Udit Duseja on building emotion through sound design

Matter + Form

What does it take to evoke an emotion?

For Udit Duseja, a Bombay-based sound designer, it comes down to the off-screen building work. His collages of sound and musical refinement have been well-received – most recently for his work on Daddy, a film starring actor Arjun Rampal. He relishes assignments that allow him to not only create sounds for things seen on screen, but also those which provoke an emotional dialogue. He has abstract sensibilities and tends to lean toward a more focused, sparse aesthetic.

Blending the sounds of our residual past with the emergent future, he’s worked with London’s Sound Disposition on Purple with artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah. It’s a soaring and sobering experience – a six-screen, fifteen-speaker soundscape. The atmospheric instrumentation speaks of our diverse fortunes, and is less concerned with immediacy than with the fickleness of human nature.

Duseja’s auditory palette is tangent to the norm, but he believes it’s about negotiating the ingredients and maintaining the free exchange of ideas.
To learn about his influences, read on:


Eraserhead is a deeply disturbing movie, incredibly surreal, but one of David Lynch’s masterpieces. The chaotic, shrill and nightmare world created by Lynch and the sound designer Alan Splet around the world of the main protagonist Henry was very beautifully crafted. The lower pitched carnival music and louder radiator sounds reveled the confusion and awkward composure of the character – it was as of result of his hearing the world in such an unsettling form. The illusion and balance between diegetic and non-diegetic sound was so effective in magnifying the world of this film. For me, the real magic lay in creating the abstract FX using natural and organic sounds like winds!


Limbo is a game which utilizes the less is more aesthetic beautifully. The sound of warm and distorted atmospheric music and the sudden gore-y death sounds creates an unnerving playing experience. For example, the prominence given to the foley sounds emphasized on the silence very well without it being too focused on the interactivity within the game.


He is a very unique audio-visual artist who explores space, time and sound based on mathematical equations. Ikeda combines the intricate orchestration of numerical arrangements and sequences which reduces music into the purest form of sound and visually he magnifies data into monochrome binary patterns which are generated real-time enveloping the viewer in a kinetically immersive environment. His work can be experienced best in form of installations or performance settings. I’ve been lucky enough to see a couple of installations in London.

Images by Udit Duseja.

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