Telesma at FairieCon last fall in Hunt Valley MD and were blown away. I have heard a lot of music that calls itself "world" or "world-fusion" or "east meets west" and some of it is good, some of it is lame. Telesma may get dropped into that world-fusion category, but they have that extra something that most of the others are missing. They don't just drop a sitar on top of a synthesizer. They create something completely unique out of the merging of different musical elements that they have a strong connection to.
There is intense rhythmic drive, which keeps the energy level very high. The sound is big and rich, with a lot of variety in instrumentation, and an over arching sense of beauty in sound and tone. There is a flow of improvisation that goes on individually and collectively throughout the performance. Musical themes evolve gradually, and build in intensity. You get a sense that they are truly working as a group, achieving that magic higher level of unity that so rarely happens in bands.
I have to highlight Telesma's guitarist Chris Mandra. Even though it is clearly a group effort, Chris provides an intense creative drive to each song that is essential to the band's performance. He brings improvisation and electronic experimentation, great guitar playing skills and a fiery passion into every song. He is a totally dedicated and completely original musician. Check out more of him:
All pictures taken by Crystal.