Dr Tim O'Brien explains sounds from space as part of Silsila at Jodrell Bank

Oct 01, 2011, 10:03 AM

Artists Tasawar Bashir and Brian Duffy, working with astrophysicist Tim O’Brien, present Silsila, a qawwali-inspired sound installation based on the epic Sufi poem Conference of the Birds, commissioned especially for Asia Triennial Manchester 11. Silsila will be installed at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in the shadow of the world-famous Lovell Radio Telescope.

Researching a wide range of wavelengths, an endless musical algorithm will translate data sourced from stellar events such as, cosmic background noise, star formation, pulsars, solar plasma, and light from galaxy clusters, and combine it with the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, arguably the greatest qawwali singer of the modern era. This installation will further develop ideas from Brian Duffy’s earlier project The Optophonic Lunaphone, a device that changed starlight into music.

Asia Triennial Manchester 11 (ATM11), initiated and led by Shisha, is a festival of visual culture that features a series of exhibitions, commissions and interventions by 40 international and UK artists exploring the theme of Time and Generation, presenting new site-specific work alongside work not seen before in the UK, and challenging stereotypical viewpoints of contemporary Asian artistic practice.

Qawwali is a devotional music inspired by the universal wisdom of Sufi thinkers. Traditionally, the music begins as a vocal drone and raaga and builds steadily to a high energy inducing hypnotic states in the musicians and audience. #ATM11 #cheshire #cosmos #jupiter #music #space #starts #Sufi #qawaali #Silsila #pulsars