NMR Artist Spotlight: Experimental Multimedia Xambuca
(NMR Interview with Xambuca member Chandra Shukla)
NMR: Tell us about the members and ideas behind Xambuca.
XAMBUCA: The group is ever evolving, ever-changing, but the constants in the group are myself (Chandra Shukla) and visual help from Jason Scott-Furr along with vocals and other found sounds from Elisa Faires. Other collaborators have included RK Faulhaber, Todd Mellors (Saifir), Lux Vibratus (Chrome), Larry Thrasher and many others.
Xambuca was a reaction to the various genres of music and more specifically to bands and groups who were type-cast into these genres. As there are many types of music we love, we also wish for Xambuca to be the grounds to explore different types and styles within music with varied approaches, varied instrumentation, varied ideas, varied visuals and an ever evolving cast of characters and an overall open-mindedness to anything and everything in terms of sound.
The main objective is freedom from the rules of what we are "supposed to be" within the aspects of expectation, definition, acceptance, classification and most of all opinion.
NMR: What inspires your work and where do you see the group going in the future?
XAMBUCA: Lots of things inspire our work, everything from life experiences, science, food, the oceans, films, great literary works, fine art, botany, cultures, religions, politics, and the ever-evolving conjunctions within our universe inspires our sounds.
We do not lean towards contemporary music as much though we are a contemporary group in terms of our audio and visual elements, delivery and use of technology.
If anything, we appreciate traditional music from different countries because the phenomenon of "trends" or "styles" are less prevalent though we listen to all types of music of all kinds. Xambuca came into being almost as a reaction to the over-stimulation of music as there is too much and most of it follows some kind of unspoken contemporary acceptance. We started off as an abstract noise piece. Lately we have started with the bare bones of very electronic exploration but in due time hopefully you will see dramatic transformations in our sound. There would even be the possibility of us doing an album of acoustic instruments in the vein of folk music or country music or an album of music heavily inspired by rockabilly and doo wop.
NMR: How do you incorporate technology/innovation in your work, especially in relation to its historical context.
Technology and innovation are not ruled out as more 'tools of the trade' so to speak.
We have never been rigid in our acceptance of new ideas and new technology.
As for the historical context, we are also interested from traditional ways that really work that have been retained from the past. We pride ourselves not being from purely analog or purely digital perspective, as we find that battle elitist and masturbatory.
I met Jason Scott Furr, who is in a way an instrumentalist both in the audio sense but primarily in the visual sense. His approach to utilizing visuals stems from employing the latest technology and being a software tester for VDMX, the primary vjing software used in many of our live performances. Scott Furr introduced me to OSC technology early on and remote visual projections via the internet. He is either present in person or working remotely from Asheville, NC at many of our shows when we are abroad. Lux Vibratus was perhaps the second person to ever use the Moog animoog application live when we did a show in Los Angeles last October. The application had been released days prior. So Xambuca is a group that has been and always will continue to be a group that employs technology, past, present and future.
NMR: What is Xambuca working on now? And what is you next project?
XAMBUCA is working on many things. We are working on unfinished releases, compositions, installations, collaborations, videos, and more visits to places we have yet to perform in. Many of us also help to run 'Erototox Decodings', our own record label and many releases have still yet to be released. This is why we released an album for free. Though proceeds by donation for our current release, entitled "カムィ" ( read in English as: Kamuy), will go to preserve Ainu culture in Japan and we expect to submit these proceeds to a Ainu preservation institution in Sapporo, Japan called the FRPAC ( The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture) early next year. The Ainu are the indigenous inhabitants of Northern Japan, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island. Physical cd and LP versions of "カムィ" will be available early next year also.
Much of our work lately has been dealing with language and words. Our track names and album titles contain meanings in languages other than English as we find the archetypes that are emanated from our music should defy names and meanings and the obvious result should be a range of experiences, sensations, feelings and emotions from people all over the world (and hopefully someday universe).
MORE INFO ON XAMBUCA:
Musician / Multimedia Artist
X A M B U C A
Label Manager / Owner
North American & Worldwide Booking Agent
• Hans-Joachim Roedelius
• Philippe Petit