This series aims to showcase films, the still image, or other visual artifact narratives, authored and presented by the wealth of talent that surrounds us. The goal is to showcase this work in a more neutral, thoughtful setting, away from institutional distractions.
THE SHORT TERM MEMORY OF ATROCITY
Dir. Javed Iqbal
India, 2013, 12m20s
“The Short Term Memory Of Atrocity” is an attempt at experiencing history; a nostalgia, an archive of moments of a war, structural violence and the persistence of an invisible conflict. Atrocities un-reported do not mean they did not happen. For every atrocity found and preserved for memory, another takes place, and is found and preserved for memory, and the precarity of choosing to remember. To forget is to perpetuate myths. To believe myths, is to perpetuate the cycle of violence, on the myth’s own terms. The photographs in this presentation are set to the songs of the Murias: adivasis from Bastar district, who’ve faced brutal fratricidal violence since the advent of the paramilitary, anti-Maoist Salwa Judum in 2004- 2005, where villages have been burnt down, women raped, and mothers who saved their sons from hunger would watch them executed in cold blood.
TAKE IT IN BLOOD
Dir. Rana Ghose
India, 2013, 47m
While the songs Kashmiri rapper MC KASH (OFFICIAL) writes are based on personal experiences, at the time of our meeting he had actually never personally met mothers of the disappeared, ex-militants, gravediggers – all people that over the course of our time together he interviewed. He was unsure of how he would react to meeting them, whether they would take him seriously, whether he could conduct himself professionally, and whether he was truly prepared to hear first hand about the brutality of the Indian occupation as told by people who had directly felt the brunt of it. But at the same time, in order to validate that which he narrates, meeting these people was an important step for him; It was often uneasy, with many of the interviews he conducted becoming rather emotional given the context of loss, death, or suffering, but as he did more, he was emboldened by an assumed responsibility to focus on the role he now took as an interviewer. Roushan interviewed different people, but one woman in particular made an impact on Roushan – Parveena Ahangar. Her story of her son disappearing in 1990 and her subsequent organizing of other mothers with similar stories inspired Roushan to write a song about her. The title of this documentary – Take It In Blood: A Film About MC Kash – takes its name from this song.
This series aims to fill a gap in the ever iterating and increasingly varied community of live music in India by showcasing talent that might not get heard in the more mainstream oriented venues. Listening Room will focus purely on the music – in a space where an audience can absorb sound on their own terms.
Shadaab Kadri’s introduction into the iterating world of “indie” music started where many others in Bombay may have inadvertently – the opening of Blue Frog on 2007. After a year spent as an artist manager, he found himself looking for a more personal means to professionally develop, and soon enrolled in a one year program of film scoring techniques in the US. Though he dropped out, it was here that he came to grips with MIDI interfaces – an experience that compelled him to, upon his return to Bombay, make more ambient soundscapes for his other project, that of a member of Pangea. About a year ago, these early tracks fomented the manifestation of his solo project, Riatsu. Using a laptop and a Maschine Studio, his solo work retains a certain cinematic narrative, encompassing melody, drone, and sampled vocal passages. This will be his live debut.
Hemant SK (New Delhi, India)
Hemant currently teaches digital arts at Ambedkar University, and between that and his other full time job, he rarely has the opportunity to perform the utterly unique sound and visual patina he creates – so this is a rare opportunity into his world. Via programming his own algorithms in code, he presents a remarkable experience that merges projected, generative visuals with sometimes beautiful and sometimes horrific audio frequencies. While he has performed at three LR sessions in Delhi, this will be the first time he will be performing in Pune. A true original.
United Machines (Bombay)
Himanshu Pandey spends most of his days (actually most of his nights) administering controlled tension over a table dripping with analog voltage. He combs the web for old kit, meets aging session musicians by virtue of their being the only people who have analog gear locked away at home rotting to sell, and basically just makes beats and basslines. He’s performed with the District 50 collective a number of times – a collective that will soon have a regular night in Bombay debuting on June 2, but for this set he will iterate on his last LR session set. Expect a lot of gurgling synths and seemingly abstract (but actually not at all) percussion.
