Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ekadzati Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about this project for those that have never heard of you before?

Ekadzati lends her name to a multifaceted body of works consisting of black metal and noise music, art, prose, and poetry. I began working under this name late in 2011, at which time Ekadzati supplanted another project that had outlived its usefulness as a conceptual tool. The first sound recordings were set down at the very beginning of 2012 after relocating to the wooded wetlands on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

Most simply? Noise-inflected black metal. The early stuff is more in the vein of Nekrasov than, say, Sutekh Hexen. Dan Nahum (Bleakwood, Greed & Rapacity, Dead River Runs Dry), who has performed session drums on one current and one forthcoming release, tends to compare this period of my work to early Thorns. As time passes, though, I’ve sought to integrate my avant-classical and free jazz influences, and as such the first LP has worked out to be rather more abstract. The intent is to generate while awake the disorienting affective states usually associated with dreams.

3. The lyrical topics cover a lot about Tantra, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also do you have any other interest of other types of esoteric or occult paths?

I’ve been practicing Buddhism in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet’s Nyingma school for a number of years, so the lyrical themes come directly from my daily practice. It’s probably an exercise in futility to say so in a scene saturated with varying degrees of sincere spiritual endeavor, but this is very much my life. While I sometimes couch my presentation in imagery derived from other spiritual and cultural systems, I do my best to neither mix the Buddhist path with others nor pick-and-choose in an attempt to respect this ancient tradition since it does not belong to me as a white westerner.

That said, due to the nature of the music and my disposition, I do focus on a particular aspect of tantric practice when composing lyrics: wrathful activity. It’s sadly neglected and misunderstood amongst American practitioners, so to some extent I’m seeking to reintroduce this energy into my cultural context.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

In the autumn of 2011, I had a series of visions of Ekadzati. She is a wrathful deity, a protector of the Nyingma lineage and Dzogchen teachings. Much of her iconography and activity focuses on nonduality. These visions resulted in a strong bond, and a desire on my part to embody and enact her energies. The work I produce attempts this.

5. Currently there is only 1 member involved with this project, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future, or do you choose to remain solo?

I have occasionally sought the assistance of session drummers, and I definitely see myself doing this in the future. I’m also working on a collaboration with the Los Angeles-based noise artist Crowhurst, which has been a good experience. However, while I won’t rule out the possibility of assembling a set of musicians to perform the material live, I don’t see myself seeking any outside input into the compositional process due to the project’s constraints.

6.Currently, you are signed to Milam Records, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support they have given you so far?

Well, this one was easy. I run Milam Records. It’s a small operation, and it thrives only because of a dedicated underground, of which this zine is a part!

7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and noise?

I haven’t seen much writing about my material, but the bits that do attract my attention have yet to be critical. I wouldn’t mind a bit more exposure, even if it resulted in a few bruises to my pride.

8. Are you involved with any other musical projects?

Several. Like everyone else, I recently started an ambient noise side project called Anatra. I’m also working on material for a more straightforward beastial black metal group called Gulag which is thematically related to my politics and transition.

9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

I definitely want to play up the weirder aspects of Ekadzati’s sound and develop it into something a bit more unique. As I mentioned above, I’m attempting to do this by cramming in more of my other musical influences while maintaining relatively simple black metal instrumentation.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

My go-to black metal influences are mainly second wave black metal and LLN bands, especially Ved Buens Ende, Emperor, Belkètre, and Mütiilation. maudlin of the Well also had a huge impact on how I think about metal and the compositional possibilities available in this idiom. I’m also pretty obsessed with Servile Sect. Outside metal, I’m mainly into modern classical like George Crumb, Giacinto Scelsi, and Eliane Radigue, as well as goth rock like Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus. I also spend a lot of time wearing out my Björk and Miles Davis records. Really, I’m a huge music nerd, so this list could go on forever.

11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?

A lot of my energy is spent in creative pursuits, mainly painting and writing. Aside from that, people who don’t know me personally may be surprised to find that I’m heavily involved with radical leftist politics -- transfeminist and anarcha-communist activism, in particular.

12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Nothing much for me to add. Thanks very much for conducting the interview, as well as for reviewing some of my releases.

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