There’s always something buzzing anew on the cultural front when it comes to the City of Joy. Most recently is a unique sound project underway here which is a collaboration between an experimental musician from Berlin and homegrown musicians from Kolkata. The City Sound Project will portray a sonic portrait of how the city of Kolkata sounds on several layers, putting a focus on different aspects of this dynamic town combining materials from the urban sonic environment with both its unique soundscape and the city’s musicians and practitioners.
The German sound artist and composer Ignaz Schick spent the month of April 2022 in Kolkata to explore, research, and connect with the city and its music scene. He conducted many extensive field trips and meetings with different local musicians. The project is a labor of many hours of field recordings, conversations and pictures collected. Schick was inspired by this massive and multilayered archive he compiled and elected materials that are the base for different compositions, sonic structures, and installations.
On November, 2022 the collection of materials amassed by Schick was revisited in an intense eleven-day rehearsal and workshop bringing together seven musicians from different musical styles & backgrounds. Different kinds of strategies were explored on how to make the different sonic layers of the city audible to the audience. The second round of development of the sound experience piece is currently underway at the Goethe Institute, Park Mansions, and is accessible to anyone who wishes to see the open rehearsal.
The final performance is planned to be presented on January 27 and 28, 2023 which will be a four hours long concert and installation with an intriguing mix of electro-acoustic music, field recordings, projections, contemporary and Indian classical music, jazz, and improvisations performed by an outstanding ensemble of Kolkata based musicians. Alongside the German virtuoso, the Kolkata musicians are a talented bunch including Dr. Subir Ray, Sukanya Chattopadhyay, Dibyokamal Mitra, Varun Desai, Ankit Malik, Debjit Mahalanobis, and Somnath Roy.
The City Sound Project: Kolkata is part of the larger City Sound Project in Kolkata, Colombo, and Dhaka, which is conceptualized, initiated, and co-produced by Goethe-Institut South Asia. The event is open to the public. If you are in Kolkata, do not miss this experimental sound experience that resonates with the city.
You can find out more about the event here.