'The chemistry Sarjun and I share is a gift'
...says composer KS Sundaramoorthy, who has got himself a big-ticket release with Nayanthara's Airaa
As a child, KS Sundaramurthy used to enjoy watching people play the tabla. “My interest in music began then. I then started learning the keyboard,” begins the young composer who has got himself a big-ticket release with Nayanthara’s Airaa.
His love for cinema seems to run in the family. “My father is a designer. Since Vikram he has been the title and poster designer for Kamal Haasan sir". He has also worked with Mani Ratnam for Thalapathi and Anjali,” he says. Saturday nights at the Sundaramurthy residence were reserved for films, especially those by K Balachander and Visu. “My love for cine music and re-recording grew. I was learning all sorts of things -- piano, Hindustani, sound engineering." Music, he believes, comes from within.
Sundaramurthy was 22 when he composed for the film, Avam, which had Kamal Haasan sing a song. “Then, I didn't how to handle a film. But that experience taught me a lot. I have several director friends, and interacting with them has helped me learn how one can use music in films.” Sarjun is one such filmmaker he talks about fondly. “The chemistry Sarjun and I share is a gift. I share music cues when we discuss the script, and he keeps them in his mind while shooting.”
Sundaramurthy reveals that he was the one who suggested having 'Mella Chiri' (in the short film, Lakshmi). He equates his experience of working in their next short film, Maa, to a kid at a candy store. “When people ask me why our collaboration works, I tell them it is due to the freedom and space he gives me. Not many people get that. Every music director has a filmmaker with whom he shares that vibe. To get that at an early stage of my career is a blessing. He trusts my work.”
Sundaramurthy might have an eclectic, experimental body of work, but he animatedly admits that he loves working on commercial projects. “Maybe I have a thing for melodies, but I love working on commercial films. While offbeat films require one to be experimental, commercial music is great if you can adhere to its syntax.” But he is happy that he has done many kinds of projects already. While he loves his background score, he believes that every film has place for at least one song. “I realise that when you work as themes, the film acquires a musical space. The music should stem from that space; it can't just exist for promotions. But I feel every film should have one song -- even if it is just used in the background.”
Surprisingly, he is reluctant to talk about his future projects.”I get approached, I get excited, and then they don't take off. It is usual business in cinema. So now, I take my time to talk about them.” The conversation he had with Kamal Haasan in the early days of his career, he says, helped him a lot. “I still remember when he asked me, 'Cinema na porumai venum, theriyuma theriyatha?' I believe my patience has brought me here,” he signs off with a smile