Allah Rakha Rahman: Musical Journey

‘The time for India in the western world is now’

For A R Rahman, the world is a musical oyster. His musical scores for Tamil and Hindi films have been hugely popular. Having nurtured the dream of creating a self-contained western music orchestra, he’s now working towards that dream.

At 41, is there a sense of satisfaction within you?
In my life i’ve always found dreams do come true, though often they come true long after you’ve forgotten them. Just preserve your dream at the bottom of your heart and wait for it to fructify. For six years i’ve been nurturing a dream of giving western classical music a legitimacy in our country, to cultivate the dedication and discipline of orchestral music in our youngsters, who at the moment feel that western classical is too distant and esoteric for them.

My ultimate dream is to create an orchestra that is capable of performing the world’s best musical pieces. Today, after carrying this dream in my head, i’m ready to implement my passion for western music. We’ve launched our music conservatory.

What do you hope to achieve?
I want to teach young musicians how to play within an orchestra. As things stand if i want to record orchestral music i’ve to go to Prague. If Ilaiyaraaja wants to record an epic score he goes to Budapest. Why can’t we do it right here in our own country? I want to build a repertoire of musicians who can play western instruments as expertly as the sitar or tabla. Our talented young musicians who want to learn western classical music have to head for London. I want to give a certain legitimacy to western classical music in our country.

Indian classical music has room for unlimited improvisation and spontaneity. A classical recital requires far more formal discipline. And the whole orchestra brings one emotion into play throughout a recital. We don’t have that discipline in our country. It used to be there. But now the younger generation is more enthused by other forms of western music like dance and hip-hop.

Does this dream project mean you’d be moving away from film music?
No, my film compositions always have a core of classical music. When i say i want to nurture orchestral music in our country it doesn’t mean that the students will be playing Bach and Beethoven all the time.

Now you’re spending a lot of time at home rather than travelling.
I think the time for India in the western world is now. The respect for all things Indian has gone up in recent times. We need to take an initiative to propagate our culture. Yes, i’ve consciously cut down on assignments in Mumbai. I’m happy i’m moving to another level. The unknown always fascinates me. If it didn’t, a Roja wouldn’t have happened.


A.R . Rahman was born to R. K. Shekhar, a composer, arranger and conductor for Malayalam-language films. His father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income.

During these early years, Rahman served as a keyboardist and an arranger in bands such as “Roots” and “Nemesis Avenue” with friends including Sivmani, embracing numerous music genres. His curiosity in the synthesizer in particular increased because, he says, it was the “ideal combination of music and technology.

Rahman started his career from his backyard of his house. In 1991, Rahman began his own music recording and mixing studio, attached to backyard of his house, called the Panchatthan Record Inn.

He initially composed music jingles for advertisements. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja.

The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National film awards, the first time ever by a first-time film composer.

Rahman’s interest in the works of Classical and Romantic Periods composers. He further explored and trained in Carnatic Music,Westernl, Hindustani Music and the Qwalli style of Nusrat Ji, in addition to numerous other styles.

He believes in experimentation and i do believe in this.This is the reason for his supreme over Anu Malik,Himesh Reshamiyya, Pritam and others.They all except with pleasure thatRahman Ji is Best.

A.R . rahman is Uncrowned and undoubted King of Indian music starting from Roja Janeman to Maaya -Maaya and now Azeemo-e-shenshan in Jodha-Akbar.In each year he has produce blockbuster music whether its Roja, Bombay , Rangeela, Dil se,Taal,Fiza,Zubeida,Lagaan,Saathiya,Swaadesh,water,RDB, Guru and Now Jodha-Akbar.

There is a persona,calmness in A. R Rahman .Legend are always remain very calm as Sachin incricket and Roger federer In Tennis.He speaks through his music.Earlier in 2007 i thought Guru song is just okay but as i listen to them twice or thrice i becomes fond of it.


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