The Sounds of Kochi: Artist creates music from scrap

Last Updated: Jan 03, 2013, 15:15 PM IST

Kochi: Artist Dylan Martorell has collected scrap in various shapes and colours and assembled them together to produce sounds which are music to the ears.

Curious onlookers at a West Kochi pocket gathered around the Scottish artist who lives in Australia, as the 41-year-old, participating in the art event Kochi-Muziris biennale, began gathering discarded stuff - some of it from the just-concluded New Year Carnival.

At the Vasco da Gama Square off the beach in Fort Kochi, Dylan brought in materials like coconut shells, bricks, stones, bottles, water jar and a plastic basket besides a wheelbarrow.

It then took him a little over half an hour to link them in a way that they turned out to be an improvised robotic percussion drum-kit.

"Once I managed to get my inputs, I knew it was not a tough task," gushed Adelaide-based Dylan, who has a set of similar piece of work exhibited at the Aspinwall House, the main venue of the three-month art event that began on 12/12/12.

Dylan then extended his artistry to a bicycle, which also began producing jingly beats.

Those watching the art unfolding were amused. "I never knew one could do anything of this sort," said Francis Peter, a small-time electrician.

Dylan repeated the work - though with another set of materials - at the local Pachalam Ground and would perform at three other places today.

Dylan`s earlier set of exhibits in three small rooms of Aspinwall has already become a big hit among the visitors.

"As I looked through the rooms, I noticed small musical motifs, a whistle on a string, a small statue of Krishna playing an invisible flute, a decaying notebook with a drum-kit on the cover," he trails off, revealing the story behind the work.

"They looked like the old servants` quarters - and suggested the possibility of creating a series of distinct personal spaces."

Over the next two weeks, Dylan worked with the space and the various materials and sounds collected onsite at Aspinwall to create a series of experiments using the praxis of music/sound and installation. He titled it `The Sounds of Kochi`.

The work includes a touch-based multi-user instrument which contains a series of small suspended and floor based objects which when touched "release the hidden sounds of Cochin life".