Partition: Children of Independence [2017]

Sound design and live manipulation for performance work

Collaboration with Kirpal Panesar (tar shenhai), Vijay Venkat (bansuri and violin), Liz Hanks (‘cello), Steve Manthorp (video), and Jasdeep Singh Degun (musical direction)

Commissioned by Opera North, PRS and South Asian Arts UK

Performed at Howard Assembly Room, Leeds, 2017

On 15th August 1947 as the clock struck midnight, shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan played the first notes of a raag as one country, at the stroke of a pen, became two. Inspired by that moment, this multimedia performance work explores the Partition of India and its impact and legacy 70 years on: the joy of independence from British rule, the displacement of millions in the largest mass migration in human history and the terror of sectarian violence responsible for the deaths of as many as one million civilians died. Developed over the course of a week-long residency, the hour long performance responds to different elements of Partition through unfolding ‘scenes’. Musical elements are rooted in a variety of ragas and drawn from compositions pertinent to Partition. These pair with a live sonic element that drew on recorded interview material interview supplied by Anindya Raychaudhuri from the University of Aberdeen, as well as archival recordings.

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