Artwork designed by Xan Coppinger + Aarti Jadu

40 Days by Aarti Jadu + Xan Coppinger

Mixed Media

40 Days’ is a witnessing of artist development, and a study of sound and being. Not as we know it but through a disciplined practice of perfection and simplicity, essentially sterilising a space and time from influences to focus on the pearls of wisdom from within and generated from the ancient practice of raga music.

With a subject [Aarti Jadu], a teacher [Vinod Prasanna] and a graduate of neuroscience and musicology [Xan Coppinger], this project is a podcast and diagrammatic documentary analysing and studying the idea of PRACTICE, Hindustani musician and teacher, Vinod Prasanna’s famous word.

The discussion is pregnant with ideas around habits, decolonisation, sound, and spirituality through the use of observation and embodied practice, hallmarks of yogic and mindful practices.

The 40 days is an ode to the practice of ‘Chilla’ where a musician or bhakt submits themselves to isolation to “download” information and wisdom from their own bodies through practice of meditation or dedication to their craft, originating from Sufism. Timely to be explored during and after “iso”, Aarti extends her time indoors and alone to explore the benefits of solitude with a steady devotional practice.

‘40 days’ is the sequel to ‘21 days’, a documentation of observing Vinod Prasanna’s daily thoughts and practices.

These episodes are an introduction to a long discussion around globalisation and its effects on individual belief / practices. Hindustani Classical music is a communion of expression and spiritual awareness, a technology for self enquiry, with its roots in Indian science/ Vedas. All art complies and creates through adversity. Hindustani music is no different.

As Hindustani music generously becomes available to all cultures and adapts to technology, we also see compromise of some key teaching elements which make up “holism” or “health”. Capitalism presents challenges to what is an unprotected artform. This applies pressure on keeping this tradition alive which is regarded as one of the most respected forms of music on this earth.

Here are 4 organic collections of thoughts based around the exploration of teaching systems, governing systems, relationship and terminology. A discussion that will certainly continue.

Episode One: Cycles, Seasons, Sound.

An introduction to the practice and process of Chilla. A setting of intentions and of context. A discussion of the crossover of cycles, waves, science, and sound. Of the internal and external cycles, the interior and exterior rhythms. Through vedic knowledge, neuroscience, and the melodic framework of Ragas, we seek to synthesise and widen our knowledge of how we experience and interact with natural cycles.

Episode Two: Learning**

A conversation with Guru Vinod Prasanna. In this hour Vinod shares his experience of Chilla Katna. This forms a reflection on the processes of meditation, silence, and surrender in music, and the traditions of learning and teaching Hindustani Classical music. We discuss the idea of ‘learning through limitations’ with Mishka Beckmann, an scholarly artist who lives with autism and dyslexia.

Episode Three: Solitude/Communion, Devotion/Obsession, Habit/Addiction
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Exploring the nuances of extremes in artistic practice. Of being alone in the club. Of being together in group meditation.

Episode Four: The truth of harmony
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In this episode we seek to explore the unity and disharmony between conceptions of what constitutes, religion, athiesm, science, and spiritual practice. Through synthesising our education systems, contextual experiences, and ideological frameworks, we explore how greater harmony and respect between these modes can be achieved and appreciated.

This episode features Mishka Beckmann.

You can also watch the artists, Aarti Jadu and Xan Coppinger, in conversation with Adolfo Aranjuez, talking about 40 Days here:

40 Days by Aarti Jadu + Xan Coppinger is presented as part of Mapping Melbourne 2020-21.

Principal Partners:
City of Melbourne, Creative Victoria and Australia Council for the Arts

Supporting Partners: