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Friday, January 12, 2007

A. R. Rahman

Rahman is the only son of R. K. Sekhar, who was a composer, arranger and conductor for Malayalam films. His father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family used to rent out musical equipment to make ends meet, something they found very difficult. During those hard times, a Sufi (Muslim) saint cured Rahman's sister of an unexplainable illness. This led Dileep to convert to Islam, changing his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.

At the age of 11, Rahman joined the troupe of Indian composer Ilaiyaraaja as a keyboardist. He later played on the orchestra of M. S. Viswanathan and Ramesh Naidu, and accompanied Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on world tours. The experience allowed him to obtain a scholarship to Trinity College at Oxford University, where he received a degree in Western
Allah Rakha Rahman born on January 6, 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) is a composer, best known for composing film scores and soundtracks.

In 1991, Rahman began his own studio (attached to his house), called the Panchathan Record Inn. He initially composed music for use in advertisements, the title music of Indian Television channels and music in documentaries, among other projects. Rahman was, at first, hesitant about composing music for the Indian film industry primarily because most film makers at the time used songs as "fillers" - a means by which the audience was given a break from the movie's plot. In 1991 he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam, who offered Rahman the job as composer for his upcoming Tamil language film Roja, at a price of Rs. 25,000. Rahman accepted, and the movie's superhit debut made him a household name in Tamil Nadu virtually overnight and led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for best music director at the Indian National Film Awards, the first time ever by a debutant. Rahman has since then gone on to win the award 3 more times (for Minsaara Kanavu (Electric Dreams, Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Tax, Hindi) in 2002 and Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek, Tamil) in 2003), the most ever by any composer.

When Rahman arrived on the Indian music scene with his first film Roja, he brought about a transformation of film music. Roja was a massive hit, and Rahman followed it up with a number of other extremely popular films, including Bombay, Rangeela, Dil Se and Taal. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut in Hindi films. The huge sales of these albums prompted movie producers to take film music more seriously.
Lord Lloyd-Webber with A. R. RahmanRahman's work is also unique in the fact that his collaborations with a few film directors have always resulted in hugely successful albums. In particular, he has worked with Mani Ratnam on eight movies (until 2004) (see list of movies by Mani Ratnam featuring A R Rahman), all of which have been musical superhits. Also notable is his collaboration with the director S. Shankar (Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys and Sivaji).

He made an album Vande Mataram (1996) on India's national song, singing the title song on the album. He followed it up with an album called Jana gana mana, a huge conglomeration of performances by all the leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, a well known composer of musicals, was impressed with Rahman's unique style and therefore hired him to compose his maiden stage production Bombay Dreams (2002). This play was well received in England and opened him up to new vistas in Hollywood. Furthermore, Rahman, along with the Finnish folk music band Värttinä, composed the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production, which opened in Toronto on March 23, 2006.

The following article was written in TIME magazine about Rahman's achievements. His first movie album Roja was listed in TIME magazine's "Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of All Time".[1]

In addition to influencing western audiences, Rahman also impressed eastern audiences with his music so much that he was tapped by Chinese director He Ping to compose the score and soundtrack for the Chinese film Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003.[2] The music of this film was very much appreciated in Asia and in India.

On May 23rd 2006, a two-disc album soundtrack, titled Introducing A.R. Rahman, was released by Times Square Records, featuring 25 songs he composed from Tamil film soundtracks spanning 1993-2001. The compillation soundtrack was well received. In addition to this, Rahman performed at the Hollywood Bowl amphitheatre in July of 2006, with Indian singers Sukhwinder Singh, Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam, as well as American performing groups Raagapella and Global Rhythms, to a sell out crowd.

His latest work includes Bose - The Forgotten Hero, Swades, Mangal Pandey - The Rising, Rang De Basanti, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal and Guru. He is currently working on Shankar's next venture Sivaji: The Boss, and on one of Shyam Benegal's next ventures, Chamki Chameli, which is set for release in 2007.
Rahman is a recipient of the Padma Shri and is known around the world as the "Mozart from Madras".[3]

Source : Wikipedia

1 comment:

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