Tuesday, March 1, 2011
What Next for A.R.Rahman?
A.R.Rahman is the only music composer to have cut through all linguistic, social and cultural barriers within Indian and now even outside. A.R.Rahman, who gave hit songs in every single film he composed music for, adequately proved that he is an equally adept film score composer. He has won Grammys, Globes and Oscars. Rahman is already on his way to become a regular composer in Hollywood. He is composing music for an animation film next under DreamWorks Animation studios.
As a film score composer, A.R.Rahman has done it all. Hasn’t he? Or, Has he? Is there anything more one would want him to do? How about winning a Grammy in “Best Instrumental Composition” category? A customary view at the list of film score composers and their works that won Grammys in this category would explain what I want Rahman to do next.
Rahman’s orchestral pieces are melodic and sweet, no second thoughts about it. However, there is not enough chaos created in the orchestration, for the listeners to immerse themselves deep into and come up with a comforting musical clarity. In Rahman’s orchestral pieces, there will always be a dominant melody and all other sections of the orchestra play in support of the main melody. They do not make counter statements to the main melody. The motifs do not go through a process of development within the cue; they do not travel from Point A to B within the piece. Rahman’s orchestral arrangements do not build structures, the kind in which even if a strand or two of the instrumental layers are removed the whole would crumble. Rahman layers his orchestral pieces like the way he layers his songs. The additional layers in his orchestral bits do not always become the inseparable part of the overall composition.
It is not mandatory for an orchestral piece that supports a film to be complex in its arrangements. He can still choose to be what he is and compose music for 10 to 13 pieces film scores like Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Rebelliousness is admirable, but it should not become an excuse to do something that is convenient. The biggest strength of A.R.Rahman is that he knows what he knows and what he does not know. When asked about “Conference of Birds” symphony in an interview, he openly admitted that it is a challenging task, and he is not spiritually ready for it yet. He will be. He can. If he cannot, no one can.
I am happy that his next in Hollywood is an animation film. Animation is a genre of film, in which the score is of prime importance. The score plays a vital in bringing the colourful, animated objects to life. The score helps to make their emotions believable and human. I hope, in this film, Rahman finds the Mozart in himself and become the name he earned much earlier than he became one to be called so – The Mozart of Madras.