energetic. eclectic. experimental.
asima is a male choir and percussion ensemble from the south Indian state of Kerala. The word "asima" in sanskrit means "beyond boundaries", and the ensemble combines elements from India's rhythmic and melodic systems with harmonic traditions of western music. In particular asima takes inspiration from the diversity and wealth of India's rich music heritage that includes the austere, ancient traditions of vedic chanting of scriptures, the refinement and beauty of classical traditions of Hindustani (north indian) and Carnatic (south india) music, and the vitality and charm of indian folk and ritual music. The ensemble is directed by Devissaro, an Australian born musician and composer who has lived in India since 1980. Trained initially as a classical pianist, Devissaro subsequently studied Hindustani vocal music of the ancient Dhrupad tradition under the renowned Dagar Brothers. He also trained in the pakhawaj (Indian double-headed drum) and bansuri (bamboo flute). The music of the asima is a reflection of Devissaro's background in both western and Indian classical music. The asima ensemble comprises six singers, Anil Ram, Gokul Bhaskar, Khalid, Anoop Mohandas, Sreekumar and Anoop Sivanand, with percussionists Sajith Padmanabhan and Tao Issaro and supporting keyboard and guitar/bass.