Mind over music

It's a first for the globetrotting producer, songwriter, orchestral composer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist. While Nitin Sawhney may have DJ-ed in India several times before, he is currently on his first tour to India, which coincides with the release of his ninth studio album, Last Days of Meaning. Fiona Fernandez listens in to the guru of groove

What challenges you the most when you step into a recording studio, for your collaboration?
It's a challenge to get into the psychology of the person I am working with in order to be able to create a mutually acceptable sound, while having a new body of work that is distinct from the both of you, yet simultaneously reflects who we are.

Nitin Sawhney will be touring India through February

Tell us about your experiences of working for the score of Midnight's Children.
I'm still writing the score for Midnight's Children and I'm enjoying it immensely. Deepa has a great recognition for the importance of using specific ragas to create mood and to find the characterisation she's looking for with her protagonists. I enjoy working this way - she is an immensely thoughtful and intelligent woman who is inspiring to work with, notwithstanding this being one of my favourite works of literature by a truly brilliant author.

Having created music across genres and for different media and with varied artistes, what gives you maximum satisfaction at the end of the day?
If I feel that I have had a cathartic experience where I have managed to capture something - a thought or an idea that I had a burning intensity to express - if that happens, I feel deeply satisfied.

Is there anybody on the planet with whom you would love to create music with? Why?
I would love to work with artists like Thom Yorke, Massive Attack, Zakir Hussain and Paco de Lucia. However, I am very lucky in that I have already collaborated with many of the artists that I most admire. Most notably Nelson Mandela!

Nitin Sawhney will perform at The BlueFrog on February 7

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