student projects

Learning To Fly

While I was hard at work with my other projects, I got a mail from a bunch of NIFT students that wanted me to work on one track for their part-art part-fantasy movie about a girl trying to discover herself. While, normally I would have said no, there was something a little interesting about their concept which seemed a little like 'Alice in Wonderland' to me. Who doesn't love a good fantasy story?

They sent me a rough script and I decided to start imagining what the soundtrack would sound like. It seemed more like the kind of movie that would probably fit better with an acoustic guitar-playing dreamy singer-songwriter strumming and cooing his way to eternity. But I looked at my previous work, and there was a point when I told myself it was going to be difficult to work out, since I'm not great at making that kind of music.

I decided to try anyway. Not the dream-pop stuff, no way I could get myself to do that. Now I know these students did have a look at my work before handing me the project and I'm pretty sure they knew what they were signing up for, since I'm a very experimental guy, I like to drive sounds to the wall and see what ticks.


They sent me a video today (not the above one, just an excerpt of it)  and the video just as I guessed does have that dreamy surreal feel to it, something I love to thrive on. I like my movies sharp and very surreal. Think Requiem for A Dream, or better still Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind. I love those kind of movies. They kind of, screw with your brain lulling you into a false sense of security before pulling the floor away from you.

I analysed the video and figured this was in fact, exactly the kind of short film I'd like to work on. Even though it was a short 3 minute video, it pretty much summed up the gist of the story. I started with the typical faux pas strumming acoustic guitar, dreamy ambience and a little percussion. Yes, I was doing dream-pop and this was real. Facepalm.

Mid-way through the track, I think the track lost the vibe somewhere and entered unknown territory. I imagined the girl falling inside my head, and I told myself. Things need to go off-course now. What followed was me modulating a few swell pads and trying to create an ambience that was a little surreal. I ended up pretty much making a calculated switch between the loud swells and silence in small doses. I love contrast as a musician. It gives character to the events of a movie, I feel.


P.S. Imagine my surprise when they ended up using my work for just about 45 seconds of the entire six-minute movie. Now I know that sounds harsh, but then again I guess I could've done better.

But that's how music goes, sometimes you have to prioritise and focus on things that get you more profit. But then again, you never know which way the wind will turn. As it turns out, one of these students helped me bag my next project.

Cheer and Hails all around.