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Yama (2010)

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Music written and recorded by Dead Skeletons (Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt & Jón Sæmundur).

Dead Skeletons are an Icelandic psychadelia band. Yama is a song from their debut album Dead Magick, recorded in 2010. The official video for Yama doesn’t really have a narrative as such – rather it’s a montage of imagery, mostly of Tibetan monks engaged in various rituals, prayers and meditations. Parts of it are repeated, looped and spliced with other images, such as driving along a desert road. We end up with a video that combines with the music to take us on a journey, the images and sequences well matched to the droning, hypnotic rhythm of the song. There is something genuinely striking about the faces of these young and old monks – a serenity and detachment that suggests perhaps a different way of thinking, a different way of life.

Yama is the Hindu deity of death, and closely related to the concepts of karma and reincarnation. The Sanskrit word Yama (यम) can also mean self-restraint, self-control and discipline. Yama also features in Buddhism and Chinese, Korean and Japanese mythology.