Kalya Scintilla And Eve Olution Talk About Their World Tour In iEDM Exclusive Interview
Sitting down with Kalya Scintilla and Eve Olution was a personal highlight of mine at Resonance Music & Arts Festival. Kalya Scintilla's music is woven with many different sounds, including world fusion, progressive bass, and innovative electronic elements.
Along with his music is a theatrical display of dance and emotion featuring his wife Eve Olution and occasionally other performers as well. I felt like my interview with the two of them was one of the most conscious expanding conversations I've ever had with an artist.
iEDM: What brought you guys together?
Kalya: I was on a magical adventure over to the U.S and I was going to hangout in San Diego at a friend’s house who I had met on the Internet and I arrived at the house and he turned out to be living with Eve and so we met there, only briefly. But then like a week later we went to Beloved and I didn't know she was going to Beloved but then we bumped in to each other there and after that we were like talking and instant best friends.
Eve: Yeah and then at Pyramid Lake in California thats when we were under the big partial eclipse and we bumped in to each other at that festival and that’s when I always tell the story that I saw his soul. Like his soul-self reveled himself to me and we had this instant past life memory and connection and shortly after that is when we started working together as a team to start collaborating our art and our vision. He does a lot of ancient mythology through music and I do ancient mythology through theatre. So we started incorporating so much and everything kind of came from inspiration from that particular partial eclipse and ever since then eclipses have been very special to us, including this past one.
iEDM: Do you think music has therapeutic, spiritual elements to it?
Kalya: Sound is the essence of all creation, like every single particle of existence is a vibration and vibration is sound so its really fun to look at the entire world that we live in as sound. I often do it with every emotion, every tree, every taste, everything is a vibration so everything is sound. So we can have very deep, spiritual experiences with sound when the sound is created or intended to touch certain parts of the human soul or the human body. A good example is a drum beat on an African drum. It’s very simple but just that simple sound of a hand hitting a drum is so ancient and has been done with humans for thousands of years that as soon as we hear it we feel something deep within us. We can explore sound in a way that is we create something thats dissonant and aggressive we can shake up a lot of anger and dense emotion within a person and in the same way we can make beautiful sound and cause someone to cry or have a release or feel amazing and it’s all relevant. The dissonance is as much healing as the beautiful, soft sound is as well.
Eve: We have the opportunity in front of large crowds to take people on journeys and to let them open and feel themselves on a deep level and then feel each other and when we incorporate the vibe of the entire space it all comes alive and people have very spiritual experiences and we aim intentionally for that. Everything that we do is intentionally aimed to open the heart and open the feeling of connection with each other and with the earth. We use a lot of ancient mythology and a lot of ancient sounds. Using ancient understandings to open gateways intentionally for people.
iEDM: Can you describe some ancient methods or particular mythology that you use?
Eve: Yeah so ritual is latent. So we start with an opening creation story, which is what we’ve been doing this past year. It opens that intention to connect and people will feel it usually immediately and then they go on this exquisite journey with the sound to take them deeper in to these layers that we may not be able to put in to words but it's all encrypted in sound. And there’s samples that people will hear and it’s directly pointing to looking within or feeling, or opening, or hearing. So we are kind of pointing these little signs to the audience and the audience starts to go deeper inside of that. What’s also exquisite is that Kalya specifically intends to be present through out the whole entire thing and you can feel the audience delve deeper and deeper in to that whether they are aware of it or not, you start to feel the groove and all of a sudden there is a synergy that starts to happen. That's all based with ritual and we do a particular formula every single time to create that.
Kalya: Yeah, it’s really cool when we don’t really elude to much in the story of an album but people come back and they tell us the experiences they’ve had with the album or with certain songs. and it’s like they totally understand the story, they reflect back to us all this detail that isn’t written there in words it’s just an intention that we play with. And then they come back and say “oh I had this experience listening to this song” and we’re like wow you totally saw the story, you got it, it’s really fun. And on the technical side, I like to explore a lot of different harmonic tunings and look at how instruments might have been tuned a long time ago as opposed to how they are tuned now in the western world and play with the way different frequencies interact.
iEDM: Did you go to school for sound engineering?
Kalya: Yeah. I did a two year part time course of audio engineering which was pretty good. Out of the two years there’s only a little big of knowledge that I really still use. But that knowledge and practicing that for two years is priceless.
iEDM: So why do you guys think incorporating dance and music is essential?
