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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Noko 440


The Collision of Worlds

Delivered... Noko 440 | Scene | Wed 15 Mar 2017 11:00 am

They love to provoke and they love to extravagate. London-based underground musician Bishi Bhattacharya and her musical partner Matthew Hardern talk in this podcast about their biographies, their artistic development, race, their common project Albion Voice and the corresponding track. Bishi explains why she doesn't apologize for feeling «like a hot woman» while Hardern states with a loud and resounding laughter why nationalism fascinates him. In the background of this podcast we hear the sound tracks from «Albion Voice». A podcast from the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds, produced by Norman Fisher-Jones aka Noko 440.

Bishi & Matthew Hardern: «Albion Voice»

Bishi Bhattacharya sits in an Indianized costume of Britannia with a Bengali tiger in front of the white cliffs of Dover. She sings a pastoral song in perfect English and plucks an Indian sitar. Bishi invokes the Sex Pistols. But instead of electric guitars she attacks England with a rich mix of folkloric sounds and memories of the colonial past. It is England and not India that is exotic for once.

Quotes from the Podcast

«Since my late teens I’ve been working in the counter culture in the underground in London and had been very much at the forefront of a lot of movements or actually creating a lot of the movements because I realized if I didn’t then nobody else would.»
Matthew Hardern

«My interest in music and art and performance has always been about the extended cultural conversation. So as a child I had this Indian classical influence and then as a teenager I just (…) being adopted into the most radical group of people in London. And most people would never find that in their lives and I just walked into it and was accepted.»
Bishi

«I had no idea with the context. I had no idea with the cultural conversation. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know anything about my history or where I fitted in. I did what I thought was essential.»
Matthew Hardern

«The medium that I can work in the quickest is the night club because you have the ability to turn around ideas rapidly. Meeting Bishi has really helped me develop an understanding and context of my work.»
Matthew Hardern

«If you’re a female musician and a producer people look down on you if you do hair and makeup and glamour and I’m like well I do hair and makeup and cleavage and I play instruments and I write and I co-produce. If you seem to be an artist you must have this piety around what you do but I feel like a hot woman and I don’t apologize for that. And the fact that people don’t like that is an interesting tension.»
Bishi

«It’s a highly futuristic, but it’s very laced in folk music. It’s my world and Matthew’s world. It’s the joyous expression of the collision of worlds coming together.»
Bishi

«It’s the first time I really really realized that Bishi has serious bullocks.»
Matthew Hardern

«In the Indian tradition everything is about a set script. As a woman from a certain kind of educated background you get straight A’s in everything then you go to University then you get a husband then you get some kind of a job but really you get married and you have children… And that’s the script that I completely have so far managed to fail out.»
Bishi

«And also I was so excited by causing offense in the English or British context because people hate talking about race in England. There’s a huge issue but no one ever mentions. And just to say Indian skin, skin, skin, skin color, pigmentation, different colored skin, race [laughs]. It was so race in your face.»
Matthew Hardern

«It has been controversial by basically the side that I don’t give a shit.»
Bishi

«Nationalism is something that really fascinates me and always has. And I play with it a lot in my work because I find it very vibrant and energetic. And I love the fact that Bishi is prepared to play with ideas of nationalism both Indian and British, both right and left.»
Matthew Hardern

Read More on Norient

> Louise Gray: «Redefining Englishness»
> Nabeel Zuberi: «Making Ye Olde England Indian»

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