Mind over matter

Mind over matter
First three minutes into their song ‘Fly’, and there is a mind-numbing, soul-stirring emotion that bubbles in an amateur listener. The meditative bass instrumentals merged with Hindustani ‘gamkas’ and ‘aalap’ is one of ‘Mind Map’s biggest highlights.

The band is not only defying sound in terms of the genre but also through stage presentation and logistics. It is one of the few which has visual representation twirling in the background to explain their concept and interpret their songs.

An experimental psybient (a concoction of psychedelic and ambient sounds) ensemble, the members of ‘Mind Map’ prefer to call themselves a global music act as they dwell on themes that are universal, spiritually inclined and sing about elements that help the listener connect with a greater consciousness or a higher force.

Abhijith A Bhat, the vocalist and didgeridoo player, fondly referred to as ‘PsyDidge’, says, “We are a sonic ensemble from different genres and perform in various setups. Our aim is to map people’s mind with experimental psybient music. It’s a mixture of rhythm and soulful melodies to create psychedelic, rare and instrumental sounds. Most of the themes  are often related to nature and is central to philosophy as we wish to rediscover, and help the listener rediscover themselves in the process.” Their recent, self-titled EP has instrumentals dominating the vocals.

It’s only been a few months since a vocalist has been working with them and they have incorporated a few Hindustani elements in their music now. Abhijith adds, “Working with pure vocals or pure instrumental music is complete pleasure. There is nothing challenging in music as it’s a universal language. We wish to talk only through music, no matter the route we take.” 

‘Mind Map’ came together from the Abhijith’s extensive trips across India, influences from various genres and artistes he met on these travels. He picked up didgeridoo too, when he was travelling and met an artiste who could play it. He says, “It is picking up in India as I am getting requests to teach. however, I haven’t started professional classes in the instrument yet as such as I have a lot more to learn myself.”

With Avin on the bass guitar, Deepak on percussions, Shreyas Sel on the drums and percussion, Preetham on synth and vocals, Thomson Thomas on the violin and Bankim on the guitar; ‘Mind Map’ has been taking the City by storm in all popular venues. However, Abhijith frankly adds that it is challenging to convince venues to allow them to perform as most venues don’t favour rock and EDM artistes.

“I think that is unfair as the audience won’t be exposed to global music. For the music space to survive, one needs to listen to all kinds of music. Places like Goa are more receptive to our kind of music. We have a tour coming up where we will be playing in about five venues there.”

The cornerstones of ‘Mind Map’ aren’t the musicians who take stage but the artistes as well, with Karan Singh and Ashwin on the visuals. Abhijith adds, “I have always believed that art has no barriers. Since our music is unconventional, I believed that one of the ways to get it across to the listener is by a visual interpretation. So we always have visuals for every track, depending on the theme. We are also planning to showcase our artwork that we have worked on so far, in a gallery, soon.”

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