Akara is a symphony for the post-digital age. Elegant classical composition combined with detailed psychedelic production; mystical, devotional vocals with lyrics beyond language combined with deep synth bass. Akara’s music is a genre entirely its own. Independent of dance music trends without being unaware of them, Akara combines fragments of Baroque and Medieval music, twentieth-century minimalist music, Indian classical, and gamelan, with psydub, glitch-hop, dubstep, and downtempo grooves.
Fully composed for and recorded with a small classical orchestra of top-notch players, and featuring the ethereal vocals of Femke Weidema, Akara’s sound is a high-quality, cinematic, intelligent musical journey through consciousness.
Akara is created and curated by Joshua Penman, an award-winning composer with performances in Carnegie Hall, by seventeen full orchestras, and by choruses, bands, and chamber ensembles around the world. Joshua has also scored five films, holds a doctorate in classical composition, played in Balinese and Sundanese gamelans, and studied ragas in India with master vocalist Devashish Dey.
The name Akara comes from the Indonesian words for “root or vine” and “ritual or performance” and the energy of the project is inspired by the trance rituals of Bali, the shamanic ceremonies of the Amazon, and the new visionary art and culture of Burning Man and the West Coast festival scene.
Onstage, in its largest incarnation, Akara is seven musicians and a laptop, along with a troupe of dancers and performers. Akara’s stage show represents a new kind of ritual performance for our postmodern, soundsystem age. At home on headphones, or whenever you close your eyes, Akara is a new kind of ritual performance for your mind.
Akara has performed at many of the premiere US visionary festivals, including Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle, Sonic Bloom, Rootwire, Burning Man, and more.
“… the cutting edge of electronic composition … beyond anything I’ve heard … I’m surprised this level of creative genius hasn’t been outlawed yet.” mandakinismuse.com
“… an ambitious album that succeeds far beyond its means … a non-stop, out-of-this-world journey.” Echoes (NPR)
“Akara’s music touched me personally in a way different from must music I listen to … something I honestly had never heard before, yet it sounded so perfect …” whiteraverrafting.com
“The most profound musical experience of my life.” Liza Hunter, facebook