He has already composed music for two award winning films. In a brief chat with RBN, Chirantan Banerjee talks about his upcoming film Kuasha Jakhon, the things he had to keep in mind while composing its music, and his future projects.
How did the film come your way?
Joydeepda (Joydeep Majumdar), popularly known as Bajuda in the industry, had knowledge of my previous works in films. He introduced me to Abhishek and Meenakshii, the directors of Kuasha Jakhon. They first considered me only for the background score. But I ended up doing the entire music for the film including the four songs.
Kuasha Jakhon is a paranormal romance. What are the things you kept in mind while composing the background music?
I believe that the background music of a film should have a language of its own. It not only underlines the sequence of events happening in the film, but also illustrates the story in its own way. I did likewise for two award winning films Smug and Watchmaker. Both were directed by Anindya Pulak Banerjee. Since Kuasha Jakhon is a paranormal romance, I tried to retain the element of thrill while composing the background score. I have tried to compose the music in such a way that people would be at the edge of their seats in most of the sequences. The subtle sense of thrill and horror is the high point of the film’s music.
Each film, of course, is unique in its own way. How is Kuasha Jakhon different from the music that you have done so far?
Kuasha Jakhon is my fifth film as a composer. I composed the entire music in all my earlier films and was confident of diving into this new soundscape of a paranormal romance. I love to make music that is soulful, heart touching and contemporary. For Kuasha Jakhon, I had an entire period in my hands to play with. The film’s timeline is from the 1960s to the present day, so I was able to play with a number of sound spectrums in not only the songs, but also the background music. All the songs depict different periods and so does their arrangement.
In most period films, be it in Mumbai or Bengal, we find that the music often doesn’t conform to the period shown in the film. The instrumentation sounds more contemporary than the period in which the film is set. As a composer how did you tackle this issue in Kuasha Jakhon?
Well, I believe art is all about content and form. You can’t serve pizzas or pastas in banana leaves. The content and form of the music should match each other and so does the arrangement of a song in a period film. I have used several traditional and organic instruments like the oud, shanjh, dotara, harmonium, sitar, flute, ukulele, and others. This has forged the period-feel in the music for Kuasha Jakhon. I have also used various ragas to depict different moods in the film that are relevant to that period.
You have been an actor as well. How do you manage the roles as a composer, playback singer, and an actor?
I have acted both in films and television. But the hours of work were hectic and it became increasingly difficult for me to continue with my music, live shows and recordings. I have taken a temporary break from acting, and right now, fully concentrating on music.
Basic songs and private albums are passé. It’s film music everywhere. Now, all artistes won’t get a chance to work in films. How then will they survive in competition? Neighbourhood musical soirees that were popular even at the turn of the century, don’t happen much these days
Very true. The music scene has changed a lot over the last decade. It’s all about film music these days. But I believe that everything comes with an expiry date and things are subject to change after a period of time. Independent music should be given more preference by artistes as well as the audience. Love for music, not the packaging, should precede everything. Artistes who love their trade have a big quality called perseverance. We have to see this time through. I’m sure independent music will see better times. It’s just a part of the cycle.
You have performed in many stage shows. What are the songs that are mostly demanded by the audience?
I started my career from a popular reality show and since then stage shows have become a part of my life. I have performed at home and abroad. I keep the genre of music open for all my shows and that includes Sufi, semi-classical, ghazals, folk songs, retro film music, rock, blues, and contemporary music.
Your upcoming projects?
I am composing the music for three Bengali films, namely Network, Dwikhondito and an yet untitled project. I am also opening a high-tech sound studio and my own production house along with my partner Tridibesh Choudhury. Both these ventures will be launched before the Pujas.