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POSTPONED: The Conference of the Birds

23 June 2022, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

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We regret that due to the national rail strikes scheduled to take place this week, we have had to postpone the Conference of the Birds event. We will be rescheduling the event for the Autumn, and will post further details about this in due course.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All

Availability

Sold out

Cost

Free

Organiser

Institute of Advanced Studies / UCL European Institute

Location

IAS Common Ground
Wilkins Building
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

POSTPONED

We regret that due to the national rail strikes scheduled to take place this week, we have had to postpone the Conference of the Birds event. We will be rescheduling the event for the Autumn, and will post further details about this in due course.

Co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World (UCL CSSA), and The Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation (UCL SPRC).

This event is co-sponsored by Past Imperfect, a visual culture seminar, organized by the UCL History of Art Department.

By reinterpreting Sufi poet Farid Ud-Din Attar’s twelfth century poem Conference of the Birds through the lens of his roots to the Punjab, vocal mimesis and by sonically transcribing his own family’s memories of Indian independence, Jason Singh’s performance looks to the natural world – particularly the movement, wisdom and insight of birds – for social and historical narratives that intersect with, and attempt to process, the transgenerational violence and ethnic absolutism wrought by Partition. What excites Singh about the performance is its potential to precipitate a conversation about land, environment, movement, environmental racism and the stubborn taken-for-grantedness around concepts like ‘religion’, ‘identity’, ‘nation’. This first stage of a larger work-in-progress, this sound art performance will bring together voice, music technology, acoustic instrumentation, and text.

The sound art performance will involve recitation of family stories of the 1947 Partition of British India, soundscapes inspired by birdsong, and musical interpretations of the Conference of the Birds though voice (Jason Singh), cello (Liz Hanks), and electronics. The performance will be followed by a brief discussion with the artists.

 

Participants

Jason Singh

Jason Singh is a sound artist, nature beatboxer, producer, DJ, facilitator and performer.

His work is inspired by the natural world and includes live performance, sound installations, live film accompaniment, radio broadcasts, sound design and creating music derived from biodata of plants and trees. Referred to as “the human sampler” by Cerys Matthews (Radio 6), Singh also vocally recreates birdsong and natural environments. His work has been called “beautiful, strange, calming music” by nature writer Robert Macfarlane and Jason has also featured on the BBC Proms, BBC Radio, Pick of the Year, Springwatch and Countryfile.  

Singh’s collaborations and commissions include a diverse range of organisations and artists including Sir David Attenborough, BBC, V&A Museum, Kew Gardens, Chester Zoo, BFI, Celtic Connections, RNLI, Music for Youth, National Trust, Tate Britain, Yazz Ahmed, Shabaka Hutchings, Sarathy Korwar, Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, Rokia Traore to name but a few. 

 

Liz Hanks

Liz Hanks is a cellist, composer and collaborator based in Sheffield. She has worked with an impressive array of high-profile artists across many different genres, and is particularly drawn to folk, Indian classical, and other music traditions. In recent years Liz has performed and collaborated with, among others, Martin Simpson, Thea Gilmore, Jasdeep Singh Degun and Richard Hawley. She is soon to release her debut solo album which draws upon her key influences - minimalism, folk, Indian classical music and improvisation. Her compositions are inspired by local history and the negative impact of urban development on wild spaces and biodiversity.

 

 

This event is part of the Music Futures FestivalCheck our website for more information.

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information. All our events are free but you can support the IAS here.