Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A.R.Rahman – The Music Legend of India

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.

Early life and influences
A. R. Rahman is the only son of R. K. Sekhar, 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. During early difficulties, an unexplainable illness of Rahman’s sister, Reihana disappeared after a visit by a Sufi saint. This led Dileep to convert to Islam, changing his name to Allah Rakha Rahman.
During these early years, Rahman served as a keyboardist and an arranger in bands with friends, embracing numerous music genres. He played the keyboard and piano, in addition to the synthesizer, the harmonium and the guitar. His curiosity in the synthesizer in particular increased because, he says, it was the “ideal combination of music and technology.” He began training in Carnatic music. At the age of 11, he 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 graduated with a degree in Western classical music.

Other Works
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. Furthermore, Rahman, along with the Finnish folk music band Värttinä, composed the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production, which first opened in Toronto on March 23, 2006, a new production of which begins previewing in London at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane from May 9, 2007.
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 compilation soundtrack was well received. Rahman has performed in concerts and tours worldwide. He 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.
Music Style
Rahman’s interest in the works of Classical and Romantic period composers, Carnatic composers, early film composers and predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan-Ramamoorthy of the Tamil film industry and others continued through his late teens. He further explored and trained in Carnatic music, Western classical, Hindustani music and the Qawalli style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in addition to numerous other styles. His interest and outlook in music is said to stem from his love to experiment. As a result, his scores have alternated from songs and themes composed covering a variety of genres, with unconventionally-grouped instruments, and different vocal styles being used and combined together in some of his film soundtracks, to more traditional orchestral themes with leitmotif techniques composed in others. Rahman’s works often feature a mix of minimalist songs and evocative, thematic pieces, building on his differing chord progressions and rhythms. He has written scores and songs with new and varied melodic and percussive sounds from instruments of different music systems. This unique blend he pioneered would come to be known as his avant-garde sound.
Awards and Nominations
Ø 2003 Won Award for Technical Excellence Best Background Score for: Saathiya (2002)
Ø 2002 Won Popular Award Music Direction for: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
Ø Nominated Popular Award Music Direction for: Zubeidaa (2001)
Ø Nominated Popular Award Music Direction for: Fiza (2000) Shared with:
Ø Anu Malik Ranjit Barot
Ø 2000 Won Award for Artistic Excellence Music Direction for: Taal (1999)
Filmfare Awards
Ø 2007 Won Filmfare Award Best Music for: Rang De Basanti (2006)
Ø 2005 Won Filmfare Award Best Background Score for: Swades (2004)
Ø Nominated Filmfare Award Best Music Director for: Swades (2004)
Ø 2003 Won Filmfare Award Best Background Score for: The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002) Best Music Director for: Saathiya (2002)
Ø 2002 Won Filmfare Award Best Music Director for: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
Ø 2000 Won Filmfare Award Best Music Director for: Taal (1999)
Ø 1999 Won Filmfare Award Best Music Director for: Dil Se.. (1998)
Ø 1996 Won Filmfare Award Best Music Director for: Rangeela (1995)
Ø 1995 Won R.D. Burman Award
National Film Awards, India
Ø 2003 Won Silver Lotus Award Best Music Direction for: Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)
Ø 2002 Won Silver Lotus Award Best Music Director for: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
Ø 1997 Won Silver Lotus Award Best Music Director for: Minsaara Kanavu (1997)
Ø 1993 Won Silver Lotus Award Best Music Director for: Roja (1992)

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