Emmy nominated composer Amin Bhatia's fascination with orchestral music and electronics won him international fame in his youth which led to projects with David Foster, Steve Porcaro; a solo album on Capitol Records Cinema label titled The Interstellar Suite and an award-winning career in music composition for film and television. Amin is currently working on "Flashpoint" (with co-writer Ari Posner) they were nominated for a Gemini for Best Original Music Score for a Series which airs on CBS and CTV. In between film and TV music assignments his long-awaited sequel to “The Interstellar Suite” entitled "Virtuality" was released on the anniversary of Bob Moog's birthday.
The realism and expression of Amin's sound consistently wins critical acclaim among those in both the electronic and classical music genres. Amin's approach has been likened to the harmonic inventiveness of Jerry Goldsmith and the technical prowess of Hans Zimmer.
Over the years Bhatia has moved into orchestral work with a sizable profile of film and television scores. The IMAX films “Mysteries of the Great Lakes” and “Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees” features members of the Toronto Symphony and Opera Orchestras with hit songs for the Jane Goodall documentary recorded in Africa with Johnny Clegg. The GFT epic war feature “Going Back” was recorded by the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the animated adventure “Rescue Heroes: The Movie” (Nelvana) features players from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Other films include “John Woo’s Once A Thief” and “Iron Eagle II”.
The Story Behind The Interstellar Suite:
Amin Bhatia originally wanted to work with an orchestra but couldn't find space for them in his basement, so he settled for synthesizers instead. Before the advent of midi, synthesizers played one note at a time, and Bhatia simulated luscious orchestral music on a four-track recorder and a Minimoog.
In 1981, Amin submitted his unusual sci-fi sounding orchestral work for a synthesizer competition sponsored by Roland and won first prize out of 500 entrants worldwide. The judges included Oscar Peterson, synth veterans Robert Moog and Ralph Dyck, and Japanese artist Isao Tomita. The resulting exposure launched Bhatia's music career, leading to projects with David Foster, Steve Porcaro, and a solo album on Capitol records’ Cinema label titled Interstellar Suite.
A small run of The Interstellar Suite was distributed worldwide in 1987 moments before the Cinema label closed its doors. The popularity of The Interstellar Suite, however, has continued to grow on its own.
Many things made this recording unique: One was its lush orchestral stylings attributed to Amin’s love of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams film scores. Another unique element was Amin's insistence on using analog synthesizers in a world where everyone else had gone digital. Rather than join the trend of sampling and abusing orchestral phrases, Amin combined and layered hundreds of electronic parts to achieve a warm orchestral sound that was not stolen from an orchestra. To this day Amin still gets requests from listeners and programmers asking for the orchestral sample libraries used. He has a hard time convincing them that it was all him.
The Story behind Virtuality:
Completed between his film and television scores and a recent Emmy nomination, Amin Bhatia's "Virtuality" is the long awaited sequel to "The Interstellar Suite". It is dedicated to synth pioneer Bob Moog, and was released on the anniversary of his birthday, May 23, 2008. Bob Moog was involved in the production of VIRTUALITY until his passing in 2005. This album is dedicated to him for his vision and support. A portion of every album sale goes to the Bob Moog Foundation
“My father's genius and passion was taking the synthesizer out of the laboratory and making synthesis accessible to musicians, and through them, to the world. Amin Bhatia’s “Virtuality” is another fine example of that accessibility.” Michelle Moog-Koussa, daughter of the late Bob Moog and Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation.
Among the incredible array of synths and humans showcased throughout both 'sides' of the album Amin was thrilled to collaborate with legendary keyboardists Steve Porcaro and Patrick Moraz. Other synth virtuoso's include Thomas Bloch performing the Ondes Martenot and Kevin Kissinger on the Theremin. Session players and other A-list musicians include Byron Wong, Dave Gross, Tom Szczesniak, Rick Gratton and Lindsay Hilliard.
As in the days of progressive rock LP's "Virtuality" is a double concept album featuring two "sides". "Side A" is true to Bhatia’s eccentric obsession with orchestral music and science fiction. Tracks like “World Wide Web”, “Virus Attack” and “Second Life” explore the wonder, complexity and chaos that exist inside your computer. Instruments used are both virtual and real using state of the art software synthesizers, as well as soloists from the Toronto Symphony and Opera Orchestras. The acoustic sessions were orchestrated and conducted by Jamie Hopkings.
'Side B' features "Bolero Electronica" an innovative realization of Maurice Ravel’s well-known work performed using vintage synthesizers dating back as far as 75 years. Everything from the Theremin and the Ondes Martenot, through generations of Moog, Roland and Yamaha equipment to modern day software from Arturia and Spectrasonics are featured verse by verse, culminating in a musical and historical journey through time. Many of the rare instruments came from the Cantos Music Foundation Museum, as well as from personal collections of friends and colleagues worldwide. The entire album was recorded and mixed by award winning producers David Greene and Jeff Wolpert.
Please visit aminbhatia.com to find out more