CTM 2023: We Found Our Own Reality – Poulomi Desai, Suren Seneviratne

This concert places into dialogue two improvisational musicians from the British South Asian diaspora, that expand their practice with a range of conventional and unconventional devices.

Poulomi Desai is a queer musician, artist, curator and activist with South Asian roots, born in Hackney, London. Desai will give an improvised concert using a modified sitar with a range of exploratory devices such as modified cassette decks, circuit bent toys, optokinetic instruments, kitchen knives,  and massage tools. Her sitar forms the basis for her sonic improvisation, and is a conscious response to the idea of »authenticity,« seeking to break the expectations of how a »sacred« instrument should be played, and the assumptions made upon the identity of the player herself. It is an allegorical antidote to the objectification of the »South Asian woman's body« in Bollywood cinema / popular culture and, in a broader sense, affirming her personal manifesto of noise as protest.

The Sri Lankan British artist Suren Seneviratne has, for the last decade, explored experimental sound and moving image through an unconventional DIY lens. He works with an ever-growing arsenal of tools and processes that include cassette tape, circuit-bent electronics, and glitch. In his various guises, he has performed at institutions such as Tate Modern, V&A Museum, Boiler Room, and Resonance FM. He is currently scoring a feature-length documentary due for release in early 2023.

This concert takes place within the framework of We Found Our Own Reality, an multi-modal project that examines the cultural, political, and post-colonial echoes of South Asia’s avant-garde sonic pioneers, proposing an alternative reading of Modernist history that weaves together threads of the past with speculations of the future.

More info

Sunday, January 29
Doors: 6 pm / Start: 7 pm


CTM Festival and the “We Found Our Own Reality” programme are funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. With the kind support of British Council.