The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown and the changed work culture may have been painful for many, but it has turned out to be a boon for some.
Himanshu Prakash, a young music technologist from Mumbai, has shifted to his home town of Dharwad and has begun working from home. “It has been such a pleasure!” he declares as he tunes his guitar to sync it with his electronic piano and other instruments. Sitting in the second floor of his house, he fiddles on his laptop, plays on the piano, adjusts the guitar strings, and checks the ultra-sensitive microphone while humming a tune set to Hindustani music.
He has received several pieces of instrumental and vocal music sent to him online by his team members from Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi. He slits them as if they were pictures or video clips, and pastes them over each other. What comes out at the end is a complete musical number with sounds of instruments in the background and the leading voices treated and processed by software tools.
“The slow pace of this town, the nearly silent surroundings, and the near-zero visitors to our house because of the lockdown has increased my productivity. You can never get such an ambience in Mumbai,” he says. “COVID -19 has forced music technologists, otherwise bound to their high-tech studios, to work from home with minimal equipment and new-age software.”
“The whole music team meets online to discuss projects. We divide our work, as though we were employees on an assembly line. Each one does his bit like singing a song, playing an instrument, or recording such performances, as per the music director’s instructions. Then those pieces are sent to technologists like us who sew them together, enhancing or diminishing some sounds, eliminating noise, and adding echo or effects. The final product seems as if it were created in one room with all the stakeholders sitting across the same table,” he says.
Mr. Prakash is a trained music technologist and a reference music director. He is also a trained Hindustani classical musician and has worked on several film and TV projects and advertisement campaigns. He was noticed for his work as an assistant music consultant for Bandish Bandits, the hit streaming series.
He thanks his parents Sunanda and Prakash Bhat for letting him choose his calling. “They sent me on a 12-month sabbatical after my SSLC. A friend and I went around the country volunteering for NGOs and engaging in adventure sports and fun activities. The trip helped me choose music. I went to Bengaluru after my pre-university course and then to Mumbai,” he says.