‘cultural melting pot’ | Interview with B Prasanna

Playful orchestral elements meet the outstanding voice of Bombay Jayashri in a composition by B Prasanna that literally cracks the goosebumps code, one note at a time. Read our discussion with the talent musicial below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

cultural melting pot

‘Gagan Dhuan Dhuan is an ode to the impressionist era’. Tell us a few things about it, what is the story behind the track?

Gagan Dhuan Dhuan is an ode to the impressionist era. One fine day, Bombay Jayashri called me and explored the idea of working together on a song. I was thrilled; she is a renowned singer, who got nominated for the Oscars for her stunning Life of Pi Lullaby song. I took up the opportunity immediately; composed a little melody, worked with my friend Preetika Dixit on the lyrics and sent it to her. For a while then, I had been wanting to do a song that was very twilight and nostalgic with the spirit of romantic era classical music. I got the opportunity to explore that in Gagan. Music needn’t be like a real-world meeting; music can be untamed in its expression & that’s exactly how I wanted Gagan to be.

This song was custom made for the enchanting quality of Bombay Jayashri’s voice and range. It flows with her vocal from start to end sans any interludes or non-sequiturs. The song is an impression of a woman sitting by the window and singing to herself, all alone in her hill-top house. Her voice reflects her nostalgia, while the music feeds off the nature around her.

Needless to say that Bombay Jayashri’s voice sounds phenomenal. How did you two meet and decide to collaborate?

I think she liked one of my earlier releases, ‘Kannil Mazhai’ and thought it might be interesting to work with me on a project. As i mentioned, I consider myself very lucky to have had this opportunity. She is a very special singer with a unique sound and a terrific range; a dream for any composer to work with.

Gagan Dhuan Dhuan could work nicely as a soundtrack. If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

I’m a big fan of Ennio Morricone; it’s my dream to score film soundtracks rich in emotion & sound, the way he did. I also love the way music is used in films like Babel, Amores Perros, etc. – very textural and it has a strong story-telling quality to it.

I don’t particularly know which film i would like to “rescore” for, but I guess I would like to score music for films like the above examples I have mentioned.

Artists and people that have influenced you?

Ennio Morricone, John Williams, A R Rahman, Michael Jackson, Claude Debussy, Pat Metheny and many more.

Which album would you recommend to someone that has never listened to Carnatic music?

Carnatic Music is a live-performance oriented form; so I would suggest people to listen to concert recordings that can be found in Youtube and other places. I’ll share one of my most favourite carnatic compositions, again performed by Bombay Jayashri here.

Favourite music related Indian film?

So many are amazing, but I think i’ll choose 2. One is ‘Dil Se’, a Mani Rathnam film with music by A R Rahman. The other is ‘Hey Ram’, a Kamal Haasan film with music by Ilayaraja. Both are amazing in very different ways. Dil Se has got a very haunting score and Hey Ram is a classic with some extraordinary music by Ilayaraja; it’s got a very European classical quality to it. Off the top of my head, these 2 come to my mind as my favourites.

Your biggest fear?

I’m not going to share my biggest fear as I don’t want to make it public. But one of my big fears is a silent visual of all the planets in the solar system just going on with the revolutions around the sun, as time passes by for eternity.

Thank you!

Follow our brand new Spotify Playlist “Sonnets for the big screen” feat. B Prasanna

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