DC-ists: Check Out Duology Tonight

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Attention readers in DC: Are you experiencing a long-weekend hangover? Is it hard to slog through the work week after three glorious days off? Break up the monotony by checking out Duology tonight, performing live at 8 p.m. at DC’s The Red and the Black.

You’ll groove to Duology’s self-described improvisational music that will “stimulate the mind and body” and “take you on a musical journey that reflects the ethnic roots of its members, the spice of Latin America, their extensive studies of straight-ahead jazz, and the funky sounds of their hometown, Washington, D.C.”

Duology is the collaboration between buddies Sriram Gopal (drumset and percussion) and Geoff Rohrbach (keyboards and flute). talked to Duology’s Gopal to find out how the band came to be.

How did you guys get started? What’s your sound like?
Geoff and I played in a Latin fusion quintet from 2002-2004. That band dissolved but the two of us enjoyed playing together, so we formed The Duology Band in 2004. Geoff writes most of the material and I book all the gigs. It’s a good division of labor.

We play instrumental jazz fusion. Until this year, our gigs were mainly in jazz clubs around DC/Baltimore, but our sound has become more “rocked” out recently and so we’ve started trying to get gigs in rock clubs. We put out a CD, One and One Makes One, in September 2005.

So how often do you do live gigs? Do you have any shows you’d consider your “best”?
We perform two to three times per month. Our best shows thus far have been at Blues Alley, a historic jazz club in D.C. where we played in March 2006. In March 2007, we played the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. It’s hard not to play your best when playing in such historic rooms.

What factors influence your music—your Indian heritage, perhaps?
Geoff has extensive training in music composition, so he draws heavily from his training. As far as contemporary influences, they range from Medeski, Martin, and Wood to classic jazz to Prince. Geoff also draws heavily from eastern European folk music. We both have studied Indian classical music, but I don’t think those influences consciously affect the music. The same is true for being South Asian. All experience works its way into one’s music, but it has never been a conscious thing.

Any favorite songs from your roster?
My favorite song is “The Furious Rooster,” it’s a great tune to play. We also have a new song called “Hilary, Barak, and Me” that I’m very excited about.

What do you want your fans to know?
Like I said, we’re trying to get gigs at rock clubs now, and this is our first such gig in D.C. Getting gigs is totally dependent on a band’s draw. Right now, we’re just trying to establish any kind of following.

May 30, 2007
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