"...my music is both an expression and a representation, containing as it does both my environment and my response to it!"

The first in a series of diary entries by women composers, curated by Writer and Performer Sarah Sayeed.

 ~ Intro ~

Sound Travels exhibits the perspectives of women composers from diverse backgrounds through diary entries taken over ten days and accompanying photographs. Curated by Sarah Sayeed.


Shama Rahman's Diary:

Sound Travels’ is a particularly salient and apt theme for me at this time, as through my music I have recently received invitations to travel to three different latitudes and longitudes spread far and wide; Korea, England and extraordinarily, Antarctica. From another perspective, I embed sound from my travels into my music through audio field recordings of both physical geographical locations and organic nature with native wildlife and human culture. So my music is both an expression and a representation, containing as it does both my environment and my response to it!  Rather than being gender-oriented, my compositions draw from a broad human gamut. I do see the need to provide a space for expression and encouragement, where women can contribute an equal and diverse voice to these fields.  My main performance instrument, the Sitar has a special quality as it has sympathetic strings under the main strings that resonate at the natural frequencies of the notes being played. This sound travels through the instrument, my body and the air, acting as a natural amplification system. I’m very interested in the different media through which sound can travel and current projects including composing music that people can hear through bone conduction!

 Tickets to South Korea      


The furthest east I’ve flown on my own for my work is to Korea and I feel grateful to have had this opportunity opened up to me as a culmination of hard work and honesty.

 Last days in Korea   

 Changdeokgung Palace    

  Seaboard Rise Keyboard and Modular Synthesisers       

 My ship to Antarctica ‘The Akademik Sergey Vav’      


I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the impact of climate change and global warming on this incredible environment...

 Recording a glaciar      


I had been commissioned by the Antarctic Biennale to create a new electro-acoustic composition, ‘ReSound’

 The Drake Passage      

 With the penguins     

 Playing sitar on ice      


I performed my album ‘Truth BeTold’ on the Antarctic Peninsula in a concert that is completely unprecedented - involving playing the Sitar on ice.

 Pictured: The organic, yet technologically futuristic, Roli Seaboard Rise on which I’m improvising, inspired by and sonically translating the stunning secluded backdrop of Paradise Bay, Antarctica.


[Read the rest of the series here.]

Ten days with: Shama Rahman