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  • Shriya Malhotra

percussion as data

In trying to develop a prototype calendar of seasonal recurring crises with assorted risk factors over time relating to the weather, it seems useful and relevant to have a sound: like an alarm clock signifier -- for each crisis (or maybe variable it remains to be seen) such that when they are all synchronized they result in a beat. For instance: January : environmental factors are temperature, and smog resulting in chills, hypoventilation, and lung infections.

With this in mind, the bracelet -rotation design when adjusted according to different time cycles (yet to be determined which i choose and what it will mean), should emit an alarm to signify all data together. However, being aware that noise is disturbing and potentially disruptive I find the idea of percussion-- a basic rhythm, instinctual, and prevalent across cultures (deisgned often by nature!) to be a nice sound. it is not scary, it is a heartbeat and a reminder that inspite of the recurring crises and risk factors, we are alive and capable of change.

rhythm is the foundation upon which all music is built. It reflects an understanding of time, of sound, and of it’s trance-like power.

Drawing upon the indian tradition which i come from, I am interested in seed pods and tablas / hide drums. I think attributing the different factors a beat and decibel will mark the urgency. or perhaps the depth of interelated factors. it remains to be seen but i am glad i have settled on beats rather than attempting notations of any other kind. The drum is a great civilizational crises analogy:

It is a common bond between all civilization that they have some from of drums. It unites us as humans: having a beat, being able to create music.

A percussion instrument aka a laburnum seed pod I decorated with musical intervals:

A percussion instrument I will try to use:

(I swear it is looking at me...and needs oiling)

And finally a poem by the brilliant South African poet Oswald Mtshali for inspiration:



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