A familiar noise

Shahbaz Amin Bhuiyan | Published: February 01, 2018 00:54:11 | Updated: February 01, 2018 22:35:34


Organisers (left) and participants (right) at the event of Dhaka Noise Project 2017 held at EMK Centre, Dhaka

It is widely known that Dhaka is one of the noisiest cities in the world. The unpleasant noises from vehicles, industries and construction sites which fill up the city are a constant source of disturbance.

The residents of this city have grown quite accustomed to this noise. However, the perception of these noises changed when three inspired individuals who share an intimate interest in music joined to create the Dhaka Noise Project to make sense of all these noises.

The Dhaka Noise Project came from the minds of three music composers-- B Regiment, Moon Struck and After Art. Then Akaliko Records were brought on broad, the only label that focuses on Bangladeshi experimental music.

In the first year of Dhaka Noise Project (2016), the three composers used sound samples from all around Dhaka for alternative music creation and came up with three tracks.

The project was met with a lot of positive enthusiasm and support from platforms such as EMK and JatraBiroti. And 2016 was followed up by Dhaka Noise Project (DNP) 2017 EP launch which took place at the EMK centre on December 30, 2017.

A common sample set of noises from Dhaka city were given to 12 handpicked artists to interpret Dhaka with these noises. From there five composers and their tracks were chosen to represent Dhaka city. These composers presented their compositions and discussed their thought process in creating them, the production process, and ultimately, the aspect of Dhaka they were trying to reflect followed by a Q&A session.

One of the main objectives of DNP is to create a platform for composers who make experimental music and be an engine for the creation of experimental music.

DNP is like a breath of fresh air in the music scene as it provides local artists with national and international exposure along with the valuable support of a label which they were previously unable to acquire. This, in turn, will provide the necessary encouragement for experimental electronic musicians to come out onto limelight. DNP receives no external funding. The project has been designed in such a way that the artists can get remunerations for their contribution to the album. They are also getting the valuable support of a label, Akaliko Records.

Dhaka Noise Project is designed to be an annual undertaking where the new tracks will be produced by new composers every year. The EP from the two previous years will be released by the end of February 2018. It will be available on 25+ major international music downloading and streaming portals including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Beatport, etc. The music will be distributed through Akaliko Records. Next year, filmmakers and film-making based on the music tracks of Dhaka Noise Project will be a big part of the theme.

This year, Dhaka Noise Project and Akaliko has been selected as the homegrown sound art project for the Dhaka Art Summit which starts on February 02.

The writer is a final year student of BBA programme at IBA, University of Dhaka; Email: shahbazaminbhuiyan@gmail.com

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