Mumbai, India

Yes, we reached India. After a really crazy last weekend, packed with all together five flights and endless car and cab transfers in 60 hours and two shows in very opposite places in Europe, we jumped on a plane to Mumbai early Monday morning and arrived in Mumbai late at night.  We grabbed a cab and left to the hotel someplace in a city I have never been to (I have never been to India in the first place).

The first thing that hit us was the unimaginable poverty in every corner. As we later learned, one passes endless slums before reaching the more central areas of the city (which, for the most parts, has at least as many people living in the streets). It is unknown how many people actually live in Mumbai, since there are is an estimate of a few million people far far below the poverty line, unregistered, living in some corners in the streets, sleeping on nothing or a piece of cardboard.

I knew that the situation for the vast majority of the population here is bad. But it’s always a huge difference to witness and experience something like this with your own eyes.

To see all of this, this dilapidated infrastructure of a city which falls apart in every corner, yet still has so much beauty, is hard to bare. I am aware of the endless privilege I have as somebody that can live out his dream, gets to travel and perform in all these places, can make music and art and even release/ show it (while people even take interest in it), but all of this is put in a very different context when seeing millions of people living in conditions like this (and I am aware, there are much worse places on this planet). This trip will leave quite a dent in my reception of reality, that much I can already say after less than 48 hours in this place.

But enough talking. Besides many many other things, this city also has an unmatched sound and a noise level that is hard to take for somebody that is used to, well, calmer environments, and also as somebody that is quite sensitive to his auditive environment.

The first day, we just walked around in the city and the surrounding of our hotel, which is close to the Victoria Central Station. The building is beautiful, and the amount of people passing through it incredible. There are endless fans dangling off the ceiling, which create a permanent hum, which is static and not static at the same time. Also, they create so much wind that they actually create interferences with the microphones (which sounds like recording in stormy weather).


But listen here for yourself!

The streets are crazy loud and busy. This is a little bit what they sound like. If you want to emulate the experience, play it really really loud…

The next day we were passing through the Mumbai Art Academy, which is actually right across the street from our hotel.


The old and very rotten buildings are located inside a very beaten up park which is mostly inhabited by crows and lots of other birds. It certainly has a very uniques sound to it…

Here is the sound clipping from the gardens

Amidst all of this, we found a little building with the name “Canteen” on it, and it even looked like it was still used as one. There was one painting on the wall that i really loved:


And this is how the canteen sounded like

On Friday, we will play here in Mumbai in a club called “Blue Frog”, and on Saturday we are off to New Delhi, where we will give a concert in the gardens of the New Delhi Goethe Institute, where we will also give a lecture and workshop on Monday.

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