Salil is an alumni of one of the world’s most popular schools of music – The Berklee. While many are struggling to chose what they love we bring you a chemical engineer turned an International music composer. Read on about our rendezvous here:

When did you formally initiate your musical journey?

I started learning Indian Classical Music at the age of 6 from my grandfather, who is a trained singer and a harmonium player. I subsequently learned from various gurus including Dr.(Mrs) Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Shree Sanjeev Chimmalgi

When did you first compose music?

My first composition was at the age of 13 years. Since then, I have composed songs in Gujarati, Hindi, and English.

How was your feeling as a composer at such an early age?

It gave me a sense of achievement, with an urge to delve deep into various forms of music to enrich my creative capability.

What path did you follow to pursue your passion?

In order to endow and enhance my musical understanding, I started learning Western Classical Music. This gave me an understanding of both melody and harmony, as Indian Classical Music is homophonic while Western Classical Music is polyphonic. The familiarity and in-depth understanding of Indian raga framework and Western Classical textures of multiple voices provide a composer with a wide range to choose from.

How did you get initiated to Western Classical Music?

I started taking piano lessons and completed 5 grades of Trinity Guildhall examinations. Later on, after I completed my graduation in Chemical Engineering. I auditioned for Berklee College of Music, Boston. I got selected and I studied Film Scoring and Composition from there.

Why did you choose Berklee University, when in India now, you have a wide range of esteemed Music institutions to choose from?

Berklee is the largest independent college of Western Contemporary Music in the world. It offers world class college-level courses on a wide range subject of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, hip-hop, flamenco, salsa, reggae, and bluegrass. I felt an exposure in such an institution would open up doors for a wide range of possibilities to explore opportunities of working with Stalwarts in Hollywood and musicians across the globe.

Any memorable incident in Berklee which you would want to share?

I composed music for a number of short films and video games while at Berklee. And one of the most memorable experience was to perform with Oscar and Grammy-winning composer A. R.Rahman at the Boston Symphony Hall at his doctoral ceremony

How was the experience of performing with A. R. Rahman?

It was an absolutely enriching experience to team up with such a world-class musician. It also gave me an inspiration and insight as to how to make music at a global level with Indian musical heritage and tradition.

Could you tell us about your journey there on?

My exposure to western classical music and training in Berklee, gave me opportunities to be mentored by composers like Lucas Vidal (composer for Fast and Furious 6), Griffin Boice, and other Hollywood composers,

I got opportunities to work on various films, video games, songs and audiobooks across the globe. Presently, I am producing mock-ups for Norman Ludwin, a renowned orchestrator, who worked with Michael Giacchino on major Hollywood films like Jurassic World, Inside Out, etc. and double bass player.

My compositions for the indie game ‘Somewhere’ by studio Oleomingus received appreciative notice on the popular gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The game was recently featured at the prestigious Tribeca Game Festival.
Back home, I worked as a Music Assistant for a major feature film Lokmanya, based in Mumbai. I worked as the composer for various short films and documentaries in India and the United States.

I have had the opportunity to arrange tracks for an audiobook, Dalai Llama: A Sacred Life. I am a part of the musical team of ‘ Karadi Tale’, a major audiobook company for children.

What is your vision as a musician?

My vision as a composer is to connect with my audiences through the emotive quality of music, which I believe it comes through a delicate balance of craft, skill, and intuition.