Subcontinental Synthesis: Electronic Music at the National Institute of Design, India 1969–1972

Paul Purgas


Strange Attractor Press, 2024. Softcover, 264 pp., 6 x 8 inches


Subcontinental Synthesis explores the history of India's first electronic music studio, founded in 1969 at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad with the support of the composer David Tudor. The essays and writings unravel the narrative and context surrounding the studio as well as the work of the Indian composers who created groundbreaking recordings during its four years of activity. The texts reflect on the role of electronic music within a post-independence India, considering its interconnections with experimental design, radical pedagogies, and the international avant-garde, as well as the encircling conditions of Western ideological soft power within the global expansion of Modernism.