Amazing Environmental Audio from Maha Kumbh Mela

I’ve been back from India just over a year now, back living in the US and in that time its been a real struggle, both on a personal level and financially.
Looking back on that time, a half-year spent in India, thinking about it and thinking about how much I miss it, and yearn for the Utopian chaos to run through my veins once more.
I have edited my photography over and over trying to extract the essence of the experience. However the personal journey that India was to me, has obscured my objectivity, something that only time can distill.
I have started once again on the editing process, going back over the audio recordings I made, and in doing so, had an epiphany about the work. I realize that I have no choice but to go back to India, and capture more audio, this time with an expanded kit. And to dedicate much more time and effort into making quality environmental recordings.
Audio recordings offer a taste of reality that video and photography simply cannot touch. Where video has to be constructed to make a compelling presentation, and photography provides specificity, and depth, that depth is within just that contextual intimacy.
Audio offers a living reality of time based exploration. Audio treats the consciousness to a wide layered mental vision, one that the mind is intrinsically connected to, there is no learning to listen, whereas there is learning to read photographs.

This Location Sound during the Anup Jalota concert at Pilot Baba’s Ashram camp 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela, Sangam Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh India. I had decided to walk around the sector 9 area where the ashram was located, about 7 miles from the actual main bathing area.
You can hear all of the local sounds, and the far distant sounds of the millions (130,000,000 to be more accurate) of pilgrims who existed at the ‘city’. Headphones highly recommended. Sit back and enjoy the Mela as I did for thirteen minutes.

Brain Blame.

Im watching the compiled videos of Elliot Rodger.
My thoughts on the guy are that he’s terribly dislocated from reality. He has no perspective. It seems from his language that he has been fed something, I’m not sure where it comes from but he is definitely selectively filtering to something which has probably been coming to him for a long time. A child soaks everything up, and I think somewhere along the way he started filtering out all of the other ‘normal’ stuff because the one true consistent thread to him was comforting and steadfast.

I honestly feel sorry for him; take away the trappings of wealth and the padding privilege denies your senses of, and you are left with a child who has no concept of how to compete in the world. Prop that child up with misguided rhetoric and single sided psychology and unfathomable society hype and you get; an abused child. The child does not become an adult on a birthdate. I understand and am intrinsically aware that we all make choices, and we all theoretically know right from wrong. But where does the choice of choice begin and end? What if the choice is already made for you by the lack of options available to you? Whether they are truly not available to you, by standards of society, is of no consequence if your perceived choice is what it is because you are blinkered to a wider array of information.
Luckily most of us have come to some point where we can see other facets of life, to see behind the opinions we’ve formed so that we can form new ones, with multiple perspectives and multiple motivations, but some of us don’t get to that point for reasons of distraction, being distracted by mere survival, whether that be surviving in poverty or surviving yourself, what I call survival mode. Psychological damage, early on and repeated cycles and patterns, become the cause of ignoring important and learning curves because there are other things going on that pose a bigger greater threat over the course of time, which in turn lays a foundation of reactive or evasive behavior unbeknownst to the self, its like being handed a flare that will call the helicopter, when lost in heavy waters, and there’s a log in front of you. Which are you going to go for? If you already know what the thing is, and what it will do for you, then you will probably make the right choice. But, if the thing that offers you immediate relief, is not much effort away and doesn’t have to be decrypted in a language you haven’t been prepared to understand, then you are likely to make the wrong choice. Effectively; you will make the only choice open to you, because of your lack of options.

It’s easy to call him a misogynist, and yes, and if you look at all the evidence that’s what he became. But he wasn’t a misogynist by choice. He didn’t have enough life in him to get him to a point where he could back it up with real solid undeniable and arguable hatred for girls. Maybe there were other pressures, ones that he as yet could not recognize. Perhaps there were fissures that somewhere down the line of life, if he had lived it a bit longer, he might just have come to a realization that the girls he hates are in fact more a statement about the need to be loved cherished and nurtured, not just handed a padded life, talked at, put on a pedestal and objectified, but truly loved and valued.

It is my belief that he was an incidental misogynist because his hatred was probably actually fear. On the surface he was a cocky self-centered shit, and its so easy to throw down the artifacts of disdain (thus separating us from him), and I do it here because I’m appealing to the lowest common denominator who is expecting a biscuit, or a token of my understanding and empathy among the debris of my psycho-babble. But we all become something from something else, so where did he get it from? Blame the parents? Or this horrible monstrous society we have let run completely out of control which needs some parenting in of itself.

