On November 17, 2010 I depart for India for a 9 month Fulbright assignment to Kolkata and Ahmedabad.  My project, entitled “Music & Arts Integration: Empowering Youth in Kolkata and Ahmedabad” is designed to reflect and build upon my 7 years of work at Project Ahimsa.

The project schedule is shaping up nicely, full of new collaborations and travel to parts of India that I haven’t been before. I am most excited about having a large canvas time to really develop strong relationships with the children I plan to be working with.  I also intend to dedicate solid time for in-depth tabla study, practice, and recording. Collaborations with MC Yogi, JBoogie, Bandish Projekt, Eric Fraser, and many others are in the works. I’ll be updating my blog regularly from the field: www.tablapusher.com/blog.

I arrive in Delhi for 5 days of orientation, after which I will be in Kolkata. I’ll be staying near Lake Avenue, in the Southern part of Kolkata, very close to many great artists including my tabla Guru, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. The ITC Sangeet Research Academy will be my primary academic base while in India. I’ll also be making an introductory 10 day visit to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, to seed project work on a global dance/drama production with children there. Special regional project visits to Kathmandu, Chennai, Jaipur and Goa are already planned for March and April, 2011. Specific NGOs where I will be working with children are:

Blind School for Children (Gandhinagar, Gujarat)
Manav Sadhna / Mahatma Gandhi Ashram(Ahmedabad, Gujarat)
Mentaid(Kolkata, Bengal)
Disha Foundation (Kolkata, Bengal)
Prabartak Orphanage for Mentally Handicapped (Kolkata, Bengal)
Rehabilitation Clinic for Children Orthopedic Hospital (Kolkata, Bengal)

How You Can Help: I am grateful to  Project Ahimsa, Flavor Group and a wide range of individual donors who have contributed to helping me with uch needed equipment purchases including updated music recording software for my MacBook Pro, an Akai 1000 sampler, microphones, HD video cameras, lenses, and a digital projector. Additional support for recording and production equipment is still needed. If you are interested in supporting my journey, please contact me at robin@astralaudio.com. Also, please contact me if you would like to visit me on-site in India during my time there