Mumbai, 3rd February 2023: Primal, raw & unfiltered – the Mumbai-based ‘experiential’ acoustic act consists of guitarist Aditya Mohanan and handpan artist Ishaan Zaveri. The duo’s mutual love for improvisation-based experimental music has so far yielded two video singles. Their latest video – Bhairav, is an ‘instrumental’ conversation between the two musicians sitting at the banks of the ocean, examining the range & depth of the title that signifies both creation and destruction. Earthy and soothing to its core – Yaksha’s instrumental duo weaves a web of sonic spontaneity through their music.
Watch the song here:
In the post-electronic production era, Yaksha believes in the potential of music created in natural environments with performance focussed, unfiltered improvisation. Bhairav is a 3-part rendering of the raga in the styles of Dhrupad and Carnatic music in blend of the contemporary and the ancient.The performance starts off slow and gathers momentum gradually to a staccato rhythm culminating in a fast-paced, Tandav-esque rendition of the raga. It invokes the Indian deity Shiva, the god of death and destruction, paying homage to the end of a process… at its very beginning.
Yaksha pays its dues to the musical schools of Hindustani, Carnatic, and Western Classical as well as Blues, Folk and Funk for an eclectic homage. On Bhairav, the duo invokes Shiva by the sea – a site where life is both conceived and dissolved. Captured using 3 dynamic mics and 2 condensers, the listener may pick up on the sound of wind blowing or the crashing of waves. As the camera pans between both Aditya and Ishaan, Bhairav is presented as a clean mix for raw, acoustic output.
“Yaksha stemmed forth from our relationship with nature, somewhere in 2020, with the aim of exploring improvisational instrumental music in a modern Indic context. Each performance works best when performed in a particular ecological setting” says Aditya, who has previously been associated with Indian metal acts Midhaven and Killchain.
Ishaan Zaveri is a multi-instrumentalist and poet. His formal training in melody and harmony, combined with his love for percussion led him to discover an instrument that could do both – the Handpan. “We strive to embody the inherently fluid nature of music through improvisation, which basically means, we can’t really duplicate any of our renditions,” says Ishaan, shedding light on the philosophy Yaksha is based on. To counter the hyper-produced music of today, the duo aims to showcase experimental music in an undiluted context connected with nature. Their previous video single Jungle Blues was released in October 2022.