Know thy audience

The Guest Post Series onMy Favourite Thingshas contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, photography, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest post is by Srinayan, the infrequent blogger of The Random Walkaround. Srinayan, however, prefers to be known as a lethargic blogger who is long on intent, but somehow falls short on delivery. An engineer by profession, he writes on many topics, but always with sensitive insight and understated humour. Today’s guest post is on something that readers attending classical music performances would be familiar with.

Performing artistes of today — especially classical dancers and musicians — often speak about the necessity to connect with their audiences. The ability to do so decides the difference between recognition (and a healthy bank balance) and obscurity. Audience tastes and receptiveness is no longer taken for granted.

A generation-and more-ago this approach would have been dismissed as pandering to the audience. Concert-goers were generally knowledgeable and came to the performances fully aware of what to expect. A well-known artiste knew that he (or she) had to live up to expectations. A less well-known performer knew that this concert could be another step forward in his (or her) quest for wider recognition. Fulsome praise or damming criticism — the artiste had to be prepared for both.

There would the occasional misstep or the wrong note which made the performance more memorable.

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Travel Shot: The floating church

On that beautiful summer’s evening in 2009, after a day spent exploring London’s Docklands, I came across this near the West India Quay DLR station.

London, Floating Church

St. Peter’s Barge or London’s Floating Church

St. Peter’s Barge claims to be London’s only floating church, but for me it could have been the world’s only as far as I was concerned. For till then I had not seen or come across anything like this and have not till date. :-)

The fine print revealed that the floating church had a crèche for children, personalised prayer service as well as the terms and conditions for hiring the barge for ‘Christian occasions’. I was really disappointed to find no one around as I would have loved to know see more of this church.

Have you ever come across something like this? If yes, please do share your memories and experience in the comments section.

PS: The photograph does not really convey the floating nature of the barge and I apologise for that. When I took the photograph, I had no idea that I would be blogging about it in the future. ;-)

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013

Today was the last day for 2013 edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF). Even as I get ready to publish this post, the handicrafts stalls must be getting dismantled as the area has to be clear for regular traffic by tomorrow morning. The installation and street art too would be dismantled to go where?, I wonder. Most Mumbai-based bloggers have already published posts and photographs on the KGAF 2013. And now, it’s my turn to share my thoughts and perspective on this one-of-a-kind art and cultural festival in Mumbai.

I have been visiting KGAF since its inception and have seen it grow to the extremely popular and iconic event that it has become today. While I enjoy all the events on offer at the KGAF, it is the installation and street art that I look forward to every year. To be honest, I didn’t start as a fan of installation art, but the creativity that is showcased is something that I find it hard to ignore. And this year, the installation art at the 2013 version was a sensory delight.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013 3Bangles, metal wires, insulated wires, plastic bottles, paper, papier-mache, clay, cloth, CDs, assorted hardware from computers, plastic mugs, corrugated cardboard sheets, metal pipes, spectacle frames, coins, photo frames, metal chains, cardboard cartons, plywood, PoP, jute sacks, cane, bamboo, marble, glass bottles, plastic tuns, cars, rickshaws, a bicycle, petrol tanks, dolls, living plants, driftwood … just about every material imaginable was used for the installation art at KGAF 2013. I had a hard time stopping myself from reaching out and touching or climbing onto many of the artworks clearly signposted with “Do not Touch” or Do not Climb”.

And though most of the installation art fit into themes similar to previous years — Mumbai city, social issues (corruption, violence against women, child sexual abuse), broader environmental issues, cinema — there were also those that did not fit into any of the themes and managed to hold their own.

A selection of some of the installations that appealed to me from the KGAF 2013 are given below.

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