Media Production: Filming, Sound Recording, Editing, & Post


Rolf Killius is a film producer & editor, sound recordist, consultant (museums, exhibitions, and media), exhibition curator, ethnomusicologist (MMus SOAS, London University), and radio journalist whose work appears in a variety of contexts.

In this capacity he is able to consult on multi-media projects for cultural institutions and organisations all around the world combining such diverse elements as exhibition curating, music and film production & editing, and the delivery of music, oral history and arts installations related to the cultures of south Asia (especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) and the Arabic States of the Gulf.

Apart from knowledge of cultures in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Arabic States of the Gulf and project management, Rolf offers in-depth knowledge in media production. This comprises research, camera work, sound recording, film and sound production and editing, and delivery towards agreed deadlines. If required he can draw on a vast range of experts from different countries specialised in research area, language, or technical skills.

Most recent media work

At present Rolf is the "Specialist Consultant in Oral History Management" for the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) in Doha. He is also guest curator for non-European musical instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum Markneukirchen, Germany.

Until recently he was the Curator of Oral and Musical Cultures at the British Library - Qatar Foundation Partnership in London and the Curator for the Indian Music Experience (IME) in Bangalore, India.

Rolf worked as a South Asia consultant for the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)  - "the first truly global musical instrument museum" -  in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), Rolf has filmed and recorded sound extensively in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. There he documented the making and performance of traditional musical instruments. 


Rolf has produced all the sound clips and video films for the following exhibitions:

     Utsavam - Music from India at the Horniman Museum, London (February - November 2008)

     Indian Strings and Dances at the Museum of Croydon (April - August 2009)

     The Online Sound Project of the British Library Sound Archive, Music from India (from April 2009).

For more than 20 years Rolf Killius has been a regular producer and writer of radio broadcastings and articles about south Asian culture for different Swiss (DRS), German (HR, SWR, and BR) and UK radio stations (Resonance FM). In this time he has written and prepared more than 60 one-hour programs. He has also recorded, produced and mastered seven CDs in the UK, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands and written the book Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala, which was published by BR Rhythms in Delhi 2006.

For Rolf's full Filmography see bottom of page

Film Production for: Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition, Croydon  Museum - Clocktower 2009

Rolf Killius produced 18 short films which were watched at the Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition at the Clocktower Museum, Croydon, London, England, which ran between 10th of April 2009 and 1st of August 2009. The films include oral history interviews and music and dance performances by some of the key figures in the Indian music and dance movements in Britain.

The films from the Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition can be seen in the video player below:

Film Editing for: Utsavam, Music from India Exhibition at the Horniman Museum

Rolf Killius produced all the short films for display in the Horniman Museum exhibition Utsavam: Music from India. These included films of instrument playing, instrument manufacture, instrument collection and festivals. In addition a series of short films edited from material about regional Indian communities in London that are related to the exhibition. The films were edited using sophisticated computer based film and sound editing software.

The main films from the Utsavam, Music from India Exhibition at the Horniman Museum 
       can be seen in the video player below:

Documentary Film Making During TMI

During the research within the Traditional Music in India (TMI) project, Jutty Winkler and Rolf Killius produced around a hundred hours of digital film material documenting religious rituals, festivals, traditional music and dance.


For more than 15 years Rolf Killius has been a regular producer and writer of radio broadcastings and articles about
music and dance cultures for different Swiss (DRS), German (HR, SWR, and BR) and UK radio stations (Resonance FM). In this time he has written and prepared more than 50 one-hour programs.

Broadcasting Links:



Recent News Radio Programmes

Rolf has recently been interviewed by the Radio 4 Programme 'Excess Baggage' about his music collecting activities as an Ethnomusicologist and the exhibition at the Horniman Museum: Utsavam - Music from India. The Radio 3 Programme 'Music Matters' presenter Tom Service broadcast his visit to the same exhibition. Links to both are available on the Links Page.

CD Production

Rolf Killius has recorded, produced and mastered eight CDs in the UK, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands featuring South Asian music and cultures. At present he is working on CDs featuring Adivasi (original people of India) music styles for the Ethnographic Museum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Music Writing in Songlines

Rolf Killius is an occasional writer for the 'Songlines' world music magazine.

Digital Sound Recording during TMI

During the research within the Traditional Music in India (TMI) project Rolf Killius produced around 400 hours of digital sound recordings documenting religious rituals, festivals and traditional music styles.

Kerala Music Book

The Publisher BR Rhythms has just issued Rolf's book Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala. This study explores the relationship of the Hindu religious rituals to the percussion dominated music genres in the south Indian state of Kerala. It is both an introduction to the ritual performances and to the musical styles. It takes up the quest to investigate how ritual meaning is expressed through music, it illuminates aesthetic beauty and the relative independent importance of the music styles within the ritual context. The study investigates how and why the temple music ensembles are dominated by the ubiquitous drums and bronze cymbals and based on a sophisticated rhythm structure rather than on melody. The prestigious Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in London launched Rolf's book
Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala on 21st of September 2006.

