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Auroville Village Action Group

SVARAM

Music instruments and Research Station

 

Go to SVARAM update
August 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aurelio on a sound tour

 

Balu on folk music research

 

Velu with bamboo instruments

 

Magesh with chimes

 

Karthik tunes svara veena

 

Shankar in the workshop

 

Gnanavel enjoys drummy

 

Selvam and Murugan

 

The egg-shaped sound stones

 

Bamboo instruments

 

The Team. Collages and graphics by Kalki.

SVARAM office and showroom. Collages and graphics by Kalki.

 

THE PROJECT

 

Since Feb. 2003 this new unit in the Auroville Educational and Cultural Landscape is establishing itself in the former facilities of the Decauram carpentry in the Industrial Zone, and is trying to incorporate four aspects into its work:

  •  a vocational training opportunity for the youth of local villages

  •  technical and musicological research component (exploring this new field of research into' sound materials', bringing together Indian traditional methods and the know-how of a contemporary world music culture)

  •  the production and marketing of musical instruments for income generation based on a model of cooperative management

  • a social outreach through sharing the acquired skills in village cultural education

BACKGROUND

 The art of instrument making goes back to the beginning of our human culture, and it's interesting to wonder whether the first primitive bow was actually used for hunting or playing music! The history of musical instruments reflects the evolution of the human species: from archaic instruments like a simple pair of sticks, bones or stones, through the finely crafted string instruments in the classical periods to the most sophisticated high-tech electronic sound sources of today.

The last century saw a rapid growth of new inventions of musical instruments, together with the reintegration of ancient and primitive 'sound-makers' into the field of education, therapy and music production. This is another sign of the unfolding of a global culture, a synthesis where basic elements and universal principles of music are re-discovered and applied towards a unified human expression of beauty and harmony.

Collages and graphics by Kalki.

 

The SVARAM team wants to reflect this trend and may possibly be one of the few places on the Indian subcontinent experimenting in the field of creating new musical instruments. Its focus lies on instruments that should be accessible to everybody, independent of talent or predisposition, directly bringing the joy of music into one's hands and heart.

 

THE YOUTH


The project aims at an independent and empowered self-management and asks the youth to be involved and take responsibility in all the different departments of such an undertaking.

The learning process which encompasses all aspects of the work is monitored and guided by selected resource people and teachers in the area of crafts, management, design, music and body awareness, cultural integration and development.

 

Music classes.Collages and graphics by Kalki.

 

 

After having successfully completed the first 2 years training course with 7 young unemployed youth from the village, who had been associated with the Mohanam Cultural Center in Sanjeevinagar, we are now having a second batch of teenagers who are following the emerging syllabus in technical craft, design, musical theory and practice and organizational skill. Besides the hands-on aspect of this training the youth is also  exposed to traditional performing arts and crafts to enhance awareness about the rich heritage of Tamil Culture.

 

THE INSTRUMENTS

At Svaram, all possible sound materials are explored and experimented with to discover new means and approaches for the opening of the "Magic of Music" for everyone independent of age, talent or cultural background.

The emphasis lies in creating instruments which are easy to handle and offer an immediate contact to one's inherent playfulness and creativity. This selection brings a wide range of instruments reflecting the evolution of humane musical activity from a tribal pair of simple wooden clapsticks to sophisticated multi-string resonators of contemporary design.

Instruments. Collages and graphics by Kalki.

Instruments made at Svaram

 

Svaram researches and produces a wide variety of ‘world-music instruments' from original and primal sound- makers to sophisticated  string resonators, which find application in the emerging field of music education, sound therapy and personal growth work. Please also read the article on Sound Evolution here.

Please see our website www.svaram.org for detailed description, photos and sound samples.

Sound-healing bed. Collages and graphics by Kalki.

Nidhranantar - The Sound Healing Bed

 

FUTURE PLANS

With the allocation of a beautiful plot of land within the Galaxy zone of the emerging city of Auroville (in immediate vicinity of Kottakarai village) for the future development of the project we can foresee the manifestation of an integral enterprise bringing together education, research, business and social engagement in a unified holistic system and adventure.

Collages and graphics by Kalki.


Already the initial work of the last years and the shared vision attract international students, artists, artisans and sound-researchers and we are “listening ahead” for a global collaboration in helping to create more harmony and beauty through the creative and healing power of dedicated sound.


Western students

 

For further information about the centre, please contact

Aurelio, Creative Director: aurelio@auroville.org.in
Office: svaram@auroville.org.in
Website: www.svaram.org

Svaram Musical Instruments and Research Station
Kottakarai
Auroville - 605101
Tamil Nadu, India

Phone: 91-413-2622220

 

The team

 

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