At This 'Sound Garden' In Bengaluru, You Can Make Your Own Music

Humming stones, the Sound Table and flower gongs are among the ten unusual instruments at the Sound Garden that people are free to create music on.


The musical instruments have been made by the Auroville-based Svaram.

Bengaluru:  The Indian Music Experience is a museum coming up in Bengaluru - funded by donations, the state, central governments and the IME Trust - a non-profit charitable organization, supported by the Brigade Group. The interactive museum itself will be opened later this year, but a 'Sound Garden' at the location in south Bengaluru was formally opened to the public.

Humming stones, the Sound Table and flower gongs are among the ten unusual instruments at the Sound Garden that people are free to create music on.

An exploration of diverse materials such as wood, metals, stones, glass, clay, materials of organic origin and processed materials are combined to build the instruments. For example, the very popular Sound Table is a xylophone crafted with wood, stone, brass and aluminum plates.

One young child visitor, Gaurav, told NDTV, "It is exciting with all these instruments and I have never seen this before."

Another young visitor, Sanjana, said, "Youngsters like us get more into music and the depths of it. This music theme park helps us to learn more about the music and about the instruments."

The musical installations, made by the Auroville based Svaram, have been crafted to allow a complete immersion into the soothing vibration and natural resonance of strings.

Professional musicians from Svaram demonstrate how these installations could sound as part of the formal opening. The installations were made by the Auroville based Svaram.

Jan Van Den Dikkenburg, Technical In Charge of Svaram Musical Instruments and Research told NDTV, "It was to be a sound experience for people of all ages and all walks of life. We were trying to create instruments that are easy to play even for people not trained as musicians and who don't have a trained ear - but which still sounds good."

The Sound Garden also has a performance space for musicians and dancers - and those behind the project hope it will be a welcoming entrance space to the Museum itself.

Dr Suma Sudhindra, Director - Outreach of IME told NDTV,  "I thought the children would love it but I see a lot of older people enjoying and playing and a lot of them have come back to me and told me I don't mind spending the whole day here in the Sound Garden. Everywhere they say don't touch this, don't touch that...Here is one opportunity where everybody can touch and feel and create music."

IME Project Director, Manasi Prasad said, "While inside the Museum it is about music as art, here it is about music as sound - vibrations, frequencies that sort of mingle together to create resonance. We have really interesting things. Right there is the Humming Stone, so you put your head inside the stone and you hum. At a particular frequency, the entire stone resonates and you feel that through your body. It is just a magical experience."

But there is a concern that people still need to refrain from vandalising the instruments and treat them with care as one xylophone plate broke on the first day itself.

Ms Prasad said, "These installations have been prepared by precision engineering in addition to the sound research and they need to be treated just like children with love and care. And we urban audiences need to learn that loud does not mean music and you can have soft sounds which are beautiful. "

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