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Street percussion sounds  

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Vrindavan riverside, street sounds  

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Includes singing, clapping women.  

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Motorcycle approach, departure  

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Interview 1:16:50 - 1:27:03 Play 1:16:50 - More
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Raoul Goff, Alex Chadwick  

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Preservation/conservation discussion.  

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Sound Effects 1:29:36 - 1:42:16 Play 1:29:36 - More
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Vrindavan street sounds  

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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
5 Nov 2003

    Geography
  • India
    Uttar Pradesh
    Locality
  • Vrindavan
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.58389   77.7019
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D8
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
  • Sennheiser MKH 50
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Decoded MS stereo, subjects 1-3, 5-6. Split track with MKH50/40, subject 4.

Show: Geography of Heaven
Log of DAT #: 7
Engineer: Flawn Williams
Date: November 2003

DAT 07:
MS. Pick up Weds morning Nov 5 along parikoram circuit, just after big drum jam. Continue to river. Distant bathing sounds, then hire boat and cross river, great bathing sounds, singing, and swimming. Cross back to town, climb long interior stairwell to rooftop of Raoul's temple. Switch to 50/40 split miking, interview Raoul, then ambias of distant river, general town, green parrots, hogs fighting dogs. 1 hr 43 mins.

DAT 07: Starts out MS miking, changes later. Pick up Weds morning Nov 5 along parikoram circuit walk near the Jamuna river, just after big drum jam. 00000 Drum jam mid-distant, from nearby alley. Nice sense of space. Interrupted by Flawn slating tape.
00100 Get closer, but still out in alley, nice rebound from nearby buildings.
00155 ***** Gradually shift positions, get closer
00255 moving again, more distant, shifts across image right to left
00330 jam comes to a conclusion with a mad minute ending to 00357
00400 quiet outdoor ambi with single man's voice praying or chanting
"Hare Krishna" etc
00445 handling noise
00545 sweeping, footsteps, monkey sounds in distance, city ambi
00645 ***** bucket clanking nearby, distant monkey, mid distant dog, water spigot pouring sound, we're walking the trail again headed for downtown and the riverbank.
00723 ***** close barking dogs
00800 water sounds, recorded music pass by
00837 ***** agitated monkey nearby over recorded music
00943 ***** good single cow sound in quiet ambi
01010 ***** walking sounds, kid voice, other voices
01055 ***** bird sounds with distant recorded music and walking ambi
01200 close pass of recorded music
01240 ***** agitated bird sounds close, recorded music in distance
01500 ***** close pass live percussion procession with live vocalist singing through megaphone, biker bells and Hallos, sweeping
01610 long stretch fairly quiet ambi
01800 truck beeps and passes
01840 ***** gentle water sound foreground left, distant music right
02000 young boy says Hello into mike
02020 ***** spilling water spigot sound, harmonium music in distance
02050 ***** distant women's group singing acapella at riverside, comes closer, active concession area sounds at river's side, singers in left, concessions in right
02200 ***** handling noise, motorbike stops up BIG, departs, bucket clank
02330 distant dogs, close woman asking alms
02500 voices pass us
02548 go to high gain, riverside ambiance, women in distance (other side of river) singing in center of image, other activity off to left and right
02643 reset volume, handling noise
02730 ***** rapid flowing water (sewer outflow?), stationary perspective for a while, then change position, then move on
02920 footsteps in passageway under buildings at river's edge
03020 voices at river's edge, some singing, washing cloth sound
03120 ***** stable perspective, splashing cloth and voices at riverside, man trying to get us onto boat, agitated monkeys and dogs in background, sweeping
03350 ***** much closer cloth washing sound with background singing women and other riverside hubbub
03550 ***** even stronger rhythmic washing sounds, monkey squall in background
03620 change position, more monkey squalls
03655 ***** man nearby says clearly, "Hare Krishna Haribo"
03715 ***** board a boat, out onto river, close water rowing sounds, voices on city side of river recede as we head for other shore
03820 ***** boatman shouts to his friend, keeps rowing
03840***** kids and singing women's voices as we near the far embankment
03955***** kids splashing in river, man's voice, small brass bell tinkles insistently, distant women singing
04130***** getting closer to women, change gain, momentary shutdown
04150***** we land the boat, more women singing center, men's voices off to right, sounds of stowing oars
04400***** Flawn is moving, singers get more distant, pick up some water washing sounds, birds, a bit of motor noise from far bank
04420***** good splashing, women's speaking voices, no singing, active scene

