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From the very beginning, music has been an important part of Auroville life.
From acoustic to amplified, we have always enjoyed a rich variety of music made and performed within the community. Such performances have included intimate chamber music recitals, concerts for choir and orchestra, classical singing, jazz and bossa nova concerts, rock shows for dancing audiences, and informal jazz café evenings.

Acoustic music

Over the years Auroville has been the recipient of many acoustic performances. At present the Auroville Choir and the Children's Choir perform 2 to 3 times a year with a total membership exceeding 65 of various nationalities. Programmes have included pieces of different styles and in many languages performed both accompanied and à Capella. The choir has recorded two CDs of their performances. Auroville is also home to several musicians (pianists, violinists, cellists, flutists, etc.) who often perform classical pieces. Some of these musicians are also composers. Other successful projects have included a Children's Opera, written, composed and performed by Aurovilians, as well as a joint presentation by the Auroville choirs and orchestra of a composition specially MADE for New Year's Eve 2000. Guest musicians and music teachers have enriched Auroville's cultural life with their performances and workshops.

Amplified and electronic music

Auroville hosts a rich variety of bands and ensembles that use amplified and electric musical equipment. From as diverse fields as pop, rock, jazz, funk and folk, such bands have long since contributed a significant part of the entertainment within the community. Band performances have included Rock shows such as 'A Blast from the Past', and 'Shireen', playing their own compositions. Jazz bands such as 'Vibration Society' have delighted audiences with their mixture of jazz and Indian music, and Bossa Nova has been represented by the show 'Coisas da Bossa'. 'Osmose' and 'Paysans' are bands of young artists, playing original rock compositions. All the above bands have recorded CDs of their performances as part of their research. Solo performers and improvised music are regular features of the Jazz Café Evenings. Furthermore many guest musicians and bands from India and abroad have performed in Auroville, enriching our cultural experience.

Performing spaces

Although Auroville does not have a space specifically designed for music, a number of locations are consistently favoured. The most popular for musicians and spectators alike is the Visitor's Centre, which provides an uncovered stage area with spacious outdoor seating. Other places frequently used include the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium and the Coffee Shop on the Solar Kitchen roof. An appropriate performing space, covered to protect musicians, equipment and audiences from the weather, as well as providing an adequate dance floor, is terribly missing. Often performances have to be cancelled due to inclement weather.

Research and practice spaces

In recent years a number of privately constructed spaces have been developed within Auroville, usually in someone's home. A single shared facility is currently available to all musicians. It is a renovated basement located in Kalabhumi, an area in Auroville's Cultural Zone devoted to the arts, providing basic items of equipment such as a drum set, various amplifiers, stands and microphones. The room is used every day by a large number of individuals, bands and groups. It is, however, not properly ventilated, and insufficient for the number of musicians and bands currently active in Auroville. Most of the equipment in this space is old and constantly in need of repair.
Proper rehearsal facilities with rooms of different sizes to accommodate the needs of individuals and groups are needed. These facilities should include sound-proof rooms, lockers for instruments and materials, basic equipment such as drum kit, amplifiers, microphones, stands, cassette/CD player, keyboard, etc. As part of their practice, musicians often record their work in progress, and the final product (a performance). Currently there is no recording studio generally available to musicians in Auroville.

Educational facilities

There are several musicians in Auroville who also teach music. Mostly this happens in their own home as there is no appropriate space for music classes in Auroville. It is necessary to have adequate classrooms to accommodate various groups of people involved in teaching and learning theoretical music. Spaces should be properly equipped. For the teaching of music instruments and voice training, the rooms should be sound-proof and include appropriate equipment.

Auroville is home to a rich variety of musicians, acoustic and electronic. We have solo artists, bands, ensembles, choirs, an orchestra, etc. We also regularly host a wealth of guest musicians who share their talent -and often their knowledge- with us. Such guests include composers, conductors and artists from the U.S.A., Holland, Belgium, Brazil, etc. Facilities to hold workshops and for extra rehearsals to take advantage of this pool of talent are limited to Pitanga Hall, which is already overbooked with activities. Comprehensive musical training is not yet available in Auroville. Meanwhile, we must also not forget the associated sciences of acoustics, sound engineering, recording and editing, essential for a complete musical performance, for which training is limited and access is available to a few individuals only.

A lot still needs to be done..

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