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Kidambi, Amirtha / Luke Stewart: Zenith/Nadir [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tripticks Tapes)

Referencing the highs and lows to which the NY duo of free improvising vocalist Amirtha Kidambi and bassist Luke Stewart take their listeners, both bringing along electronics as they divert between clear acoustics and extreme processing, pouring out the turbulence of the time with a unique sense of duress and oddly hopeful musing; frighteningly unique and fascinating.
 

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product information:


Label: Tripticks Tapes
Catalog ID: TTT020
Squidco Product Code: 32204

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded at Pioneer Works, in August, 2020. Mastered by Weasel Walter.


Personnel:

Amirtha Kidambi-voice, electronics

Luke Stewart-bass, electronics, engineer

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Artist Biographies:

"Amirtha Kidambi "takes a holistic approach to singing, which can mean treating every element as unfixed: Words can be opened up, rendered nonspecific. Melody can be repeated and frozen and stuck in place. Markings of rhythm can become utterly abstract, freed from cadence." (New York Times). Kidambi is the bandleader of Elder Ones and a soloist and collaborator in groups including Mary Halvorson's newest quintet Code Girl, Charlie Looker's early music inspired dark folk band Seaven Teares, Darius Jones' vocal quartet Elizabeth-Caroline Unit and Samesoul Maker and Pat Spadine's analog percussion and light ensemble Ashcan Orchestra. As Ben Ratliff wrote in the New York Times, "the aggressive and sublime first album by the band Elder Ones, Holy Science, is a kind of gauge for how strong and flexible the scene of young musicians in New York's improvised and experimental music world can be. At the center of it are drones and phonemes. The group's leader, the composer and singer Amirtha Kidambi, holds forth behind a harmonium, the small keyboard instrument with hand-pumped bellows; it's commonly used in bhajan, the Indian devotional-singing tradition that was central to her musical experience while growing up in a South Indian family." Kidambi formally trained in classical music, singing works by experimental composers including Robert Ashley and Luigi Nono, but the pull of free jazz and Alice Coltrane drew her toward a different path. The influence of both Alice and John Coltrane is especially apparent on the , as is her work with composer and saxophonist Darius Jones, and her study of Carnatic music. Kidambi formally trained in classical music, singing works by avant-gardists including Nono and Stockhausen, but the pull of free jazz and Alice Coltrane drew her toward a different path. The influence of both Alice and John Coltrane is especially apparent on the new album, as is her work with composer and saxophonist Darius Jones, and her study of Carnatic music. Elder Ones performed extensively nationally and internationally, on tours and at festivals such as NYC Winter Jazzfest, Berliner Festspiele in Germany and Festiwal Jazz Jantar in Poland, among other.

Kidambi is invested in the performance creative music, from free improvisation and jazz, to experimental bands, and new music. As an improviser, she has played with Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, Ava Mendoza, Sam Newsome, Peter Evans, Trevor Dunn, and many innovators in the New York scene. A life changing decision to create her own artistic work came from a collaboration with the late AACM founder, composer-pianist Muhal Richard Abrams', performing his Dialogue Social. Kidambi has also premiered Darius Jones' The Oversoul Manual at Carnegie Hall, Samesoul Maker at Roulette, LawNOrder at Winter Jazzfest, a premiere of electronic composer Ben Vida's work Slipping Control for voice and electronics with Tyondai Braxton at the Borderline Festival in Athens, Greece, the premiere of the late Robert Ashley's final opera CRASH at the Whitney Biennial, a Jazz Gallery commission for Mary Halvorson's Code Girl, the premiere of William Parker's Soul of Light and forthcoming recording project Voices Fall From the Sky and a commission from the Jerome Foundation for her quartet Elder Ones at Roulette and artist residency at EMPAC to record the group's debut album.

Amirtha earned a B.F.A. in Voice from Loyola Marymount University and an M.M. in Voice and Musicology from CUNY Brooklyn College, where she served as adjunct faculty. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University."

