Thinking Out Loud

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Amogh Symphony : In Conversation

Monday, November 17, 2014

1. Why is the new album called 'Vectorscan'? What are its underlying themes?

Vishal: Vector, according to physics, a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another. According to biology, an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another. Vectorscan, conceptually, is a risky search vision in nano and pico level of matter of composition. Manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular scale. Thematically, it’s a state of vision in cosmology/tantric practice or a deep layer of meditation where one can see things moving and existing in a form that cannot be seen by human eyes in normal state. A lot of Buddhist monks can see this vision. Vectorscan is a story(continuation from previous albums ATOS and TQHC) about cosmic rivalry between forces of Satyuga and forces of darkness which roam around from one human mind to another human. You can have a read of concept storyboard on our website

2. From your perspective, Is Vectorscan an evolution of Amogh Symphony's sound or would it to be more apt to call it another dimension of your music? Either way, will there ever be a follow-up of the same or perhaps a similar sounding record in the future?

Vishal : At the moment? Yes, I think so. But I cannot confirm that this direction is permanent. Amogh Symphony is completely personal and it’s a state of mind that changes with time. I produce tracks of various genres and style with/for other artists,films and ads everyday. That’s how I earn my bread and butter. I cannot stick to just one style of music. I wouldn’t call this evolution because I really don't have to. I like that decision to fans,so whatever makes them happy. I would rather call it 'change'. I mean, we can do whatever we want in Amogh Symphony because there are no obligations and I believe a lot of fans know that. The next album, well, we will see.

3. How dedicated is your fan-base, in your opinion? How important are your fans to you?

Vishal : Our fans exist in a very strange diversity. Like, there are fans who buy our music yet they do not mention that on social networking sites, in fact, a lot of them are not even regularly active on social networking sites. This indicates the kind of fans we are connecting to via our music. Some fans show dedication by sending emails, tagging on social networking sites and by writing interesting comments and a lot of them don’t even buy music. Then there are fans with serious ego issues who start insulting other bands and artists with statements like ‘X is an old band and they suck. AS rules. X sounds like shit. They should better stop playing.’ These are mindless fans who honestly don't deserve a mention. They do not understand that a lot of bands are good friends with each other and this kind of behavior leads to misunderstandings. I mean, isn’t it funny that they are more proud of our music than us? It’s like having a troubled girlfriend. It starts with mad love and then it turns to hate.

4. Do you guys fancy the idea of going live someday?

Vishal : I really want to. But this may sound a bit arrogant. It’s a full fledged orchestral band now. I do not want to use them as samples from laptop with a 3-4 piece band because then 70% part of the band will be sampled. This cannot be a guitar heroism setup where I keep on playing with Jim and Andrey and the rest coming out as samples from the DAW. If organizers can afford to get us larger square feet stage and all the necessary equipment and technical support, pay the orchestral line up, we are totally on. It’s basically not feasible for organizers especially in metal and jazz shows also considering the fact that our music is not very friendly with a lot of people, there are risks of financial disaster for the organizers. I have been asked to find musicians in local circuit to perform Amogh Symphony live but I alwaays stand against that choice and I still do. If I really had to do that, I could perform as AS long before. Today, Andrey, Jim, me and the rest are a band together because that’s exactly how its supposed to be. I cannot spoon-feed and train musicians especially in India. I do not want to say this but there are no musicians to replace these guys. Some organizers believe I am arrogant but that’s not the case here. These things were cleared since day 1 hence none of us are depending on live shows. If that has to happen, it will happen. If not, no big deal and doesn’t matter to the band, honestly.

5. As a band, what was the biggest challenge in making 'Vectorscan' a possibility?

Vishal : Getting the songs placed and arranged in a soundtrack/background music score style. This album could not be done without Andrey and Jim and everyone who’ve been associated with this album. It’s a balance between music composition and experimental visuals that we see in post modern films. I have been following and studying films by film makers like Kamal Swaroop and musicians/engineers like Juku Da since longtime and understood the connection between randomness songwriting and charted out/planned music composition. There are rules that doesn’t seem like rules at first. Let me give you a short example – Reality shows. They look random but it’s all planned up. There is absolutely nothing satisfying than being able to achieve what you’ve always imagined. I would not say it’s a perfect album but it’s definitely something for listeners who want to feel a little different than usual feels, you know. A lot of fans who loved previous albums will dislike this album, especially the ones who are emotionally attached to just one feeling. Like I said, fans and fan-support are exactly like girlfriends and relationships.

6. Tell us a little about what fans can expect from Amogh Symphony in the near future.

Vishal : We will see.

7. Moving to Kasturi Ma'am. Tell us how music happened to you.

Kasturi Singh : Firstly, thank you so much for this interview, Kaushik. I hope you are doing good.It started at the age of 7 with dance. I used to learn dance and singing from my belated mother/Vishal’s Grandma Labanya Prabha Nath. My brothers are known instrumentalists and songwriters from whom I learned more about singing and performing. My Mother was the first lady singer from Assam who was recorded by HMV and Megaphone(Kolkata) before Indian Independence. She’s been an inspiration to me. My first solo performance happened when I was 11 years old. I have been singing, dancing and performing since then until I stopped music and dance after I conceived Vishal. I had to sacrifice music for sometime because I was very serious with my motherhood for my two sons who were little. Because I remember how tough it was for our Mother to spend time with us due to her rehearsals and shows. I promised myself that when I will become a mother, I will wait for the right time. My belated husband always encouraged me to continue music but I insisted to wait. Slowly with time, I started writing articles based on music, society issues and also stories and poems on local newspapers such as Aamar Oxom, Agnibaan, Progoti and magazines such as Swaroopa, Pubali, Hokhi etc. I collaborated with Santana Baruah and young Mayukh Hazarika(Son of late Jayanta Hazarika) in a compilation produced by Alin Mech called Aideor bulonitey. My first book “Progotikhil Jibon, Mon aru Byoktitto” was published on year 2000. The book is based on thoughts of modern human society parallel to mythology and philosophy. Apart from all these, I have been practicing meditation, spirituality and mind healing others since years.

8. What inspired you to return to music? How did the collaboration with your son Vishal J.Singh happen?

Kasturi Singh : I was not away from music. I stopped music and writing since Vishal’s father died. Vishal inspired me to refresh. I don’t really like his other 2 albums because I found them very noisy except few moments in those songs. He knows that haha. I am not into heavy metal and electronic music but I like some jazz because I heard my Mother singing and performing Jazz music during 70’s. Vishal puts his heart and soul in everything he does and he is very experimental. He studies music a lot and he often spends time with his uncles(my brothers) talking about music and often argue on laws and theories in music. He asked me to collaborate before but I did not find my spot in his songs. He said “Ma, that’s me and my friends Jim, Andrey, Youri and others..” and played his new songs to me. I liked them and I loved to be a part of it. He wanted me to sing in the same memory of my Mother and her poetry. He also requested me to give my creative inputs in songs which he produce for other artists and short films. It’s good to see him evolving because I think it’s important. His bandmates are very talented guys. I wish him and his friends good luck with this record.


Manav Verma said...

Good Work!

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