Rajivan S A

Arts Collaboration

Grant Period: Over three months

Rajivan S.A. is a contemporary musician, working in the nascent discipline of improvised music. He plays a variety of percussive and string instruments, but is chiefly interested in percussive music using voice and virtual audio events as primary source materials.

This project is a collaboration between three musicians to explore the possibilities of a new musical idiom. Motivated by their interest in the sound elements of baul, a traditional form of music, two contemporary musicians, Rajivan and Santayan, collaborated with Karthik baul towards creating a ‘new language of sound’.

Titled “Up-Side-Down Songs”, the project included recording and performance of songs based on voice, percussion and electro-acoustic music. Drawing inspiration from the specific experience of listening to Karthik’s songs in a distinct environment, the contemporary musicians composed the ‘chance-based cluster of sounds’ that provided the context for Karthik’s singing and his specific voice culture.

The project has addressed and thrown considerable light on the key issue of possible interfaces between traditional and modern cultural practices. The project is also significant in the manner in which Karthik, a baul singer, has been absorbed into and become integral to an exercise in improvised music.

The three collaborators felt that a performance was a way of inviting feedback that could determine the future course of the project. The performance was titled ‘Notebook 45mts’ and it was to be a compilation of songs, soundscapes and musical ideas, more in the nature of sketches than compositions.

Collaborator: Santayan Senguputa, Kolkata -  a multimedia designer
Karthik Das Baul, Birbhum – a baul singer