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Telesma in Relix Magazine





We’re happy to  announce that Telesma is featured in Relix Magazine’s “On The Verge” section.
Here is a link to the PDF of the article… below to open it.
RELIX “On The Verge” Article PDF
By Dana Sobel:
“We’ve been described as a psychedelic circus,”
says guitarist/drummer Chris Mandra.
“But it would be a psychedelic circus where
the performers are everyone.” Using instruments
as ancient as the didgeridoo and as
inventive as the manDrum—a real-time electronic-
based percussion interface that
Mandra developed—the sextet Telesma has
been together since 2002. Their sound
encompasses tribal, rock, trance and Middle
Eastern music, and has influences that
extend beyond musical avenues and delves
into the world of visual art and dance.
Telesma aims for a communal artistic experience,
enlisting belly dancers and performers
to collaborate at their live happenings.Noted
psychedelic painter Alex Grey has shared the
stage with the group, as documented on the
group’s recent DVD Hearing Visions: Live.
“We try to make it an environment where
people want to celebrate being alive.”


TELESMA Interview for the Annapolis Sound





Checkout this great article about TELESMA written by Brianne Leith for the Annapolis Sound.
‘A Decibel Disparate’: Synesthesia’s Entrancing Sound – Telesma
A Decibel Disparate – Exposing the community to local artists: musicians, writers, designers, performers, thinkers, who are doing things outside of the “Annapolitan box.” You will find no sailboats or Blue Angels here. This is a place for raw and unique talent. Let us look at our city with a “view askew.” Diversity is life.
By Brianne Leith
Play with your senses. Freedom. A deep human connection. I walk into the outside to begin an odyssey of beautiful sensory overload. I walked outside and met Telesma.
I shook hands with each member (excluding Joanne Juskus and Rob Houck who could not attend) and felt an unusual comfortability, an imaginary history, that bonded us all instantly. A universal human connection. Pure. Unadulterated. It seeped from each one of the band members. Unifying, passionate and a feeling of a safe unfettered freedom, what their whole beings projected, is the purpose and meaning behind their music.
Telesma meansthe unseen, a sacred vessel consecrated with energy for a purpose.” Their music is the communication of the unseen. “We create a doorway that opens up to the Shamanistic world.” Bryan Jones “Jonesy” leans forward on my couch to punctuate his statement and smiles sweetly. “Our music is spiritual, but not forced on anybody…people take what they need from it.”
Listening to their CD O(h)M, I have been transported to a different world. A world of an unfathomable beauty. A world of complete harmony. In these moments of listening I have a sense that everything is alright. It is a group of six musical masters playing their hearts, and hauntingly inspiring music is formed. An almost tribal resonance forms from an intricate melding of ancient and modern instruments, sounds and mentalities. Guitar, didgeridoo, bass, drums, bamboo mouth harp, keyboard, soothing vocals, and more blend into a sound that you can see, hear, smell and taste because they are vividly intense. Penumbra is my favorite song of Telesma’s. No better word could describe this ingenious collaboration of tones. One of their heavier songs, the drums, guitar and bass are the suppliers of the melody. After a slight intermission in the song, the upright bass reverberates out a classically frightening tune, leaving me in love with this band that is so multifaceted and unrestrained.
Playing without the chains of convention, without over thinking, playing genuinely and sincerely from the heart, they are mislabeled continuously. A hippy band, rock, new age, and so forth, they are called, but the genres never encompass their whole being. “People can’t label our music…and that is awesome and amazing.” Jason Sage has an air of mystery to him, a silent contemplating essence that makes me wonder what goes on his mind, through the interludes between his smiles. I look down at my notes. I have scribbled, “It is not anything.” Through my lack of finishing my thought, I have stumbled on Telesma’s truth.
