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Mayari: 'After the Rain'

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A collage of black and white images of four men seated next to each other.
From Left to Right: Jordan Torio, Ryan Foo, Jason Marrero, Hansel Von Muller (Courtesy of Kaeryn Yodong/Collage by Spencer Whitney of KQED)

The Sunday Music Drop is a weekly radio series hosted by the KQED weekend news team. In each segment, we feature a song from a local musician or band with an upcoming show and hear about what inspires their music.

Mayari is an East Bay-based “avant-garde post-rock band” that incorporates esoteric sounds and different song structures into its music.

“In some of our songs, we add like a bunch of synthesizers or field sounds — and field sounds are basically things you capture on some recording device in nature or public — and then we incorporate those into the songs kind of as like an avant-garde, or musique concrète passage,” says Ryan Foo, vocalist, guitarist and producer for Mayari. “And so, a lot of the earlier songs we did, we have these long sections of experimental-like noises, where it’s just that, or we’ve released tracks where it’s just noise and drums on it.”

The band started near the end of 2017 when Foo and Jordan Torio (guitarist and vocalist) met through Craigslist, and they wanted just to play music. Originally, they had no intention of forming a band, but the two got along so well that they decided to go for it. They decided early on to have a collaborative process for songwriting and practice together to work through ideas. The group has several musical influences, ranging from pop punk and old hardcore to The Beatles and lo-fi rock.

The band’s name came from Torio looking through words in the Filipino dictionary and found the word mayari meant moon priestess.

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“[Torio] really liked that, and I think I was just out of ideas at the time, so I said yes,” Foo says. “And we’ve also heard from other Filipino people that Mayari means master of sound or to create. So it’s kind of an interesting, like, we are the masters of what we create. So it kind of fits; it’s a double meaning, I guess. Masters of creation and moon priestess.”

Regarding “After the Rain,” Foo says that Torio wrote the song based on his experience at a time when everything felt kind of monotonous.

“This one’s our most recent song that we’ve pretty much put out, and I’d say it’s a very accurate representation of who the band is right now,” Foo says. “‘After the Rain’ is really just us trying to push ourselves into a new territory that we’re not totally familiar with, but you know, we take it as a positive challenge.”

Jason Marrero and Hansel Von Muller are also members of the band. Mayari will perform at the Art House Gallery & Cultural Center in Berkeley on May 18, so you can go hear them live.

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