As the founder of Song Exploder, American composer Hrishikesh Hirway understands the risk of embedding music with niche personal references, that may be lost on uninformed listeners.
While his latest single offers a delicate dose of lo-fi acoustic melancholia, there lies a richer significance to “Between There and Here,” that once unveiled, presents a poignant concept of self-discovery and universal empathy.
Fragile in its execution, “Between There and Here” utilises a minimalist sonic palette, with subtle clicking percussion and roomy piano chords making way for Hirway to deliver a cavernous, Nick Cave-esque vocal performance.
On the latest TED Talk-themed episode of Song Exploder, Hirway takes the listener on a guided tour of the track, recounting how a shivering cello—performed by collaborator YoYo Ma—was positioned to represent the hum of his late mother, an expression of her acceptance of his music career.
This level of insight can either enhance or challenge preconceptions, which Hirway deems vitally important for not only appreciating art but in developing a sense of understanding through interpersonal communication.
In “listening to people, the way that [he] was trying to listen to music,” Hirway identifies a significant issue with communication in that we often don’t have a complete context before entering a listening experience.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to practice attentive observation and open mindfulness when presented with new ideas and sounds. And as this track and surrounding discussion proves, if you’re willing to make the effort, you’re in for an extremely self-resonant and personally rewarding gift.
Watch the music video for “Between There and Here” below.
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