Interview by Agata Kik
Swiss-born, with Nepalese-Tibetan heritage, sound artist Aisha Devi produces ritualistic music, while giving clubbing spiritual meaning. She believes in a performance that is active, in which the old theatrical divide disappears and where the artist coexists with the audience. In an improvised manner, the artist responds to each of the participants of her music shows with special sonic frequencies to reach their inner souls. In this way, both the performing and the listening subject are objects of the performance in simultaneity, the self and the other, trans-selves and themselves under self-hypnosis.
Aisha’s music is saturated by her meditation practice, informed by alchemy, shamanism, knowledge of healing frequencies and ancient philosophies. Her work, thus, is not only formally outstanding but carries a rich political and philosophical message. Together with her debut album Of Matter And Spirit released by Houndstooth, she has started collaborating with Chinese visual artist Tianzhuo Chen and now her performances with Asian Dope Boys spatially constitute disruptive audio-visual spectacles. In connection with technology, producing spiritual music, Aisha turns her shows into transcendent experiences.
Her most recent release by Houndstooth, DNA Feelings, can be described as mystical effervescence, pure transcendence, the experience of hearing the light or seeing the sound. The artist refers to DNA and the fact that it consists of energies of magnetic and electric fields. According to Aisha, vibrations and frequencies are the origins of matter.
DNA, thus, is the primal oscillation of the world, the origin of any other earthly frequency. With special frequencies, we can change DNA, and so, with the special frequencies that Aisha uses in her music, she is capable of influencing the listening crowd and thus, through each listening individual, she changes the world. Her shows could be described as purges, as a complete cleansing of the body from the knowledge taught by society. Aisha uses a lot of throat singing in her music.
One of its kinds is called khoomei and its tradition can still be found among ethnic groups in some Mongolian regions. Khoomei singing is an important part of ancient animism. In the idea of animism, such a practice of singing expresses the belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a spiritual essence. This is also a belief that identifies spirituality not only with shape or location but with sound.
Thus, frequencies of any inanimate or living matter are at their core. Aisha Devi’s music and shows, most importantly, implode in the innermost of selves. The artist gives a totally new dimension to what the experience of contemporary electronic music could mean by taking her listener to a totally different dimension of their mental state.
Aisha is performing this weekend at the Southbank Centre as part of the Re-Textured festival.
This text is part of a longer text published as an OpEd article.
Your performance was a very special experience between a dream and a meditation. What are your aims behind them?
I want people to travel to alter dimensional space. Transcending our current 3Dimensionality is the main intention of my music. Via the frequencies and my voice, the idea is to put people in an altered state of consciousness. It means that you will transform your perception through alternate brain synaptic connections, and you then will open the gates to the fifth, seventh, and eleventh dimensions through a transcendental experience. I aim to hypnotize people positively – I do the exact opposite as advertisement. Advertisement is stimulating your desires, stimulating your 3Dimensionality and increasing your needs as a body, as a physical individual. Advertisement transforms you into a submissive, consenting consumer in a dominant capitalist world. I want to break the spell and resurrect the subconscious knowledge, I want to give people their power back, enlighten them. This is the dream.
Can we talk about the binaural beats in your music?
I am especially producing Alpha and Delta binaurals. These two have rather slow oscillations that connect your consciousnesses, your intellect, to your subconscious. The connection between your rational perception and your ancestral multi-dimensional knowledge. I’m guiding people to comprehend and manipulate these powers. I’m quite confident we’ll soon be able to function with our intrinsic technology, the intentional energetic, magnetic and electrical power. When we integrate the importance of frequencies and vibrations and understand how to perceive and use them, we will be free of any autocracy/totalitarianism.
Talking about DNA, why this name for your latest album?
After researching and connecting different metaphysics from alchemical, Buddhist, Vedic, ritualistic, shamanic, physics, and meditation practices, I realised that frequencies and vibrations are the origin of any matter, the visible and the invisible. Look at the representation of DNA. It has the same shape as a sonic wave, a frequency. DNA is a vibration, the essential oscillation. I can impact and change any DNA with a simple frequency.
What is your idea about the relationship between spirituality and technology? They are both electric intensities. Do you think we are connected to technology?
People often pit spirituality and science in opposition to one another, which is a belief-limiting viewpoint. We have a strange affection for our mental enslavement and have developed a resistance to psychic empowerment, but if everything is fundamentally a vibration, frequencies and binaural beats have an impact and can transform any matter’s form and condition and can, therefore, heal any physical ailment. Shamans have been using tones to heal people for centuries.
They would use their voices and repetitive patterns that induce trance and initiate transformation on a cellular and atomic level. These practices are still put into the spiritual category but have been slowly emerging in the scientific field, as with the medical application of bioresonance for instance. We need to change and expand the vision of our so-called experts. I think music is the most advanced technology on this planet.
The use of your voice is a central part of your music and performances. What is the power of voice for you? In your performances, there are electric vibrations, but there are also you as embodied vibrations.
When I play live, I combine healing frequencies and heavy beats that will act as a kind of purge with the idea of cleansing the body and the mind. You can’t forget what you’ve learned and been told for years without any brutal collision first occurring in yourself. I am using a lot of beats and shouting as a primal recognition. I called the piece we played in Barbican ‘Aetherave’ as I have a feeling the ether is the place where you transcend your own physicality.
The fifth-dimensional realm. We have to erase the idea that we solely belong to the three-dimensional physical world. I want people to experience a kind of healing OOBE, to explore and experiment outside of capitalist programming. Yes, but still, we always have to be conscious of this physical part, no? We cannot leave it. We can leave it. Drugs, meditation, love or even deep mental activities and concentration immerse us into an alternate state of consciousness. We are living an embodied life but relentlessly seeking and craving for transcendence situations.
Yes, but still, we always have to be conscious of this physical part, no?
We cannot leave it. We can leave it. Drugs, meditation, love or even deep mental activities and concentration immerse us into an alternate state of consciousness. We are living an embodied life but relentlessly seeking and craving for transcendence situations.