VARIOUS - THE NID TAPES: ELECTRONIC MUSIC FROM INDIA 1969-1972

VARIOUS - THE NID TAPES: ELECTRONIC MUSIC FROM INDIA 1969-1972

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Released: 06/10/23 

Revealing a meeting point of Western and Indian avant-garde traditions, and offering a unique insight into South Asia’s post-colonial sonic imaginary, the compositions that make up The NID Tapes are remarkable – as is the fact that we ever got the chance to hear it at all. A collection of early Indian electronic music uncovered at the archives of the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, recorded between 1969-1972, the compilation chronicles electronic works from a host of previously unknown Indian composers such as Gita Sarabhai, I.S. Mathur, and Atul Desai, who worked at the nation’s first electronic music studio at the NID, founded with support from the New York composer, and frequent John Cage collaborator, David Tudor.

A long-term research project by the British artist and electronic musician Paul Purgas, who travelled to Ahmedabad over many years to explore the origins of electronic music in India, resulted in the discovery of the electronic music archive at the NID – and it’s not a little shocking to think that this extremely important collection of works, ranging from early synthesiser music and tape collages, to voice experiments and field recordings, might never have got to our ears. But it has, and for that we should be very grateful indeed.