Arun Sivag is a Bangalore-based musician and social entrepreneur. He studied music at the University of Gothenburg, specializing in world percussion while deepening his knowledge of South Indian folk instruments. Leveraging his international connections, Arun went on to organize and participate in multiple arts exchange programs between Europe and Southeast Asia. Arun is the founder of several socially engaged music projects, including TREEONZ, a youth arts education organization, where he works to create platforms for artists, musicians, and social entrepreneurs, and AGNII Art for All, a youth cultural team working with underprivileged youth to empower them through art and music. “Art is a catalyst for changing the lives of people and communities,” says Arun who continues to tirelessly organize local workshops and performances, as well as tour internationally.
Arun Sivag helped found the Buḍakaṭṭu Archive of Tribal Musical Arts, a multimedia archive of rare tribal and folk musical genres from Karnataka (India). These musical forms are under threat of being lost to history, with many artists now having to look for other sources of income which may require them to stop practicing their art form. The Budakattu Archive attempts to offer a holistic response to the crisis these musicians face.
In 2020, with support from OneBeat Accelerator, Budakattu built a pilot project and identified 3 indigenous music groups in south Karnataka to begin this work with – the Kudiyas (Virajpet), the Soligas (B.R. Hills) and the Siddhis (Uttara Kannada Dist.). Despite challenges from Covid-19, the project moved forward with establishing an advisory council and completed production on a first episode, featuring Ms. Sharada Somaiha from the Kudiya tribe, a ‘Dudi kott paatt’ performer. An EP of music from this first episode is being completed, along with production of Episode 2 featuring the Soliga Tribal performers from the BR Hills region. The project has now also received approval and support from the Ministry of Youth Affairs in India to ensure its continuation.
See the episode 1 trailer here.