The scary trailer of Q’s latest Bengali film Ludo, co-directed by Vancouver-based editor Nikon, is already being talked about a lot. Besides, a lot of curiosity is also building up around the film’s soundscape that comprises three songs and six background scores. The film’s director Q and music composer Neel Adhikari share unknown facts about the film and its music with HT:
Tell us about the soundscape of Ludo?
Q: The music of Ludo is mood-based. We have adopted a style that is different from my earlier films. Music here helps create the mood and is more dynamic. Ludo will be a new experience for the audience. On one hand the visuals help the story to move forward and on the other hand the sound will make the audience think differently. Unlike Love In India, Gandu or Tasher Desh, which were essentially musicals, Ludo isn’t. Music here doesn’t act as a narrative. Instead, it acts as a mood-inducing soundtrack. While the tempo is high in the beginning, it falls when the story becomes more eerie and threatening.
Neel: The music is integral to the narrative because it’s a scary film and 60% of it is generated by the soundscape. My observation has been that whatever visuals we see are prone to getting intellectualised by our mind and reasoned out. But the reasoning part of our mind is less active when it comes to sound, which is why sound plays the most important role in horror films. I followed a trial and error method while composing for Ludo. The scores that we finally came up with have been divided into four zones. The first is rock and roll zone, which moves to an electro zone followed by a noise zone in sync with the narrative and finally ends in a semi-classical blended with elctro-noise zone.
Watch Ludo trailer here:
What was the brief on the music from the directors?
Neel: The brief was short and simple. It was not going to be melodious but an electronic soundtrack. Q is very particular about what he wants. He wanted me to both experiment and explore.
What has been your inspiration behind the music of the film?
Q: I was listening to the soundtrack of the film, 2046, when I was working on the music of Ludo and it did influence me. I used the mood as a reference. I have a better understanding of music than cinema. That’s the reason I, at times, make the music before I make the film so that the mood of the film gets built on the music. In case of Ludo, I knew from the beginning that it had a specific sound requirement. Since Neel is working with me for a long time, he understands what I want. So, it wasn’t an individual process.
How many songs are there in the film?
Neel: There are three songs but no one is lip syncing the tracks. And there are six background scores. Of the three tracks, one has been sung by Kolkata-based band Delete. There is one rap rock by Q and another track sung by Suyasha. The six background scores are electro music. The soundscape has been achieved out of a lot of sound synthesis like I recorded the sound of a rolling dice and did a million things with it such as layering, texturing and using multiple effects. Similarly, I have used a number of other objects to create sounds with the help of softwares and synthesizers. The music is essentially electro, so I have mostly used sound synthesis to create non-traditional sounds and tones. There is also the rock roll part for which I recorded the practice session of a band since we wanted to add that kind of a feel to the film. We have used cello, percussions and electronic music for all the compositions.
Q: The song ‘gorom lagey’ by Suyasha is an item number. This is for the first time that there is such a track in my film. You were also planning a sequel to
Ludo, but given the storyline have you ever thought of a prequel?
Q: Well, Ludo is open-ended like any other horror story. A good horror story is always open-ended because you always want to move forward and backward, so you never know. But yes, a sequel is happening and we are planning to start working on it soon. Two of my other films, B Naman and Sari are almost ready, and I am planning to start working on my next soon.
What other films are you composing for?
Neel: I am doing the music for a few other films which also includes Q’s next. Neel and the Lightbulbs will also be performing at various gigs and festivals that are lined up.