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Auroville Village Action Group

SVARAM update August 2011

Music instruments and Research Station

 

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First Explorations

Svaram's adventure started in 2003, when it began as a vocational training center for unemployed village youth. Initially focused on communication-social-and craft skill trainings with the practical core of hands on work with different materials like wood, metals, clay, bamboo and seeds/shells for instrument building, extensive explorations and a communal discovery process on the 'magic of sound' stimulated the growth of the team in ever unfolding directions, creating a natural enthusiasm for the chosen work with sound !

At the same time years of studies and research in the fields of ethno-musicology and the origin of human music making, exposure to the ancient Indian musical and yogic traditions, and on the background of the richness of contemporary world music culture, could flow into the evolving process and the aspect of discovery/research was – and still is fundamental to Svaram's activities.

In the dynamic interaction of the basic survival and educational needs of the youth from the local, rural villages surrounding Auroville and the sophisticated, global background of the co-founder and director Aurelio, and craft specialist Jan, an exciting learning field evolved in which the ancient and modern, the traditional and unconventional, the pragmatic immediate action and theoretical approach often result in surprising innovation, expressing itself in an exemplary model of co-creation, bridging the differences of culture, education, background and generations.


Young Community Enterprise

By 2011 the first batch of formerly teenage trainees have grown not only into family fathers but are now fully responsible generators of the emerging social enterprise, directing and instructing their juniors and the third group of trainees. Realizing a cooperative management model, Svaram continues the personal and collective growth work in an attempt to exemplify an integral approach and premise for industrious, enterprising and socially engaged work.

This finds now expression in an organic matrix/framework/structure which brings together all aspects and spheres of cooperative work and innovation, and it is promising to see the engagement and interest of all its participants to create a fulfilling and healthy learning- work- and social environment. An important step has also been the recent integration of more women into the male dominated trade and workplace.

Svaram's integrated entrepreneurship approach and work begin to find larger resonance through collaboration-projects on indigenous social organism, educational materials, sound park installations and pioneering sound sources for the application in Sound Healing and Music therapy.

 

The Kottakarai area of the Industrial Zone of Auroville is finding through all this an invigorating impulse and besides the opening of the Saracon Campus, the SCA vegan raw food place and the new Svaram office/show/storeroom room complex with design atelier and music/class room on the roof terrace, the concept of a community plaza with, craft shops and boutiques, bakery, sports ground evolved and is in the making through neighborhood mobilization and participation.


Research

While continuously expanding the collection and product portfolio of instruments built in series, research and innovation have been crucial in Svaram's work from the very beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years of preparation have been put into the development and projected release of Svaram New Waves, a series of unconventionally tuned and designed instruments for the use in sound healing and the yoga/wellness/personal growth sector. The selected tuning systems for the strikingly simply designed instruments depart from the standard western chromatic tempered scale, and want to reintroduce through the use of just intonations systems the harmonic principles which reflect the law of proportions in the macro/micro world. It is projected that this re-discovered purely harmonic musical material can bring new awareness in our approach to sound – and reestablish the role of music in its ancient role of a sacred- and healing art necessary for the ethical alignment and harmonization of humanity.


For these and similar explorations Svaram's open community structure attracts international artisans, students and researchers and the exchange of ideas and direct involvement always lead to a mutually enriching experience and further networking and often to concrete projects.

 

Foremost collaborations to date are with Prof Fessmann from Mozarteum /Salzburg and his son Hannes and their sound stones (www.klangsteine.com ) and the work with Russian Bell Master Alexander Zigarev and his well known and astounding plate bells.

 

 

 

 

Sound Healing


Having had a background in Music Therapy, Aurelio, through manifold explorations on the nature of sound and its effect on the Mind/Body system and in exchange with international experts, has evolved his own unique approach to Sound Healing Work, and is presently offering treatments and sessions in the Quiet Healing Center on the Coromandal Coast. Through numerous exposures inc-operating the Shamanic techniques of many different cultures, and studies in the neo-pythagorean tradition of Harmonic Science, ancient wisdom and cutting edge scientific discoveries are brought together in a synthesis and novel way of effecting relaxation and harmonization of the multi-layered constitution/process of our being.

Inspiring students of the healing arts, Aurelio shares freely his expertise and mentors students and professionals through direct contact or programs, as well as supports the emergence of a network of practitioners and researchers in India.

Social Outreach


The project work of Svaram has been recently adopted in a UN compilation on “Music as a Natural Resource” under the section of Music in Community Building.
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un-dpadm/unpan042585.pdf
"I've done a placement for almost a year now", reports Robert, who volunteers in Svaram, "of which the work with local children, partly very little educated, partly with special needs has been a great experience from the beginning. I really have the feeling to move something in their hearts."

In addition to international volunteers and civil servants, Svaram also mentors undergraduate students from Indian colleges, and has recently supported 2 diploma studies.

The expansion of sound awareness in education is an important sharing and contribution of Svaram into the local context. From playground designs focused on a spontaneous approach to music to programs in schools, playing the Unity Bells weekly in AV International Zone, to guided tours through the company showing the process of instrument building in detail as well as offering insights and information on musicology, or consulting on the co-creation of a new interactive museum – the members of the Svaram team follow their mission of sharing the gifts of community building, beauty and harmony that music can bring to everyone.

 

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