Beast Nest is Sharmi Basu – a Bengali artist from the San Francisco Bay Area who creates experimental music as a means of decolonizing musical language.
Basu is an MFA graduate in Electronic Music and Recording Media from the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. She has spent the last 10 years trying to create more space for women of color within experimental music communities. Sharmi specializes in new media controllers, improvisation in electronic music and intersectionality within music and social justice. She is committed to using music and performance art as a tool to re-imagine community connection and accountability within personal and political relationships. Beast Nest, her primary performing project, utilizes depression and restrained horror to channel left-eyed spirits.
Basu founded and hosts the all-POC improvisation group MARA Performance Collective in Oakland, California and was an organizer of the first-ever Bay Area Black and Brown Punk Fest. Her workshops and writing on decolonizing sound have been featured by the International Society for Improvised Music and Empowering Women of Color Conference. Basu has worked with Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, John Bischoff, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Brown, Maggi Payne. She performs almost 100 times a year, touring through the US, Canada and Europe.
Basu will host a workshop at Loop on Decolonizing Sound, in which she’ll explore the forgotten history of people of color in experimental music with the goal of encouraging new ways of thinking about the relationship between politics, people and ideas of progress in music.