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News |  15 Oct 2013 10:31 |  By RnMTeam

Andrew T Mackay on Mumbai Composers Lab, MFF

The inaugural Mumbai Composers Lab, a category under the Mumbai Film Festival, has announced the final list of participants who will be receiving a short term training course under an advisory board that is a mix of Indian and international music producers. They are Shane Mendoza, Alonkanada Dasgupta, Anchal Telesara, Ujjwal Agrawal, Achint Takkar and Anjo John. Andrew T Mackay, Composer, Arranger, Producer, and Lab director speaks elaborately to’s Disha Deshpande about Composers Lab, the selection process, the Masterclass and more.

Why these six composers? Can you tell me something about the selection process?

We had over 40 entries from composers around India - most were from Bombay itself which was surprising as there is so much talent all across India. Eventually, we had to choose six despite the quality of the entries. The criteria for application was that the applicant must have scored a feature film, short film or theatre of something visual that would give us an idea of their abilities and desires to be composers working in the visual arts and moving image. We also wanted them to explain why they wanted to do the Lab and what they thought they would get out of it. The six applicants not only fulfilled the above criteria, but showed exceptional talent in their different and varied styles. Not all had scored a film but their music showed great potential. In the lab, we want to take 'Potential' and help build that into a career.

What exactly can be expected to happen during the first two days?

Each composer will score a short section of film to a brief and we will mentor them through the process over the two days giving advice, options and encouraging the composers to really push their skills! We will have other guests from the industry popping in during the two days talking about different aspects of the film scoring process. On the last afternoon we will also give the composers the opportunity to record some live musicians on their score.

Kindly elaborate on what a Masterclass would ideally be.

The Masterclass at Metro Cinema will be a two hour event open to delegates and guests of the festival. It will start with an interview of chief guest composer and Creative Adviser of the Lab, Ilan Eshkeri. This will be followed by a Q and A. Guests, including those from Abbey Road Studios in London, PRS for Music, UK, Universal Music India will be talking about the film music scoring. We will also screen the best scored scene from the Composers Lab. The music will be mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London via their online Mastering Service overnight by engineers who have mastered films such as Gravity & Les Miserables.

What is the role of Ranjit Barot and Amit Trivedi?

Amit and Ranjit are India's top composers, who whilst retaining strong elements of Indian music, have a very Western outlook in their music. They will come into the studio and listen to what is being written and also talk about their own experiences, giving advice along the way.

How do you think Indian music composers will benefit from the international composers on the advisory board?

There is incredible talent in India which needs to be honed into something that is not only keeping the talent alive but utilising it in a career making way. As more films look to the west we want to assist those in extending their horizons. Our team has great experience and we hope to share that and inspire those in the Lab. We will also keep in contact with our participants over the next year helping them where we can and watching their careers develop.