When 22-year-old Sidhant Kapoor set out to compose a tune called Birth of ganesha, almost two years ago, he began work on it at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. He was doing his post graduation in composition and making music was just an idealistic endeavour. Little did he know that the track would feature in the 2011 Spanish Film Katmandu, Un Espejo En El Cielo (Kathmandu Lullaby), by Oscar-nominated director Iciar Bollaín. “It came as a huge surprise. I had just shared my track with a friend who made his father listen to it,” says Kapoor, over the telephone. That resulted in the song being bought by UK-based A Networks. Bollain, who was working on a film about a quixotic young teacher trying to change things by going to a penurious place in the Himalayas came across the track through A Networks and contacted Kapoor.
Mostly played on the piano with a Sanskrit shloka in the background, Birth of ganesha becomes violin centric minutes into the track to give out a haunting jazz-based sound. “It was quite a challenge to get a tenor vocalist from Greece, Anastasios Michalis, to sing the Maha-Mrityunjay shloka in Sanskrit. Also, I had already composed the music, so I didn’t have to go through understanding a director’s mindset,” says Kapoor.
The film features another track titled Bhairav fusion for which Kapoor got sitar player Ganesh Mohan and sarangi player Harsh Narain (grandson of legendary sarangi player Pandit Ram Narain). Growing up in Mumbai, it wasn’t hard for Kapoor to take to music. He is also the grandson of playback singer Mahender Kapoor whose patriotic songs such as Mere desh ki dharti from Manoj Kumar’s Upkaar still form an intrinsic part of any patriotic event in the country. “The conversations on the dining table were always about music. And then, every night there were story sessions where all my grandfather would talk about was singing a particular song for a particular director and how he had to project his voice differently for the patriotic songs and stress on every word,” says Kapoor, who was also made to listen to Indian classical music.
Kapoor’s compositions have also been featured on various international shows such as Clash of the Gods, Taggart, The One Show, Foreign Correspondent, and The Girl Who Cries Blood. As for striking in Bollywood, Kapoor says he will wait for the right project. “I am quite interested in Bollywood. It’s a great time to be a composer there. Let’s see what comes my way,” he says.