In Talks w/ the Founder of The Distant Echoes

The Distant Echoes is an initiative by a Delhi Based Composer/Producer, Arranger, and Orchestrator Harshit Verma. He has always been into producing and experimenting with different types of music. With his curiosity to learn and grow, he has made a great reputation in the current music scene. 

Harshit’s initiative The Distant Echoes is his way of doing what he loves. Together with a bunch of music geeks, he started his music company which aims to deliver quality music production services without having to pay a hefty amount.  

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How did you get started ? And how long have you been making music?

I started music as a hobby which pretty soon turned into a potential consideration for a full time profession, fortunately, that seems to be happening now. It started right here in Delhi, when I started learning piano at Delhi School of Music and under the guidance of Mrs. Ashmitha Jasper and Mr. John Raphael (my piano teachers) I was exposed to the colossal repertoire of compositions written from the Baroque to the contemporary era.

I then studied music production in England wherein I was fortunate enough to be taught by some of the best engineers like Mr. Ken Scott who have worked on various Beatles, Bowie’s records etc.

During this time I released my debut E.P – Cazadores De Luna (MoonHunter Opus-1) which was sometime during the summer of 2019 this record featured many artists based in Leeds, UK. After finishing up my post- graduation, I started interning at a big recording studio in Leeds, that was my big step into the industry wherein I learned a lot the skills and industry etiquettes.

I have been writing music for a long time now but I guess I have been producing, recording and releasing music for 3 years now. Like every artist, I think, I have many ideas stored in multiple forms like phone recordings, unfinished DAW sessions and some sheet music which I soon plan to finish and release, yes you could expect more stuff coming out soon.

How is DIstant Echoes different from other music production companies in India?

Other than Distant Echoes being a one stop solution for all audio requirements providing its services to various creative domains such as music production, music for films and moving images, game audio and sound design, Distant Echoes takes pride in having a team of composers based in various parts of the world who specialize in the genre which they grew up learning and playing, we believe that each project is different in its nature and the sonic identity defines the emotion of the story or the project so we provide the musical genius of composers specialising in the genre similar to the nature of the project.

We have composers specialising in western classical. Jazz, rock, RnB, Indian classical, Bollywood, electronic to name a few.

Along with this, we also aim to maintain the sonic integrity of the music and we do it with our partners- Synergy Audio Productions. One of the best production studios in Delhi. So, there wouldn’t be any requirement for our clients to look anywhere else, as we provide everything from composing to mastering all under one roof.

Like we say, whatever your story may be, let us be the sound to it.

How did you get along or meet other musicians’ friends and agreed upon starting this thing? Also, can you tell us a little about the background of the team involved?

The story of Distant Echoes’ inception is multi-faceted, I guess a combination of the situation- which was the Covid lockdown and my desire to maintain the professional collaboration with the amazingly talented musicians and composers with whom I have worked in the past.

The entire team of Distant Echoes are people who I know personally and have worked with in the past. Some of us have studied together in England and some of us met during my college days at various battle of bands events.

I realised that with technology advancing to such extent that mostly all the industries are capable of working remotely and with the worldwide lockdown which took place last year there should be a way to work around it and give a form to my vision which was to withdraw the advantage of globalisation bring it in the music and audio production domain to render talents from different parts of the world . So I planned out the business model which would let us render our talents and be a part in telling stories through music.

Once, I had researched all the relevant details and our workflow, I pitched the idea to the selected musicians and engineers I wanted onboard and fortunately everyone liked it and jumped on board immediately. I had prepared an extensive PPT with all the relevant details of the production house (sounds too businessy right?) and pitched it to the team via Zoom. I feel so happy that even at such a hard time for the music industry, we were able to transform an idea into reality.

Currently our team involves six composers including myself.

There is Liam Colomer from Germany. Liam is a multi- instrumentalist who has worked on various international short films out of which some have won several awards. He specialises in classical and jazz fused music with elements of sound design engraved into the music. Graduated in Music Production from Manchester Metropolitan University he later specialised in Music for the moving images from Leeds Beckett University where he was taught by many industry professionals such as J.A.C Redford (Orchestrator of Skyfall, Avatar, Wall- E). He likes his music to be at the core of the project development as opposed to the end- of line.

Rooting from our Indian background we have Sourav Dey who is a composer, singer and a record producer. He’s been formally trained under Late Pt. Sudarshan Chakraborty in Hindustani Classical music. He is well equipped with the knowledge of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Notation System and Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande Notation System. Currently receiving advanced training in audio engineering from KM College of music and technology his music ranges across genres and specialise folk tradition, Indian classical and film music which is evident in his songs which are often melodic with various soundscape elements. Sourav has worked with various artists and film makers as producer and composer and strongly believe that music can help us drive our thoughts towards sustainable change in the world we live in.

Coming from the country of Sir Edward Elgar (England), there is Thomas Leech who studied Guitar Performance at Leeds College of Music and then Music for films and moving images at Leeds Beckett University. He has expanded his musical styles to orchestral works, sparse piano based pieces and much more.

He has written music for films and library works  and has been fortunate enough to work with Jonny Flockton and Peter Darling.

His 2017 work in film ‘Homesick’ was awarded the Craft Award by the Royal Television Society for the sound and music. 

Specialising in Bollywood, pop and singer songwriter music we have Hari Prasad Mahakali who is from Chennai, India. He holds a dual masters in Music production and Music for films and moving Images from Leeds Beckett University. He has produced and released songs in over three languages and specialise in composing for trailers for film/ TV.

Last but not the least, Our next composer/ team member Dave Munive comes from Ecuador bringing some Latin, Rnb and Jazz vibes with him. He is a producer, audio engineer and a composer who has studied classical guitar at National Conservatory in Quito, Ecuador. He focuses on jazz and contemporary styles and divide his time between music production, composition, performance and academic research on musicology.

Any advice for the current generation of the producers?

I think that the music scene has evolved drastically over time although I sincerely feel that the unity and respect between independent musicians still remains intact and I wish for it to only prosper in the future.

I feel that now we see more attention amongst the musicians towards the aspects which are essential to sustain their art in the 21st century such as marketing and promotions, legal rights and royalty etc. but I believe there’s still a need to come up with an organised structure and guidelines to satisfy all parties in all  commonly predicted situations. I feel apart from the Bollywood and the film industry, there needs to be more awareness about royalty, copyrights and IP and cost and credit distribution.

To address not just budding producers rather, I think this advice goes out everyone trying to make a mark in the industry -In today’s time any sort of information is at our disposal but I feel unorganised information is equally harmful as no information. Although there is a lot of scope for DIY learning but I believe having a mentor and on the job learning always bestows an advantage over new professionals trying to get in the industry. So yes, with the new options available do not forget the old school way of learning. Go out, search for industry professionals who do projects which fascinates you and get in touch with them and request them to provide you internships or even let you be a fly on the wall while they work. If you ask politely and show that you’re seriously interested to learn, they will certainly help you out in some way or the other.

Have you been working with any artists lately? And do you plan on releasing more tracks from the Distant Echoes?

Yes and yes. Currently, we’ve been having a great time and blasting our monitors off  while working with Mr. Rohan Solomon on bunch of his songs which are much like a fusion where singer songwriter meets an orchestra. So, keep an eye for that in the coming months.

After The Distant Echoes (our theme) we have some ideas which are in the pipeline, maybe some time when we all get time off from our commissioned projects we’ll bake a nice combinations of sonic entity together. Why not!!?

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