Hear good, see good, feel good

Sensory treat: the combined power of audio and video for soothing the soul has been rendered as an album, Strange Movements

Aniruddh Mehta (thebigfatminimalist)

This album is about music that soothes your soul and visuals that make you sit up in rapt attention. Strange Movements, a unique audiovisual (AV) experience created by Mumbai-based producer Tejas Nair, better known as Spryk, and AV artiste Aniruddh Mehta, aka thebigfatminimalist, started off as a showcase and turned into a full-fledged 10-track LP, which is out now on redbull.com. In an interview, the two new-media artistes talk about the album, their inspirations, and the AV scene in India...

How did the two of you meet?

We were introduced by a common friend, who we kind of owe this whole thing to. She recognised the similarities in our interests and was certain we would end up working together. Over time, we have come to share a space where we don’t look at each other as a ‘designer’ or a ‘musician’, and that’s the key. We’re both creative and our interests are rooted in the same core emotion that can be evoked through a medium or tool.

Did you both always want to make music?

BigFat: I come from a design

background, but I’ve always been intertwined with music. I seldom double-up as a DJ, but my main focus has always been visual communication. Although there was a point where I did want to pursue music, it’s all fallen into place, now that I get to collaborate with Spryk, who is an incredibly talented producer.

Spryk: I always did want to make music but various opportunities presented themselves before me before I could build a life around making music. It has always been my dream to create something within the spaces of music, art and technology.


Tejas Nair (Spryk)

Who are your influences?

Ryoji Ikeda, Max Cooper, Mono Lake & Nonotak...

Tell us about ‘Strange Movements’.

It has been an amazing learning experience. We worked on an hour-long set with completely original content — this gave us a lot of control and a challenging few months. Writing a full-length album with a dominant theme and soundscapes is always fun. We set a few rules and guidelines, and then tried to explore every possible permutation within those boundaries. Interestingly, we never thought about this body of work as an album until the show was actually performed a couple of times. We had simply set out to build an hour-long piece to perform, but it has been an incredible learning experience to see how it all fell into place. The album is now out via Spryk’s new record label, Skip-A-Beat.

What is the best thing about combining music and visual art?

We’d like to believe they are essentially the same. One can translate as a starting point for the other, and vice-versa. Technology permits us to tie elements together in ways that can make visuals and music feel like a single cohesive medium.

That was a defining factor for us from the start, and it continues to be so.

Where are you planning to tour?

We took the show on tour across four cities in March, but having said that, there has been some new interest from more cities since we put out the album, so hopefully, we might have some more dates to announce soon. The entire project came to life in a place that left us both in awe. It is a small creators’ space not far from Mumbai, called Theeya. We spent about a week there to work on the content, away from the distractions of a city, and the place really has us both inspired.

Does India still have a long way to go when it comes to audio-visual showcases?

It does, in terms of the ability to host such showcases, in terms of venues. When a venue is built keepingprimarily performance art in mind, it opens up avenues to produce future-facing showcases. Without presenting AV experiences the right way, it is always hard to build an audience for it.

What next for you?

There is one key objective behind each one of our AV collaborations — to createoriginal content from scratch and start each show with a fresh palette.

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