My humble attempt at composing music for the short film is here. Please watch and let me know your thoughts:

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Video  —  Posted: September 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

There are some songs that you like instantly, but kind of loses its sheen on repeated listening.
There are other songs that you may not take a liking immediately, but it grows on you with time.
Then, there is a third kind; songs that grip you in the first hearing and never lets go.
Songs like Johnny Cash’s Hurt The song has an interesting story behind it.
It was originally written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and was featured in their 1994 album,
‘The Downward Spiral’. When asked if Johnny Cash could take on the song,
Trent said he was ‘flattered’, but thought ‘the idea sounded a bit gimmicky’
The Johnny Cash version was released in 2002 and it caught director Mark Romanek’s attention.
He was so enamored by the song that he offered to shoot the music video for free!
The video was a heart-wrenching portrayal of transience of life through a very frail Johnny Cash
in his home and museum, The House of Cash. This is what Trent Reznor had to say after
watching the video; “We were in the studio, getting ready to work and I popped it in,”
he recalled. “By the end I was really on the verge of tears…there was just dead silence.
There was, like, this moist clearing of our throats and then, ‘Uh, okay, let’s get some coffee.’”
This is what a song should be. This is why I am inspired. Sharing the home recording of the song.

The story of ‘Why Should I Run’ runs parallel to that of ‘Fade Away’ in many aspects as it was written around the same time and on the same theme. But, where they differ is evident from the title of the songs- one wants to ‘Fade Away’ from the situation, and the other asks ‘Why Should I Run’. There is a sense of defiance, a bit of anger in there right away.

On the musical front, Kedar ‘Viku’ Nayak gave the freedom to let the music fly by deciding on a full on sonic arrangement for the song. This was expertly put into motion by Ruthvi Urs Aravind transforming the acoustic scratch into a full blooded song that it has become now. Besides mixing, Ruthvi programmed the drums and played the bass without losing the original feel of the song. Arvind Dayalan completed the mix with his piano. Himanshu Gautam’s electric guitar lifted the song to another level.

‘I wonder if it’s all a dream, Something that I’m made to believe’ says the song. If you really dig this rabbit hole, you’d realize, the situation echoes with Wachowski Brother’s 1999 cult movie ‘The Matrix’. As Morpheus puts it in the movie, ‘It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth’.

Beyond all the wonderment and the conspiracy theories, there is one irrefutable truth though, an ironic touch as the lyric says:

‘Each breath we take,
Kills us that much.’

How true. And if that rings infinitely sad, then it is that much beautiful as well. Because, that is all we have- Each breath, one life.

Now, are you going to live someone else’s reality with this one life or create your own?

Video  —  Posted: February 21, 2017 in Uncategorized
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Fade Away

Posted: December 17, 2016 in Songs - Original, Videos - Original

Glad to share with you a little hum of thoughts that has been playing in my mind for a while- ‘Fade Away’.

04a

Finally, it all came together. The guitar was on the beat, my voice rang out loud and clear and the vocal tracking was done in one take flat out!

Once the recordings were done, Ruthvi worked his magic on the track and the song came out really well. Thanks to Arvind Dayalan for quickly turning out the neat video edit which was shot by Ruthvi. A big thank you to the entire Octavium family, I truly feel at home whenever I am there. The vibe is always warm and positive, ideal for creative work to happen.

Cannot thank enough both Viku and Ruthvi for the patience and support they extended to me during the process, which took way longer than it should have, thanks to my inexperience. I still pick holes in my singing and guitar playing when I listen to the track, but from where I started and where we reached, it was a big leap for me.

In the end I think we have a good song and lots of valuable lessons learnt in the process of making it. For me, this may be a small, but a significant step forward…in the direction of my dreams, away from all the noises around.

Hope the emotion resonates with you through the song.

03

So, in early 2016 on the day fixed for recording, I got to the studio armed with my guitar and the song in my head. I met Ruthvi Urs Aravind there, the sound engineer for the project. Microphones were set up, the levels were checked, it was all good to go. And…Take One… ‘Tic…tic…tic…tic…’, went a rhythmic click through the headphone wrapped on my head.

How strange, I thought! Then I was told that I should be playing guitar with the ‘Tic…tic…’ sound that was going on in my ears.

How very strange, said my hand that was playing guitar and it went right back to doing it’s own thing, not heeding to my now desperate command to play with the ‘Tic…tic…’.

This went on and on for a bit. All in all, suffice to say it was a total disaster!

It was clear that I needed to get used to the metronome and learn to play to the click- a basic requirement for track recording in studios. Viku very graciously said that the day shall be spent just for me to familiarize with the studio. And that was all that happened that day.

Back at home, I started practicing strumming the guitar to the metronome beat. Also started using a guitar pick for strumming- the muffled sound of bare fingers on strings were not ringing out clear enough. It was all back-to-basics mode.

Whoever said that we learn more from failure, not from success is absolutely right. When we have failed and fallen, we can either walk away from there or stay on and fight. But before we choose which, we ask ourselves why is it so important for us. The way we answer that determines which way we choose. The way we answer that determines who you really are.

(To be continued)

02

I did not intend to record this song. Like all my songs, it was an emotional expression that came out of me and I was happy going back to it over and over and singing in my room all by myself. It was my 3 minutes of revenge and freedom from the world and I was content to do it in the confines of my room.

All that changed when I met my friend Kedar/Vikram ‘Viku’ Nayak.

We had first met as client and architect in 2011 through a common friend and accomplished musician Rzhude David. Viku was in the process of breaking away from his consulting profession and pursuing his dream of setting up a music venture with an academy and pro recording studio at its core. That project didn’t quite take off then. During this time, we had also played together on stage for the show ‘Rzhude & Friends’ at Counter Culture.

When I connected with Viku again a few years later, he had fulfilled part of his dream by setting up a nice little space for music called Octavium. And it had grown into a reputed academy & studio in a few short years. We met up at the studio and had a long chat about music, life and all that. At the end of the talk, it was decided that we shall record my songs in the studio. I was quite happy about it – A studio recorded song meant it could reach a larger audience, outside of my room. A song does its full circle only when it reaches the listener.

(To be continued)