Composer Karan Kulkarni: Background score has its challenges
Mumbai: Music director Karan Kulkarni, who composed the background score of the recent digital releases “Shakuntala Devi” and “Raat Akeli Hai”, says that creating the essence of a story through its background music is nothing less interesting than composing a song.
“I would say each has its challenges. When it comes to a song, one can also hear it separately from the film. But when we are working on a background score of a film, of a story or a scene, we have to capture the essence of the story. This is a different challenge,” Karan told IANS.
Asked about how a conversation with the film’s director helps him get the tone of the story right, he said: “Making background score of a film is really collaborative work. To give you an example, I have also worked with Hansal Mehta, creating the background score of ‘Shahid’ and ‘Aligarh’. His narration of the story, the way he was talking about the character of Professor Siras in ‘Aligarh’, how could I convey that through one tune? So, I based the score loosely on Puriya Dhaneshri, an Indian classical raga. At times the character of the raga is in sync with the character. It was a dark space where the character was in.
“In ‘Shakuntala Devi’, (director) Anu (Menon) wanted a specific sound, also the era…so the instrumentation, the treatment of the film, we were following that.”
As a composer, Karan has also worked in films like “Peddlers” and “Shahid”, besides composing the background score in films like “Tumhari Sulu”, and “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan”.
He also scored the background music of the recent web series, “Breathe: Into The Shadows”.
At a time when Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman has spoken of people ganging up against him in Bollywood, how does Karan survive?
“I don’t complain as long as I work in different projects, not always films, though. I also believe that once normalcy surfaces, instead of going back to the rat race we should remember the lesson that greed can only last that long, after that it is unhealthy. Spoiling someone’s work will not build one’s career.”
He said various outlets of work have come up now.
“New avenues such as web series, shows, films, digital campaigns are coming up, opportunities for musicians are growing. Greed will not take us anywhere, our work will do!” Karan signed off.