A New Music Compilation for Meditation, Mindfulness, and Collective Healing

featuring new music by

Low Leaf
Arushi Jain
Our Daughter
Erika Shimizu
Ana Roxanne
Chong the Nomad


illustrations and animations by

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is proud to present Bravespace, a compilation of original songs, sounds, and meditations created by Asian American women and non-binary artists and musicians.

Arriving amidst a period of collective trauma and heightened xenophobic violence, Bravespace offers listeners a refuge for contemplation, grief, and growth.

Commissioned at the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, APAC spent almost three years collaborating with these musicians, artists, and cultural practitioners to vividly capture how an intensely challenging moment could lead to personal discovery and collective healing. Bravespace, which received critical support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, adds complexity to the greater landscape of meditation and healing arts tools by centering perspectives that have long been marginalized.

The Artists

Low Leaf

Track: "Heart of a Lionsmane"

Low Leaf is a power house; a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and producer that combines an array of genres, ever-expanding in a spectrum of its own. Exploring sound healing and plant consciousness as a part of her spiritual practice has greatly influenced her approach to music, painting, and more recently filmmaking. In a world of illusion she insists on using her creative gifts as an instrument of truth, love, and liberation. To that end she has toured her extraordinary performances across 4 continents and self-released 8 exceptional records. Her latest releases utilize Web3 technology, a frontier that holds space for her evolving independent spirit.


Track: "Slow"
(Prod. by Chucky Kim)

MILCK (CONNIE K. LIM) is a recording artist, writer, producer, and artivist who is known for her power anthems that have become the soundtrack to grassroots movements all over the world. Her song “Quiet” is known as the unofficial anthem of the Women's March, and has been listed Billboard’s No. 1 Protest Song of the year, and an official selection on NPR's American Anthem series. Her music has been translated into multiple languages by choirs all over the world, been exhibited at The GRAMMYS museum, and has had shared stages with the likes of Oprah, Jason Mraz , Yoko Ono, Amanda Gorman, Michelle Obama, and Ani DiFranco. MILCK is beginning to explore writing for other artists as well, including "Mystery of Me" for Phillipa Soo, "Shh" by Linying, and "Stardust" by John Legend.

Arushi Jain

Track: "A Salve That Travels Time"

Arushi Jain is a modular synthesist, singer, producer, radio host and engineer with an unorthodox vision of a centuries-old tradition – one that’s electronic and resolutely DIY. Her compositions are inspired by Hindustani classical ragas, explored in an aesthetic that is contemporary and current. Her music is a unique reinterpretation of her two contrasting worlds colliding. Arushi grew up in Delhi, where she was exposed to Indian classical and other regional music from a young age. Later, Arushi moved to California to study Computer Science at Stanford University, where she was introduced to computer generated sounds and synthesis at the Centre for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). In her music, ancient ragas from North India are re-imagined with the tools and technologies she learnt as a synthesist and technologist in the Bay Area. Her last album Under the Lilac Sky was released on Leaving Records in July 2021, and was named the Guardian's Global Album of the month. Her work has been featured on Pitchfork, Bandcamp, Forbes 30 Under 30, Boiler Room, Ableton, Resident Advisor, FACT, Crack, DJMag and more. Arushi is the founder of GHUNGHRU, a radio series and record label, and is a resident at NTS Radio and boxout.fm. She is popularly known by her online moniker @modularprincess.

Read Arushi's statement

I heard you from afar, centuries away.
I knew what you needed was to heal–
the same as I did each day. 

I described how to blend the elements
Binding it in rhythm so it couldn’t be forgotten.
I sang it into nature until the deer could sing it from memory
until the birds took my song and spread it across the woods
until its meaning permeated into each root
until it became the core of our breath.

After many generations, it would finally reach you:
carrying within the new wholeness formed
In each listener it touched along its journey.
I have been told by some people that my music helps them heal. Moments such as these humble me: I am reminded  of the power and wisdom of my ancestors and their closeness to the truth. I think to myself: my intention in writing this was not to heal you, it was to heal myself. In the process of healing myself, I was able to help you feel more whole. Just how in the process of creating these ragas, my ancestors acted as their own healers, now centuries later I am able to do the same. Energy travels through these sounds across eras and generations, casting a net of introspection, vulnerability and love across all those it touches.

