“I dont think my journey as an ethnomusicology scholar has begun yet. It’s an interesting field of study, with its own setbacks. I believe neither I have nor can I immortalise anything. I feel more and more inclined towards the ‘making’ side of things than the studying of the making or makers within a culture,” says Rajan Shrestha a Kathamandu-based interdisciplinary artist whose work revolves around music, photography and videography.
Image taken at The Shift by Shubham Gupta
If you listen to ‘alternative’ electronic music in New Delhi, only a few venues in the city indulge your taste. After the clubs shut (1am, mostly) the after-parties start. The same several dozen people frequent both these places. Eager to trade names alongside lighters, they stay awake until the soft focus of pre-dawn. While most of the city sleeps, this particular group of people will share cigarettes while taking ownership of a scuffed up nook, a hardened piece of pavement. This is where conversations around ways to better the industry happen. They’re mostly repetitive and trite with people glowing in the shared confidence of the music that pulsates from another room. The romantic inside us wants to believe that all great ideas happen here, in these moments that seem to last forever. In reality, the conversations are just seeds being planted. It takes laborious, tedious work for one of these seeds to be fruitful. One of those seeds was Coven Code.
Image credit – Polina Schapova
For years, Gaurav Malaker and Sahil Vasudeva had been trying to figure out a way to work together. It was easier said than done; Malaker is BLOT!, and has been DJing and producing dancy electronic music for centuries (at least in terms of Indian independent music’s still-young timeline). Vasudeva, on the other hand, is a classically trained pianist, albeit one who’s constantly looking to push the form into the modern era, messing around with styles and formats and bringing those sounds into unpredictable spaces. “Nothing concrete came about,” says Malaker. “We’re from two distinct schools of music. Actually, I wouldn’t even call mine a school of music! We didn’t want to make this a fusion farce sort of thing, so it didn’t materialise.”
Image credit – Nadir Chaudry
Karma Yatri Travel And Art (KYTA) 2018: Expanding Creative Enquiry Via Art, Culture, Travel & Experimentation
As is the case with most national projects that wish to inject sustained government surveillance into isolated territory – first comes the excuse for development followed by the highway or the road that eventually gives way to a burst in tourism or an inflow of outsiders. Kullu’s Parvati Valley suffered a similar fate when, by the end of the 20th century its potential as a resource rich land (to provide electricity to neighboring states which are richer and more ‘developed’) was recognised.
Set in most minds of amateur backpackers now, is Parvati Valley’s slowly (but hopefully), fraying reputation as a place limited to cannabis, psy-trance and ‘bhaijis’. The mid-range Himalayas are possibly one of the most soil and mineral rich mountains in the world; embalming floral habitat of medicinal value within evergreen mountains and meadows which give way to crystal blue glacial waters.