Eve: Being around a fire and telling stories and dancing is as old as time to the human spirit. So when we do this together, we feel connected and I feel like in the modern society we need this now more than ever. We need to feel connected, we need to feel our connection to our ancestors and we need to feel a connection to something that is older than all of us. And to reconnect to that primordial place to really save our species. I really strongly feel that. So it’s kind of an emergency and a beautiful cathartic moment on the planet. We strongly feel that the dance and the music is part of the evolution of what we’re doing here.
Kalya: It’s almost like as a species we are going through puberty or we’re like rebellious teenagers who don’t want to listen to mom, you know, the earth. We don’t want to listen to her. There’s a lot of disconnect, you can see it in the way we treat each other and the planet at the moment. It feels urgent and it feels scary to look at the world right now but if you understand that it’s part of our evolution, that in some way shape or form humans will continue and learn and grow and evolve from this and that it's all part of it, you know. The most important thing is what we do each day, how we connect with each other, how we connect and care for the earth. We’re all in it together.
Eve: Believing that people are good. I think that was the most profound part of going to these kinds of gatherings for me. I actually grew up in Cleveland, Ohio on the west side and I experienced people not nice to each other and people very distant and cold to each other and when I moved to California and started going to these transformational festivals, I got experiences of the complete opposite. People would look me in the eye, they actually wanted to hear what I had to say and they wanted to see my art and give me a chance to actually express myself. They inspired me to do everything that i’ve done up until this point and I think that is something we all need. We all need to be seen, we all need to feel like we have something to give and we all need to express in our own way. I feel like these festivals give that to people and it’s extremely healing for all of us.
Kalya: When I first started going to parties back in Australia like real outdoor tribal gatherings it would very often be 100 or 150 people, out in the middle of the bush like three hours from the city. You’d call a phone number on the night and you’d get a message which would tell you the directions of how to get there. And it would just be a sound system, a few little tapestries hung up on the dance floor, a couple of lights and people would throw their shoes off and dance 24 hours to trance music and everyone was on the journey together. So again, it’s like an ancient part of what it means to be human. I love the quote “we don’t stop dancing because we get old, we get old because we stop dancing”.
iEDM:What feelings do you want your music and dancing to evoke in people?
Kalya: I feel like we’re in for a whole range of feelings, because music has that ability and theatre. When we approach negative or denser emotions we do so with awareness. So if I'm taking somebody to the underworld, like there’s a track on Open Ancient Eyes called Osiris and it’s about entering the underworld. There’s a very careful responsibility of taking people in there. And how can we take someone in to a place that’s maybe a bit dark and scary but guide them through and come out the other side to a place that feels comfortable and safe. That’s something I really miss, that journey in to the darkness and then out back in to the light. A lot of artists will just strive to make very heavy, dark music and it’s okay that’s totally fine, it’s relevant to go in there. You can have depressing, intense music and it hits a part of us that needs to have that shaken up but where’s the release, where’s the beauty, where’s the softness on the other side thats holding you when you’ve come through this really intense experience. So that’s something that we intend a lot, to bring people through the whole journey and touch in to everything as much as we can.
Eve: I think we intend for people to actually feel. That’s something that our society doesn’t really openly celebrate. And the theatre and the music are all elements in which to express so people can dance. And when the theatre is happening they may see characters or feelings and they may get permission to have that exact same feeling and have some kind of cathartic release. I think ultimately thats why we come to the dance floor and watch performances for, to have this feeling of feeling alive. And I feel like that’s a big part of where we aim the art to really touch people, to be real and authentic and it’s exciting. It’s exciting because we’re getting on this edge of really being able to make that happen again and again so it’s exciting for an artist to have that response from your art.
iEDM: So you guys aren’t touring the U.S until 2019, what are you’re plans?
Kalya: Well there’s a possibility that there might be a show or two next year but we’re not aiming for it because we have almost a year long world tour. We’ve got three months on the road here in the U.S.
Eve: So this is the big fall tour so that’s why people should come because we won’t see them until 2019.
Kalya: Yeah, we’re doing it with White Bear and his music is incredible and he’s from down under as well so I feel like we’re a really good team to work and play together. We’re off to Africa and then to Brazil and then Australia and then India and then the Middle East and Europe and that will take us all the way through to next fall. And then we’ll have some time off and create some more music. A really cool part of this tour is that the next Kalya Scintillia album is a story all about the earth. The last one was about the humans and the mythology of the humans and this next one will be more about the mythology of the earth and nature, the trees and the stones and the elements. So as we travel around to all these lands we’re going to get in to creative mode and work on music and ideas for the story as we travel.
Eve: Hopefully we’ll collect some epic stories from people who can tell us straight from their mother land. Especially with Africa, I’m so excited about Africa. We’re really excited.