-Amirtha Kidambi Website (http://www.amirthakidambi.com/bio/)
9/21/2022

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"Luke has pursued a vast number of creative projects over the years. He plays bass and saxophone with DC-based indie rock band Laughing Man, who has performed at historic venues in the city including the Black Cat and St. Stephen's Church, opening for national acts such as The Evens, Wavves, Junkyard Band, and Wale. He has also played saxophone with his own experimental group Ziggurat, as well as various special collaborative performances throughout the East Coast.

As an electronic artist, he has been showcased in local exhibitions alongside legendary hip hop artist Grap Luva, and DC beatmaker Damu the Fudgemunk. He has also been a participant of Sonic Circuits' Festival of Experimental Music, performing on the same bill as cellist Okkyung Lee, as well as performing in other venues alongside instrument builder Layne Garrett and saxophonist Sam Hillmer (Diamond Terrifier). He is also a member of experimental electronic trio Mind Over Matter, Music Over Mind, which has participated in numerous festival performances, including Sonic Circuits' Festival and Noise Fest at George Mason University.

On the jazz side, Luke has performed at many of DC's historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57. He had the honor of studying and performing with saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett. Recently he lead a 12-member ensemble in an hour-long tribute to John Coltrane on his birthday at the legendary Bohemian Caverns. He is also a member of Trio OOO, a collaborative ensemble featuring saxophonist Aaron Martin, and drummer Sam Lohman.

More recently he has helped establish CapitalBop.com, a DC-based jazz website and 501c3 non-profit organization, as its Avant Music Editor. Through the site, he has helped launch a live jazz performance series dubbed the "DC Jazz Loft", presenting some talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his "Red Door Loft" series at the now-closed Goldleaf studios, as well as shows at CD Cellar in Arlington, VA, Bossa Bistro and Lounge, and DIY space the Paperhaus, where his performance curation was picked by Bob Boilen as one of the best shows of 2012.

He is also an Artist-In-Residence at the art space Union Arts and Manufacturing, in Washington, DC, where he regularly rehearses his numerous musical projects as well as hosts special performances and workshops.

During the day, he is the Production Coordinator for WPFW 89.3FM, as well as the host of THE VIBES edition of Overnight Jazz, weekly eclectic jazz program which showcases music from various sources in Luke's musical explorations. Through WPFW he has had the privilege of working with some seminal figures in music and social justice such as Chuck Brown, Yusef Lateef, Randy Weston, Muhal Richard Abrams, Juma Sultan, and Amiri Baraka. He has had the opportunity of producing many successful programs including a month-long commemoration of Black Music Month., featuring notably the reunion of trombonist Phil Ranelin and saxophonist Wendell Harrison from the Tribe organization of Detroit. He also co-produced a month-long tribute to pianist Horace Tapscott Los Angeles based community organization UGMAA (Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension). He also produced Washington, DC's first live radio appearance of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the program Jazz and Justice with Tom Porter."

-Luke Stewart Website (https://lukethings.wordpress.com/about/)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


SIDE A



1. Circulation 4:06

2. Premonition 3:31

3. Postmonition 3:15

4. Exaltation 11:11

SIDE B



1. Relics 7:44

2. Medium 6:34

3. Telepathy 6:41
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Zenith/Nadir is an improvised seance, conjuring the spirits of ancestors through urgent frequencies, to excavate the intergenerational trauma which haunts and guides our living present. Recorded in Brooklyn during the tumultuous Summer of 2020, the album reflects extreme contrasts of high and low, in a time where despair and possibility were inextricable. In the underexplored combination of bass and voice, Luke Stewart and Amirtha Kidambi mine maximal possibilities, from pure acoustic intimate interactions, to harsh electronic walls of sound.

In various configurations of upright bass, amplifier feedback, effects pedals and looping, the duo explores dichotomies, with a side of pristine acoustic duets and another of visceral noise, where the sonic boundaries between the instruments dissolve and obscure. Kidambi employs a distinct vocal effects pedal, meeting Stewart in his amplifier-centered sonic universe. Combining their unique improvised vocabularies which draw from free jazz, noise, rock, Indian music and Black music, their raw chemistry is apparent in their shape-shifting improvisations."-Triptick Tapes

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