Amirtha Kidambi

photo by Peter Kerlin

For info and costs please contact Alberto Lofoco

• projects as a leader •

Elder Ones
Amirtha Kidambi - vocals, harmonium, analog synthesizer, compositions
Matt Nelson - soprano sax and effects
Lester St. Louis cello
Eva Lawitts - double bass and effects
Jason Nazary - drums and modular synthesizer electronics

Described as "aggressive and sublime" (New York Times), Elder Ones continue to conjure bold improvisations, pushing the boundaries of jazz and electronic forms. Kidambi's ensemble center these compositions on topics of anticolonialism, the rise of global fascism, violence against Asian Americans, of continuing inequalities in the growing shadow of late stage capitalism. Not just a lament, but an explosive call to action, and ode to those struggling for racial and labor justice. Building on the incendiary spiritual and political free jazz compositions on their acclaimed albums Holy Science (2016) and From Untruth (2019) released on Northern Spy, the band's third album will be released in Spring 2023.

Last realese From Untruth builds upon the bedrock foundation of Kidambi's previous compositional and conceptual work with Elder Ones, while forging uncharted territory. After a journey into wordless abstraction on Holy Science, Kidambi felt the urgency of the political moment required a direct and verbal call to action. The lyric fragments in "Eat the Rich", "Decolonize the Mind", "Dance of the Subaltern" and "From Untruth" critique power structures of capitalism, racism, colonialism and fascism, distilling heavy post-colonial theory into concentrated visceral battle cries. The aesthetic seamlessly reels from modal meditation, atonal expressionism, free improvisation and melodic invention, to unabashed bursts of punk rock energy. This is Elder Ones at an unadulterated breaking point; on the edge of a knife that cuts.

Lines of Light
Amirtha Kidambi - vocals, compositions
Jean Carla Rodea - vocals
Anaïs Maviel - vocals
Emilie Lesbros - vocals
Charmaine Lee - vocals

Lines of Light is the vocal quintet of composer-vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and is inspired by the title of the late Muhal Richard Abrams's Levels and Degrees of Light and medieval composer Hildegard von Bingen's reference to her vision of God as "The Shade of the Living Light"". The group brings together female vocal powerhouses; the composition is a structured improvisation, intended to allow each vocalist to exercise maximum creativity within the larger framework of the piece. Following the Inauguration of Donald Trump, Kidambi assembled the group to freely improvise in order to form community with female musicians from diverse backgrounds in a time of extreme vulnerability and uncertainty. Developed out of Kidambi's long-term vision to elevate vocalists within experimental music, as they have been historically marginalized due, in part, to the gendered nature of jazz and the avant-garde, Lines of Light showcases the increasingly high caliber of vocalists currently working in New York. The piece was premiered for Kidambi's Artist Residency at Roulette in 2018.

• videos •

Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones: "New Monuments" - at Roulette, Brooklyn (27-4-2021) - concerts starts at 45' 00"

Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones: "Decolonize the Mind" by Suneil Sanzigiri

Amirtha Kidambi's Elder Ones: "Dance of the Subalterns" - at Jazz Cerkno (17-5-2019)

Quarantine Concert #2: Amirtha Kidambi Residency Sessions - Filmed live in the Pioneer Works garden (August 2020).
Video Sequence: Luke Stewart (Solo); Amirtha Kidambi x Luke Stewart; Amirtha Kidambi x Lea Bertucci; Elder Ones

Amirtha Kidambi + Luke Stewart - at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)

Amirtha Kidambi & María Grand - at Roulette, Brooklyn (2-10-2020)

Amirtha Kidambi's Lines of light: "Eternal Womb" - at Roulette, Brooklyn (24-7-2018)

Amirtha Kidambi's Lines of light: "Soul Ascend" - at Roulette, Brooklyn (24-7-2018)

• audios •

"From Untruth" by Elder Ones

"Holy Science" by Elder Ones

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