‘I think it was our time’

Is A R Rahman’s music for Slumdog Millionaire,which swept the prestigious Golden Globes,BAFTA and Oscar awards on the trot,his best ever?....

Written by Express News Service | Chennai | Published:February 27, 2009 2:01 am

Is A R Rahman’s music for Slumdog Millionaire,which swept the prestigious Golden Globes,BAFTA and Oscar awards on the trot,his best ever?

For a generation that was fed on his soulful melodies,including those among the media who persisted with the question to Rahman himself in Chennai on Thursday evening,the genius of Rahman was never in question,but the songs that were chosen to acknowledge that worldwide is a matter of dispute,despite the master composer holding the legendary naked knights in his hands.

“Hollywood is a world stage where extraordinary talents from all over the world come. In their view,this is the best. [Competing there You need to cater to their sensibilities,” answered Rahman,pointing out the difference between music appreciation in India and the West. For its curious title and depiction of life in an Indian slum,Slumdog attracted its own share of brickbats. But for the artist in Rahman,it is an inspirational,honest movie.

This recognition,however,could have come earlier. The underdog film about underdogs,Lagaan came closest to bringing an Oscar to India earlier,said Rahman,who incidentally composed music for the Ashutosh Gowarikar-directed movie.

Those in the West and other parts of the world were getting exposed to Indian music,he said,adding it was possible for Indian musicians to collaborate with the best musicians of the world. He had two-three offers from Hollywood in hand,though he was yet to schedule them,Rahman said,refusing to divulge details citing confidentiality.

For the musician in Rahman,film music is also limiting. Speaking on his arrival at Chennai airport early in the morning,Rahman admitted that there were limits in composing music for films,a barrier that could be broken by composing albums.

“This is a world stage,not just for Americans. Japanese,Italian and Chinese composers have won awards earlier. I think it was our time. This legitimises our music,our pride. The award is for the aspirations of Indian artists; I am just a representative.” Thousands of fans were present at the airport to welcome their hero home. Their wait was made all the more exciting by the performance of drummers and Chendamelam,jamming together in front of the airport. This was complemented by flowers and fireworks.

The music director was led to his residence by a long procession,slow and winding as there were hundreds waiting all along the road. Rahman obliged them by emerging through the sun roof of his car,showing them the most prized possession: the statues of the legendary naked knight.

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