Berklee India Exchange 2016: Music Technology
This past June, Chennai based production house EarthSync collaborated with the Berklee College of Music, Boston, to present the second edition of the Berklee India Exchange workshops through the Berklee Tandon Global Clinics – a series of clinics across India consisting of workshops, master-classes and panels presented by highly distinguished faculty from the Berklee College of Music. Taking place for the first time in South India in Bangalore from June 12th – 13th 2016 at the Nathaniel School of Music and BFlat and Chennai from June 15th – 16th at the KM Conservatory of Music, the clinics were a huge success, attended by Indian musicians and students from across the country.
“The Berklee Tandon Global Clinics, which we held in Bengaluru and Chennai, attracted a great group of talented and energetic students,” says David Mash, senior VP for innovation, strategy and technology at Berklee and one of the senior Berklee faculty conducting the clinics, “We were impressed with the level of their interest, the quality of their questions, and mostly the musicality of their performances and recordings!” Mash along with his colleagues Stephen Webber, Annette Philip, and Kai Turnbull conducted the workshops with a focus on using technology as a performance application and in the music production process. “We wanted to bring a different perspective on using technology for music making from our collective experience as musicians and technologists” continues Mash, “We were very interested in how musicians and students in India are using technology, and how we might be able to help them use these tools to further their musical interests. These were the first clinics we have done in India with a focus on this, and we were happy to see the level of experience and excitement about technology and new musical approaches”.
“The atmosphere was collaborative from the start; everyone was encouraged to participate in some warm-up musical exercises to break the ice” says Kris Karra of EarthSync, partners and co-hosts of the event in India, “Speaking to students at the event, they found the workshops encouraging and inspiring to keep working at their dreams. The students also took advantage of being able to ask questions and interact with the Berklee team throughout the sessions”. Student participation was encouraged throughout the workshop process, and some of the students were also given the opportunity to participate in mock Berklee auditions. “We did this to demystify the process for students” says Mash, “and were so impressed by the students’ abilities and willingness to take risk with improvisation through Western musical styles and concepts”.
In fact, many of the students at the workshops had travelled from cities all across India to take part – Tarana Marwah, who performs under the avatar Komorebi, was one of those artists. “I flew in without a second thought from Delhi when I heard about Berklee coming down to India for the second exchange program” Marwah told IndiEarth, “Being an electronic artist, it was very exciting to take out a notebook and pen down thoughts of some of the greatest minds in the institution on production and performance. We received two days worth of fresh perspective, constructive criticism, and even had the opportunity to perform – all while interacting with the warm clinicians. What really stood out for me was the vast amount of knowledge and talent present in that single room; I am still in touch with many of the students I met at the program and am happy to have made these amazing alliances!”
After the success of these past two workshops, more such clinics are anticipated for Indian musicians and students in the not so distant future. “We found the overall experience truly rewarding and invigorating, and will explore more ways to support young Indian music talent with music education opportunities in the coming months!” smiles Mash. “The EarthSync Academy works with partners worldwide to make valuable opportunities like this possible in India”, says EarthSync’s Sonya Mazumdar, “We will continue to offer international standard learning opportunities to Indian independent artists as a way to build the creative industry infrastructure in India through quality training, skills development and engagement.”
For more information on the Berklee India Exchange, visit http://academy.earthsync.com/berklee2016