ITHACA, N.Y. — One incredibly cold Saturday morning in December, our talented and dedicated video intern Lincoln Gardner and I paid a visit to Cayuga Lodge, the independent Cornell University co-op that is the current abode of Beau Mahadev. Our mission? To reignite The Ithaca Voice’s local music showcase, the Bedhead Sessions, which had been lying dormant since this summer (not unlike much of us in Ithaca, am I right?).
A senior studying computer science at Cornell University, Mahadev is widely known throughout the local DIY music scene, and for good reason —the eclectic synth instrumentation, filtered pop music evocations, and frequent local live performances, have made Mahadev a mainstay of the Ithaca Underground camp.
During our interview, we chatted about school and Mahadev’s post-graduation plans, which include a tour of the United States’ East Coast with a foray into the Midwest. And, when asked about the local music scene, the San Diego-born musician cited IU founder, Bubba Crumine, as a source of inspiration and drive.
“Bubba was so supportive about having me play shows … I got the chance to play around with sounds and figure out what I wanted. So, yeah, I’m so grateful,” Mahadev said.
Cover image illustrated by Kristi Gogos.
This installment of the Bedhead Sessions comes hot on the heels of Mahadev’s self-released “Desiring Machines” EP as well as a music video for lead single “Sacrifice.”
Mahadev gave us the backstory to how the music video for “Sacrifice” was born.
“Actually it was my dad’s idea,” Beau admitted cheerfully. Their birthday was approaching, and “He wanted to get me something, but I didn’t know what I wanted… he was like, I’ll help you make a music video.”
So, with Dad as executive producer, Mahadev teamed up with friend and local creative (and former Ithaca Voice videographer), Benjamin Torrey.
“Benjamin’s work was incredible … he had so much of the vision for my video … all the sick shots were his idea,” Mahadev said. Together, shooting in the bathroom at Torrey’s house and in the attic of Cayuga Lodge, the two of them created some imposing visuals, both intimate and psychedelic.
The six song “Desiring Machines” EP is titled by Mahadev as a reference to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (who were, in turn, inspired by concepts of Antonin Artaud and William Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch“). Their texts and Mahadev’s music make for an interesting pairing, to be sure. Those seeking to learn more about Mahadev’s creative output, and a possible conceptual primal scene of their writing process, may want to begin there. Though if you’d simply like to enjoy the music, the reading isn’t a necessary prerequisite to the groove.
The entire “Desiring Machines” EP from Beau Mahadev’s bandcamp page — available as a name-your-price download — as well as the music video for “Sacrifice” are below.