“My home was an artist's paradise, with my mother being an Indian classical dancer, and father a prolific photographer and flautist, trained in classical Carnatic music. We had records with compositions from Buddha Bar to Cafe Del Mar and rare jazz records. In childhood, I discovered subcultures of music and headspaces heading into the discovery of ambient music through the journey from early classical to hardcore psytrance,” says 28-year-old music composer, Aastik Koshy.
Koshy did his schooling in a private school in Kerala. At age sixteen, he travelled around India, observing the depths of the mind through music, culture, art yoga and world of sound. He learnt to play the guitar and piano in school, and later synths, and obtained a degree in recording, electronic music production / sound design at SAE Institute, USA.
At 17, Aastik developed into a functional audio engineer, working alongside some of the biggest names and collaborative upcoming project studio setups with certain aesthetics, before diving into the full gamut of sound design -- creating, composing, mixing and mastering software, manipulating pure data patches and creating modules in MAX/MSP (software).
BEHIND THE MUSIC
Regarding the skills required to compose music, he explains “You need a sharp mind that dissects reality into sonic expressions. For me, it's basically a state of silence from which the musicality breeds, with influences of nature, evolution, repetition, creation and destruction. With no attachment to the end result, I don't pre-decide anything. Later, ambient soundscaping to chilled lounge and other styles fall into different patterns and moods. A computer helps. Sometimes, there are alterations, improvisations, experimental modules that turn into sonic journeys.”
Choosing accompanying musicians is based on instinct and the energy of the moment. Open-minded experimental trained musicians are best, in his opinion. “Sometimes, I could be putting out an album a week. Or for months, just buzz around between synthesizers, modulators and dealing with paperwork,” he adds.
Aastik set up Turquoise Sound Pvt Ltd in 2015, releasing a series of AudioLounge Vol. 1.0, under the first label, Secrets Of Change, Blue Magic Records in 2017, and later Anti-gravity Vol.1. His manager had a backlog of releases out with almost nine albums in two months, apart from work for other labels.
In 2019, he approached classical-infused electronica with sub-label 'EthnoClassical Recordings-India,’ covering some live performances in Goa.
2020 began with Sonic Rolodex, a bank library for other producers, putting out high quality sound design and customised services.
Regarding electronic accompaniment being more expedient than live accompaniment, he says “I’m unbiased, it's perception-based and affinity toward earlier forms of electronic music which are considered outdated. I don't do techno nor believe in pigeon-holing myself into a genre.”
Inspired by Pete Namlook, Bill Laswell and his father, Ashok’s collaborations with The Philharmonic Orchestra, Charlie Porter Quartet, Spanish-Indo fusion projects and FAX records, he sees himself exploring music based on contexts for recovery in psychedelic research with addiction recovery centers.
Running three labels and two studios, he has just debuted the first release of his collective ‘modern classical sound’ album Structures, featuring Ashok Koshy, Nicolo Melochi, Miko Miculicz, Raul Sengupta and V3K.
He spends his leisure time exploring substances, nature, progressive aspects of life and evolution. Aastik’s albums are featured on all major online platforms.