Global Strains Music

Linking sound and spirit

Satya Hinduja   | Photo Credit: Rohan Shreshtha

Satya Hinduja is an unusual musician and composer with a fascinating story to share. She relates to life and the universe through the language of sound. Born in Mumbai into the renowned Hinduja business family, she undertook a spiritual ‘saadhana’ at a young age and discovered the mysticism of sound that originates in ‘Brahma Naada’, with the works of legendary spiritual figures, one of whom is Sufi thinker Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Helping bridge ancient practices of sound and energy healing with emerging technologies, her work seeks to define the transformative power of sound which she explains as “the capacity of certain tones, physical spaces and symbolic interventions to invite reflection, bring psychological cohesion, catalyse healing and a sense of wholeness in the receptive listener”.

Merging India’s age-old experimentation with meditative sound and rhythm and her own passion for experimental electronica, Satya creates ‘Alchemic Sonic Environments’ — immersive, multi-sensory experiences designed to invoke a state of deep reflection, receptivity and exchange.

While traveling the world with her music-loving family, Satya imbibed varied influences.

In contrast to the devotional and semi-classical music of the 1980s and ’90s , the emergence of MTV in India introduced her to western Pop music. After experimenting with vocals, the guitar and piano during her formative years, Satya achieved a degree in film music scoring from Berklee College of Music, Boston, followed by a brief Bollywood stint.

‘Sundown Sessions’ of electronic underground music at her brother in-law Raman Macker’s Mumbai restaurants, Aurus and Sanchos, with leading international electronic artistes drew her to the style. “Electronic music, especially the ‘underground’ kind is known for freedom and expressing one’s spirit,” she explains, adding that while classical and mainstream popular music prevailed in Mumbai, she found this energy to be profound and refreshing and she finally found her ‘sonic playground.’

The role of music

According to Satya, electronic music connects us to the rituals of our distant past when we gathered around music and dance sessions as a community, where “the essence and role of music was not just to entertain but to inspire.” After studying DJing and electronic music production at Dubspot New York in 2012, she met several influential musicians and mentors. “A question that kept emerging from my being, back then, was ‘Where does sound originate from?’ and after much questioning, Raz Mesinai, (Underground Producers Alliance) producer, composer and electronic musician tickled my curiosity with his answer — ‘You are asking me, who is God?’ I had finally found one of my teachers!” she reminisces.

Foundational note

At a conference, Satya met neuroscientist Rohan Dixit who spoke about meditating monks, brain waves and frequencies. He introduced her to a specific frequency 136.10 Hz, measured to be the rotation of the earth around the sun, “and it was this foundational note that became the drone within experimental composition,” she adds.

Exploring on these lines, led Satya to discover a ‘new music’ which was a deep spiritual experience, that she shared with audiences across the globe, also incorporating organic instruments, voice, light and fragrance.

This music, she believes, then evolved from electronic music to a ‘robust multi-sensory experience,’ unravelling the healing element in the experiment.

Satya has also trained under Aurelio C Hammer, founder of Svaram Musical instruments and Research at his ‘Integral Sound Healing Training Workshop’ in Auroville.

Satya's staunch Indian roots, her study of Vedic philosophy and Yoga Sutras along with diverse wisdom traditions inspires the symbolism in her work.

“I am heavily influenced by the metaphysical Hindu concept of Nada Brahma, meaning ‘sound is the universe,’ and I passionately believe in the power of vibration to bring healing, coherence and harmony,” she says, her ‘Alchemic Sonic Environments’ being a path-breaking endeavour connecting sound and spirit.

The writer, a multi-linguist, is an international performer and composer

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 8:11:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/when-sound-can-give-a-meditative-experience/article22420347.ece

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