Around the world in a musical way

Vernon duo OM releases album and plays show at the Talkin' Donkey before heading to India.

Have instruments; will travel. That’s the mantra of musical duo OM.

Whether its emitting the primordial sounds of the didjeridoo or the rub and tap of the tabla, the Vernon-based duo is all about exploring the world through music.

A play on the yogic meditation chant, OM actually stands for Orion (Miller) and Marina (Durham), two multi-instrumentalists who are about to head off on a year-long sojourn to India.

But first they have some new songs to play live off their impending CD at the Talkin’ Donkey Coffee House.

Influenced by one-man bands such as Quadra Island’s Shane Philip and Australia’s Xavier Rudd, Miller says the sound he and Durham emit through their music is best described as organic.

“Our music isn’t backed up by electronics and we didn’t mess around with the recording,” he said. “It’s basically a compilation of instruments that is living-room friendly.”

OM’s live show is just as organic.

Through their performances, the two switch instruments for almost every song.

Besides the aforementioned didjeridoo, which Miller picked up a year ago at the Komasket Music Festival, as well as the tablas, which Durham plays, the duo blends vocal harmonies, and between them they play acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboards, trumpet, ukulele, saxophone, djembe and various percussion.

“We aim to blend all instruments and all styles, ancient and contemporary, into our own unique music,” said Miller. “Our songs are worldly and address pressing issues, but with an optimistic twist.”

Miller and Durham met in Vernon, and performed together in the funk-rock band Sound-Splash! before forming as a duo.

Since getting together, the two have been focussing on their debut album, Fire and Water, which was recorded at Miller’s home-based studio.

“We did it ourselves, which is the same kind of premise of our live shows,” said Miller, who studied guitar and audio engineering at Selkirk College’s prestigious music program in Nelson and graduated a year ago.

OM’s album will most likely be released in lieu with a house concert at the end of June, early-July, and then he and Durham plan to leave for India and Nepal, where they will focus on writing songs, exploring music and culture, and spreading their music.

“We will travel on a shoestring budget, carrying only our backpacks, a ukulele and a guitar,” said Miller, adding this will be a return visit to India for him. “I didn’t really get to play any shows the first time. This time we really want to promote our music wherever we travel.”

Upon their return, Miller and Durham plan to move to Montreal with drummer Connor Johnston to spread their music across the country and establish themselves in a larger centre of population.

Those wishing to catch them before they head off on their journey can do so at the Talkin’ Donkey Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Musician Luke Mortensen, of Vernon band Paperboy, will open.

Tickets are $5, available in advance at the Donkey, or $10 at the door.

More information is available at