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An İnstrumentalist İnspired by the Sky: Sid Acharya

You had a nice, interesting page and we were curious. Who is and what does Sid Acharya do?

I am a contemporary classical music composer from Australia, specializing in music for film. I have always had a fascination with film music since I was quite young and over the years this love has grown and expanded to encompass wider genres of instrumental music. I find there is something special about instrumental music allowing the listener to think deeply in retrospect about their life as a form of therapy.

You just make music and no words? How do you evaluate the work you do?

All my music is instrumental/orchestral and has no lyrics. With the absence of words, I think the composer is forced to deliver emotions in a different way, through instruments and composition. In a way, it is a more intimate craft, because as a composer I have no words to rely upon to convey meaning – I must rely purely on the composition itself to tell a story. I think this helps me evaluate my work if I am able to tell a story in a powerful way.

You also design soundtracks, isn't that true? Do you think the background music affects people while watching a movie? Does this really matter?

I began writing music for short films a few years ago, but currently I mainly write music for feature-length films. I am currently composing the soundtrack for Australian feature-film BEAT, expected to release towards the end of 2021 to streaming services.

I think music in film is one of the most underestimated storytelling tools. Often as a composer, my relationship with the director is one of the closest among all the crewmembers because the soundtrack of a film is so pivotal – it can change the entire delivery of emotion for the film. The visuals of a film can tell an audience what to feel, but the music tells us how to feel it. Classics such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings would fall utterly short if it weren’t for their incredible soundtracks. Music has such an essential role, but works very subconsciously, and there are a number of tricks that composers use to train an audience member’s brain without them realizing it. Using motifs in interesting and evolving ways has the power to force recall of memory in an audience (like the use of The Shire theme in the Lord of the Rings, brings back feelings of hope and home throughout the films).

''Stories from the Sky'' is very deep and touching. Does it really have a story?

I wrote my album Stories from the Sky over four months in 2020, which was quite an intense year for most. I set out to write this album with one element in mind, the sky. To me, looking up at the sky always made me feel this sense of grandiosity, and I was always overwhelmed with the scale and color of the sky, both in day and night. The sky was also a place for me to look up and think and reflect upon my life – which acted as a sort of therapy. It was really calming to look up and feel so insignificant among the stars. I wanted to encompass these feelings into the album and create these compositions that could elevate one’s feelings while looking at the sky.

You asked a question "What do you feel when you look up the sky?" We ask to you, how do you feel?

The sky is ever-changing, it’s never the same on any two days. It’s almost as if the sky is an ever-evolving artwork. It’s incredible how dramatic the changes in the sky can be. At night, I feel a sense of wonder and solitude when looking up at the sky, but on a summer day, white clouds on blue remind me of warmth and relaxation. On a cloudy day with storm clouds, I feel something completely different. That versatility was really interesting to capture when writing the album Stories from the Sky.

Could the sky be your inspiration? Or other things?

I think artists can find inspiration from anything. The smallest and simplest things can often be the most inspiring and can plant a seed for a major artwork.

Could good or bad memories be reason enough to make music?

I tend to subconsciously base my music on how I am feeling at the time of writing the piece, which would be inspired by my experiences, memories, and life events. I think it can be very powerful to write music based on memories as it creates something that is relatable for the audience and genuine, since it is based on true emotions. Creating music based on our own lives is a powerful therapy for the artist, and a sort of “diary” for us to express ourselves in.

Have you ever had an orchestra performance?

I was privileged to have my piece “A Lifetime Ago” performed by my alma mater’s symphony orchestra in 2020. To revisit my high school years after graduation was incredibly special, and hearing my work performed by the student symphony orchestra was an amazing experience.

Which musical instruments are or should be used mostly in instrumental music? Is there such a requirement?

I don’t think there is a requirement to use a certain instrument in music. I think it is up to whatever the composer is most comfortable with, or what the composer thinks would be the ideal instrument to represent a specific emotion in a story. I tend to use a lot of piano in my music, because I am a pianist and feel comfortable writing and expressing emotions on the piano.

Do you think people tend to listen to music without words? Why?

I feel like there is a growing trend of people listening to instrumental music. Pioneers such as Hans Zimmer, Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter have definitely built upon previous legends in ambient and contemporary classical music to appeal to current audiences by including electronic elements. Music without lyrics can be quite unique in that the listener can place their own thoughts into the song, without needing to be steered by the existing lyrics. Instead of being relatable, the music is universal and can help a listener to feel their own emotions and think about their own lives.

Have you ever written lyrics? You have a poetic side and we wondered if it showed.

I haven’t written lyrics before, but it would be an interesting challenge! I do tend to make my song titles a bit poetic and metaphoric, so it would be something I would be very interested in doing.

We may have listened to your music on Spotify while doing yoga!

Many people have reached out to me saying that my music helps them study or sleep! I think activities of relaxation such as yoga and meditation, or even stargazing can really benefit from my genre of music as it is designed to evoke emotions and make a listener think. It is interesting to see how one can tell a story without using words. In a way, it can provide you with the soundtrack for your life!

Finally, what do you want to say?

I am really grateful for all the listeners and support received over the last few years. It’s a special connection between a composer and their listeners – almost like an intimate window into my soul that you can connect with through my music. I hope that you are able to find some peace in listening to my music!

You can find my music on all streaming services, and Stories from the Sky is available on Limited Edition Vinyl or CD.



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