Conscient Podcast, Episode 52: Mahtani – listening & connecting

Schryer ( Claude Schryer )
Mahtani ( Annie Mahtani )
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Dr. Annie Mahtani is an electroacoustic composer, sound artist and performer working and living in Birmingham (UK). She studied with Jonty Harrison at master’s and doctoral level at the University of Birmingham, completing her PhD in 2008. Annie’s output encompasses electronic music composition from acousmatic music to free improvisation. As a collaborator, Annie Mahtani has worked extensively with dance and theatre, and on site-specific installations. With a strong interest in field recording, her work often explores the inherent sonic nature and identity of environmental sound, amplifying sonic characteristics that are not normally audible to the naked ear. Annie is a Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham and is co-director of SOUNDkitchen, a Birmingham-based collective of curators, producers and performers of live electronic music and sound art.

I first met Annie at The Global Composition gathering in Dieburg, Germany (with thanks to organizer Sabine Breitsameter) where she presented some of her audio work and ideas on soundwalking and technology. 2 years later I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on Reality, Extinction, Grief and Art at the BEAST FeAST 2021: Recalibration on April 23, 2021 in Birmingham (via Zoom), which explored greater appreciation of the environment, reconnection with the environment and deeper awareness of human effects on the environment.

This workshop with 30 or so audio artists from around the world had a profound affect me. It helped me understand some of the issues my community of audio artists were facing and reminded me of the burden placed on young people as they inherit this troubled world. I also appreciated their guarded optimism and resilience. One participant suggested that, given the climate emergency, maybe all music should be acoustic ecology (the study of the acoustic environment as a whole as opposed to only the art of music) from now on. Maybe…  
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