KarmaQuad
Architecture/ Electronics / Performance

KarmaQuad a facility in the remote Himalayan village of Kalga – realising the notion of an experimental sound environment. Transforming a storage space into a tuned bedroom studio with a quadraphonic speaker setup, alongside engineering a pair of handmade synthesisers, the facility is now open to making and listening in the Himalayas.

Director

Akash Sharma (Sound.Codes)

I see the Space as conducive sphere of Aural Experimentation to develop works in quadraphony and designing immersive experiences.
The Lab is equipped to explore the immersive nature in sound with the setting of the Himalaya.  In Order to construct the Lab we procured various Hand tools and basic power tools these now provide a basic Wood Working facility as well a Electronic Lab in a Box. KarmaQuad is open to all who wants to explore and experiment. At the same time I am going to undertake long format workshop and walks at the facility.

About

I am an experimental artist exploring electro-acoustic improvisation, data manipulation, algorithmic compositions, and sensor-based music. I founded Sound.Codes – a sound research lab which conducts acoustic conservation and designs customised immersive experiences.

In 2013-2014, I explored, researched, and captured data on Adi Minyon – an obscure tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, in the remote Eastern Himalayan region of India. I stayed with the tribals for an extended period of five months, understanding their traditions, rituals and customs. I am currently cataloguing my findings, particularly on tribal dance forms and disappearing tribal folk tales. I also plans to publish the folk tales in an attempt to revive and support the gradually fading tribal ethos.

In 2014, I archived acoustic data of the Ahom Civilisation while visiting this remote North eastern region of India.

2014 ended with archiving acoustics of Victorian-Saracenic structures in Mumbai and exploring the correlation present in the city with places of performances becoming a cinema hall. And how local theatre groups were instrumental in establishing these spaces.  

In 2015, I started Music Tech Sundays, a community-based networking event aimed at cultivating greater dialogue and education in an evolving field; where music meets technology. The topics at these interactive sessions ranged from Human perception of sound to Immersive 3D sound; Audio coding and Gestural control to the paradigm shift in music broadcasting and consumption. Also initiated Sunday Evening Experiments, a series of experimental sound settings focused on exploring the relation in terms of performer and the audience.

In 2016, I was invited to be a part of an International panel of artists at The Carnival of E-Creativity supported by the Department of Arts & Culture, Government of Meghalaya (India) and Academy of Electronic Arts. During this year, I also conducted informal learning sessions with school kids from across Himalayan villages, which focused on understanding the fundamental physical aspects of sound.

I also conducted a series of multi city workshops called Decoding Sound focused on Language and Syntax of Human Sound Perception and ways to communicate it to a computer using visual Programming language MAX/MSP.

In 2017, I sonically archived ancient caves across the state of Maharashtra, India. I also sonically archived all the surviving structures built during the last 2000 years by the Nizams, Maratha and the Portuguese rulers in the state of Goa. This archive was later presented as a sound installation at The Story of Space Festival at Fundacao Oriente Gallery in Goa as open access to all.

I was also invited as a resident artist for Karma Yatri Travel & Art Festival (KYTA) in the quaint little Himalayan village of Kalga. During the residency, he created an open source synthesiser, acoustically treated quadrophonic sound facility, a electronic lab-in-a-box and a portable sculpting and wood working facility. All creations of the residency function as an open facility for the public at large and aim to create an archive of traditional knowledge.

I was also part of S.T.E.A.M. School India and created an installation in collaboration with physicist Jullien Deseigne(France) and Sarah Bahr (Germany) Writer/Performer along with the students who enrolled in this unique Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics inspired program which later got presented at UNESCO’s Tech2 conference in Vishakhpatnam, India.  As part of Unesco’s SDG 4.7.

For Me, 2018 began with the archiving of data surrounding the Kalachuri Dynasty in Central India.

I was invited to Exploring the Edge conference A dense and intense one-day conference, of Primary Participants drawn from different streams of human endeavour, to each deliver a brief presentation, and also field questions from the gathering held at India International Centre, Delhi, where I spoke on Methodologies and Experimentation in Acoustic Conservation.

I was also invited to participate in the Open Codes workshop and performance held at the Max Muller Gallery, Geothe Institute in Mumbai in May 2018.

June/July Continued in archiving of ruins present at periphery of the Lonar Crater in Maharashtra and Survey visit to Ellora Caves.

August was research and processing of the Lonar Data.

September / October I started working with German/French Artist Sarah Bahr on SonicSkins – An experimental performence using medical sensors exploring relation of body and language through sound.

For KYTA 2018 Sarah was the resident artist and SonicSkins became first project at the Quad.

October I was invited to Lyon, France for the showcasing of the Project ‘I See What you Say’ where voice is transformed into 3D printed wax objects. 15th along with the Project leader Dr. Julien Deseigne, Dr. Gérald Gurtner and all the members of the organisation Démostalie and 19th Nov we did a Workshop at the Labo NRV in Les Subsistances.

26th Oct I was invited to Basel, switzerland as part of ERIAZO- art practices from residual space where I did quadraphonic installation of the ‘Acoustic Heritage of Goan Architecture’ and had an open Jam with UFO (Lukas Huber, Michael Anklin, Robert Torche) with Acoustic imprints of India and a prepared Piano.

Work on SonicSkins progressed along having first showcase at the Goethe Institut Lyon followed with Cologne, Berlin and Stuttgart.

Dec I was invited to Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa I designed an Ambisonic Room intended for sleep concerts.

For the Same I did 3 performances one being long format 6 Hours of Sound. Another Sound Artist and Professor Budhaditya Chattopadhyay also performed in the room.

2019 Started with Exploring Sound, Visuals and Motion at the India International Center Delhi for performance on 13th January.

Feb 8 I was invited to talk at the Ableton User Session in mumbai. I spoke about interfacing electronics with Ableton using Max.

Feb 9 I was invited for AlgoraveIndia 2 at Goethe Institute Mumbai for Open Codes 2019

Feb 10 I was invited for Experimental performance as part of Reproduce Drones in Mumbai.

SonicSkins’s second Session starts with TIFA- Working Studios in Pune as the series of performance which Started Feb 22,

28th Feb Hyderabad and 3rd March in Bengaluru.

 

Currently at Sound.Codes, I continue to work on long standing initiative to preserve the acoustic signatures of historic and heritage spaces in India and exploring different ways to communicate , interact and translate information with technology and electronics

The Goal is to catalogue these spaces ie South-Central India by 2020. This drive would enable the idea of acute listening. I started this project of conserving and cataloguing data of Indian Heritage and historic architecture in 2014. During the way I learned immensely about indian iconography and symbolism. How do I make it more accessible to the public at large.  I use technology and constantly learning and researching and developing new ways to explore this traditional knowledge and skills. Using various tools informally like talks/ workshops I promote the idea of listening and understanding signal flow in electronics/ physics (sound) / physiolo-neuro-bio chemical sense. I use heritage and ancient examples in architecture to explore and present the implications of environment on the self. By 2020 I would be able to conduct a comparative study within places of worships, caves, rock cut architecture, forts and Houses

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