From the first notes of Faizan’s brand new release, you feel like you’re being transported into a different world. Like the rest of your life, up until this point, no longer matters, and all you want is to keep on listening to this damn good tune. The song, entitled rather appropriately “Aether”, feels like an ascent into Heaven, thanks to the delicate and haunting addition of the Amadeus Quartet, whose skill with strings will get you hooked on the melody right away. 

Accentuated by Faizan’s exquisite handpan playing technique, “Aether” rises in intensity and rhythm, making you feel like you’re dancing on a bed of hot stones – or okay, maybe we stole that image from the breathtaking music video that accompanies the song. Set against the unique backdrop of the Maldives (where Faizan is originally from), the video gives you some great shots of the artist with his handpan, including some amazing close-ups that highlight just how much work and innate skill goes into playing that instrument and crafting such a beautiful song. 

But the music video tells a compelling story in its own right. In his search for inspiration and for the missing fifth element, Faizan reaches a deeper level of connection with nature, a heaven-like plane (shot at the Saii Lagoon Resort in the Maldives), where he encounters four goddesses of music (the gifted members of the Romanian Amadeus Quartet). The goddesses guide his playing and help him discover the missing fifth element that would truly lend his music the gravity it deserves – aether. 

At the end of the video, Faizan wakes to find it had all been a dream. 

And that is exactly the impression the video gives us, the viewers. Coupled with Faizan’s esoteric playing style and the rhythm of the quartet, “Aether” paints a gateway into this whole new reality. It captivates the audience and has you guessing at the meaning behind the song, or even better, making up your own. 

“Aether” is the sort of rare song that can go with practically anything, whether you’re running the marathon or trying to relax after a long day. But best of all, it’s a beautiful background for some creative thinking. “Aether” is not only a song that delights, but one that inspires, and that is a rare skill indeed. 

The song, which was written together with Romanian composer Xenti Runceanu and was released earlier this month, will be featured on Faizan’s upcoming album, set to come out in 2021.