Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones

Saturday, October 22, 2022, theHouse

Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones

"Playing in this band is such a release for me, and I want it to be not only a release for us in the band, but also for the people we play for to experience that kind of catharsis. Like a weight is lifted off them," Buffalo-born Amirtha Kidambi once said in 1985. "When I scream, I want you to feel like I'm screaming for you too."

Screaming - that is only one of the vocal stylistic devices Kidambi has at her disposal. Her voice, classically trained, is of a barely comprehensible variety of expression; it floats and shrieks, flows along and zigzags through complicated melodic lines or raga-like chants, it rolls over and becomes clear as a bell, is exalted and the next moment of delicate restraint. The lyrics performed, sung, enacted or shouted out by this voice are about the American present, which for many people is still one of violence and racism; they speak of the legacy of colonialism and the now of an unleashed capitalism, but they can also carry a spiritual message. So wide is the stylistic range, so broad the narrative horizon. Elder Ones is the name of the band project with which she experiences the greatest musical and conceptual freedom - her drones, produced mainly on the harmonium, are contrasted with a rhythm section that comes from free jazz, and Matt Nelson on soprano saxophone evokes associations with the spiritual jazz of Pharaoh Sanders. The other influences have to do with Kidambi's origins. As the daughter of South Indian parents, she grew up with Carnatic rhythms and as a child sang devotional bhajan music every Sunday, accompanied by harmonium and tambourine. At that time she also discovered Alice Coltrane and her involvement with Indian music. Alice and John Coltrane are pillar saints in Kidambi's musical cosmos, but in her teenage years she was at least as influenced by punk music and metal, hip-hop and r'n'b. Add to that choral music and classical music studies, a love of jazz and especially free jazz, and you can roughly imagine the richness of her work - which Kidambi reveals not only with Elder Ones, but also, for example, with Mary Halverson's Code Girl, the vocal quartet Lines of Light or in collaborations with avant-gardists like William Parker and Tyshawn Sorey. Enough reasons to look forward to Amirtha Kidambi's performance.


At a glance

Start: Saturday, October 22, 2022, 20:00

Admission: 19:00

Location: dasHaus, Bahnhofsstraße 30, Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate, 67059, Germany

Seating: se ated

Tickets: 21,90 EUR

Box office:

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Amirtha Kidambi : voc, harm, analog synth, composition
Matt Nelson : ss
Nick Dunston or Lester St. Louis : kb
Jason Nazary : dr


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