Day 2 & 3 – The Algebra of Listening kicks off
Nakul kindly sets off very early to meet Rian and Mark at the airport. Meanwhile back at speaker central Varun and I finally by early evening after a day of meeting the wonderful Kolkata based artists, Ghatam player Somnath Roy and noise guerrillas Jessop & Co., then the British Council at their offices around the corner from the Venue, we tracked down the 8 Yamaha we need for the project. Once back at the Red Arrow Residency we all decided to stay in and order food. It is all coming together thanks to Varun’s wonderful tenacity.
So the day of the performance arrives. Over at The Harrington Arts Centre things start to arrive, plinths from Varun’s mother’s gallery, PA, the sacred speakers and all sundry cables and plugs. At 12 noon we start to assemble and realise we need more stuff as is always the case. Varun and Mark head off to get supplies. Back at Harrington Rian leads Nakul and I in installation lessons. Getting the power sorted is a curious thing. Somnath arrives and we discuss the importance and relevance of the vocabulary of traditional music to contemporary practice. And then a little tardy arrive the Jessop lads. But all is good as we are just ready for soundchecks when they arrive. Amazingly it all came together perfectly, Varun arriving dressed nattily and with wine and cheese. I decide it really is time to don the linen suit so nip back to the residency. The British Council team arrive and it is lovely to get their support, the director in Kolkata is a lovely man beaming with enthusiasm. The opening begins with the director welcoming everyone and passing over to me. I just can’t help myself get a bit emotional even when I tried hard not to be. It has been such a long time and finely we are here. Mark’s installation is very beautiful in the space so all is well in the Harrington. Somnath Roy performs with the installation. A wonderful set. Rian and Nakul huddle around their chosen tools of expression and perform riveting set of magic and lastly Jessop & Co warp the airwaves with grunged up distortion and street noise their set conclude part one of The Algebra of Listening. The evening ends with two eccentric taxi rides and some amazing food care of 6 Ballygunge Place, beautiful Bengali food.