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Friday, November 11, 2011

Rockstar Background Score

Cues from Rockstar Background Score

Jo Bhi Mein - Movie Version
Mission Junglee Jawaani
Love Blossoms
Sherawali Ambe Maa
Ting a Ling in Prague
Hawa Hawa Meets Tum Ho
Tum Ho on Flute
Prelude to Aur Ho
Tum Ho on Guitar
Tum Ho Orchestral Version & Phir Se Udd Chala on Flute
Jordan is Heer Disease
End Credits

Rockstar Background score is one of the most restrained of all of Rahman's Indian film scores. The film is quiet throughout, with no music to push or exaggerate the emotions in the visuals. Even the scenes in which one usually expects music in the background, like say, when Jordan meets Heer for the first time, or when Heer finds Jordan in Prague, Rahman maintains an astounding silence. These stretches of silence further add to the intensity of emotions, especially in the latter half of the film. The most used musical piece in the background score of the film is the least heard piece of music in the entire soundtrack CD – the Synth soundscape that Rahman builds around Rumi’s poem. It is aptly used in some of the key moments of the film.

As I expected after hearing the soundtrack with fourteen songs, most of the background score cues are derived from the melody of the songs. There are no new musical themes. It certainly is not necessary to write new motifs, when you have sixty seven minutes of music already created for these very characters, their emotions and the situations. The haunting Tum Ho melody and its Piano motif, is interchangeably used as the recurring musical themes for love, passion, longing and pain of Jordan. It features in varied forms in the background score throughout the film. There is a techno Ting-a-ling (from Katiya Karoon) version that plays when Jordan and Heer do in Prague, what they did in India with the Punjabi version playing in the background.

This film is unthinkable without A.R.Rahman’s score. Imtiaz Ali has brilliantly married the music with the narrative. I like the idea of creating two versions of a song, one for the film and one for the Soundtrack CD. In CD version, Hawa Hawa ends with a solo Guitar playing the melody of the line “Azaadi dhedhe mujhe, mere Khudha”, whereas, in the film, the song ends with Kavitha Subramanian humming Tum Ho melody, because the visuals in those precise moments cannot have anything else playing behind, except Tum Ho. This deep interconnection between the film and the music was quite evident even before watching the film, when we heard a soprano whispering “Tum Ko” melody down underneath Orianthi Panagaris’s Guitar interlude – which in itself is an improvised Guitar version of Tum Ko melody - in Sadda Haq song.

I am still wondering why A.R.Rahman cued the guitar riff of Saadda Haq as background music in the scene in which Janardhan Jakad, comically, lists the pains that he had not gone through in his life. Ironically, Saadda Haq, he sings with a spitting angst, much later in his life, immediately after going through moments of heartbreak and pain. As the film has unusually minimal background score, I am sure some thought must have gone on every single cue that finally made it to the film. Hence, the choice of Saadda Haq guitar riff for Janardhan Jakad, who is yet to become Jordan, is intriguing. Well, when it is A.R.Rahman scoring, it is not just the film you keep thinking about days after watching it.

Rockstar Music Review