Donn Bhat (Bombay)
Donn’s musical pedigree traces back to Delhi in 2000, where, like many of his peers, he could be found playing metal covers at school. Living in Delhi brought him in proximity to, and ultimately playing with, the erstwhile Orange Street; somewhere along the way however, he discovered software production – Reason and Fruity Loops in particular. He realized that he no longer had to deal with “drummers who wouldn’t show up cos they were with their girls house all night or whatever – I just realized I didn’t need anyone to do this, and that I could make music all night by myself.” By 2006, he released One Way Circle, his first solo album, one that brought this talent as an artist to a wider audience – and one that paved the way for his desire to move to Bombay, a city he has lived in ever since. Yet within this aspect of a professed desire to work alone, there lies an irony. Donn has rarely – if ever – performed music by himself live. For this set, he will perform an original set of all new material with a visual component he has developed himself and executed live by Sachin S Pillai AKA Godgamut.
Though he acts as guitarist, trumpet player, and keyboardist for Delhi’s pcrc and as vocalist and guitarist for Begum, Kartik is mostly found at home making more music, seemingly at odds with what that kind of workload would seem to present as a demand on one’s time. His solo project Jamblu began in 2013. Two releases in it would appear that his well of creativity is just beginning to be excavated. His music touches on low slung hip hop, long ambient passages, and sharp percussive rushes to create something both unsettling and seductive. In listening to it, one may feel unsure whether to bob their head or to place said head on a shelf for a more reflexive assessment. He’s played four LR sessions to date, either as Jamblu solo, or in collaboration with Mexico City based violinist Ixchel Mosqueda, or Bombay based harpist Nush Lewis. For this set, he will perform material from his upcoming release, solo. This will be his Pune debut.
Cosmic Attic x Kumail (Bombay)
The first time I saw Kumail perform where I could really focus was at the first Bombay LR Session. I found myself at the gate collecting cash, and as I couldn’t leave, I basically was just staring at a wall listening. It was appropriate; I didn’t understand his patience, and I still don’t really. The other week, I got an email from Sharath AKA Cosmic Attic. It took me a week or so to check out the music he sent me. We’ve since spoken a few times. I also don’t really understand his patience. I can’t do it. I guess I’m somehow amazed by both their work but I just don’t know how someone can think with that much space in between. I suppose I’m prone to cramming everything together. Maybe their work forces me to make some space. I don’t know. Anyway it turns out that Kumail and Sharath know each other, but not really. They’ve heard each others work and, as such, the internet has brought them to some proxy of closeness. This will be the first time they perform together. I’m pretty curious. I’m allowed to be indulgent, so what.
Paraphoniks x Nush Lewis (Bombay)
I first saw Jai and Sid perform as Paraphoniks at Synthfest last year. They took to the stage with these two obelisks of flashing lights to their right and left and a table full of gear split in half by a mixer. They left an impression. The other day I saw this video of a bunch of people jamming at OX7GEN’s house with a shitload of gear. I noticed a Doepfer A100. It was, of course, theirs. Nush I met through Sandunes – she suggested Nush as someone I should check out, and when she said “harp” I got excited and immediately thought of Kartik. Nush and Jamblu did a set together at an LR at Jude Bakery in Bombay, and I finally got to hear what a harp through a phalanx of distortion pedals sounds like. For this set, Nush and Jai – Sid’s out of town – are going to work something out with, her harp, MIDI, contact mics, and voltage.
Rohan was preparing for a shoot when I called him. He sounded distracted. The conversation began to pick up when he began to suggest his appreciation for the Spice Girls and Kriss Kross. He’s been taking photographs to (sort of) pay the bills for a few years, but he’s been making music for far longer. When asked why he’s never played live before, his reply was somewhat languid, or perhaps representative of an ongoing thought process. “I’ve just been…I dunno man. I jam at home a lot, always…” He then trailed off. His pedigree however belies this – his first experiences with electronic music culture were the early trance raves that took place in Karjat and other periperhal parts of Bombay in the early naughties, as well as the first version of the Bhavishyavani crew who rejected trance outright and stayed entirely away from that scene. Somewhere in between lies his musical pedigree. That and pop music. “I always was looking to do ‘something else’, but somehow keeping it commercial was always there.” For this set, he aims to perform with “a bunch of gear” collaging beats, samples, drones, and whatever likely suits him. It will be his first performance.
June 06, 2016