Last year I was asked by award-winning filmmaker and general cool dude, Andrew Hinton, whether I would be interested in making some music for a film he was working on. It was a short documentary film for the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. I had briefly heard of Aravind in the past but did not know much about the organisation or how they operate. I am always eager to compose music for projects that have a social cause and a sharing an inspirational message and when I had goose bumps from seeing the rough cut I knew I had to be involved.
Aravind works to make high quality eye care affordable and available to anyone who needs it. Their mission is to eliminate needless blindness and all are treated with respect and dignity regardless of their social or financial status. Across the Aravind network over 12,000 patients are seen and 1500 operations are performed on a daily basis. They have a business model whereby revenue from a paying patient would cover the cost of 2 free patients.
I approached the music for this film by trying to put a sound to the patient journey. The sounds of the village are different to that of the clinical hospital environment. There is a theme based on my “Take Me Away” track where I use the chord progression to develop emotion and lift the visuals. The musical ideas also draw upon my experience as a doctor and I thought about how I could put a sound to the compassion and humanity within the medical team and the extraordinary commitment and vision of Aravind’s founder, Dr V. I used the piano to carry the emotion within the story, with clinical electric guitar sounds and the mridangam percussion keeping that earthy human beat.
As a musician, it is my mission to be able to amplify and uplift such a powerful story by translating what I see and feel from the visuals into a musical sound. It was a true honour to work on this project and have a chance to collaborate with such a brilliant filmmaker.
Check out the film and feel free to comment and share if you like!