Working under the nom de plume of Sandunes, Sanaya Ardeshir has always been one to push the boundaries of Indian electronica’s rather content cocoon. With her recent album ‘Ever Bridge’ however, she’s taking things a step further by labelling her aural concoctions as skeletal if starved of a satiating visual feed to transform it into something really full-blooded. The result of a more conceptual approach? A stunning audio-visual compilation comprising of seven pieces of artwork to go with seven polished tracks, created by artists from various different countries. Artistic exploration and collaboration across boundaries is something she clearly thrives on as can even be witnessed on the South-Asian playlist she recently curated for Homegrown (listen to it here.)
“When I first started working on this album, it occurred to me that I wanted to put something very visual together,” she explains. “Aside from the visual rig i’d already sort of half conceptualised, I wanted the visual element to hold up even away from the live side of things. That’s when I decided to put together some artwork because I was still trying to weave that concept of ‘Ever Bridge’ into the album holistically. It clicked immediately because I thought it would be great to work with some people from very different backgrounds and then give it to someone else entirely to piece it all together.”
That was the initial idea anyway but the final pieces of the jigsaw only found their way into the mix a little later. She continues,”I think it all came together in Berlin. I was with Asvajit who managed to solidify the concept in my head a little more. I asked if he would be interested in being a part of such a project and he jumped at the opportunity. He liked that it was collaborative and agreed to be involved stating that all he would need is some of the album’s music as inspiration. Since he’s from Colombo, it just made me think how great it would be to have other artists from different countries do something similar. At around the same time, I remembered Asma from Pakistan who had done the artwork for Dynoman. I didn’t really go into it thinking i’ll get a piece of artwork for every single, I was fine even with just a few contributions but it worked out such that I did. Finally, I got Bombay-based designer, Ishan Rathod, to piece it all together as simplistically as possible for the album cover.”
The project ended up having a fairly existential impact on the artist herself, more so than she might have predicted. “What was really interesting to me was not just the actual input art pieces; it was seeing them as a reflection of how differently people perceive things. I mean, I showed the exact same music to seven different people and everything that came back was so incredibly variated.”
She has a point. See the results for yourself below:
I. Ari Jayprakash, India (Bangalore)
Ari shoots faces, places, spaces, nooks and corners, moments in time, fleeting glimpses, bittersweet memories, forgotten pasts, remember unions, divine states, nightlife, alternate realities, dreams, nightmares and parallel universes. He also does a lot of photojournalistic essays having covered conventional and unusual subjects.
He used to be nocturnal, now he is in limbo.
II. Asma Javeri, Pakistan
Enter a realm and abide by no restrictions Asma Javeri ,a graphic designer by profession, an illustrator by passion, is an avid believer in the principles of surrealism. Her illustrations are a production of her body, mind and soul; cancelling the murmur of this transient world and entering her realm of what she calls “doodles”; she captures the potential of moments passed and fills them with the potential of all they could be .Art should be an alteration of what is apparent to the eye she believes anything is possible, you just have to see it.
She had a few words of her own to say about the aural inspiration:
“Ever Bridge - a moment which unites everything into one, the sky, the earth and the water; a oneness which reminds us how creativity connects all of us together; and if this connection was to last forever, we would see there are no real differences between us. To me this album and the way Sandunes has decided to collaborate with different creatives from various places is a reminder of how art brings us together; to visually depict another artist’s story of sounds shows how different minds all connect to meet at a common ground; and these stories in our mind which are brought to life through different mediums are thus in turn left to bring together more people to join the bridge of infinite connections.”
III. Ruwani Amarasinghe + Asvajit Boyle, Sri Lanka
They are an Illustrator + Book designer duo based out of Colombo.
IV. Emote (Hriday Nagu), Dubai
Currently based out of Dubai, Emote’s graphic designing was once responsible for revolutionising the poster culture within India’s underground gig racket. This was some of his first work in over six months within the same space.
V. Neville Sukhia, India (Mumbai)
One of Bombay’s leading young photographers, Neville works to the motif: ‘Beauty in everything’. His repertoire extends from fashion, adventure sport and art, to nature, city life and everything in between.
VI. Newman D’Silva, India (Mumbai)
Doodling and sketching have been a pastime since he can remember. Most of his inspiration comes from other artists, so he basically steal ideas and concepts from different artists every week and then adds his own touch to their style or completely transforms a particular style to make it his own.
He basically works with the idea, ‘I can draw, so I will.’
VII. Nikunj Patel, India (Ahmedabad/Mumbai)
Nikunj has been creating art for the indie music space in India for the last year or so. As someone who dabbles in music production himself, his aesthetic and aural sensibilities link closely together allowing for seamless representations that are tastefully, contextually and artistically put together.
Album Art Compiled by Ishan Rathod