Spirited Magazine and Joey Asal Closing Reception/Party

Hey all, wanted to let you know of a closing reception tonight in the Fort Point area downtown. Art, photography, fashion and film from the new boston fashion+art culture magazine Spirited will be exhibited as well as the recent assemblage installation by artist Joey Asal and electronic composition by Kawandeep Virdee.

Continue reading “Spirited Magazine and Joey Asal Closing Reception/Party”


We want to provide a space for local electronic musicians and multimedia artists to create uplifting collective experiences and engage the community.

Lets get together for a night of music, meeting, and visceral sonic electronic experiences.  We want to create a space for people playing with drum machines, synthesizers, digital formats, mixing, and everything inbetween to share their work and engage the community.  Something incredible is bubbling within electronic music–> the potential to engage a group to create an incredible collective experience.  Musicians are creating uplifting music that you can’t help but get excited about.

[from musica elettronica viva]

We are making the first steps now toward an actively revolutionary music, a music which will not be an instrument of ruling-class “culture”… but rather a force in the hands of the people, a special language belonging to everybody. When this happens, the “concert” will come to resemble other liberated forms such as the party or the day off.

WHIRL is a multimedia event to quench our desire for beautiful works of art in any medium and ecstatic electronic experiences produced by local artists.  Its something we can do together.  Contactwhichlight(take this out) at gmail(and this) dot com if you have any questions or would like to help out. thanks <3!

Past WHIRLing
at FIGMENT June 4-5, 2011

Collaboration with Dorkbot Boston

6-9 pm Tuesday, May 17th 2011, at Middlesex Lounge in Central Square, FREE

April 22nd at the Lilypad in Inman Square.

whirl flyer

Tentative artists and performers:

INTERACTIVE ART by Russell McClellan, Ben Lacker, Eric Rosenbaum, Jay Silver, Paul Feitzinger, Michael Dewberry, Will Whelan


PL: Rut Roh

DJs: Sleepyhead, Pajaritos

Performances by Pancake, Crista Galli, and plastic color// math magic on Saturday, September the 11th at the   Lilypad in Inman Square after the art installation and opening by Bill Imbrogna.

A live set from the evening
Latest tracks by Crista Galli

Continue reading “WHIRL”

Moment of Clarity

An experimental electronic piece created using a recovered sample of the oldest recorded sound, 150 years old. Awarded first prize at the LAC2010 conference in Utrecht.

[audio: http://whichlight.com/audio/%20moment%20of%20clarity%203.wav]

Listen here if the above player doesn’t work

This piece was created for the 2010 Linux Audio Conference composition competition. The theme is 150 years of recording sound, to mark the anniversary of the oldest reproduced sound fragment “Au Claire de la Lune” dated from 1860:

The original 150-year old “Au Claire de la Lune” sample, found at www.firstsounds.org/sounds/scott.php can be used as a starting point… For the composition process the use of Linux and/or open source applications is strongly encouraged and appreciated.

The composition must be accompanied by a (short) description of the work and the use of software technology.

In Moment of Clarity, I sample the 150 year old recording and create a composition based on the narrative of experimentation, exploration and discovery.

Initially hearing the sample I thought to remove the noise, at which point I realized that the noise is an essential aspect of the recording, giving it history and character.  In the piece I explore reframing the noise of the sample, i.e. as a percussive sound, or a texture.

The manipulations of the sample were written in Super Collider, and the mixing was done in Audacity.  Both pieces of software are available for free download and are open source. I thought about what compositional tools were available with the open source software that would be much more difficult to achieve, with as much freedom, in commercial software.  I found this an exciting opportunity to explore open source music apps, and push myself to learn something new.

I followed a similar stereo sound particle theme that I explored with virtual hardware in emergence_voice and live analog synths the guests/ a vision/ to this river .  In this case I was able to execute the randomness and repetition of the particles through code, rather than twisting knobs live through software or hardware.  This allowed me to slice up the sample and collage it on a larger scale, and immediately feel what differences slight parameter shifts made.

The 2010 Linux Audio Conference will be held in Utrecht from May 1st through 4th.

update: Moment of Clarity was awarded first prize in the Linux Audio Conference composition competition.  The following is an except from what the jury from FirstSounds.org (who provided the audio sample) had to say

“I’m impressed with the distinctively percussive use the composition by Kawandeep Virdee makes of the source material. It is quite effective, and very different from the strategies found in other creative works I’ve heard using phonautogram samples, so it rates highly in terms of originality. Despite the thorough transformation of the sample, it still retains enough of its original timbral character — the “noisiness” — for the source to be recognizable and meaningful.”

imm la ti on: argue/eusocial

An electronic composition inspired by “Come Out” by Steve Reich. Accompanying film added afterward.

The electronic composition was created in 2008 for an assignment to create a piece in response to “Come Out” by Steve Reich.  I used an ARP 2600 and a vocal recording.  I was initially inspired by a passage in the book Shantaram that described so perfectly a moment during an argument between lovers.  It is a phase transition that occurs when one lover speaks words that convey exhaustion and defeat but not caring, and the other lover shifts from anger to an apologetic sadness.  I was thinking of those words,  and more importantly how they are spoken.

The film piece was created after.  In choosing the visuals I imagined forms which give a sense of movement and energy, yet are contained.  For me, those are the forms which many of the sounds in this piece evoked. I used old documentary footage from the Prelinger Archives.

imm la ti on: argue/eusocial from Kawandeep Virdee on Vimeo.

