Akara, live, appears in many incarnations. From Joshua performing by himself, to groups of twelve musicians and performers onstage, Akara is dedicated to bringing their musical and performance vision to as many places and in as powerful a version as possible for every show.
The most common these days is a DJ set, where Joshua performs the music of Akara as a DJ and sings with it. This lightweight incarnation allows Joshua to share the music of Akara with the widest possible audience, performing in clubs and venues and circumstances where larger ensembles would be impractical.
An offshoot of the Akara DJ sets that Joshua has been doing are the Akara Ritual DJ sets. An Akara Ritual DJ set is a more intense and intentional electronic performance by Joshua. The Akara Ritual DJ set is a piece of “participatory ritual theater,” performed usually in houses or small, intimate settings, where the participants are encouraged to become avatars in their own cocreated ritual, not speaking everyday semantic language, and communicating (if at all) only in luminous being “light language” (like the language of Akara). The performances are 4-6 hours, and involved Joshua singing, playing keyboards, and DJ’ing some of his concert music and film music, as well as music by other artists, to create a seamless ceremonial group musical journey.
Another common incarnation for Akara is the duo, trio, or quartet sets. Here, Joshua is joined by Femke and one or two instrumentalists – violin or viola, and flute. This is the most common version of Akara for festival shows. This incarnation starts to really access the musicality, virtuosity, and fullness of the Akara concept.
The largest version is the “full live ensemble”: Joshua, Femke, string quartet, and flute. In this version, the instrumental parts and the detail of the composition becomes clear. At some shows – such as Sonic Bloom 2013 – this ensemble is joined by as many as seven performers: dancers, aerialists, stilt walkers, and more. This full show – with video, performance, virtuosic musicians, and the singers – is the deepest reflection of what Akara can be live. This kind of show is the model for what can and will be done with the project in the future as it grows and tours more.