Swarathma's elephant ride

“Unreal and unbelievable,” was Swarathma’s reaction, collectively, when they learnt of their nomination for the Best Composer category at The South Asian Rising Star Film Awards, an initiative by the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF), New York. Songs by the band from their albums were used for the film, Greater Elephant, which is directed by Srinivas Sunderrajan.

“This is the first time that our music is being used in a film and that too, an independent film, without the backing of a banner or a sponsor, with no audio launch or superstar in it. It is a film born out of honest intentions and a love for cinema.

Members of the band Swarathma

 To be nominated for a prestigious international award like the SAIFF Rising Stars is a huge boost of confidence for us as musicians. It is going to make us work harder to become better at our craft. We hope this is just the start for many more wonderful film collaborations,” says Jishnu Dasgupta, the bass guitarist and backing vocalist of the band.

This project fell in Swarathma’s lap by chance. The band knew Sunderrajan as a member of the Mumbai-based metal act Scribe, and when he approached them to collaborate with him for his film, they didn’t think twice. “We had an implicit faith that his work would be worth being a part of. Srinivas had heard our self-titled first album and knew the songs he wanted in the film, so we didn’t actually compose, especially for the film. Instead, our album songs were used in the film’s soundtrack,” specifies Dasgupta.

Stills from the film, Greater Elephant

Greater Elephant starts with a mahout’s search for his elephant that is lost in a big city, but concludes with a search for something ‘greater’ — a purpose, and the songs that have been incorporated in the screenplay include Yeshu, Allah Aur Krishna, Sur Mera and Ee Bhoomi. The film hits Pune screens on October 19 and will travel to other cities thereon.

Now that their music has been used in a film, the band that comprises Vasu Dixit (vocals and rhythm guitar), Pavan Kumar KJ (percussion and backing vocals), Montry Manuel (drums), Varun (lead guitar) and Sanjeev Nayak (violin) apart from Dasgupta, is looking forward to more of such collaborations with directors.

“Considering the present experimentations across film music, which is getting positive responses, we would like to work on more films but by retaining the sound of the band,” stresses Pavan Kumar KJ.

The 10-year-sitch
On another note, Swarathma is elated that they have completed a decade of making music. “I can’t believe it’s been ten years. I recall our debut show. We had no clue how the sound equipments work, what sound check is, etc. It feels nice to know how we have grown as musicians/performers. I feel humbled when I see so many people liking our music and supporting us. It has been a dream journey,” reminisces
Kumar KJ.  

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