PhD, Sound Migratory Artist

Academic Research, Telematic Art, Deep Listening

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Bangalore Aural Transitions, Dec 18th Bangalore

Bangalore: Aural Transitions

Engaged in an embodied Deep Listening practice, during four weeks, participants in Slowing Down workshop listened to dislocation in Bangalore exploring areas of their choice in the urban environment as they resonated in their bodies, memories and dreams. While the groups explored the city’s many acoustic environments, the sounds of transport are connectors linking the groups’ recordings. ‘How do you listen to nature and how does nature listen to you?’ This was a prompt given to Slowing Down participants being asked to reflect on a fieldtrip to Nandi Hills, conceived as an acoustic counterpoint to the urban. ‘We were like the unexpected guest’, is a response that came from one group member. The ‘unexpected guest’ is in many ways a suitable metaphor for how participants in this workshop approached both the city and its ‘natural’ environs. Occupying the subject position of the guest is indicative of the sensitivity with which participants used both their bodies and technology as sonic instruments, harvesting sounds from environments as diverse as GKVK agricultural campus and the hoi polloi of Lavelle Road’s bar scene. The self-identification as a guest in one’s own city signifies the tentative, careful and thoughtful manner in which participants moved through Bangalore’s soundscapes, listening with their whole bodies to places visited without invitation, but with awareness: the conversations between adults in a park at dusk, the cock-a-doodle-do of a rooster strutting along a gully in Yelahanka, the sound of glasses being rinsed behind a bar. Helping themselves to the city’s sonic richness with awareness of the sound of their own imprint on the ground on which they’ve walked, these guests have produced a performance that invites you to listen to them listening to themselves and their understanding of nature within Bangalore’s acoustic environments in transition. The performance–a telematic sonic improvisation across N5 and the Old Campus–is also dislocated, mirroring the expression of feelings of dislocation, new questions and metaphors found in the participants’ deep listening experience.