Traces of Sandalwood



Original Title: Rastres de Sandal
Director: Maria Ripoll
Starring: Nandita Das, Aina Clotet, Vaibhavi Hankare

Traces of Sandalwood is an independent feature film that deals with themes of loss, identity and family. Two orphan sisters from rural india are separated by force while they were still children, one of them only a toddler. The older sister escapes poverty and becomes a famous actress but never forgets about her younger sister. Years later she tracks her down in Barcelona, adopted by a catalan family and totally unaware of her true origins.

Delicately directed with taste, steering clear of easy cliches about identity and multicultural societies, the film won the public award at the Montreal World Film Festival and was nominated for 8 Gaudi awards in 2015 and won best picture.


Zeltia Montes and I were nominated for a Gaudi award for the soundtrack, from the Catalan Academy of Film.

I composed half of the score, including the end credits. I record layers and textures with solo piano, adding touches of solo violin, cello or guitar, but everything very sparse and bare. We wanted to take it in an melancholic but tender direction, to reflect the gaping hole in the heart of the older sister.  Even after becoming rich and famous,  she had always mourned the loss of a lifetime together with her baby sister, whom she had vowed to look after.