04505***** close washing, then women singing starts up clean and close
04650***** good woman laugh with singing and washing, occasional men's voices in right channel
04720***** song changes to call and response chant, washing continues
04750***** new song starts, get farther from women, moving, still washing sounds too
04940 handling noise, change position, closer to man's chanting voice for a moment
05020 ***** less active for a short time, then bell from across the river, new women's song starts up closer in right channel with clapping
05200***** get very close to singing and clapping women, including one tone deaf one (song ends each short verse with a shouted Radhe!)
05450***** moving slightly, still close to singing women
05520***** song ends, another starts almost immediately, man's spoken voice trying to get attention amid the singing women
05630***** leave circle of women, Alex gets on-mike for standup:
05650 ***** AC: We've just come upon about two dozen women, just at the bank of the river. They're all in a circle around a little kind of altar that they've made with some sacrifices, they're dancing and completely joyous.
05720 (quiet ambi tail after standup)
05815***** two kids and Dad splashing happily in river
05845 distant women start singing again, some handling noise here
05935***** get close to singing women again, some standing in water, a few great character voices,
10030 ***** singing stops, cloth wringing sounds, animated women's speaking voices in distance
10200***** closer speaking women's voices, laughter, someone calling Flawn from boat?
10250***** quieter ambi, good closeup water pouring sounds, small pot emptying back into river, dripping, splashing, wading, more pouring, voices
10430 male voice: only sound? Picture no? only sound?
10455 getting back onto boat, oars clank, voices continue
10520***** rowing sound as we leave beach, back out into river, voices more distant, bell clangs from other bank (city side), rowing sounds continue, dog bark in distance, rower sings a bit solo male voice as he rows
10700 more rowing and rower singing, bells from other bank
10730 disembark, climb onto stone steps at water's edge, distant dogs, distant parrot, men's voices
10850 open metal gate, more dogs bark in mid distance
10940 ***** climb long interior stairwell to rooftop of Raoul's temple
11100 arrive at rooftop level, out into great open space. Handling noise, CJ & FW chat
11200 ***** boost gain for ambi. Distant pickup of women across river (same group we were just with) singing. Dogs bark, pigeon flaps away, bells ring, kids play in street, all distant but nice bed.
11400 ***** parrots squawk overhead, singing and bells continue
11445 CJ says we'll be talking to Raoul. Reposition, change mikes.
11600 Switch to 50/40 split miking,
11717 AC interviews Raoul Goff [RG], Director of EarthAware, aka Ram Dass

(JR LOGGING BEGINS)

(1:17:15) AC: Ah, Well, begin this interview the way we begin every interview at least when I remember to do this. Just say who you are and how you want to be identified.

(1:17:25) RG: Ok. My name is Raoul Goff, and I¿m a director of EarthAware, which is our non-profit organization that¿s restoring this building.

(1:17:36) AC: You also have another name that I¿ve heard, people, there is a second name, Ahh¿

(1:17:42) RG: Yes, I have a spiritual name, that, and that is Ram Das, and that is a name that my teacher gave me who is here from India.

(1:17:52) AC: Can you just tell me about this building? We are here on the roof above the river.

(1:18:00) RG: This is known as Pandavali Kuntch, and this place where we are is called Kayshigot, and Kayshigot is a very famous holy place in Vrindhavan and it¿s the place where Krishna killed the Kayshe demon, which, um, resides under the waters here, and just adjacent to us is a very famous temple it is over 500 years old called Jugukeyshur, which is a beautiful temple that was built in honor of Krishna and there was once a deity who resided here that was worshipped here at that time.

(1:18:41) AC: When did you get this building and why did you get it?

(1:18:45) RG: We were able to acquire this building about 7 years ago, and it was in a great state of disrepair. It is one of the landmarks of Vrindhavan because it¿s the Got, and the got means a bathing place with stairs that go into the river. And this is the original entrance to the city because people would come here by boat, and the building had been inhabited by rickshaw wallas and just a general hang-out and um it was being destroyed basically, and so we thought, what a wonderful place to have project that educated people about Vrindhavan and its history, and could also act as a type of an environmental education center for the issues that are going on in Vrindhavan.

(1:19:45) AC: What are your plans for it?

(1:19:47) RG: We plan to make a museum about the history of Vrindhavan and how it has come to life, and also to have an environmental education center where we can educate local people as well as visitors from abroad about the issues in Vrindhavan in regard to trees and to trash and give them some alternatives and also make this a gathering place where people can organize themselves and do environmental projects.

(1:20:23) AC: It is a big commitment for someone to try to do something like that, get a building, a historic building that is in a state of disrepair, try to bring it back and use it as a center to reach out to people. What is it that prompts you to, why is it that you do that?