They are not anything; they are nothing, and they are everything all at once.
They are everything including an interactive show with all of the senses involved. “It is an idea, an experience, a happening, something you can be a part of. It is immersive.” Incense burns, belly dancers dance, colors flash and you can have your whole body painted by a professional body painter, all while Telesma plays music that can change you. There is something for everyone.
“Music is a sacred thing. It is the closest thing to religion for a lot of us. It is the highest thing we can do.” Telesma’s shows are invitations to space where we can all be free. Free from judgment and to witness and participate in this kind of worship. It is contagious. Subcultures of all kinds flock to Telesma shows with the appeal that they are doing something different. “If people want to come and just spin in a circle, then awesome, spin all you want.” This is the mind frame that Telesma seemed to have grown from.
Telesma came to being in 2002, with Ian and Jason. They were doing small shows with just the two of them. The other members, loving their sound and being moved in the same way as Ian and Jason, joined one by one. “Everyone is a principle member,” Ian explains to me with a mutual respect and admiration for his fellow performers. “It is a build it and they will come idea of a band.” And the ones that did come together were perfect. “It is disparate elements, but came about naturally. We satisfy ourselves with our sound and it will satisfy others also.” Chris Mandra leans back in his chair, and the light above illuminates his learned words. Each person in Telesma unites together in a perfect combination of these disparate elements.
Joanne Juskus robed in a sari sings a haunting melody. She is a siren, a Greek nymph that lures people in with her entrancing voice.
Ian Hesford is covered in body paint, in a mixture of an aboriginal and surreal appearance. He plays the didgeridoo, bamboo mouth harp, percussion and throat sings. His body is in constant motion. The connection of his head and neck is precarious, as his head moves violently and seemingly involuntarily to the beat.
Jason Sage sings while manipulating the keys on the keyboard. His hand lifts in the air in a state of musical meditation. Percussion, sampling and programming, Jason handles it all in reverence.
Chris Mandra’s eyes are closed as he caresses his guitar. No other word besides caress could be used to depict the obvious love he has for the music he deftly fingers.
Bryan Jones is a bass player that goes beyond the idea of a bass player. Both the electric and standing bass have never been played this way. A new name has to be created to explain his splendor.
Brandon Wildman is the “adjunct drummer,” filling in for the show this Friday. “I have been a fan of Telesma since I first saw them. The atmosphere is great. They are all passionate musicians that play with their hearts.” Brandon, like I stated in an article about his band Contra, is phenomenal. Dynamic and animated, it is always a pleasure to witness his agility.
This is a spectacle that needs to be experienced. Telesma is playing at The Whiskey on Friday April 15th at 10pm, celebrating the CD Release of Dar Stellbotta with Chris Colvin. This is something that should not be missed. Beauty personified through all of the senses. Beauty incarnate.
As I sit cross-legged on the floor looking at the five men, my apartment has been filled with color. The night has been filled with laughter and open illuminated minds. An altered state of reality, visions of tasting neon colors, and mystifying tones permeate my mind.
Telesma is beauty heard through the taste and smell of sound.

