Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moksha Sommer

Photography by Jane Feldman
(1) "is a well seasoned vocalist, having studied 12 different vocal styles from around the World, a songwriter, painter, and a time-based media visual and performance artist." We first heard Moksha at Femme Fest 2011, in Charlotte, NC.  We became instant fans of HuDost and Moksha.  Hands down, she had the most amazing voice of the evening.  Moksha is the the vocalist for the group HuDost. That night's HuDost performance was simply amazing and after the show, people poured into the street buzzing about how they were blown away by her voice. 

Moksha (2) sings Bulgarian and Balkan music with Montreal based ‘Dragana’ who have appeared on CBC. Moksha holds degrees from Dawson College in the Creative Arts, and Concordia University in Visual Arts and Chamber Music. She studies east Indian classical voice with Pandit Mukesh Desai and has been the lead singer and primary songwriter for HuDost for the last nine years.

Moksha says (3) 'My concerns are environmental, ecological, spatial, political, mystical, metaphysical, scientific,
HuDost performing at Femme Fest 2011,
Photography by Kristian Saint-Michel
and intellectual. My work is rooted in memory and the subtle and unsubtle links between the factors of which our lives are composed and how they relate to our physical bodies. I am always concerned with bringing an awareness of a natural environment into my work and also with the interconnectedness of human thought and emotion. I am increasingly interested in interdisciplinary work that, in some way, effaces the distinctions between fields, distinctions that have prevented synergy.'

We are honored to have her on 25oftheBest.
(1- 3) from

What they are saying: - "The entire affair is punctuated by Sommer's strong, full vocals. When the World elements meet with Sommer's vocal apex the result is a perfect storm of songs like "Breakdown Buildup", which the listener can easily get lost in."

wildysworld - "Moksha Summer will blow listeners away with her understated vocal grace."

wildsmith.blountblogs - (HuDost is) "a rich, eclectic blending of traditional Sufi music, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian and Balkan folk music, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, Folk, Pop and Rock, their sound crosses all borders and barriers, taking the listener on a journey they will not soon forget."




Top Left: Moksha, photography by Jane Feldman

Top Center: Moksha and Jemal Wade Hines of HuDost, photography by Jane Feldman
Top Right:  Cover from 2013 HuDost album 4th Way Back
Bottom Left: 4th Way Folk Album Art by Moksha Sommer
Bottom Right: Moksha and Jemal Wade Hines of HuDost, photography by Jane Feldman, Art work by Alex Grey.


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   Moksha Sommer answers 25 of the Best

Who was the last person you told “I love you”?
Moksha:  My two-month old baby, Kaleb. I tell him that I love him approximately 20 times per day.

What will you find in your refrigerator if you looked right now?
Moksha:  Mmmmm...I am touring right now so do not have my own refrigerator to look into, but my normal fridge is always totally stuffed with veggies and fruit. I could eat bowls of berries for every meal so always have a good supply. I also always have olives and leftovers of my Thai dish concoctions.

What are you currently reading?
Moksha:  A couple of things....I always have a few books open. I am reading 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown and some of Michael Foucault's good, old-fashioned, dense philosophy.

What is the worst tasting thing you have ever eaten?
Moksha:  Ear wax. Really unpleasant.

In the film of your life, who plays you and what is the title?
Moksha:  Does this question have to abide by the laws of time? If not, I would like Ingrid Bergman to play me. It could be titled, "The Oyster and the Dragon".

What was your favorite childhood toy?
Moksha:  Found junk that I made art and dolls with.

If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, would you and what?
Moksha:  How are you supposed to learn and grow if you don't rise to the pain that life offers you? Regret is the deepest pain so I choose not to have it but to live with what has been and shift my perspective.

Has the greatest moment in your entire life happened yet?
Moksha:  What a sneaky trick question! I'm totally not going to shoot myself in the foot and answer that!

Do you remember the last time you saw a random act of kindness and can you describe it?Moksha:  Yes! Recently a scruffily clad man asked my brother for money saying his car had broken down and that he would refund my brother. Instead of being cynical my brother gave him the money expecting nothing in return. Two weeks later he received a check in the mail and a thank-you card!

If your iPod could only hold 3 songs, what would they be?
Moksha:  Only three songs? Really? I guess that I could change them whenever I want to, so for today I will select 'Decara A La Pased' by Lhasa De Sela, 'Naked as we Came' by Iron & Wine, and 'Never Going Back Again' by Fleetwood Mac.

Do you have mad dance skills or are you the wall flower type?
Moksha:  I love dancing all crazy-like. If I were slightly more flexible and a hint more coordinated I think I would have pursued dancing far more seriously. In the meantime, I just adore mixing break dance moves with pirouettes.

If a sad looking random stranger approached you on the street and asked for a hug, would you?
Moksha:  I think I would need to assess them based on more than just their expression of sadness. If they seemed to be a safe person who was experiencing a painful moment then, yes, I would give them a hug.

What was your last awkward moment?
Moksha:  Does being pooped on by my baby count? If so, that happened about an hour ago.

If personalities had an odor, what would you smell like?
Moksha:  Jasmine, coffee, spring earth, sandalwood, and a hint of skunk.

Describe your perfect "me" time?
Moksha:  Hiking alone. It is when I can have solitude in the forest that I feel all of the parts of me that may have become displaced realign.

Has your heart ever been broken?
Moksha:  Hell YES. If it hadn't how could I possibly write such mournful love songs?

What is your greatest life lesson so far?
Moksha:  Don't cling to preciousness. Work with the pain. I have been given some extremely challenging material (including losing close family members, going through brain surgery to have a tumor removed and losing my language skills, etc.) and what it comes down to is if I can grow from the pain.

What is your theme song?
Moksha:  It is ever evolving and changing. I am creating and re-creating my own theme song. It probably won't be complete even when I die at 112.

Mild, Medium or Hot?
Moksha:  Are we talking about salsa or um....something else....? In which case, my answer is Hot for both.

What do you do when you feel sad or depressed?
Moksha:  I use my hiking method. Sweat out the sadness, breathe new air. I also often work creatively with sadness. We all know that place, whether we like it or not, so music that touches on it and gives it a voice can be rather healing.

If a turtle loses his shell, is he naked or homeless?
Moksha:  That depends, is he losing his shell in order to move into a condo?

Describe the perfect kiss using no more than 5 words?
Moksha:  Kissing the one you love.

What is your greatest fear?
Moksha:  My greatest fear is fear itself. It is not what causes fear but a fear of truly experiencing fear.

What is the best dish you can cook?
Moksha:  Ohhh, I love cooking a wide variety of foods and am generally very healthy. I make foods from all over our lovely, little planet. But, from a totally indulgent perspective I dare say that I make a seriously mean Flan.

Do you truly feel loved?
Moksha:  Yes. But more importantly, especially as I have become a mother, I now feel the capability to truly love with no limits. I think that the more love we are capable to give and feel for others, the more loved we will be able to feel.

Thank you, Moksha!

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