| India Audio Travelogue, Kumbha Mela Project 2001:
by James R. Cobb III.
Originally everyone on the team needed an assignment to help identify their role and to strengthen motivation and group camaraderie. I was to be the Scribe, interpreter of behavior and archivist of stories and incidents of wonder and disbelief. I did indeed keep a meticulous journal of observations and vexations, complete with little sketches and anecdotes of madness, sorrow and inexplicable joy. But my journal quickly became more personal and eccentric than a document for public consumption.
Fortunately, since I am primarily a composer, I was equipped with a minidisc for basic field recording and a microcassette for instant dictation of all my feelings from total exasperation to a bewildering assortment of melodramatic utterances.
What is contained in these short little vignettes are snippets of India combined with my own reactions and some post-production sound design. The larger trajectory of my personal journey from New Delhi to Allahabad to Varanasi to Bodh Gaya to Allahabad to New Delhi to Dharamsala to New Delhi is a different work than what is presented here. The Kumbha Mela was the reason we ventured to the Indian sub-continent and once there, Mother India did her best to protect us while ripping our precious assumptions to shreds. What began as an adventure turned into a pilgrimage. My eternal gratitude to David, Doug and Alex for being strong brothers and comrades on a most enlightening journey.