A Salve That Travels Time is rooted in Raag Yaman, an evening raga that has traveled through the centuries to bring forth healing through complete surrender. It opens up the portal to a state without thought: the same space one hopes to reach through the practice of meditation and other forms of mindfulness. Once this place is reached, a sense of deep introspection emerges, and acceptance begins to feel realizable.

Our Daughter (Shel Kim Rollison) is a healing artist, as well as a singer-songwriter, music producer, poet, and life/creativity coach. With deep trust in the timing of things, Shel is a creator devoted to the work of making with an energy that never forces. This life-long work of feeling into her own healing/human journey, is the heartbeat behind how she supports others in their own healing/human journey with her work. With a sensitivity to the complexities and interconnectedness of what we go through, alone and together, Shel creates gentle spaces for people to connect more deeply with themselves and the world around them.

Read Our Daughter's statement

Grief’s Garden: Meditations for Moving Through Loss

...the price of living wholeheartedly (which is the only way worth living) is the heartbreak of many losses — the loss of love to dissolution, distance, or death…”
--Maria Popova

A letter to those who have experienced loss,

When we speak of grief, we often associate it with death, but whenever we lose love in some way, grief enters the room. People come in and out of our lives, romantic relationships end, friendships change, a parent’s physical health alters.

Within these shifts, something dies, in that the relationship is no longer what it once was. Grief is love with nowhere to go, or love that cannot go where it went before. Grief is love trying to hold on. How do we let go of what was when we don’t want to let go of it? How do we continue on when the idea of living without what was lost feels unbearable?

Grief is often characterized as a heavy burden or a weight to be carried, but what if we allowed grief to carry us? What if we shifted the paradigm to think of grief as a being or spirit with its own autonomy? A companion offering care and guidance on a sacred journey.

Instead of taking grief with us, perhaps grief takes us where we need to go.

As we do the brave work of leaning into our grief, our shadows, our humanity, we need sacred spaces in which to unfold and move through this work of healing.

In considering what new meditations I could offer this brave space, I asked myself in the silence, “What new space do I need? Where do I need to be brave?”

My deep reply, “You need a place where you can grieve the love you’ve lost.”

The work asked of me to bring the whole of my experience with grief to create a portal to a world that could hold its continual outworking. This came specifically in the context of how I experienced (and continue to experience) the loss of love in my relationship with three beings, the loss of someone to death, the loss of an intimate friendship, and the loss of an animal friend.

This process involved exploring an already existing world and giving it a sonic space in which to be experienced. It took me on a journey intertwining inner landscapes with threads of my ancestry within Korean funeral ceremonies.

In Korea, funerals traditionally took place over a span of three days. Within that time, ritual wailing known as gok (곡) was done at three specific times. After the death, after the body was washed, and after the burial, at which point a period of three years of mourning began. During the three years of mourning, ritual wailing was continued twice a day in the first year and twice a month in the second and third years. These rituals were done more so for the loss of parents and family.

Within these ceremonies is held a deep respect and place for mourning those who have passed, not only to honor their lives and how much they were loved, but to guide their spirits into the next realm.

In the same way, the meditations of Grief’s Garden offer space to mourn the relationships that have passed in the ways we’ve known them, but in this case, to guide our own spirits into the next realm of those relationships, whether they continue beyond the physical, in new iterations, or in memory.

As ritual wailing followed a three-fold framework in traditional Korean funeral ceremonies, a similar structure was used to paint a landscape for three movements through loss.

Throughout the meditations, grief finds voice in the traditional Korean instrument of the gayageum (가야금), a 12-stringed plucked zither. The ajaeng (아쟁), a seven stringed bowed zither, upholds foundational sounds of support in the sonic world, and a yoryeong (요령), a hand-bell, heard at the beginning of the final song, “Grief’s Garden”, mirrors the burial procession and the beginning of a long walk and journey with Grief.

In the first movement, after the death, Grief appears. The song “Don’t Fade (The Loss)” holds space for loss in a tangible experience or felt moment, conveyed in the concrete language of lyrics.

In the second movement, after the body is washed, Grief sings. What can be said when you’re overwhelmed by oceans of love’s absence?  “No Words (A New Companion)” begins a conversation without words. It is the unfolding of a new way to offer the love that can no longer go where it used to.

