The ANTLERS – ” Ahimsa “

Posted: November 3, 2022 in MUSIC

We are so happy to finally share a newly recorded full-band version of “Ahimsa”, out now on Transgressive Records.

“Ahimsa” always felt like a simple song that could be interpreted in any number of styles, and as it’s made its way into our live shows over the years, I began to feel like it deserved an update. The original version appeared on my 2017 solo album “Impermanence” with a patient tempo, spare instrumentation and hypnotic circular delays. It was intended as a meditation on the Buddhist notion of “non-harming”, which is perhaps a better translation of the title than “non-violence”. 

Stemming from my wish for a tranquil day amidst turbulent health issues, my focus was on confronting my own ephemerality as inspiration toward greater compassion for those around me.

But in the years since its original release, I think the song has taken on a meaning closer to the immediacy of the chorus of “no violence”, and become a kind of hymn in opposition to the rampant turmoil and seemingly inescapable vitriol of the moment.

“Ahimsa” is an attempt to create a peaceful space within a violent world.

The scope is wider now, though the message remains the same: mortality is one of the few qualities we all share in common, and through recognizing this we may discover compassion for one another. This new version was recorded shortly before departing for our US tour this past Spring, and fittingly, it features the same players from those shows. Michael and I are joined by Paul Collins on a laidback bassline and Jared Van Fleet on an elegant piano, while Mike ‘Slo Mo’ Brenner provides the heavenly pedal steel.

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