Street Music from India
Review of the CD: Voices for Humans, Ancestors and Gods by Derek Beres

In 1996 the British Library Sound Project assigned Rolf Killius to journey through India to record street music that is regionally popular, though relatively unknown beyond the continent. A decade and 400 hours later and the label
somehow chopped it down to 13 rough, raw and gorgeous songs. This CD is truly a gem, breaking outside the three most popular exports of Indian music: the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions; Bollywood's global rule and the ritual chants of bhakti yoga (not to mention the Asian Massive and Underground electronica). The call-and-response "Chenchu Lakshmi" a tale of love lost and suicide, opens brilliantly. Performed by the musicians of the Daasari community in the south eastern region of Andhra Pradesh, the tinny clicks of symbols and grating vocals prove
penetratingly lucid. many of these songs follow similar format - sudden breaks with lyrical interludes, tempo and tonal changes out of seeming nowhere. This is an emotional music guided not by structure as much as feeling, which
builds a solid foundation. The remainder of the folk material covers funeral songs, tales of naming babies and earthly creation, and stunning numbers from the Odissi and Orisa traditions, like the harmonium-led bhajan "Loda mo na thila golaka" A dedication to Vishnu, the repetitious lyrics remind listeners "I only want your blessings, nothing else". In the philosophy of Verdic and Hindu culture, the individual is but part of a whole in which no separation between subject and object exists. Hence when they sing for each other, they sing for the entire planet. Thanks to Killius's sturdy ear and own devotion, this elegant and rich album is reaching the intended audience.


Review also published in the American Folk Magazine SingOut
The CD is also included in the Songlines 'Discover a World of Music' buyers guide 2006 to world music

Kerala Music Book Launch at the Nehru Centre

The prestigious Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the High Commission of India in London, launched Rolf Killius' book, Ritual Music and Hindu Rituals of Kerala, on 21 September 2006. Rolf introduced the evening with video clips from temple festivals in Kerala. The speakers were Dr Janet Topp Fargion (Curator, World and Traditional Music, British Library Sound Archive), Jeya Prakash Panicker (Secretary, Malayalee Community Organisation Sangeetha of the UK), and Dr Keith Howard (Senior Reader in Music, SOAS, London University and Director of AHRC Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance Performance).

The 100 visitors were entertained with Kaikottikali (dance by members of the Malayalee organisation Southall), Mohiniyattam performed by Parvati from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (London), and DJ EasyAction from the BOMBAY PICTURE PALACE.

Filmography of Rolf Killius

Exhibition short films:
Utsavam - Music from India (Horniman Museum London)

2008 "Kerala: Miravu inititiation ceremony"
2008 "Traditional teaching methods for the Centa drum in Kerala"
2008 "Rituals and ritual music at a traditional temple festival in Kerala"
2008 "...and the Goddess loves music - musical arts at the Kerala temple festival"
2008 "Festival for the ancestors: The ritual dance and musical instruments of the Sora people in Orissa"
2008 "Sora musical instruments accompany the voice"
2008 "Wandering minstrels and the Sora communities"
2008 "The music and dance of the Rangali Bihu Festival in Assam"
2008 "Singers, musicians and instrument makers from Majuli"
2008 "The Musical Arts of the Vaishnava Satras in Majuli, Assam"
2008 "Monpa village and house ritual music"
2008 "Gisgang: The making of the Himalayan Jew's harp"
2008 "Musical instrument making in Arunachal Pradesh"
2008 "Buddha's Himalayan villages: musical instrument making and collecting in Bomjar (Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalayas)"
2008 "Happy Vaishaki - the Punjabi spring festival in Southall, West London"
2008 "Singer Story-tellers of Punjab"
2008 "Musical instruments of Malwai Giddah - a dance from Punjab"
2008 "The music of the Gurdwara Sikh temple"
2008 "The Mighty Bish - A community project with Asian Dub Foundation ED"  (13:44 min)
2008 "From the Horse's mouth - The Students"
2008 "From the Horse's mouth - The Tutors"
2008 "Raas Dance workshop"
2008 "Kathakali Performance"
2008 "Odissi Performance"
2008 "Mohiniyattam Performance"
2008 "Utsavam - Music from India: The Exhibition"

Exhibition films:
Indian Strings and Dances (Museum of Croydon)

2009 "The Sutton Subrang Dance Ensemble"
2009 "An Audience with the Bharatanatyam Dance Guru Pushkala Gopal"
2009 "Sattriya Dance as performed by Menaka PP Bora"
2009 "Kathak Dance - Taught by Gauri Sharma Tripathi"
2009 "The London Sitar Ensemble - LSE"
2009 "Pandit Trikha -  A Sitar Maestro from Croydon"
2009 "A life with the Sarangi - The musician and researcher Nicolas Magriel"
2009 "Kathakali dance-drama as presented by Kalamandalam Viyayakumar and Kalamandalam Barbara"
2009 "A Visit at the Asian Music Centre - AMC"
2009 "A Union made in Indian Music Heaven: Alpana Sengupta & Mick Taylor"
2009 "Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan - The Indian Cultural Centre in London"
2009 "An evening with Sunita Golvala. Kathak and Bharatanatyam Guru in Croydon"
2009 "String and Dance Festival. Saturday, 26 April 2008. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan London"
2009 "String and Dance Festival. Sunday, 27 April 2008. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan London"
2009 "Sitar: Suhbhendra Rao and Cello: Saskia Rao - De Haas"
2009 "An Evening of String & Dance at The Bhavan Centre, London"
2009 "The London Sitar Ensemble - LIVE"
2009 "Synthesis: The Sutton Subrang Dance Ensemble & Dynamic Theatre Arts"
2009 "In Praise of Krishna: Menaka PP Bora performs Sattriya Dance"
2009 "The Bond between the dancers Seema Patel & Payal Patel"

Film for Redbridge Museum (East London)

2009 "Glimpses from Indian String and Dances Exhibition"

Contact Rolf:  rolfkillius 'at' yahoo.com