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Composer Spotlight Q&A

How did you get into composition?
I came to composing through improvisation; more specifically playing traditional Indian music blending Western classical, jazz and pop with artists from various genres. As a performer, I always enjoyed interpreting and re-imagining songs by delving deep into the emotions that they embody. This process opened my mind, revealing that music is a unique language, capable of conveying profound feelings and experiences. My exploration of this universal language inspired me to create music that communicates my inner world to listeners, striving to evoke the same emotional resonance I feel.

What sort of music do you like to write?

I am drawn to almost anything I feel connected to, and my musical journey has led me to write and produce for a wide array of mediums, including films, TV series, commercials, dance, and theatre productions. These projects span a variety of genres, reflecting my approach to music. Recently, in 2022, I began writing concert music, a new and exciting path for me. During my master’s at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I was exposed to a wealth of new classical music, which unlocked new creative avenues in my mind. I am particularly excited by the potential of blending Indian music with Western classical elements in contemporary concert settings, exploring the rich possibilities that this fusion offers.

What excites you most about being part of Opus 1?

As I transition into professional life as a classical composer, Opus 1 represents a remarkable platform to collaborate with the high-calibre Britten Sinfonia and their new music specialism. The opportunity to closely observe the progress of my work through workshops will provide greater clarity and insight into my musical language. Sharing ideas and being inspired by fellow composers in the cohort is incredibly valuable. Also, I am excited by the challenge of writing for the curated, rare ensemble lineup, which pushes me to explore and think outside the box.

What three pieces of music would you have on your desert island?

Traditional Indian classic SriChakra Raja Simhasaneshwari by Sage Agastya, Whispers in the Dark by Yanni and Fratres by Arvo Part.

What is the best snack?
An Indian street chat, hands down.

About Vishak

Vishak Ramaprasad is an Indian composer, music producer and pianist currently based in Glasgow. His musical language involves concepts of Indian traditional music with jazz, western classical contemporary, pop and sound design giving him a unique global style. His concert music is often inspired by philosophy and spirituality that finds relevance in everyday life. As a media composer, he has worked in over 15 Indian movies with well-known actors and directors, producing and composing background scores and songs. He was signed with Viacom 18, a joint venture of Paramount Global as a composer for multiple Indian TV series'. He has also produced music for reality shows, podcasts and commercials.

Recently, Vishak has been involved with Rangavartula theatre productions, multiple contemporary text theatre productions, and film projects with the MFA department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), exploring the possibilities of live acoustic performances with electronics. In the past two years, he has collaborated with the GAIA Duo, Red Note Ensemble, Con Brass Ensemble, and other departments at RCS, premiering several new works to acclaim. Vishak’s style of music has found keen appreciation by Sir James Macmillan, Mike Lindup from Level 42 and Oscar-winning Indian singer Vijayprakash. He is soon to graduate from RCS with an MMus in Composition, studying under Dr. Bekah Simms and Dr. Stuart MacRae having been awarded ABRSM Queen’s Silver Jubilee Scholarship.

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