It is so easy to blame society, that Im aware of, yes, but society really is to blame, because the soup that is society is the passive current of our group subconsciousness which we have set up to fail ourselves by allowing ourselves to follow the tacit flow of ease to which advertising has become the tactile garments of our group recumbence. Am I suggesting that society be curtailed? No, I am not, but I am asking, if, perhaps we start to consider the possibility of a greater discussion about how dirty the room we lounge in has become, and what it will take to recognize the concerns from the ground up.
I know this argument well. As an immigrant, I still see Americas problems are rooted in its desire to be as democratic to all which in theory is wonderful, but it’s really not happening, we are not democratic to all, we are selective and biased and self-centered. The conservatives want to be heard, and so they shall. The liberals want to be heard and so they shall, and apart from which color you choose those opposing forces really cross over each others lines about two seconds after crossing the starting line. So knowing that, perhaps we should just cut to the chase and get on with the job of making the choices that are best for everyone’s needs regardless of their wants.

#Elliot #Rodger #ElliotRodger

2013 09 04 In the Back where the light of the fading day reflects off the wall.

Its a phenomena to hear the daily rumination’s of your neighbor showering, slurping milk in his cereal bowl, listening to the radio, masturbating, showering and general other private life sounds, and yet never actually really seeing them because of a wooden fence that separates you from him. Im pretty sure he cant hear me because the sound from his side is funneled in through a small space filtered by a Mosquito grille and a cat.

I have a lot of uncertainty now, and yet I know somewhere in there I will miss these days. Perhaps this is a time of resettlement and reassurance from a relationship that I now find myself in.
I also find myself in the eye of the storm. Im doing things now that are prime and ahead of the curve. Yet Im filled with doubt and procrastination is the crutch Im leaning on. Im trying to do a lot maybe too much, but if I dont Ill feel as though Im not doing enough, like I feel that anyway regardless of the capacity Im at.

Who knows. Just remember the important things.

2013 07 29 Where

I dont know how to do lots of things. There has always been heavy doubt in me. Its been my defining role in life. “I just dont know.”
Since returning from India, the act of leaving, going away and doing something –anything– the dont know seems less prevalent then it once was. Manifesting what I want seems a nudge easier then it was, but I still dont exactly know what I’m doing, and there is something in me that says now, that something will work out. Thats never before, been the light at the end of the tunnel for me. Theres always been this horrible sense of doubt and disbelief, where it comes from I cant exactly say, probably somewhere in my upbringing and whatever negative experiences that I accrued along the way and never learned from.

2013 06 18 BACK

Where to start.

I dont know. I have so many things to say, people to talk to, to fill in the gaps of information on the things that Ive been doing and so on etc. Its great to be back and I feel a sense of simplicity, and a sense of having some handle on the future like I haven not had in such a long time, and those past sentiments are something I done even remember to be honest. I’m happy not remember it either, but somewhere in there Id like to know what to watch out for so that I can try and avoid it in the future too. I dont know if Ill necessarily ever actually get back to that same point again, but approaching it scares me. Jenny is positive, extremely so, especially considering all that she has gone through. It amazes me her integrity despite her own convictions that she has been really struggling, because from where I’m standing she is the strongest person I think Ive ever seen.

2013.05.30 BOMBAY

Bombay, not Mumbai. I prefer it, and the Bombers themselves call it Bombay anyway.

Its as hot as Goa was, but the humidity levels are off the charts. What I thought was humid in Goa was just for starters. Here its totally and completely insane. It takes 20 minutes to sweat out a liter of water. I go nowhere without a 2L bottle of Bisleri. Bisleri is the nice brand of water in India. Its an Indian company started by a French couple who came here some time ago and scoffed at the lack of good clean drinking water in bottles. Since then of course, there are others. Bailey, which is harder to find, but equally as good and the same price. 1L bottles are about 15 rupees, 2L bottles are 25 rupees, depending of course if you ask the price, because most street vendors will try and hoodwink you and make you pay more even thought he price is moderately unclearly marked on the bottles themselves. The Batch Number, date and Price “(inclusive of all taxes)”. But I still like to ask because I like to see the honesty levels of the vendors. Most outside of Goa and so far Bombay, are not honest and some, even when you show them the price will argue the price with you. Old school values; haggle. Theres no haggling in America. We are soft now, lazy, the price is the price. I still like to ask for a deal when I have to go to the Apple store just to fuck with the doe-eyed whizz-kid clerks. Who cares if Steve Jobs had $750,000,000,000 in the bank before he stepped out, he shouldn’t have had that much money anyway, he should have by virtue of the fact that he travelled India himself, known that that money would have been better off in the hands of those who know what to do with it to make their days a little brighter. Like those tribal families out there on the street in front of the hostel Im currently in. They are rolling with the rats, and their children are playing cricket and badminton amongst the traffic “OUT”! I saw that, that was out! Ballard market, haha what a fucking Joke, ‘fixed prices’ total and complete bullshit.
Oh look at that Im sweating as I’m shitting here in relative comfort of porcelain three floors above you, and the little brown children with blue string around their waists are dropping their payloads into cracks in the pavement. Their shit is cleaner then yours though -and you fucking better believe it.

 

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