Emmy Award-Winning Composer Sumeet Sarkar Aims To Create Mental Health Awareness Through His Music: Seek Help If You Feel Emotional Weight Straining You’-EXCLUSIVE

Emmy Award-winning violinist and composer Sumeet Sarkar gets candid with us and speaks about spreading mental health awareness through his work

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Emmy Award-Winning Composer Sumeet Sarkar Aims To Create Mental Health Awareness Through His Music: Seek Help If You Feel Emotional Weight Straining You’-EXCLUSIVE
Emmy Award-winning violinist and composer Sumeet Sarkar is among the most talented stars that we have in the music industry. Los Angeles-based Sumeet aces the art of therapeutic soundscapes by transforming them with electronic music using instruments. His works have been released on different popular platforms like Netflix, Apple TV, and Amazon, including the 2020 Emmy Nominated Documentary "Home" and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Documentary. His recent works aim at music therapy for mental health awareness through ambient and orchestral compositions. Read excerpts from the interview:

Your latest album Cymatic Chronicles Vol 2, talks about mental health awareness. Can you give us an insight into where the idea came from, about the tracks and the music?
The Cymatic Chronicles is a series of ambient compositions of mine with a necessity to convey feelings through musical soundscapes without words that my audience could relax, study and meditate to. I began the Cymatic Chronicles album as a catharsis of deep emotions reflecting my personal experiences battling with grief, depression, anxiety, and disorientation from the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of two loved ones. As an alternative to performing live events in the midst of the lockdown, I built my home studio. I hosted my live performances of original compositions on Twitch as a platform that invited a growing community. They supported the album's concept, which later grew into an entourage of stories shared from different parts of the world that year. With my experience as a film composer in Hollywood, being able to capture and narrate stories through underscoring emotive music, I learned as many instruments as I could within the year and improvised the conclusion of the album live on Twitch in December 2020 with a 24-hour live stream, raising funds for mental health awareness. I had successfully reached the goal of 1530 Pounds which was donated to the Samaritans Charity fund in the UK to aid suicide prevention. I could not have done this without my team of moderators from different parts of the world, including the US, England, Argentina, Netherlands, and Australia, along with the support of my community that helped me grow. They volunteered their time throughout the year to assist me in organizing the project and taking care of the community of gamers and artists through our discord server of friendly Minecrafters, artists, and music streamers. This provided a family-friendly environment to express ourselves and share more stories and art that inspired contemporary improvisations in my live composing sessions. 

Inclusion is a minimal orchestration of piano, bass, and strings that cycle through a building chord progression that adds a new bar of the phrase that represents meeting new strangers while embarking on a journey that forms a more precise picture that they were the friends in need during the times we were separated. The violin part was recorded 100 times in different positions at the bow's softest dynamic and modest hairs. Still, together they represent a strengthened entourage. Once the piece hits its completed progression, it digresses as a palindrome removing a harmony in the reverse cycle, letting us know that it is okay to let go of the weight we are conditioned to carry forward as the violins layer seagull cries over the waves of the ocean. 

What is the first thing you look into when working on a commercial project? If you can tell us about your approach?
The promise of something extraordinary is a spark that allows me to trust the process and commit. If I am not confident in this, I will question it and take action to improve myself in preparation, the situation itself holding the project back, or move forward to the next upcoming opportunity that needs me. Simultaneously with my abilities, trust is important with my team, and communication and respect for others follow this. As artists, we rely heavily on our creative skills, and working in an environment that nurtures what we can contribute to making a successful project is essential.

Sumeet, Cymatic Chronicles stem from your personal experiences? How difficult or challenging was the entire process? 
I remember facing the first wave of writer's block in not believing in myself when I could not see the direction I was going. How could I? It felt like paving a path blindly through heightened snow with the responsibility that those who trust my art would walk with and fall with if I took the wrong turn or lost faith in myself. I can admit that the journey through anyone's creative process is never linear, and there will be slopes that take you deeper than you had entered in the first place. You may climb out comparing where you were at the start but realize this... If the process were a seamless flat ground with a clear sight of the sun every day and no slopes, we would not have the same motivation to walk to the other side and challenge our resilience, vulnerability, and trust in ourselves and others who offer help. Music conveys emotions, and as artists, we are vessels to communicate feelings. Emotionally, I learned the importance of self-care to be consistent and confident in my abilities. This allowed me to find space for empathy and love that gave me a fighting chance to adapt and excel in finding a voice for the Cymatic Chronicles.  

You generate mental awareness through your music? These days, we see many people dealing with anxiety and depression. Have you ever faced this low point in your life, any backend story you would like to share with us?
With the stories shared through my songs written, I speak from experience with this and through my battles in the world, I am grateful that music has saved my life and given me an opportunity, with a responsibility, to grow as an artist, travel, and express life outside of what one would consider a comfort zone. There have been many setbacks in life that have humbled me and opposed challenges that require acceptance, resilience, and sacrifice.
Like any other form of health, e.g., physical or financial, mental health is a form of well-being that we should emphasize as it heavily influences how we choose to live.

It could cripple or leave us blind in a loop of emotions we have no control over if not addressed. I encourage finding ways to listen to and express ourselves productively without the pressure to commit or be discouraged so we can exercise our minds into the creative habit of living independently. With nurture comes nature, and we should not rush the healing process or fight it. I encourage that we seek professional help if we feel the emotional weight straining us. We're not alone.