Composer Jeevan Antony talks Sounds of Himêya
Jeevan Antony is a Bangalore-based songwriter and producer, best known for his dreamy shoegaze band, Madràs. His introspective music made him our first choice for creating a soundtrack for Himêya.
Below, he talks to us about Sounds of Himêya (SOH): a soundtrack crafted for rest, and an aid to meditation and dreaming.
I’m easily inspired. I usually stay away from music when I’m writing my own. For SOH particularly, I rewatched scenes from the films Masaan and Revanche.
Photo credit: Rema Chaudhary
“I also deeply connect with the sound of water. The primary composition of our hearts, brains, and lungs is water; presumably why my music is often textured with the sound of streams or the sky crying.”
Defining the “sound” of Himêya
Akanksha Himatsingka (Himêya’s founder) and I met a few times. We worked with keywords and photographs. The idea was to help the listener break away from the clutter to facilitate this journey; we wanted something meditative. Ultimately, Akanksha trusted me with complete freedom to express Himêya in my voice.
I usually need a year before I’m comfortable releasing my work. I give songs time to breathe and tell me what they need. Here, there was a deadline. Needing six tracks ready in about a month bothered me initially, but ended up being a great exercise in intuition and letting go.
The weather was horrid; I’m very sensitive to the sun. Fortunately, I did a short residency at Primrose Villas, Chikmagalur. The property, weather, people and puppies helped a great deal in filling the blanks of the Bangalore heat.
Collaborating with brother Mathew Antony and friend Tanvi Rao
I wanted another voice on the record. The human voice is my favourite instrument; the most emotive. As much as you may resample and warp, it still shines through. Tanvi and I’ve talked about collaborating for years. I sent her a rough draft of To Earth. She sent me stems the same day; they were like honey.
Sun (Mathew) and I are extremely close. We have a telepathic understanding of what a situation needs; we finish each other’s sentences. On this project, the time difference (he lives in Austin) and self-imposed restrictions, worked in our favour. His disciplined approach balanced out my mania.
I’d like to give a shoutout to Sharath Narayan from Cosma Recording Studio, who did a pristine job mixing the record and Justin Colletti for the warm masters.
Mathew Antony With Noise, I wanted the main piano part to be mantra-like. While that sets the foundation for this rhythmic dreamlike state, the other elements in the song tell the story.
Tanvi Rao Jeevan’s track To Earth was so dreamy and lush that I felt like the voice should be a part of all the layers. I listened and just hummed some melodies on top of it. He took little bits and transformed it into something beautiful. It was a seamless experience.