Composer Cyrus Reynolds crafts a riveting, multilayered ballad with “Indus”
As synthetic pockets of sound hover across the edge of a soundscape, a lone violin, high and hopeful, sweeps its bow across its taut strings, hovering atop the burgeoning orchestra beneath it. Growing in its intensity and volume with each sweep of the bow, “Indus” is a miraculous display of sound and a beautifully slow burn. With every moment is another layer, an instrument added, notes slipped between vulnerable chords until an army of an orchestra has accumulated. The pertinent tension pulls and releases throughout “Indus,” the mounting and swelling an intoxicating display of musical control. Gradually, in seamless integration, the sound thins and darkens. From there, the music is everywhere, beginning to build until it’s a massive wave of melody dripping with personality, privy to its own power and breadth.
“Indus” is part of a five-track EP and an instrumental score composed by Cyrus Reynolds for the 2021 Netflix documentary, The River Runner directed by Rush Sturges. The film follows world-class kayaker, Scott Lindgren, as he paddles the four biggest rivers in the Himalayas, ending with the Indus River. While navigating the waters he fights personal demons and a cancerous brain tumor. The score, with influences ranging from modern influences like Thomas Newman to local Tibetan bells and chants, spans multiple genres as it accompanies Scott through his emotional journey. The score was recorded remotely with a live orchestra in Budapest, Hungary during the lockdown of 2020.
Cyrus himself is a composer, producer, and orchestrator who has worked with artists like M83, Bon Iver’s S. Carey, and Novo Amor. Using textural orchestration as a mode of emotive storytelling and songwriting, the Los Angeles-based composer has a vision that is the direct result of a background in contemporary orchestration, having been classically trained in London’s Royal Academy of Music.
His artist collaborations have inspired him to further carve out his own sonic identity and songwriting style, blending between the shimmering sound of orchestral folk, to vibrant and sometimes darker, moody worlds of synth composition. He has released two vocal EPs (Yearn, Love in a Perfect Vacuum) and one full length experimental orchestral ambient LP (Night Phases, 2020) that together have been streamed over 10 million times and won multiple awards including a 2019 Music + Sound Award and a 2020 Mark Award for his song, “The Wolves.” Listen to his track “Indus” below.