and then I wrote an email to a friend of mine.
Here are some pictures.
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.
Today I had an overwhelming emotional response to a piece of music a band called Foals and the track is called Black Gold.
Its rare, I can distinctly remember them through my life;
Swans ‘Blind’, Radiohead’s ‘Staircase’, PJ Harvey ‘We Float’, 120 Days ‘I’ve lost my vision’, Voyager One ‘Wires’, Pearl Jam ‘Indifference’, Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush ‘Don’t Give Up’, Surgeon ‘At the Heart of it All’, Aiden O’Rourke ‘Bah Hamburg’, Air Liquide ‘Synsonic’, Miles Davis+Bill Laswell ‘He loved him Madly’, Anathema ‘Sleepless’, Skidoo 23 ‘Helicopterz’, Bark Psychosis ‘400 Winters’, Godflesh ‘Defiled’, Bailter Space ‘Dark Blue’, Bill Callahan ‘All thoughts are Prey to Some Beast’, Massive Attack ‘Live with Me’, Bowery Electric ‘Freedom Fighter’, Laika ‘If you miss’, Faith no More ‘Midlife Crisis’, Bruce Springsteen ‘State Trooper’ & ‘New York City Serenade’, Neil Young ‘Down by the River’, Can ‘Future Days’, Chemical Brothers ‘The Test’, David Byrne & Eno ‘Strange Overtones’, Fugazi ‘Nice New Outfit’, Gustavo Lamas ‘Profundo’.. and there are probably some more that I cant remember and are not doing justice to.
These arent songs I love and just put in here because they are amazing tracks, these are tracks that contain something for me that is beyond conversational statement and require deeper contemplation. Most of them have been revelatory, or a sense of empowerment or an awakening, though some have been closure and some represent safety and comfort or triggered a positive memory.
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.
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.