“There are other worlds they have not told you about. They wish to speak to you.” -Sun Ra
Hear Akara Interviewed On Echoes Tonight
The band called Akara has returned from another trip to other dimensions with a new CD The World Beyond. Their previous CD, Extradimensional Ethnography, was an Echoes CD of the Month in 2011. Akara is a recording project from Joshua Penman who thinks that he’s glimpsed an alternate dimension with music that he’s brought back to this side, including lyrics written by the “luminous beings.”
“Akara to me is the songs of a luminous race of interdimensional beings,” claims Penman, “these beings from the other side of the veil of reality singing to us in their language, their songs, their dreams, their prayers, their rituals. ”
If Afro Celt Sound System had brought Philip Glass and Dead Can Dance into their trans-global orbit, it might have sounded like Akara. It’s a fantasy meeting of orchestral, electronic and world-music elements with a couple of wrinkles tossed in that are strictly from the imagination of Joshua Penman, including the imaginary language sung by Femke Weidema. Akara wants you to believe that their music actually comes from another world and Penman posits the idea that there is another dimension that he has tapped into, that was here before us and maybe even begat us.
“I will say that I’ve had in my life mystical experiences where I’ve had feelings of connections to entities outside of myself,’ reveals Penman. “And you know, at a certain level this is talking about the numinous and this is talking about something that’s very difficult to quantify and touch. But I feel in this music that there’s a way that I can catch onto a certain kind of melody, a certain kind of set of words that don’t necessarily feel like they belong to me. There’s things that I make with this that clearly belong to me and clearly belong to my training; and then there’s some aspects of it that I feel work in a certain way that I feel is beyond my own creative designs.”
Unlike Sun Ra, who lived in his otherworldliness, Penman leaves some wiggle room between belief and metaphor.
“I would say it’s somewhere between the two, mostly a metaphor but not 100%,” he says
Akara has a new album called The World Beyond. We spoke with Akara in 2011 about their Echoes CD of the Month, Extradimensional Ethnography. We return to that entertaining interview and some beautiful music, wherever it’s from, when we revisit our interview with Akara tonight on Echoes.
John Diliberto (((echoes)))
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