Know more about music: An interaction with musician Dhruv Goel

Updated: Dec 25, 2016, 12:23 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Dhruv Goel talks about being a Hollywood 'music preparer' and how going to Berklee made him value his roots


Dhruv Goel has worked as a music preparer for The Jungle Book and X-Men Apocalypse

It's Pretty esoteric to tell people that I am a 'music preparer'. But that's what it is," says musician Dhruv Goel. "You can also call me a music copyist." That doesn't mean Goel copies music. Here's what he does: Music directors send him a 'session' — a mock-up of the music they've made - on a computer software. Goel breaks it down by turning it into a printed piece of paper that details what notes will be played on the different instruments. This printed music is then sent to the studio where it is recorded by a real orchestra, instead of a digital software. "It's really a translation process," says the 27-year-old composer as he chats with us from Los Angeles, where he is based.

Dhruv Goel
Dhruv Goel

Goel, who works as a freelancer with JoAnn Kane Music, has already worked on X-Men Apocalypse and The Jungle Book, and is right now busy working on Star Wars 8. He has also scored music for indie projects such as Tehzeeb — a multiple award-winning short film (including awards at The Royal Television Society Awards and The London Asian Film Festival) made by Myriam Raja from London.

The Delhi boy studied Economics at Delhi University, and then headed off to the Berklee College of Music, which he says changed the way he saw music. "What happens is that in the bheed (crowd), you find yourself. I grew up in a home where we heard Bollywood music. When I finally found my sound at Berklee, the language it took on was Hindi and Urdu."

Goel joined the famed Berkelee Indian Ensemble, and will now be releasing his first song with them in the first quarter of 2017. The song, Pinha (which in Urdu means hidden within), is a ghazal that has elements of Jazz. "We plan to make a video for it soon. It's about not losing hope and finding your own potential. We want to make a video with a young girl child in India, who is ready to do whatever she wants in the future, without being judged."

That's not all. Goel is also working on creating music for video games and has just worked on Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 — a first-person tactical shooter game. But, surely that is completely different from his "world music" vibe, we ask. He laughs, "No, actually not. These days video games have large orchestral kind of scores. There are many fantasy games that need 'epic' music. For Ghost Warrior, the music is very Jason Bourne as it's a suspense sniper game. So, video games are on the level of Hollywood movies."

But, Goel is intent on coming back now, and scoring and composing for Bollywood movies. "Working on projects like X Men and Star Wars has given me an idea of how the best of Hollywood is working. I want to get that to India. That's my final ambition," he signs off.

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