Reviews TELESMA Featured News Blog

Telesma LOVEfest in What Weekly





What Weekly is an online multimedia magazine that is dedicated to evolving and uniting the Baltimore area arts rennaissance. Its a great source for all forms of art and expression to be seen and heard, and to unite the community that shares this vision. TELESMA is honored to be a part of this rennaissance, and grateful for the kind words about our LOVEfest event, presented by Walther Productions at the 8×10 in Baltimore on Feb 11th.
Enjoy, and be sure to sign up for the What Weekly emailer.
(Click this link below)
Photo by Theresa Keil


Reviews of TELESMA at FaerieCon 2009

Checkout these great reviews of TELESMA’s performance at FaerieCon 2009 in MD.

Thanks for the kind words! And amaazing photos of the show.


Album Review of "O(h)M"

A review of our studio album “O(h)M” Appearing in the  the Chesapeake Music Guide Magazine, by Michael Macey.

 “…Refusing to conform to anybody’s pre-manufactured idea of how music should be structured or the elements it should contain, Telesma literally dances to the beat of their own drum.”
 Didgeridoo, kubing, and dumbek, an aboriginal wind instrument, a mouth harp from the Philippines, and a Middle Eastern drum used for Arabic music respectively, mix it up with the electronics of the Theremin, guitar synth, sampler, programming, frequently disembodied vocals, and an electronic percussive device invented by guitarist Chris Mandra called the manDrum.
 Their multi-genre-ational sound drawls from influences such as, but not limited to, prog rock, trance, pop, psychedelic ambient, world, funk, and experimental,  O(h)M‘ moves from otherworldly to rock, aboriginal to Middle Eastern, and tribal to electronic, in an often mesmerizing, sometimes epic soundscape full of richly textured musical shapes and sonic constitution.
 With an adventurous mix and a grand production, O(h)M is awash in sweeping waves of atmosphere.  From the grandiose sound of Chapel Perilous, with its thunderous pounding, to the airy psychedelic’s of Synesthesia and the title track, which seem to just waft from the speakers, Telesma presents a colliding collage of sound that at times threatens to overwhelm you, but never does.  Pounding percussion gives way to softer subtler passages, and Telesma crafts a nice balance between intense and delicate.
O(h)M is music without boundaries. From ancient instrumentation to modern-day technologies, Telesma embraces each with equal aplomb and presents them in bold fashion.  If you’re looking for something that’s totally different, then you really have to look no farther than O(h)M. It’s a sensory experience that flows from your speakers in torrents of brightly colored sound and unlimited imagination.  When was the last time you heard that?

Buy Telesma’s ”mesmerizing” studio album “O(h)M” online here:




Review of Telesma Equinox 2009

Great review by Jess Snow from SEN Magazine!
“… From the first faint rumblings deep within the didgeridoo, you are captivated. From the moment that the bass lines fill your body, you are no more than a prisoner to the music. A hauntingly beautiful voice reaches out to you, enticing you to come closer, and you are on the floor, on your knees, shackled and unable to move. Fingers laced, begging for more, one might think: “If this is slavery then I am your captive; just don’t stop that guitar.”

This is psychedelic rock like it hasn’t been seen in ages. Combining traditional tribal instruments with new-age electronic sounds, this music is an unstoppable force. Listening to the high-pitched screaming of the guitar is like the longest orgasm you’ve ever had, and it comes in a thousand different melodies. They played a number of songs from their 2007 album, O(h)M, as well as a handful of jams and unreleased goodies. There are the faster-paced sounds of “Penumbra,” heavy with drums and bass. “Amor Fati” is great funkadelic rock, wrought with the sounds of a mouth harp, and ethereal chanting. They go from chanting to singing; tribal drums to acid-trip guitar and an electric upright bass. The absolute eclecticism of their music is made apparent on all fronts: whether live or recorded, they span genres…”

Thanks to Doctor Trip for this review of our Winter Solstice show at Sonar, with Alex & Allyson Grey.
  “…Telesma was certainly the highlight of the night for me. There guys and gals were giving out a sound that is unlike anything I have come across in a long time. It is a fresh & unique sound, Jambase has classified their sound as, “electro-acoustic psychedelic world dance music”. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, but I know they had me dancing and feeling the primal beat that had me wanting them to play more than they had. Telesma played for about 1 hour, offering an arrangement of instruments that was fresh and primitive, the djembe and didgeridoo. The energy at Sona during their set was mystical in nature and drew a crowd to the floor that lived up to their psychedelic classification. If given the opportunity, you should drop any pending plans and check these guys out. Out of all the new bands I have seen this year, they are by far the most innovative, creative and unique band.”
Read the full article here:

Robbie Whelan of the Baltimore City Paper wrote:

“Dozens of acts, from David Byrne to Angelique Kidjo to Paul Simon, have treaded the same waters, but what sets Telesma apart is that the dialogue between its members disparate influences doesnt feel forced. Their approach is based on a feeling, an optimistic hunch, that everyone in the world is somehow connected, and that we can all benefit from that connection. … Its based on the idea that indigenous tribal culturesfrom Aborigines to Masai tribesmen to Arabian emirs can be forced into an intelligent dialogue that goes deeper than the fact that such musics can sound good when played together.”

Read the full article here:

Music Posts News Posts Reviews

Studio Album ~ "O(h)M" available online.

Review of our studio album “O(h)M” Appearing in the  the Chesapeake Music Guide Magazine, by Michael Macey.

O(h)M is music without boundaries. From ancient instrumentation to modern-day technologies, Telesma embraces each with equal aplomb and presents them in bold fashion. If you’re looking for something that’s totally different, then you really have to look no farther than O(h)M. It’s a sensory experience that flows from your speakers in torrents of brightly colored sound and unlimited imagination. When was the last time you heard that?

Buy Telesma’s “mesmerizing” studio album “O(h)M” online here: