Kolkata Soundscapes

Sound Stories

Sound Stories are a way of visualizing the sonic architecture of the city through audio-visual productions. The aim of sound stories is to literally make physical and ambient sound tell its own story amidst the backdrop of specific locations in the city. The mixture of visual architecture, cultural processes and representations of daily life, define the idea of a sound story. Several sounds in themselves come together to constitute a harmonic sequence that defines the city’s soundscape.



[Note: Click on the names of the videos below to follow the sound stories that shape the city.]


hatibaganListening Streetwise 

This video explores the street culture at several market places in the city. This video aims at shows the rapidly changing urban environment in the city. It represents how human beings have unique and common relations with sound, and how sound plays an integral role in informing their sentiments. It is aimed at providing a larger picture of several sonic environments that together come to constitute a soundscape. 


durga pujaDurga Puja Celebrations

This video explores the cultural legacy of the city’s premier festival, the Durga Puja, the sound of the dhaki, or those playing the ritualistic drums have come to symbolise both the appearance of the festival and the moment of celebration. The dhak sound is taken to be an indication that Ma Durga has arrived in the city Several programs are centered around the sound of different symbolic experiences with the sound.


prinsep ghat

Prinsep Ghat Ramblings

This video portrays the acoustic environment in and around Prinsep Ghat. Prinsep Ghat was built in 1841 along the Kolkata bank of the Hoogly river. Prinsep Ghat is one of the oldest recreational spots in the city, and individuals visit it in the evenings or on weekends to go boating on the river, stroll along the bank and purchase food from stalls there. One stall selling ice-cream and fast food has been present for more than 40 years. 


MaidanMaidan: Day Long

This video captures the sonic environment around the large open garden space known as the Maidan. The Maidan (literally open field) also referred as Brigade Parade Ground, is the largest urban park in Kolkata. It is a vast stretch of field and home to numerous play grounds, including the famous cricketing venue Eden Gardens, several football stadia, and Kolkata Race Course.


ratha yatra

 Ratha Yatra 

This video captures one of the most famous festivals from Orissa that takes place in the city. The Ratha Yatra is an Odia festival that involves moving the deities JagannathBalabhadraSubhadra and Sudarshana on aratha or rotho, a wooden deula-shaped chariot). It is widely celebrated in several Indian states. Notable ratha yatras include the Ratha yatra of Puri, the Dhamrai Ratha Yatra and the Ratha Yatra of Mahesh. The festival was originated in Puri, Odisha.