SAIIER 2018:Kalabhumi Music Studio

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Kalabhumi Art Studio
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Laboratory of Evolution – Centre of Human Unity
Kalabhumi Music Studio


:Kalabhumi Music Studio is (and has been for many years now) an important incubator for many Auroville based musical projects, as it offers safe space for self-expression and bonding through common musical activities. These often culminate in musical programs and concerts staged for the community at large. For many users, the studio serves as a space for teaching, learning and sharing their musical endeavors, which make it a true Aurovillan space.

Activities of the year:

Aurovilian users: 30-35
Guest users: 20-30
Auroville youth users: 10-15

Bands and regular activities:

  • AV Sisters
  • Swaha Blues Band
  • Dhani and Amando
  • Rolf Jazz
  • Soul Cypher (Edo)
  • Divij Funk Band
  • Punk band (Roeland)
  • Amrit and Noe
  • Arnaav band
  • Agni piano classes
  • TLC music classes (led by Galit)
  • Weekly jam sessions
  • Single instrument and voice practice sessions
  • Music one-on-one classes
  • Demo recording for Auroville musicians (Shanks, AV sisters, Jeremy, Edo)

Special programs, activities and rehearsals:

  • “Kalabhumi Goes Live” (6 months, Aug ’17-Jan ‘18), with more than 30 participants from the Auroville music community and an audience of 150-200 people each month. This became a monthly regular event transforming the studio space into a concert venue utilizing studio resources.
  • TLC play and Trashion Show rehearsals
  • Korean Traveling School practice
  • Music video shoot by French artists
  • Guest musicians, concerts and rehearsals
  • Photo-shoots for Aurovillian artists
  • Cleanup, equipment testing and studio maintenance.

Equipment bought/repaired:

  • Bought: 2 ton Lloyd AC, new with warranty (March 2018)
  • Bought: microphone stands, XLR cables, and jack leads for instruments
  • PA power amp
  • Carpets, batiks, wall lights in attempt to refresh the look of the music studio and bring a cozier feel to the space.

Achievements:

  • Increased the studio use to capacity, allowing a multitude of users to benefit (8am-10pm, Mon-Sun).
  • Collected all monthly contributions making it possible for the studio to run and prosper.
  • Upgraded the contribution scheme in early 2018 to improve studio finances.
  • Started to collaborate with CRIPA and the Auroville Theatre Group to build a Kalabhumi campus.
  • Involved Newcomers and Aurovillians in studio maintenance and running.
  • Encouraged youth and new users to access the space, adding to the Kalabhumi studio community feel.
  • Provided monthly events to engage Auroville and Pondicherry audiences with music performances made in Auroville.
  • Showcased a wide number of performers.

Challenges:

  • Electrical failures almost monthly, at times damaging equipment in the studio and interrupting normal activity.
  • Financial support is still needed to help run and maintain the studio as well as buy new equipment.
  • Lack of a second rehearsal space, which could double the capacity of studio and allow multiple sessions to happen. This is very important considering the number of full time artists in Auroville has increased in the last two years.

Next steps for 2018-19:

  • Ensure complete usage of timetable, sharing equally time slots and allowing everyone interested to use at least once a week.
  • Check all members pay their monthly contribution in order to avail of necessary funds and save for priority investments.
  • Investing into: monitor speakers, new mixer with output USB recording, a new semi-professional keyboard, and other ornaments/furniture to embellish studio indoor area.
  • Painting of the façade (involving Auroville artists or school), in order to give studio a fresh identity and look.
  • Build together with Auroville Theatre Group and CRIPA a second space for common use, where a good number of music rehearsals can happen.
  • Investing in metal cabinets for equipment storing and safe keeping of musicians' items.