Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Archy and I, a podcast that celebrates sounds

Archy and I is a podcast that celebrates sounds. Sounds that fascinate us, make us cry, surprise us, and above all, give us joy. For instance, did you know that fish can sound like birds? Or that black holes can produce sound?

Each episode of Archy and I is an adventure, instead of traveling across a landscape, we will travel across a soundscape. The soundscapes are happenstance. For example, we may hear a song or a fragment of music. Or, the trees may dance with joy when we go hiking in the woods. More often, someone, a friend or a stranger, will say something that will touch us. It is difficult to anticipate what will capture our attention. As a result, an episodes may last 5 minutes or 15. We often won’t know when the next episode of this podcast will arrive.

The sound quality is everyday – what you typically hear in your everyday spaces, as you walk about your neighborhood, or while you cook or work at your day job or listen to television. Your kid may be demanding attention or your pet may be feeling neurotic. Tracks are recorded using a phone app sitting at a desk or walking about. Original artwork is by Rajni Ahuja – an educator, a home maker, and a mother. Sound snippets are downloaded from Creative Commons sites such as SoundBible and Free Sounds Library.

“Untitled 112” by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. The melody we hear in this piece is a meditation in the woods amidst leaves rustling, water gurgling, birds singing, insects chirping and soft footsteps of fellow hikers.

Introduction: The topline melody

For those of us who live in noisy spaces, like dense cities or live with afflictions like tinnitus, sound quality starts to feel like a precious commodity. I am Somalee. Like 749 million others on this planet, I suffer from tinnitus. I have suffered from tinnitus nearly two decades. It hadn’t really bothered me before. But this year (2022), it started to. So much so that I needed a coping mechanism. Archy and I is the outcome. Archy is my co-host. The partnership, between Archy and I, is an unusual Jugalbandhi. So, stick around and listen to an episode or two or more.

Acknowledgment: Original cover artwork is by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. In the audio, you hear Latché Swing play Django Reinhardt, snippet sourced from Free Music Archive.

Episode 1: Archy, the poet reincarnate, has moved in my ear

This episode introduces Archy, co-host of this series. Archy is curious by nature, poetic and eagerly shares wisdom whether anyone is listening or not. I, on the other hand, am curious, logical and an introvert. Between us, there is no such thing as too much “toujours gai”!

Acknowledgment: Original cover artwork is by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. In the audio, you hear Sir Humphrey Appleby in the BBC sitcom, Yes Minister. He has made us laugh a thousand times. And you hear Dr. Susan David, a Harvard Medical School psychologist in podcast, Meditative Story. She is an inspiration to Somalee’s Archy. You also hear from the 1954 Columbia recording of George Kleinsinger’s “back-alley opera” featuring Eddie Bracken, Carol Channing, and David Wayne. And finally, an excerpt from Shinbone Alley, a 1970 animated musical comedy film.

“Untitled 122” by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. The melody we hear in this piece is that of a vibrant neighborhood – doorbells ringing, temple bells resounding, dogs barking, cats meowing, hawkers peddling their wares, children playing, cars honking and a whole lot more.

Episode 2: Melody is in the ears of the listener

In this episode, Archy, introduces the melody of human voices. Archy says that we can all hear the melody if we take time and try.

Acknowledgement: Original cover artwork is by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. In the audio, you hear the Canadian musician and composer Charles Spearin in the podcast The 11th, The Happiness Project. A short musical excerpt is taken from the trailer of Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr, and is composed by Carl Davis. Finally, you also hear Sam of Somalia, teaching us how to say “How are you?” in the Somali language.

“Untitled 166” by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. In this piece we hear a lonely and sad bird who is losing friends and family to climate change. She wants to sing but she worries that no one is listening.

Episode 3: No two blackholes sound alike

In this episode, Somalee shares her love of starry skies and what it might sound like, if only we could hear.

Acknowledgement: We quote Rutherford from a letter he wrote in a 1908 to his friend Henry A. Bumstead. Source is David Wilson’s book “Rutherford: Simple Genius“. We use an excerpt from Bolero by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) with Paul Paray (1886-1979) conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in early 1953. Sounds of phasers are from TrekCore blog. We use excerpts from Matt Russo’s TED Talk, “What does the universe sound like? A musical tour“.

“Untitled” by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. We see the Milky Way over the Pacific Ocean sitting on the beach by Pigeon Point light house.

Episode 4: Search for Quiet

In this episode, Archy and Somalee share their search for quiet within the everyday spaces.

Acknowledgment: We use excerpt from the KUWO podcast “The quietest place on earth“by Chris Morgan, Ms. Shruthi Veena Vishwanath singing Shunya Gadh Sahar, a Kumar Gandharva’s composition of a poem by Hindu Mystic Gorakhnath, and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing Duma Dum Mast Calendar.

“Untitled 136” by Mrs. Rajni Ahuja. This art makes us think of the California coastal bloom like the Hottentot-fig (Carpobrotus Edulis).

Written by locomotoring

December 13, 2022 at 11:55 pm

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