Karsh Kale and Nucleya speak of their experience shooting for Sound Trippin

The musician’s equivalent of a fresh canvas or paper is an audio recorder. Preferably with an unlimited capacity to take in all the sounds. Last year, that seemed to be the main draw for Sneha Khanwalkar, who travelled the country capturing and exploring sounds of the country as part of MTV’s Sound Trippin.

The idea of travel and music has been sweeping up the country’s independent artists ever since The Dewarists started to air on Star World in 2011. After two seasons, the show takes a break this year. Sound Trippin introduces familiar names in its second season. Musician, producer and multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale and electronic music producer and DJ Udyan Sagar, who performs under the moniker Nucleya.

The two artists shot four episodes for Sound Trippin which started airing on August 25 on MTV. While Nucleya is Delhi-based, Kale has been shuttling between New York and different parts of India ever since he released his album Cinema in 2011.

Kale says “there is a great collective energy pushing in the right direction in India at the moment” and he has several projects in the pipeline. Of doing the show, he says, “MTV Sound Trippin’ has broken all the conventional barriers to be known as the most unique music show on television ever. It is an interesting concept and one I have explored in my own work over the years so I was intrigued. I was very excited at the prospect of what Nucleya and I would do together and I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to be a part of it.”

Indeed, the show, which sees Kale and Nucleya travel throughout the country in search of sounds (both ambient and musical) and make music out of those sounds, also meant not just working on the sounds, but collaborating together as artists. Says Nucleya, “Getting to work with so many talented and interesting people is an experience that I am going to remember forever. And above everything else, working with Karsh was exciting. I got to learn so much from him and he is such a humble person.”

Traveling to Dharamshala, Shantiniketan and Kerala, Nucleya says he had already had certain ideas planted for the places. Kale mentions the episode, Healing in Dharmashala: “We went and met healers who use external sounds for that purpose, we also visited Tibetan Monks and children in monk training. We visited tranquil sites like waterfalls, tea gardens. We also met with a shepherd tribe that sing songs to their flock. In a limited time, a lot of strings get connected to make what comes out of this show.”

The experience almost comes across as a work-meets-vacation trip for Kale and Nucleya, who will debut the tracks they created during their travels through the course of four episodes. “The show puts us on a hyper schedule that makes it more the fun. You don’t have time to ponder on an idea so one becomes a lot more instinctual. It’s always a challenge but I think we did a good job at rising up to,” says Kale, who now heads back to complete his album with his collective of musicians, called the Karsh Kale Collective. Kale intends to release and promote the album at the upcoming NH7 Weekender in Pune in October. Kale adds: “I am also creating a new project in America which will be a new look at an old EP I had done called Classical Science Fiction. It will be a semi-electronic / semi-live show with a small group of fantastic musicians which I will launch in 2014.”

Nucleya gets another chance to hang out with his Sound Trippin collaborator Kale since they both play at all the Weekender editions, which take place in Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata this year. He’s also working on his own album.