful obsession, Arushi Jain adapts the past to serve a deeper romance.