Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Tuning Tanpura | An unspoken introduction to the Tanpura - learning a sound object's functions through play


Mudam Level 0: East Gallery
Within the framework of the exhibition

Dayanita Singh. Dancing with my Camera

Access to the event

Included in the entrance fee

More information
t +352 453785–531

In the context of Dayanita Singh’s exhibition at Mudam, we invite you for a sonic activation of one of the most recent “museums” created by the artist, the Museum of Tanpura (2021).

For this unprecedented event around this installation, MUDAM invited Rajivan Ayyapan, sound and performance artist, to tune the exhibited tanpura that resides within Singh’s installation and to find the right tone for its voice in this usually otherwise silent space.

A stringed instrument whose form recalls that of the well-known sitar, the tanpura is an essential component of classical Indian music. Used to produce a continuous harmonic drone, it essentially serves as the basis and support of a vocal melody or that of another instrument. If the tanpura is generally relegated to a supporting role, Singh makes it the “lead character” of her installation.

The activation will be followed by a short Q&A at the end.

Rajivan Ayyappan is an independent artist and designer who works with sound. His work primarily involves spatial play around sound. In order to expand the field of materials for such explorations, he chooses live, free improvised performances that are not recorded, alternatively he devotes his time on recorded artworks; sound design, field recording (listening), sculpting and drawing.

His childhood was mostly spent as an apprentice to his father, learning visual arts; he studied south Indian music (vocal and percussion) from four to seventeen years of age. Following his sixth year of visual communication studies at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, his traditional skills and interest in typography, font design as well as his exposure to the visual arts history, set a different passage to his musical direction. He traveled extensively throughout India, absorbing the heterogeneity of Indian sound environments and sound culture.

Recent projects include original music composition for Pont Invisible (2022), sound design, and original compositions for Blast (2020), Undo (2017), and Form of a motion (2018), choreographic pieces by VEDANZA Artists International developed in collaboration with Emanuela Iacopini. AppHuman (2020) and La Dispute de Marivaux (2018), both directed by Sophie Langevin and produced by Grand Theatre and Theatre National Luxembourg, both feature his musical compositions and sound design for the theater. He is also the creator and curator of the Live Room Series (2016–2021), a series of monthly live art events in Luxembourg that allow the general public to see a variety of artists at work in a warm and informal performance setting.

He is presently engaged in a project for TILT Records, an international sound archive.

He is the co-founder of VEDANZA Artists International in Luxembourg where he currently resides and works.

Black and white photo of a person with headphones and a microphone.
Rajivan Ayyappan