You were there, among the luminous beings. You did not know how you had arrived, or what language they were speaking, but you understood they meant no harm and they wished to sing you a story.
It was important.
Their words, somehow familiar, shimmered on the verge of meaning. And as their iridescent music enfolded you, you knew they longed for you to understand.
Then it was over, and you awoke, and you were back.
This is what you remember.
Akara is the work of Joshua Penman, a conservatory-trained composer turned electronic music producer. After some success in the classical music world (e.g. his work has been performed in Carnegie Hall and by over fifteen orchestras), Joshua moved to Los Angeles to work as a film composer and launch Akara in the hotbed of creative expression that is the West Coast festival scene.
Akara is an orchestra and an electronica act and enveloping sensory experience. It represents the synthesis of twelve years of musical exploration, a composer combining the classical soundworld of his upbringing and training with the psychedelic electronic sounds he fell in love with at parties and festivals. Akara's influences include Shpongle, Claude Vivier, Indian classical music, The Glitch Mob, Steve Reich, Maurice Ravel, an-ten-nae, Beats Antique, Frou Frou, Irish traditional music, old-school jungle, Perotin, Phillip Glass, Air, Tuvvan Throat Singing, Judd Greenstein, Logic Bomb, Bluetech, Orbital, Peruvian Icaros, and Amma Bhajans.
Akara features the otherworldly vocals of Femke Weidema, a highly trained musician and accomplished songwriter in her own right, leaving her country/pop/Latin roots to be reimagined and recreated as extradimensional psychedelic goddess...
Live, Akara exists in two formats: as a duo, and as a larger group. As a larger, nine-member group, Femke and Joshua are joined by classical musicians to deliver a level of virtuosic performance unusual in the electronica world. As Akara tours, they will also start using an onstage lightshow controlled by software written by Joshua especially for this project, as well as original video and dance/ritual performance.
released January 21, 2011
Femke Weidema, vocals
Mark Robertson, violin
Maia Jasper, violin
Luke Maurer, viola
Aaron Oltman, viola
Timothy Loo, cello
Karmen Suter, flute
Paul Klintworth, horn
Alison Bjorkdal, harp
Noam Aharon, Indian mandolin
Evan Fraser, tamborine, shaker
composition, keyboards, production, and mixing by Joshua Penman
additional arrangement, keyboards, production, and mixing by Marcin Bela and Lisa Harkness
recorded at Entourage Studios (strings, flute, horn), System Krush Studios (Indian mandolin), and Blue Giant Studios (harp)
all recorded by Joshua Penman except harp by Jason Schimmel
Digital painting by Andrew Jones based on a photograph by Sequoia Emmanuelle with makeup by Ashely Joy Beck. Akara logo by Xavi. Layout and design by Joshua Penman.
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