April 2022 - March 2023


RhythmXChange is a collaborative exchange project conceived by OSCH partners Indian Music Experience and Manchester Museum and supported by the British Council.
Bringing together young musicians, young project managers and established music mentors from India and the UK, the project explores rhythm as a shared language between East and West with a special focus on vocal percussion such as the traditional artform of Konnakol and the contemporary genre of beatboxing.

Providing mentoring support, training, exchange and showcasing opportunities, RhythmXchange focused on developing and giving autonomy to young musicians and project managers enabling them to grow their experience and their international networks, whilst also creating a collaborative cross-cultural artistic outcome.

Together the young musicians formed a collective and created their own special blend of music which they performed as the headline act at the RhythmXchange festivals in Bengaluru and Manchester which were curated by young producers Sarvar Khalon in India and Hattie Kongaunruan in the UK.

Over several months the young musicians in India and the UK were mentored (online and in person, individually and as a group). Although coming from very different musical backgrounds and cultural contexts, the four musicians (two from Bengaluru and two from Manchester) really hit it off and soon began collaborating online to create new works and remix existing pieces of music. Taking inspiration from the first letters of their names (Joash Gill, Aditi B Prahlad, Vinthya Perinpanathan and Ashwin Mandoth), they decided to call their rhythm-based music collective JAVA.

After several months they had the opportunity to meet in person. In November 2022, the Manchester team of young musicians, mentors and project manager flew to Bengaluru and spent 2 weeks intensively rehearsing their set. They gave their debut performance to great acclaim at the first RhythmXchange festival. Curated by the Indian Music Experience Museum and professionally delivered by the young Sarvar Khalon, the 2-day festival also included a dazzling programme of percussion themed events such as drumming workshops, film screenings, museum walk throughs and even a rap battle.

Continuing on their collaborative journey, JAVA met again in person in Manchester in March 2023 for the second leg of the RhythmXchange festival. After another intensive period of rehearsals JAVA performed to packed audiences at the Manchester Museum which was transformed into a musical venue over 2 days. Expertly curated by Hattie Kongaunruan, the festival included traditional Kathak dance workshops, family friendly craft workshops, R&B sessions, DY mixing taster classes and experimental jam sessions.

"This whole project was life-changing as I not only became a better musician, but also a better human being. I got to travel to the UK, meet so many wonderful people and build strong connections!"

Aswin Mandoth, mentee and musician, Bengaluru

"It’s difficult to put into words the magic that was the RhythmXchange project. We were given the space, time, and wonderful environment within which we could collaborate. I gained invaluable experience working with musicians whose backgrounds are so different to mine (coming from a Western Classical background). It helped me to grow and broaden my horizons as a musician, and helped me understand how to collaborate with musicians from South Asia - exactly what I needed to gain experience with before my research starts this September!"

Vinthya Prinpanathan, mentee and musician Manchester

"Amazing programme - really exciting and interesting, the whole museum felt really buzzy and alive. The musical performances I saw - JAVA, DJ Chande and Gracie T and Samrai + Farah Ahmed Khan were brilliant [...] It was great to see international acts with UK acts build something new and to have a chance to see them in my hometown."

Participant at RhythmXchange