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2.8 Evoke : Let's Talk Art
 
Make Forests with Ditty

September 2021

Ditty is an Indian independent artist and urban ecologist whose music is inspired by the natural world. Read our conversation with her and participate in initiatives for sustainability.

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Illustration by Jishnnu B

I. DITTY FOR EARTH

MYSTICETI:

One of the first protests you joined with your guitar. 

DITTY:

Pragati Maidan – they were chopping down 1000s of 100-year-old bargads, pilkhans and peepals. 

MYSTICETI:

How does your music bring you closer to feeling one with nature?

DITTY:

Thinking about things, processing my anxiety, writing about the natural world – these are all parts of my process.

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Listen to Ditty

MYSTICETI:

Are you planning on performing in open spaces anytime soon?
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Follow #StreetsForUs - Ditty's project for reclaiming open spaces as a woman

DITTY:

I am! Hoping to put up a few concerts end of this year.

MYSTICETI:

Your formula for making forests not war for beginners.

MYSTICETI:

Tell us more about the Rain Is Coming exhibit.
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Rain Is Coming is the first album by Faraway Friends – a collective co-founded by Ditty, David Raddish and Keno.

DITTY:

Rain is Coming is a multi-layered project that is inspired by and tells stories about the incredible water conservation movements in villages in North India. We are exhibiting our music, retrospective art, documentary, and music videos currently in Hamburg, at the Reeperbahn festival in a bunch of containers. 

MYSTICETI:

What is happening at Baag Studio these days? How can we participate?

DITTY:

Hehe, yes, you can. I am setting up a platform called WeWild to engage with the wilderness and enable reforestation. 

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Follow Baag Studio

MYSTICETI:

Any thoughts you would like to share about Sadness.

DITTY:

It's my first music video. I am excited. 

II. MEMORY BOARD

Messages and memories from Ditty's travels for #StreetsForUs, Rain Is Coming and Make Forests Not War ~

The creatures sang with us on the Make Forests Not War tour. We were playing through gardens and forests. Crickets, peacocks, and other birds would start singing when I would play!

Once, I was travelling through Nepal, and the bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. So, Lakshya (documentary film-maker) and I set up our performance with an amp, microphones, camera, projections etc., and started playing on the streets. Twenty minutes into the performance, people had gathered, and the bus which had fixed itself started to move. We had to pack up, and the people, including police waalas, helped us carry our equipment, run after the bus, and threw us with the equipment inside. 

Once, I played close to a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka, and several monks (there were maybe about a hundred people) collected before me on this narrow street and found places to sit and listen to my music.

Faraway Friends has grown from just the three of us to now more than fifty artists who are all speaking about the ecological, social and political crisis that we're facing as a world. 

Rain is Coming has been an immense journey. The night after I had met the boys, we went on a boat trip along the Ganges. A dead cow floating by on one side and funeral rites on the other, I remember thinking to myself, this is where I come from. 

The Make Forest Not War Tour was special. It was pre-pandemic, and we were travelling on the trains. We had time to slow down and visit gardens in each city. We met so many wonderful people on the way. It was special. 

About Mysticeti’s friends:

Ditty is an Indian independent artist and urban ecologist whose music is inspired by the natural world. She started by playing music on the streets to reclaim public spaces as a woman (#StreetsForUs). Her debut album, Poetry Ceylon released in June 2019 and was called the debut album of the year by India Today. Her collaborative water-themed record called Rain is Coming is raising funds for water conservation in Nepal, Malawi, Zimbabwe and India. With her tour, Make Forests Not War, she is working on a conscious model for touring for artists to offset carbon emissions. Ditty is actively planting forests in India.

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Pagal Haina aims to spread joy through the simple act of sharing music. With roots firmly grounded in artist development, community building and fan engagement, Pagal Haina's strength lies in discovering, nurturing, and empowering artists with an eye on global reach.

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Jishnnu B creates visualization, illustrations and immersive narratives.

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