Artist in Residence Podcast: Nisha Madhan
Self-isolation has been hard. Art can help everyone. Artist in Residence is an immersive podcast series made in collaboration with ten New Zealand artists across theatre, music, poetry and dance. Each artist has made you a 15-minute personalised performance to help with one thing you might be feeling in isolation and as we transition out of it.
Nisha Madhan is an independent artist and current programmer of Auckland's Basement Theatre, curating the leading independent live performance space with exciting and disruptive work. Her career history is eclectic, including performance on stage and screen, direction and creation of contemporary live performance, dramaturgy and published critical writing.
Nisha has created and produced many performance works including the Auckland Fringe award-winning Fuck Rant and What Have You Done To Me? which toured to Finland. Her collaborative relationship with performance artist Julia Croft has birthed the international festival hit Power Ballad, and the Basement Visions / Zanetti Productions co-production Working on My Night Moves, which won a prestigious 2019 TOTAL theatre award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and an Auckland Theatre Award for Excellence in Overall Production.
Nisha’s other live performance highlights include the creation of Grand Opening with Jo Randerson and Barbarian Productions and 2018’s Medusa with Julia Croft and Virginia Frankovich for Q Theatre’s Matchbox series. She has also taken part in a three year arts residency curated by Basement Theatre, Forest Fringe (UK) and West Kowloon Cultural District (HK). As a dramaturg and programmer, Nisha is passionate about creating space for artists with vital and urgent voices.
Artist in Residence: Nisha Madhan
Born Under a Bad Star
Nisha has created Born Under a Bad Star, an audio performance from lockdown, to listen to when you’re feeling uncertain or off-centre.
Listen late while imbibing liquid or ingesting food.
This episode is available on:
Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, our RSS feed and right here.
If you're listening from mobile, Apple, Spotify and Soundcloud are preferable to the below player (as the sound won't cut out when your phone goes to sleep!)
We recommend headphones.
Each artist has provided you with sleeve notes for their episode. Nisha's sleeve notes are below.
Sleeve notes for Born Under a Bad Star
“Humanity's life depends upon the unknowns. Knowledge is laughable when attributed to a human being” - Sun Ra
I’ve long been a believer in the idea that to be uncertain in the face of power is a potent way to destabilize seemingly immovable structures. There is strength in yielding, allowing yourself to fail and admitting that you don’t know. These qualities act like food for moments of change to feast on, and to rise and fall from.
I wondered how it might feel to lean in to those qualities and allow myself to dematerialize. What could it feel like for me to surrender to the bacteria in the air, or liquify into the mud of the planet? Could it be my form of protest?
I wrote this while listening to the afrofuturist, sound artist and prophet, Sun Ra. I’ve always found great freedom within myself when listening to his music and lyrics. Perhaps because they make me feel like I can forget this world, and take pleasure in finding another whenever I need to.
My favourite song by Sun Ra is called India from the album Supersonic Jazz. So, with India in my bones, I’d like to send deep gratitude to Irwin Chusid and the rightful heirs of Sun Ra (for allowing me to sing), Rebecca Solnit (for the caterpillar analogy), Julia Croft (for encouraging me to liquify), Kate Prior (for fighting for me), C. Frances Duncan (for translating my dribbles into a sonic crush) and my mother, Rashmi (for introducing me to the sea).
For my goddaughter, Sunny.
Born Under A Bad Star is created and performed by Nisha Madhan
Composition and sound design: C. Frances Duncan
Additional sound design: Byron Coll
The song quoted is Where There Is No Sun by Sun Ra from New Steps, 1978
Theme music: C. Frances Duncan and Ruby Solly
Graphic design: Sarah Gladwell
Produced by Kate Prior for The Pantograph Punch
Made with the support of NZ on Air