An exhibition and events programme by artist Paul Purgas that brought together architecture, furniture, textiles and sound to explore India’s first electronic music studio, founded in 1969 at the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India.
The project explored the technological and experimental ambition of the studio across its four-year lifespan at a moment of unprecedented national transformation and cultural exchange between Western and Indian Modernist ideologies.
A central part of the exhibition was a new soundwork, developed from a collection of unheard recordings by Indian composers. These tape experiments and compositions were created in the electronic music studio between 1969-1972, and initiated by New York composer David Tudor, who visited and personally installed and configured the studios core components – including a customised MOOG modular synthesiser and a series of analogue tape machines. Purgas discovered the recordings within the NID archive after a period of detailed research that subsequently involved the careful restoration and digitisation of the material. The recordings were transposed by Purgas to form the basis of a new composition that interweaved broader aspects of the archive, including spoken word, tape collages, field recordings, sound effects and film soundtracks.
Listen to Purgas on BBC Radio 3 where he presented a programme entitled Electronic Indian that introduces and expands on his research.