In the third movement, after the burial, Grief holds space. “Grief’s Garden (A Long Walk)” is a longform song, a place to settle in and linger. Grief’s Garden holds a collective experience made of very personal loss. In this garden is solemn soil. It is an endless, expanding world with paths tread by a million steps and trees grown over lifetimes from great seeds of loss. Here, you are never truly lost, but learning how to love what was lost along winding back roads.

I cannot say what these meditations will be for you, but I can tell you what they have been for me. Even as they were being unearthed and not fully formed, these songs held me as I moved through waves of grief. They held space for me to be seen, to unravel and unfold, and to laugh, celebrate, and remember. They offered unspoken understanding as I turned over, with sometimes shaky hands, the love I’ve lost “to dissolution, distance, or death”. Grief has taken me where I needed to go, and I trust will continue to guide me as I come to know more of myself and this world of love and loss.

Though these meditations were birthed from a place of leaning into loss specifically  in relationships, grief is grief. Perhaps you are mourning the loss of a certain type of childhood, of hiding a part of yourself, or losing a physical place near to your heart. Whatever losses you hold, there is space for you to be held in Grief’s Garden.

As you move through those tender places within, may you find whatever is needed in this sonic world. May you come to know Grief as a companion, and perhaps someday, a friend. And as you travel through the linear days of the physical world, may you trust the non-linear movements of integration and transformation held simply in being with each present moment.

Deepest breath, deepest bow,
Shel Kim Rollison,
Our Daughter (우리 딸)

Kwonyin is a Korean-American catharsis guide, teacher of yin & channel for the repressed feminine volcanic spirit within. She guides the psycho-spiritual journey of descent, or 'dark night of the soul,' for reclaiming rage, shame, and crisis as doorways to ecstatic self-illumination. Through her signature healing program CATHARSIS, she bridges the unseen struggles of Asian-American children of the Asian diaspora with transformational guidance to heal fragmentation on issues around intergenerational trauma, voice, visibility, and belonging. In 2019 she self-released her album 'Goddess Speak' and has been a guest teaching artist at Golden Dome School, Desert Daze, Tulsa Artist Residency, Witch Institute Queen's University, and performed at MOCA LA, Current:LA, Leaving Records, The Mortuary, Human Resources, and Other Places Art Fair.

Read Kwonyin's statement

for some time in the deep of winter it felt like the pain of loss was too acute, that I needed to allow myself the space to be in stillness and silence with myself. I needed distance to really be with my grief. But it seems that now with the arrival of spring, the desire and need to share what’s been germinating in the darkness is blooming. Bravespace means to me the yearning to re-enter life after loss.

Erika Shimizu

Track: "Ohaka Mairi"

Erika Shimizu (Aerica Shimizu Banks) is an award-winning tech policy expert, inclusion innovator, and artist. She is the founder of Shiso, a consultancy that applies an intersectional equity lens to create systems and frameworks to elevate and restore equity in our institutions. Named to the 2021 Root 100, a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, and a 2017 Washingtonian Magazine Tech Titan, Aerica has focused her career on resourcing, supporting, and uplifting marginalized creatives, innovators, and activists. Aerica is also a singer-songwriter, performing as Erika Shimizu, and member of the art collective The Color Curtain Project. Learn more about Aerica at aerica.co.

Photo by Cherisse May

Read Erika Shimizu's statement

Ohaka Mairi ("Grave Visiting" in Japanese) is a reflection on a trip I took with my mother to visit our ancestral gravesite in Yodo, Japan. This song explores themes of Japanese religions (Shinto and Buddhist), familial expectation, saving face. This song is about my desire to commemorate my Japanese ancestors in a loving light while holding the truth that they likely could not imagine nor accept having a mixed African American descendant. The song is also a tribute to Japanese women who stand up to the patriarchy, like my free-spirited mother, who broke from tradition - familial, religious, social - to live life on her own terms.

The song shares chords with We Belong by Pat Benatar, and utilizes a traditional Japanese folk music scale, Yonanuki Tan-Onkai (ヨナ抜き短音階) or "Minor Scale without Four and Seven (fa and te)," in D minor. This song was mixed in Logic Pro. Acoustic guitar backs a singular vocalist, with one instance of harmony over the bridge. Samples include clapping, the way one claps three times before entering a shrine in the Japanese Shinto tradition; train tracks, to symbolize the train we took to the cemetery; and wind, which in Japanese culture represents freedom.

