Malasree Neepa Acharya


Malasree Neepa Acharya, Baroque Violinist and Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Anthropology and Center for Contemporary South Asia, Brown University.

Neepa’s work focuses on how circulation anchors people on the move in increasingly cosmopolitan spaces. She is completing her doctorate on the global mobility of diaspora entrepreneurs of Indian origin and the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems across the emerging Global South at the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she is a researcher in Migration, Diversity, and Human Rights. Neepa is also a member of the teaching team of the Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Stanford Center for Professional Development and the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.   She is a member of the World Bank and Migration Policy Institute’s High Level Working Group on Diaspora for the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development. Neepa moved to Brussels, Belgium, in 2007 to study historically informed performance practice on the baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken. Her musical practice combines composition using aleatoric improvisation with theories on migration, cities and displacement, and womanism in the South to explore mixed-media connections with sound, space, movement, and voice. Her current projects, {interventions} and Poporo!, explore these themes while collaborating with a variety of dancers, designers and mask artists, and musicians from around the world.

Paper Title: “(Un)certain Paths, Deliberative Dissonance: The Sound of Displacement and Performing the Aleatoric ‘Open Work’”

Paper Abstract: Sound is freedom; music is choice. Across the multitude of journeys and settlements of those displaced, this paper reflects on sound as a deliberative act in the moment of movement. Inspired by the notion of the ‘Open Work of Art,’ I explore how sound enacts a voice for that which is inarticulable amidst momentary happenings that ebb and flow through chance. Music functions as an ontological witness as a delivery a mechanism for change of simultaneous resistance and acceptance, dissidence and affirmation, strung through waves of several ‘joys in a breath.’ In the wake of unimaginable uncertainty, aleatoric music functions as a tool in the hands of people. Sound enters the real as an operable and inexorable utterance of those displaced as transnational actors of their own destinies. This paper will explore the worlds of sound production across various scenes, moments and instantiations of its delivery, through physics, across space and time, and translated through musical practice and its collaborative performativity with parameters of sound :: movement :: space :: voice within my own artistic works-in-progress.

Mellon Sawyer Seminar

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