A.R. RAHMAN: A Birthday Slips By (06 January 2007)
By Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Entering into the forties, and being able to celebrate it with two Oscar nominations, nobody would grudge to scale this age scale, and neither does A.R. Rahman who has a given a new idiom to the sounds as they happen in Indian music. While the purists still scoff at the techno-brand of sound that Rahman specializes in, there is not in existence even a single purist who can claim to have two Oscar nominations in his kitty, one for RANG DE BASANTI and other for THE WATER.
Before even the dubbed version of ROZA was released his original composition in Tamil, especially the song “Chinna Chinna Aasai” ... had started being hummed all across the country without being able to understand the lyrics, because it was a new sound that had captured the imagination of the whole nation. And when the dubbed version in Hindi came, it literally swept all the awards that year, and gave Chitra a new female voice to the Hindi music listeners.
And then came BOMBAY, which hunted out Remo Fernandez from his Goan hibernation to again sing in his imitable style “Humma Humma” which again was a chart buster. And Rahman in BOMBAY also gave a new male voice to the Hindi music Hariharan, who sadly enough has not able to realize his full potential in the film industry. Besides, Rahman also resurrected quawalli through BOMBAY, “Kehna Hi Kya”... which was then again encored by him in FIZA “Shahe Samandar Hazi Ali”.
It was Rahman who provided melody to gory and dark world of films made by Ramu aka Ram Gopal Verma, and RANGEELA it was that film which gave a musical interpretation of Mumbaiyah Taporipan and the finesse of it was only accentuated by the lilting music given by Rahman, and Ramu after that again could not back his movies with music that could attract repeat audience as he was able to do with RANGEELA no wonder it his still the best commercial success.
It was a Rahman who could rekindle the Indian spirit of nationalism with two back to back musical albums, “Vande Mataram”, and “Jan Gana Mana”. His imaginative mixing of “Vande Mataram” with “O Maa Tujhe Salaam” caught the imagination of the country all across and the bench mark of its popularity that it was played with pride even by the truck drivers, and his creations still continue to be among the songs that are played on the occasion of national importance.
A feather was added in his repertoire when Subhash Ghai hired him as his music director for TAAL as Subhash Ghai had never gone beyond Laxmikant Pyarelal for the score of his films, and Rahman provided a new sound to Ghai's film which gave hi a hit, primarily because of the lilting and foot tapping music provided by him.
His success could not remain confined to the Indian shores, as Andrew Lloyd Weber hired him to play live music for his opus spectacle BOMBAY DREAMS for which he continued to provide music for a period of more than a year through out different places in the Europe and USA. And when he cam back it was a LAGAAN which made Javed Akhtar admire about the quality of sound that he could provide to his lyrics. Though the film was nominated for the Oscar his music was not given the honor so he probably hit back with a vengeance and got two of his films nominated for the Oscar in the music category.
Rahman however for the Hindi film industry remains elusive as he takes quite a lot of time to come out with his music and this is what deprives the Hindi film aficionados to have a soothing appetite of his music on a continued basis as the producers/ directors do not seem to have the patience to bear with him for music, even though his scores have most of the times contributed to the ringing of the cash counters in their own way. He however is a necessary feature with all the films of Mani Ratnam and no wonder the music of GURU is already among the top ten in all the charts anywhere.
Rahman should make his music for the music lover on a pan Indian basis with a sustained regularity rather than on a sporadic manner, as there is so much to hear from him.