Ana Roxanne

Track: "Consolación"

Ana Roxanne is a musician and artist born and raised in the Bay Area. Her self-released EP was later reissued by Leaving Records before signing with Kranky for her official full-length debut, 2020's Because Of A Flower. Working at the interzone of electric meditation, dream pop, and ambient songcraft, her inspirations span the secular and the spiritual, synthesized into a uniquely intuitive sonic language, equal parts atmospheric and ancient, healing and hermetic.

Read Ana Roxanne's statement

When approached with the prompt of “interpreting spirituality and healing as an Asian American,” my instinct was to refer to my roots. The freedom and privilege I’ve had to explore spirituality and alternative lifestyles throughout my early adulthood came from my family’s sacrifice and survival in this country. This piece features an interview with my mother's younger sister, Maria Consolación. It is dedicated to her.


Track: "Subliminal"

Hollis is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, filmmaker and activist driven by how creativity inspires social change. She is known for her collaborations with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ("White Walls," producer on "Thrift Shop" MV), Shawn Wasabi ("Otter Pop") and as the lead vocalist of Seattle electronic R&B trio The Flavr Blue. More recently, Hollis' solo music -- a blend of sonics she calls "existential pop" or "sad girl jams" -- showcases her singular voice and rich, daring lyricism. Her debut solo album Subliminal, released in 2022, was called "full of sparkling, celestial gems" (Portland Mercury) and "both taut and effortless, a reaction of driven energy one moment and a breath of easy poetics the next" (Ones to Watch).

mayx is a music maker and film scorer from the bay area. They make songs that explore queer love and queer spacetime. Their music has been recognized by San Francisco’s Kearny Street Workshop, Take Care Tapes, and Silicon Valley Pride, among others. mayx’s recent work includes scoring Amyra Soriano’s short film Miss Hot Mess, providing recording sessions and live guitar support for other music makers, and songwriting for upcoming projects. They are caste-privileged and class privileged; and they made subliminals for unlearning to aid their own unlearning processes.

Read mayx's statement

An empyreal composition meanders atop subliminal messaging, guiding listeners to soften their mind's grip on learned hierarchies and modes of living. Subliminal messages focus on general gestures towards amending rigid beliefs, as well as specific messages inspired by things I have been working on unlearning myself, including capitalism and its teachings of productivity, brahmanism and its teachings of elitism, and more. This piece seeks community with the countless YouTube videos with promises like “subliminals for headaches" and “subliminals for depression” that lullabied me to sleep as I spent recent years learning to live with chronic head pain.

Introduction to Unlearning

Welcome to Introduction to Unlearning…

I am nobody. I will be your instructor/destructor.

The following is a tape for unlearning

The following should only be listened to if you intend to unlearn ingrained practices, hierarchies, and patterns that do not serve you and the world around you. 

Now repeat the following to yourself

I have the capacity to unlearn. My brain has strength and stubbornness only in its pursuit of justice and its dedication of both thought and emotion towards this pursuit. 

In the nature of that justice, in the morals it entails, my brain is malleable.

I have the ability to let go of false lessons. I have the ability to recognize false prophets. 

I am letting go of false lessons. I am recognizing and releasing false prophets,

To unlearn does not mean to forget. To unlearn is to remember where you come from. To unlearn is to deeply understand your origins, your privilege and power

Unlearning is extremely difficult. I embrace the difficulty of unlearning. I welcome the challenge. 

You will now hear a soothing composition, which will mask subliminal messaging encouraging you to unlearn. 

Warning: Do not use this tape if you enjoy the status quo. You might harm the tenuous thread tethering you to your ability to tolerate reality.

Now we begin subliminals for unlearning.


Subliminals for Unlearning

I am unlearning lessons that taught me to crave power instead of justice. I am unlearning lessons that taught me to crave power instead of justice. 

I reject recognition for unlearning. Unlearning is my duty. 

I have been taught to see power and money as attractive. I reject these lessons. 

I reject caste and Brahmanical patriarchy. I continue to uncover how these have seeped into the lessons of my youth. I reject caste and I reject my ancestors that perpetuated Brahmanical patriarchy. 

I commit myself to continuing learning the histories of injustice in my communities, including histories of caste and Brahmanical patriarchy, race, anti-Blackness, anti-indigenousness, Islamophobia, queer phobia, transphobia, elitism, capitalism, empire. 