(120:47) RG: Well, partially because I feel very strongly about preserving culture and environment and this was an opportunity in a place where it is such an important part of the city to be preserved. Much of the city has developed in different areas, and the old part of town you know with all the beautiful old temples and all the beautiful places of pilgrimage that everybody values so much are gradually being lost. So, I¿ve been coming here for over 20 years, so I was inspired to do my part and try to take piece of this great place and preserve it.

(1:21:40) AC: When do you have a, when do you think you are going to get all that done, or is that not a, is that a sort of an endless thing?

(1:21:52) Well, it¿s a long-term project because restoration takes a lot longer than just building a building. We¿ve had to get experts from different parts of the country to give us advice on how to preserve the original lime mortar that this building is constructed with which has a longer life-span than cement, but is becoming a lost art, because cement is easier to use and it¿s a quick fix for these kind of situations. But to preserve the integrity of the building, um, you have top use lime, the lime has to be cured, and then it is mixed with straw and gore, which is a type of sugar, and different elements, and put together in a recipe and that lasts a long time, and I think it reaches it¿s maximum strength in about 100 years and it lasts for several hundred years, where as cement has a total lifespan of 70 80 years.

(1:22:55) AC: It sound like you learning things here beyond Krishna and Consciousness, you are learning sort of ancient business trades as well.

(1:23:04) RG: Well, it is an interesting aspect of the culture, much of it is, was done with natural elements and there is a lot meaning to everything, the building, how all the doorways are situated how all the windows are situated how everything is constructed is all according to an ancient science which is called Vastu. I guess a popular western equivalent would be Fung Shui. But Vastu is the Indian system of architecture, and design and aesthetics. So a lot of these buildings that we are seeing are all done with those types of strict parameters. So you do learn a tremendous amount about the culture just from the way things are built and decorated.

(1:24:00) AC: Ah I¿m actually struck by that just from the short time I¿ve been in the city. The architecture is distinctive that is it¿s unlike anything else I have seen anywhere else in the world. There are elements of kind of Moorish flavor, there are arches, columns, but the colors, the whole effect, the feeling, it¿s unlike anything else.

(1:24:26) RG: It¿s like a big festival and one of the beautiful things about this culture is throughout the year and there¿s six seasons and within each of those seasons there¿s different celebrations going on, celebrating things that happened here thousands of years ago that pilgrims from all over India come and at different times of the year come and do pilgrimage. So, hundreds of years ago when this, this part of the town was really built up, ah, the different kings from all the different parts of India all built temples and summer palaces and different buildings here so that is why you get such an unusual variety of architecture here there is architecture from South India, from the east, from the north, so you have quite a diverse architecture in Vrindhavan.

(1:25:43) Carolyn Jensen: Ah, could you just ask him this particular time that we are here Kartika as long as he is talking about seasons, festival.

(1:25:59) AC: Can you tell us about this season, the season when we are here, it is early November.

(1:26:03) RG: Yes, this is, we¿re just ending the season known as Kartik (sp) in the Indian calendar, or the month of Damadar (sp). This is the most holy month in the Indian calendar, and pilgrims will come to Vrindhavan to celebrate this month, and there are many different holy days throughout this month. Goverdhan Puja (sp) which is the worship of Goverdhan Hill, leading up to the full moon which is called Rashpur Nima (sp). Purnima means full moon, and there is a big celebration on that day, celebrating Rada and Krishna and the Gopees (sp) dancing in the full moonlight in the Rasa (sp) dance, which is a very sacred part of the culture here, and throughout this month different holy days all celebrated here.

AC and FW and RG talking about interviewing.

(JR LOGGING ENDS)

12750 switch back to MS stereo for ambiances, FW slates location
12830 ***** ambi kids playing in street, parrots squawk, motorbike in distance, quick exciting altercation between a dog and a hog
13000 handling noise, switch to high gain
13040 ***** more rooftop ambi: parrots, kids' voices, good general ambi
13150 handling noise as position changing
13230 ***** distant voices and splashing in river from rooftop, parrots squawk
13410 CJ and FW chat
13530 ***** more rooftop distant ambi, voices at river, parrots, pigeon coos, dog bark, very distant amplified singing from downtown
13740 ***** closer parrots, pigeons take wing, distant ambis continue
13845 ***** dog barks twice, splashing sounds continue in distance
14000 distant city ambiance, needs bass filtering
14110 wind noise in zeppelin, ambi from west (windward) side of rooftop
14215 slate, change tape, FW and CJ chat about river scene recording
14310 end

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