The phenomenon of neotribalism, predicted by sociologist Michel Maffesoli, has come to life and exhibited the first signs of ritual at performances by bands like Baltimore’s own Telesma. It’s at shows like this where you can find an audience that not only comes to listen and dance, but one that actually participates in the performance through deeper expressions of their own. Contemporary music has often incited feelings of tribalism in that it inspires large groups of people to come together and share in something larger than themselves. Telesma has taken this one step further by merging modern modes of music with ancient instruments, rhythms and techniques that call back thousands of years thus carrying on traditions that western music is incapable of for shear lack of history.
Often lumped into the category of New Age music for the sake of simple categorization, Telesma, in truth, makes music that transcends the simple notion of eastern philosophy reinterpreted by westerners. The aspects of their music that call on ancient tradition do so with the utmost reverence while their western influence seems to be inspired by the likes of forward thinking contemporary artists like Trent Reznor, Les Claypool and Tool.
In short, Telesma is a fiercely independent ensemble of exceptional musicians who challenge the conventions of modern performance by creating an auditory and visual experience that is both mesmerizing and immersive. What Weekly contributor Theresa Keil was at Telesma’s LOVEfest show at the 8×10 and captured these images of one of Baltimore’s most unique and creative group of artists.
Photo by Theresa Keil, intro by Justin Allen.