Conquering hearts and mapping minds

Band chronicles
Last Updated 27 September 2016, 18:52 IST

When seven people from different spheres of life come together purely for the love of music, their creations would have to be something special. Bengaluru-based ‘Mind Map’ has turned into a force to reckon with in the indie-music scene with their experimental music and unique sounds with an aim to unite it all under one roof of ‘global music’. The band has Preetham (Vocals and Synth), Abhijith aka Psy Didge (Didgeridoo), Avinash (Bass), Thomson Thomas (Violin), Chirag (Handpan), Ashwin (Poi and flow art) and Kiran Singh doing the art work. Avinash and Abhijit chat with Rajitha Menon about changes in their lineup, inspirations and gigs.

Tell us a bit about the musical journey of the group till now.
Avinash: We have all been avid listeners of several genres of music, right from college. We loved experiencing live psychedelic music, which was not rock or metal or even trance and we wanted to create these sounds which were very rare in the music scene in those days.
Abhijith approached his band mates from college and Deepak (percussion), Bankim (lead guitars) and Gaurav (guitars) joined him in this journey. They teamed up with Avinash (bass guitar) and Sajan (percussion) and ‘Mind Map’ was born. Due to unavoidable circumstances, few of the members had to depart but we found like-minded companions again and the journey continues.

How do you describe your music.
Abhijith: Our music is inspired by nature. A clichéd statement, but honestly, all artistes who are part of this clan are inspired by nature. As a band, we try to replicate those natural sounds which resonate with our innate frequency. In that process we experiment with a lot of instruments and improvise with conventional ones. Hence the name, experimental psybient music.

What are the favourite genres of all members? Do they incorporate any of these elements into the band’s music?
Avinash: All the band members relate to different genres of music ranging from Indian classical, classic rock, new jazz to psychedelic and progressive. And we do try and incorporate different elements of these into the music that we do, as a band.
What is the story behind the name of the band?
Abhijith: As the name suggests, Mind Map is an audio-visual experience. We cater to different types of listeners and art enthusiasts, and mapping their minds through music’s soundscape and promoting art forms like live painting, fire/LED Poi (a style of performing art) in the foreground creates an audio-visual treat for the audience.

Most memorable gig?
Avinash: A gig we played in Goa at 1am for an audience of 200 or more. Some people from the audience related to our music by sitting peacefully and meditating, grooving to the ambient tunes and spinning various forms of poi. It looked like a small festival which we had created. Seeing the audience enjoying and loving our music made that gig an overwhelming experience for all the band members.
Funniest back stage incident?
Abhijith: We have our own episodes of back stage fun — ranging from meeting people who just want to talk to us to eager fans offering drinks (laughs). Something as irritating as waiting for a band member to reach the venue on time also seems funny in hindsight.
Who, or what is your musical inspiration?
Abhijith: We take inspiration from all the things that are around us — fellow musicians, our influences, our experiences of listening to various genres of music and the impact it has had on each of our lives.

If not a band, then..?
Avinash: We are all equally creative in our professional day jobs as well. From a software developer, designer, analyst to a civil engineer and a professor, we have all of them in our team (laughs). So I guess we would be continuing with those jobs.

How do you manage your time?
Avinash: People always tend to find time for things that they love to do and enjoy doing. We are no different.

(Published 27 September 2016, 15:32 IST)

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