Pearl Academy student brings the Sounds of Mumbai back to life

Mumbai: With the increasing hustle and bustle in Mumbai, it’s easy to lose out on the little things. That’s what inspired Shreya Shah, a Communication Design student at Pearl Academy, to create a unique experience for everyone who loves Mumbai. “Reel to Real” is a showcase of all the best sounds in Mumbai, that leave you feeling nostalgic and at home.
Shreya has always been fascinated by sound. While thinking about her final project, she began to observe that people have begun to go into their own shells, and don’t really experience things around them anymore.
This inspired her to create and interactive sound installation based on ‘Sounds of Mumbai’. Shreya’s project showcases reels of cassette tapes that have been recorded with local sounds associated with Mumbai — like the train whizzing past at a station or the sound of a vegetable vendor calling out prices — and placed in an installation. Using a device attached to a glove, you can listen to the tapes playing as you run your hands across the installation.
“I’ve always believed that sounds represent the essence of a city and also build an image of what the city feels like. As busy people we habitually tune out certain sounds as we go about our day, these sounds will help unpack the vibrant spirit of Mumbai. Using cassette tape made sense because it is something people associate with their childhood. With a battery and some wiring, I created a glove that allows you to experience the sounds as you run your hand over the piece of cassette tape. Sound is such a powerful tool and I wanted to use it for something different, which allowed people to remember what they love most about Mumbai.”
‘Pearl Portfolio’, has been Pearl Academy’s annual launch pad showcasing the work of graduating students every year. In recent times, Pearl students have showcased their work at other prominent platforms, events, festivals and fashion weeks in India as well as abroad, including Pune Design Festival, FOAID, Dubai Design Festival, Amazon Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and London Graduate Fashion Week.
Commenting on the occasion, Prof. Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy said, “This is the 4th batch of graduating students from Pearl Academy, Mumbai and I am amazed to see the creative maturity of our students in finding solutions to real-world problems. Pearl Academy has provided students with a culture of innovation, design and creative thinking along with the right mentors to make them successful in their chosen fields. The Mumbai faculty and students are very special and have outshone themselves year after year. I would also like to congratulate the Campus Director, Ajay Sawhney, Deans of Schools of Design, Fashion, Business and Media and all the faculty members of Pearl Academy, Mumbai for bringing out the best in students.”