The electronic composition was featured in the GW Hatchet, and the video piece was featured in the GW Art Gala on March 28th 2008 in the E-Street City View Room.

The guests did not…/a vision of…/to this river…

A three part electronic composition created as a multi-speaker installation and interactive performance

Full Title: the guests did not care anyway/ a vision of ultimate cunt and come/ to this river, to this song of a thousand voices

This three part electronic composition was created as a multi-speaker installation and interactive performance for Electronic and Computer Music in 2008.  The piece contains eight unique simultaneous tracks, and the following is a mix onto stereo left and right.

[audio: http://whichlight.com/audio/the%20guests%20did%20not%20care%20anyway%3b%20a%20vision%20of%20ultimate%20cunt%20and%20come%3b%20to%20this%20river,%20to%20this%20song%20of%20a%20thousand%20voices.mp3]


With respect to content,  I wanted to make it a retrospective piece, as it was my final performance in university.  The title comes from quotes from three books that coincided with phases and experiences in my development while at school.  The first part is from The Fountainhead, the second is from Howl, and the third is from Siddharta.

The composition is made up of eight tracks to be played simultaneously from different sources.  Form wise, I wanted to make a piece of music that one could actively explore in a space.  I wanted people to wander through a room and hear something different wherever they are. This piece was created for eight speakers, which were placed around the Dorothy Betts theater in GWU, surrounding the audience.


It was the last performance of the evening and the audience was invited to get up and wander around.  From behind the stage metal was struck during the first part and a red light filled the auditorium.  In the second part, the lights turned blue and an acoustic guitar player sat among the audience seating.  Glowsticks were handed out in a previous performance during the night, and they glowed as audience members wanders the aisles, the stage, or the seats.  For the drum part a synthesizer was played live alongside the speakers. In the final part a group of audience members settled sitting facing each other in a circle in the center of the stage.


I am very grateful to those who collaborated and provided support during the piece

Recorded Performers: Karinne’ Hovnanian, Kiran Sarabu, Roshini Mahtani, William Gibb

Live Acoustic Guitar: Jeff Lamoureux

Speakers, setup, and guidance: Steve Hilmy

This was performed on May 1st 2008 as the final piece in the 2008 Electronic and Computer Music Concert in the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre in Washington D.C.

Fairy Tales

An exploration of how meaning is formed through imagination and narrative by composing an album of fairy tales.

meme : fairy tales

1. a fairy is born

2. the straw, the coal, and the bean

Based on the German fairy tale documented by the Brother’s Grimm

3. father frost

Based on the Russian fairy tale included in Andrew Lang’s Yellow Fairy Book

4. the enchanted canary

Based on the French fairy tale included in Andrew Lang’s Red Fairy Book

5. the water demon

Based on one of the Czech fairy tales about Vodnik.

6. the rose

Based on the German fairy tale documented by the Brother’s Grimm.

7. the snake prince

Based on the Punjabi folk tale included in Andrew Lang’s Olive Fairy Book

8. the gold spinners

Based on the Estonian fairy tale included in Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book

9. the fairy grotto

Based on the Chinese fairy tale documented by Wolfram Eberhard in Folk Tales of China.


I devoted much of the summer of 2008 on researching fairy tales, writing lyrics and music, and compiling this album.  The initial inspiration came from the thought that some part of every interaction and conversation is imagined.  Each one of my friends and acquaintances is represented in my mind in some way, and to an extent my imagination extends who they are whether or not I am aware of this.  It is most evident in passionate relationships where a lover could be aggrandized to evoke the sense of a god or  demon far beyond their actual capabilities or intentions.

What if you just increased the degree of imagination you instilled in your reality?  In the people and things and experiences around you? What does it mean to do this?

Reading Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Anias Nin’s Children of the Albatross I kept thinking about the many deep realities that were created, rich in metaphor and detail–> rich in imagination. Months earlier I had read Die Rose (track 6 is based on this) in the Brothers Grimm and was struck by how such a short fairy tale could be so powerful yet enigmatic.  There was something more to this fairy tale for sure, there was some way to make sense of it.  Fairy tales seemed like a good route to explore as they present characters as simply good an evil.  The complexities of beings in reality removed to create simpler symbolic characters.

Having access to an electronic studio I began creating sonic environments for these fairy tales, and wrote lyrics based on folk tales from around the world.  I focused on using simple sounds created through subtractive synthesis using a cs-15 and arp 2600, as well as the Subtractor in Reason.

The thought occurred, what if these stories were actually real in our minds?  As in they provided the metaphors and symbols to understand interactions and experiences in a deeper and more meaningful way.  I wrote the first track as an introduction to frame the listeners experience, in the form of an invocation to these characters which exist only in thought, but could be real.  Traveling around India and New Mexico, I found places around the world where folk stories are very real to the local communities, the magic and imagination in them is instilled in the environment.

By the end of the summer I was recommended Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell and many ideas began to come together.  He describes the invariant characteristics of folk tales and mythologies from all around the world, and considers how the stories could be so similar in form if the regions are disconnected geographically.  He was a student of Jung, and includes many elements of Jungian framework of the unconscious in analyzing folk tales, connecting them to human growth and development, as well as providing collective meaning for a society.  In some part I found what I was looking for: in all of the examples people were understanding reality and experiences by actively creating meaning with imagination through the use of symbols and narrative.