Soundscape of Arattupuzha 🕩

I frequently visited Arattupuzha, a village in southern India, until I was 17 years old to meet my friend Shiraz. We have known each other for over twenty-five years now. I grew up in the nearest village called Karthikappally. The journey took approximately half an hour by bus at that time. I imagine that it would be different now, considering the staggering number of vehicles on the road. Spending time in Arattupuzha was an absolute delight, and the feeling has not changed so much until now. The escape to the countryside reduced the need to constantly feed the intellect with sugar bites in exchange for communion with nature, evoking states of unity.

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Arattupuzha is located in the southernmost part of India in the state of Kerala. Malayalam is the main language spoken by the people of Kerala. It lies in between The Arabic sea and Kayamkulam Lake (National waterway 3). There are numerous opportunities in Arattupuzha to disconnect from the machine-made noises that otherwise engulf the intersections. Escaping completely from anthropomorphic sounds is still a farfetched dream, but one can have a pleasant and relaxing experience with the natural and cultural sounds that exist around this place. We have spent plenty of time as kids, sitting by the lake under coconut trees, listening to the sound of small waves created by the movement of boats. A constant cool breeze added to the charm of this experience, balancing the heat of the sun. Last but not least, fresh tender coconuts were available all around the space. Interestingly, we still seem to do the same thing when I visit him.

Living in different countries, me and Shiraz have been talking lately about our experiences with the soundscape. We discussed the possibility of field recording the disappearing sounds of this landscape due to the construction of new buildings, the addition of numerous motor vehicles on the road, the migration of birds and animals, and the shift of cultural sounds in general. Shiraz decided to record the soundscape of the daily life in Arattupuzha using his mobile telephone. He has tried out different applications and finally settled on one that gives him the possibility to export uncompressed audio formats. Even though the recordings are in mono, they portray the essence of the place and narrate a story by themselves without any words.

The soundscape of Arattupuzha still seems to deliver to me something of the essential quality of this geography, the laid-back lifestyle of the people living there, and the amplified sounds of cultural diversity.

Many thanks to Shiraz for making this effort to record all these tracks and, above all, for his friendship and patience.


NB: Titles are from the perspective of the Recordist

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Birds chirping around a neighbouring house

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“Early morning, clear sky, ((home))”

Dec 14 2021
06.45 hrs

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Approaching a rural temple near Kunnumpuram

Dec 10 2021
12.07 hrs

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Friday prayer at a mosque

Dec 17 2021
13.12 hrs

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A rainy evening

Oct 2021
23.30 hrs

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Frog Chorus

May 13 2021
01.23 hrs

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Group of youth with a Christmas Carol

Dec 21 2021
19.45hrs

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Ayyapa devotees making a pilgrimage walk to Sabarimala

Dec 25 2021
21.58 hrs

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The Nocturnal

Nov 11 2021
21.11 hrs


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