AyamAtmaAtma, the word for 'soul' in Sanskrit, best describes the approach of this ensemble
to music. The musical output of these four musicians
is borderless, and with ease fuses Indian classical music, Western classical music, and jazz. Together, these musicians fuse compositions based on Indian Konnakol (vocal Indian percussion) and enriched with western harmonies. The result is a homogeneous music that sounds less complex than it is below the surface. The group was founded in August 2015 in Bangalore, India, beginning in the uncommon trio setup of two
percussionists and a reed player. For their tour through India in July 2017, the trio has been extended to a quartet, adding the musical polyglot Aman Mahajan on piano. The musical heart of the ensemble is Muthu Kumar, a Bangalore-based tabla virtuoso, who is a student of Zakir Hussain and has during his career already shared the stage with Alice Coltrane and other jazz stars. Additional to his musical mastery he also contributes numerous compositions to the current program. Furthermore, the ensemble consists of Grilli Pollheimer, a well-acclaimed Austrian percussionist.
Grilli is classically
trained and has enriched the Austrian scene in different contexts over the last ten years. Aman Mahajan is a promising Indian musician of his generation, playing improvised
music across a diversity of musical idioms, and having worked with musicians of a wide variety of
nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The woodwind specialist Patrick Dunst, who has fused different music traditions with his ensembles Tribal Dialects and Tripod, is the second composer of this program, and additionally, lends the band his melodic voice with his assortment of reed instruments.