I find joy in the futures that unlearning allows me to imagine. I find joy in the new possibilities that unlearning allows for. 

I find joy in taking a back seat and learning from others. I could spend my whole life listening to others. 

I am unlearning lessons that encouraged me to see this land as a playground for settlers. 

I can let myself feel shame without placing the burden of that feeling on anyone other than myself.

I commit myself to anti-imperialist action. I commit myself to anti-imperialist action. 

I commit myself to divesting from empire.
I have an unflinching need to see the end of capitalism.
I commit myself to undermining capitalism. 

I let go of false lessons. 

Unlearning negative lessons alleviates head pain, allows for stronger mental health. As I focus on moving towards justice rather than accumulating power, my mind is no longer fighting itself. 

I commit myself to to seeing these processes of unlearning through to their logical conclusions of undermining capitalism,
Undermining the U.S., India, Israel, and all other fascist states
Undermining caste and all of the ways it hides behind other words

I recognize that unlearning is not simply an internal, thought-based action. It is rooted in community and redistribution of wealth and power. I commit myself to this community and this redistribution.
I commit myself to to seeing these processes of unlearning through to their logical conclusions of undermining capitalism,
Undermining the U.S., India, Israel, and all other fascist states
Undermining caste and all of the ways it hides behind other words

I recognize that unlearning is not simply an internal, thought-based action. It is rooted in community and redistribution of wealth and power. I commit myself to this community and this redistribution. 


peach + ice

ablate your thoughts with your peach fuzzy filters
the weight of it all melts away when you’re far away 

flow rate fast out with your cruel thoughts cruel feelings
the pain of it all clear as ice when you’re far away 

liquid and sun and your peach glasses opaque
the weight of it all cold as ice when you’re far away

picture yourself giving care and receiving
the ways of the world chilled like ice when you’re here to stay

tear it all down with your peach poison punches
the weight of it all hard as ice when you’re on your way

make your ownself out of claymation piece by piece
you feel yourself soft as ice and you’re on your way


Track: "Gospel"

Seattle born and raised JusMoni, aka Moni Tep, is a mother, singer/songwriter, and founding member of Sway and Swoon DJ Collective. Moni serves as Education Director for Seattle nonprofit Creative Justice, an innovative arts-based approach to ending racial disproportionality and youth incarceration. Guided by ancestral memory and lifelong spiritual practices, Moni is an artist and cultural worker blessed with game, grace and gravitas beyond her 30 years. Moni’s singular works echo both the Black church and her mothers’ native Cambodia. She shares spiritual kinship and common purpose with her Black Constellation family —in constant communion with the Sacred.

Chong the Nomad

Track: "Bapa"

Chong The Nomad (real name Alda Agustiano) is an Indonesian-American producer, DJ and artist based in Seattle. She's a strong presence in the sync world with spots for Singapore Airlines, Apple, and Universal Audio, as well as placements with Maybelline (broadcast ad), Modern Love (Amazon), and The Bold Type (Freeform), Nora from Queens(Comedy Central), Nike(Podcast). As a producer, she has co-produced the single on Marvel's Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings soundtrack featuring Rich Brian and 21 Savage. She also co-produced Wafia's Atlantic single "Pick Me,". As an artist, she has shared stages with the likes of The 1975, Odesza, Death Cab for Cutie, Head & The Heart, K.Flay, Omar Apollo,Toro Y Moi, & Japanese Breakfast.

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Illustrations & Animations

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Born in Atlanta to Thai and Indonesian immigrants, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya studied neuroscience at Columbia and worked at an Alzheimer’s research lab before becoming a full-time artist, educator, and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her explorations of feminism, science, and community have reclaimed space in museums and galleries, at protests and rallies, on buildings, highway tunnels, and subway corridors, as well as on the mainstage of two TED conferences. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and on the cover of TIME magazine. In 2020-2021, she was artist-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and her work has been acquired into the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the City of New York and the Library of Congress.

Bravespace - Presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center


Presented by

Curated by Adriel Luis
Curator of Digital and Emerging Practice, SmithsonianAPA

Executive Produced by Hollis Wong-Wear & Aerica Shimizu Banks

Visual Direction by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Mastered by Elisa Pangsaeng

Product Management by Kelvin Chu


This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative

Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative