The Living Room Set featuring Mantravine

The Living Room Set returns to HOA this August 31st with special musical guests, Mantravine! 

Mantravine is a world electronic band of sonic sorcerers from Singapore that combines electronic and acoustic music into organic frequencies. Inspired by nature, everyday sounds, & human connections they love unifying dance floors with rhythms from around the globe, interactive improvisations and live looping. Ahead of the session, HOA speaks to the chieftain of this crew Rupak George, about the upcoming show and his collaborative intention with the Ascend community. 

Hi Rupak! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your band Mantravine.

Hello my name is Rupak, I'm a music producer, guitar teacher and I run music workshops at festivals, schools and for companies. I fuse electronic and acoustic worlds of music for festivals, journeys, dance, education and healing. Our singer Deborah Emmanuel describes us best: 

“Planet Mantravine is a project that speaks the language of rhythm. It beeps and snaps, twists and zings, bursts from our fingers with carnatic guitar and reaches out of our mouths in cosmic song. It shakes the ground with a gleaming brass-line and slices through the heart with strings of violin. The language cannot be described by mere human words, but swells explosively from our extraterrestrial bodies in a frequency frenzy. We are the sound scientists you will understand with your soul.
We grow towards the light like vines, chant ancient mantra to make our vision real and infect others with funky dance moves or wild alien faces. Yet all actions are for a common cause to defy classification, express ourselves in the moment. On our planet, sounds are more than understood, they are experienced." - Deborah Emmanuel

Mantravine has a very unique sound and direction; can you please tell us a little about your musical vision, and what you’re hoping to achieve with the band?

The vision is constantly evolving and the primary goal is to keep making better music. We try to do this by pushing artistic boundaries, getting the audience involved in our shows, writing lyrics that address worldly issues like the environment and mix it with psychedelic frequencies. Travelling to share our sound is really important and we are averaging 3 international shows a year. An interesting vision that the project seems to have crafted for itself is that the lineup changes frequently; I've recorded and performed with world class artists from Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Britain, Netherlands, Uganda, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Austria, Germany, Turkey, Korea,  Guatemala, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Morocco, Australia, Bangladesh and soon to add Sweden!

What can we expect from Mantravine at the Living Room Set? What kind set will be played, how many people and instruments are involved? 

We're opening the show with an organic live performance. After that we're going to do an interactive segment where we will write a song with the audience using the sacred sound of ॐ, Aum. It's going to be an ambitious attempt at connecting the knowledge of the community for healing the collective consciousness of all who are present. Finally we will share a special show of our music that we are planning to present at the upcoming F1 event, including unreleased material.

The major new addition we're adding to the band is Swedish handpan artist (and HOA co-creator and resident musician) Jens Ringefelt. I've recorded handpan musicians for 2 songs in the past but I've never worked with one for live shows so I'm really looking forward to this journey with a wonderful new member of the Mantravine family. The other usual suspects include Singaporean poet-singer Deborah Emmanuel on vocals with her crazy fx looper, Sri Lankan guitar virtuoso Isuru Wijesoma on his new double neck guitar playing classical slide Indian guitar and psychedelic guitar, Japanese trombonist Eriko Murakami on her insanely funky trombone and effects pedal and plus myself on Ableton electronic flute and classical guitar…I'm from good ole planet earth. 

If you want to get an idea of the band's vibration, check out the video below: 

At HOA, we frequently work with mantras during our practices and rituals. Are there any particular mantras that are significant to you and the band?  

We have a few that we've started working with thanks to Deborah. For this show we will be singing Ganesha mantra (Om Ganapataye) which is a mantra for removing obstacles. 

What can we look forward to on planet Mantravine for the year ahead?

We've got 8 shows coming up like ॐ, Aum Sessions at the HOA, launching an album in September at a massive rooftop party thanks to the support of American record label Elliptic Audio Research, releasing a music video for the album, playing at the F1 on a lineup I'm very honoured to be on and playing in Japan in November at a dance retreat. It's gonna be an exciting couple of months of music ahead.

Come join in the sonic experiment on planet Mantravine and resonate with the frequency of ॐ, Aum at the Living Room Set. Get your tickets here!

Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA