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  • Preetham Vishwanatha

Mastering the Ephemeral

There is this innate beauty in things that don't last forever. Like life. Moods and feelings are far more fleeting even in it's resilience to persist over a period of time. Great narrators, story tellers and artists strive to capture the essence of these ephemeral everyday expressions in their art forms. Like those footprints at the beach or the colors of the setting sun which is momentary.



From the nostalgic deep melodies of 'Fur Elise' from Beethoven or the twiddles of 'Whiskey in a Jar' from Thin Lizzy, or the trippy tones of 'Purple Haze' from Hendrix to the ceremonious coda of 'Hey Jude' from Beatles, you can feel the rich, ornate emotions of everyday life in these creations. What does it take to create such beautiful renditions in music? Most of the masters I have studied suggest not to focus on techniques but to tap into everyday emotions and have the daily discipline to express those emotions in short form renditions. (For ex: here is Guthrie Govan talking about technique vs musicality)


How do you become a great writer? You develop the discipline to write everyday. You write about everyday events, small fantasies, moods, feelings, drama. You read and learn from other short stories, and you write some more. You publish your writings so that others learn from you and you can learn from others. Maybe you are on Wattpad.


How do you become a good photographer? You capture every moods and theatricals based on your muse and journal them and publish everyday. You study other photographers and learn from them. Maybe you are on Behance.


Same for runners, gymnasts, painters, dancers or philosophers. You have to have the discipline to check-in everyday. Capture your feelings and channel the observations and intensities into your art. These intensities are ephemeral and fleeting and hence it helps to express them consistently and learn to channel all that energy. The more you check-in, the better you get at expressing yourself. Similarly, musicality is a muscle you need to constantly feed and train.


We at Kena believe in the principals of mastering the ephemeral. This begins with a discipline to capture short form musical expressions that capture how you feel on a daily basis. We believe in the discipline to check-in everyday. Hence we created an entire platform called Kena Opus around this theme for the musicians. Kena Opus allows you to publish short-form musical expressions to a community of global musicians and audience who rejoice such renditions created by the bottom of the pyramid.


Why do I say bottom of the pyramid? Well if you look at Spotify, or iTunes, you get to listen to only the top artists who have made it through all the red-tapes and publishing industry legality and clutter. Soundcloud in a way cuts the red-tape but still somehow has the same flavor of fully published songs. For intermediary artists and musicians, we at Kena surmise that there is a need for a different platform to capture short-form expressions. Expressions that are not a whole song but a riff or a melody or a solo or an interlude from a primary instrument. A story that captures raw emotions in it's primal form.


As some of our early adopters are calling it. Think of us "like the Instagram for music, or better yet Wattpad for musical expressions".

There are millions of intermediary musicians who are on the path to mastery and their everyday ephemeral renditions are worth an exposure. This exposure helps other musicians to learn. This exposure creates an audience base who would not mind a little bit of distortion here or a squeak there in the rendition. Similar to organic food, a bit of a patch on my veggies is OK as long as you haven't used harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides to grow my food.


Kena Opus intends to capture this essence of short form musical renditions by the bottom of the pyramid, straight from everyday practice sessions of budding artists. These stories are worth an exposure. These narratives are raw, wholesome and organic. They are pure in a way due to the honesty in which artists are practicing their art form to master those delicate expressions.


Here is a flavor of what you will find within Kena Opus. Sign up here: https://opus.kena.ai


As an audience, you are with them observing and cheering the beauty in the process of capturing the ephemeral. As a fellow musician you are with each other teaching, learning, curating and exchanging ideas.


Kena Opus is now open for all artists and audiences free for a whole year when you sign-up for the early access. Tell us how we are doing, tell us what we need to improve. We greatly appreciate honest feedback. We need your love and support to help the budding musicians master their art form in 2020 and beyond.


Team Kena wishes you happy holidays and an amazing mastery of your expressions in 2020!



(signing off, from left to right: Jin, Preetham, Chad, Siyu, Khach and Manar.)

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© 2020 by Kena.AI

Given the recent outbreaks, schools and colleges across the globe are turning towards online platforms. But the platforms for music education are quite archaic and not ready for either group-based tutorials or self-learning. 

Kena is building a wholistic online music platform for self-taught learners and practitioners and scale it globally for all instruments and genres.