Science, astronomy especially, has been a fascination for Vishnu Ravindran Nair over the last few years. He was a little late to realise its wonders. His school did not help spark any interest. It was only after college, he discovered videos and documentaries of things that exist beyond this planet. Soon, he jumped into a vortex where he came across names such as Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Edgar Mitchell and more. This was also when he took to music. The two worlds seemed apart. Music, Vishnu felt, usually dealt a lot more with love, politics and society. Even his songs, until two projects ago, dealt with these topics. So, he decided to make music that was themed around science.
His single ‘Through The Haze’, released last year, for instance, broadly fits into genres of ambient synth music, prog rock, alternative rock among others. The song is conceived around the concept of entanglement theory in quantum mechanics and its implications on the possibility of parallel universes.
His upcoming five-song album is titled Stories From A Space Station. It attempts to convey an astronaut’s perspectives on love, science, history and the future of humankind. “The objective in making an astronaut the protagonist and writing in his character was to attain a vantage point, to where I am removed from the immediate socio-economic, cultural and political climate around me and so be enabled to reassess objectively the subjects that interest me,” explains Vishnu.
This idea struck him last April when most of the world went into a lockdown for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolation had become a buzzword. Vishnu thought of astronauts for whom isolation was routine.
“I know they lose weight in space. It is tough on their body and mind. They gain a lot of perspective when they are up there,” says the 28-year-old singer.
The title of the album, its cover and its lyrics lay bare the idea Vishnu wishes to communicate. The sound was important too. The song, ‘Voyagers’ — named after the NASA space probe — for instance has a lot of synth sounds with a mix of guitar and piano. “I have been following space and astronauts for a while. Somewhere along the way, I felt it would be interesting to connect the two. It was going to be challenging sonically. So, I tried to see if I can get an ethereal sound using guitar, piano and synth.”
Stories From A Space Station will be out on streaming platforms on June 6. It will be available for purchase on digital stores as well. Vishnu, meanwhile, is busy with production work for other musicians and teaching guitar to students abroad.