'It was always music for me'

'It was always music for me'

A sound world

'It was always music for me'

The world of sound has always been a mystifying one for music composer and sound designer Anish Ponnanna. The young artiste, who started of as a lead vocalist during school days, soon moved to peppy college bands and has now traversed into experimental film music.

In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, the musician talks about the world of tunes and sound effects.

 Your journey into music...

I was 13 when I started singing ‘bhajans’ at my boarding school in Coorg. I also taught myself the harmonium. Slowly, I graduated to college bands. I was part of an a capella band and an Indian fusion band.

 How was the transition from traditional music to peppier numbers like?

I didn’t see it as a transition. I listened to all 
sorts of music, varying from ‘Pink Floyd’ to Kishore Kumar, ‘Porcupine Tree’ to Steven Wilson and more. I was interested in background scoring.

 When did you know that you wanted to work in the field of sound?

I always knew I wanted to work with sound, especially after the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy came out. After college, I took up a sound engineering course in Chennai. I had decided that I didn’t want to do a music course like everybody. I worked with a radio channel for a bit, following which I came back to Bengaluru and started working as a sound engineer.

 How did you get a chance in the movies?

I am the music composer and sound designer of ‘Tripper Valley’. The director of the movie wanted someone like me who could understand every audio and handle everything, from composing to post-production.

What is unique about your style?

It’s not very different from that of others. But there are different segments in audio. I am doing both the roles of sound engineer and musician.

 How was the experience of working in ‘Tripper Valley’?

Being a horror/psychological movie, the work was in my zone. It’s a perfect platform for me to play around with sounds. If one listens to the trailer, they will realise that there are a lot of things happening, which communicate the feel. I am also the sound engineer of ‘Beegara Oota’, the music of which is by Vasu Dixit. The trailer has gone viral.

 Working with Vasu Dixit...

Was easy! Vasu and I have been working with ‘Swarathma’ and ‘Vasu Dixit Collective’ for a while now.

 Sound designing for other projects versus films...

It is very different. Producers and directors have an image in their head and they are clear about it. But they don’t know how to communicate it to the sound professionals. Sound effects are often misunderstood. It is very important to create the sense of the place.

 A song which deeply inspired you.

A R Rahman’s ‘Vande Mataram’. I remember listening to it for days together and wondering about its nuances. There was no access to artistes like ‘Pink Floyd’ then and I was awe-inspired when I first heard this song on the school’s sound system.

 A song you would have liked to work on.

‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ from ‘Tamasha’.

 If not music, what would you have done?

Nothing. It was always music for me.

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