Features One Question Interviews Amirtha Kidambi

One Question Interviews: Amirtha Kidambi

Amirtha Kidambi

SPB: Your new album features a fair deal of spiritual themes, for instance the themes of creation, destruction, rebirth and repetition. Do you feel that themes from your own background, such as Hinduism, bring a more personal and unique tone to your concepts, and act as an aid in the construction of your music?

KidambI: Absolutely. The entire construction of the Holy Science suite is based around the ideas contained within Hindu scripture regarding time cycles. The suite follows these time cycles by name starting with first era of "creation" or the Sathya-Yuga followed by the Treta-Yuga, Dvapara-Yuga and finally the current era of chaos and destruction, the Kali-Yuga. The conception of time as cycles of birth, death and rebirth is a central idea in Hindu philosophy. I grew up Tamil Brahmin and it had a huge impact on me for better or worse. Hinduism as it is practiced today here in the US and in India, is a fairly conservative ideology even though the philosophy is actually incredibly radical and open. I was and still am negotiating that dichotomy and pushed back against the more conservative aspects as I was growing up. At the same time, the spiritual and philosophical ideas largely shape how I view the world and inevitably influence my thinking when it comes to music and creativity, especially improvisation. In Hinduism we have this idea of ego-destruction as a path to truth and I find improvising is one of the few activities where I've felt like I can get close to this idea of transcendence. These Hindu ideas also had a profound impact on artists including John and Alice Coltrane, who are some of my biggest musical influences, so it sort of comes full circle for me. I think the influence of these ideas in my music is not unique in that the influence exists, rather the filter that these ideas flow through. My own identity, personality, musical background and other musical influences transform these ideas into something I think is unique and to be honest pretty weird!

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Words by Spyros Stasis on July 12, 2017, 9:07 p.m.

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Amirtha Kidambi

Posted by Spyros Stasis on July 12, 2017, 9:07 p.m.

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