Towards an Amicable End (Audio)

May 21, 2022
Created by Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (2020). Introduced by Andy Stuhl.

Composed in 2020, Towards an Amicable End is anchored by a moment of globally widespread fear and anxiety – “a sense of impending doom in the air,” as artist Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (who is also a writer and theorist on sound and listening) describes it. The gap between the immediate sense of panic that the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred and the needed reckoning that the climate emergency has not forms one contrast that animates Chattopadhyay’s piece. Archival field recordings that capture climate-related phenomena from water, wind, and wood provide much of the sound in Towards an Amicable End, with custom-built radio sets interceding in their collection. The work also draws out a second contrast: between, on one hand, an impulse toward universal hearing and mastery of problems that Chattopadhyay attributes to the global North and, on the other, a philosophy of Fatalism that he sees emerging from the global South. The double bass that interweaves other sound samples gives an opening into western sound traditions, while the Fatalistic position organizes the surrounding radio artwork. Chattopadhyay asks, “What if we accept the impending doom as a natural course of human civilization? What if acceptance of an ending opens the door for emancipation from fear and loathing for the present?… Can there be an auditory equivalence to the gleam of acceptance against the darkness of fear and anxiety?” The audio linked here is the prelude version of Towards an Amicable End. The full work will air in broadcasts of The Radio Art Hour, on WGXC and syndicating stations. - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2021/2022, Andy Stuhl.