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Budhaditya Chattopadhyay - Elegy For Bangalore [Gruenrekorder - 2013]

Gruenrekorder presents Elegy For Bangalore, a full-length CD by Indian born (now Denmark-based) multi-media artist Budhaditya Chattopadhyay.

“Elegy for Bangalore” is a single epic track, clocking in at nearly 56 minutes. Apparently, this track is an expansion of a much shorter multi-media installation called “Eye Contact With the City.” As stated in the liner notes, this piece is a culmination of 6 months worth of extensive field recordings captured in Bangalore, India while Chattopadhyay was an artist in residency at the Bangor University School of Music in 2011. The primary focus of the piece is urban development, especially that surrounding the construction site(s) of a large scale metro-rail system. The sounds captured are further fleshed out by the addition of found reel-to-reel tapes purchased in local flea markets.


The sounds presented on this disc are what one might expect to find traversing a sprawling urban environment, though expertly captured and strewn together by Chattopadhyay. The track’s main components are: atmospheric drones, the sounds of workers toiling, metal being hauled and banged, churning industrial machinery; hammers, chisels, and other tool sounds; metal pipes ringing hollow, indescript voices, and traffic sounds. Throughout the piece a repetitive whistle sound appears and reappears. A bird perhaps or some sounds manipulated to create an effect? Some longer passages of industrial drone get really thick and booming later in the piece. Some parts almost have a musical aspect to them; the beating of metal creating a percussive beat, the ring of metal resonance howls like a brass instrument. Certain passages almost sound like an orchestra or jazz band warming up. The source material certainly lends itself to many possibilities for the fertile mind to meditate upon.


I could try to intellectualize the whole production, but ultimately for me it’s a snapshot in time, the highlighting of the mundane and unspectacular that I’m particularly attracted to. I will likely never go to India or visit Bangalore, but Chattopadhyay has created quite the vivid canvas for my imaginative mind to draw from. Another fine release from the good folks at Gruenrekorder.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Hal Harmon
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