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Friday, January 27, 2012

In Conversation with Matt Dunkley

I got an opportunity to meet Conductor Mr.Matt Dunkley minutes before the beginning of A.R.Rahman's Classic Incantations Concert that happened in Chennai. Matt Dunkley remembered me, this blog, and the interview I did with him in 2010 through e-mail. I didn't really prepare much this time, because, honestly, I didn't believe that I would get to talk to him, though I was told that I would. It was more of a freewheeling chat session where Matt Dunkley spoke about India, reception of Indian audience, about why they couldn't really pull if off in previous such concerts (CBSO, London Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl), Classic Incantations CD and about working with KM choir. Listen In Conversation with Matt Dunkley Also This!


Arun said...

Was looking forward to this one ever since you told me about the interview. Thanks for sharing.

Sunil Malhotra said...

Dear Suresh Ji,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience along with the respective audio links. I highly appreciate your effort.

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed all suites, it was the initial plucks of the “Warriors of Heaven and Earth” suite that completely moved me to the extreme end of an emotional spectrum. Wow, what an introduction? If the beginning is this superb, then the whole experience is highly likely to dumbfound everyone. Other pieces that deserve a special mention are the “Passage” suite, which is very mystical – congratulations to Kavita and the rest of the KMMC choir and “Cry of a Rose” suite – I wonder why they chose to name the “Roja” suite this but after reading your description about the person beside you, I sort of come to a conclusion, an obvious one being Madhoo's character longing for Arvind Swamy in the film but in addition I like to add that Rahman Ji views his dear fans as a rose (a symbol of friendship and love) and the flute version of “Kadhal Rojave” has certainly swept us to tears. Rahman Ji once said, when composing an emotional track you have to acquire the correct feeling (sounds clich├ęd) but I wouldn’t be surprised if he himself cried whilst composing this number. You can probably guess my taste in music favours soft instrumentals and choral music in the long term.

From the “Tribute” suite, without a doubt, “Malarnthum Malaratha” and “Senthoora Poove” equally soar above the rest. It’s almost as if Rahman Ji went through my mind and knew I wanted to be gifted with these evergreen presents. Hearing these in WCM is really a dream come as through “Malarnthum Malaratha” we can heard Raga Abheri in an orchestral fashion, furthermore, the three most heard and favourite tracks for me by Raaja Saab are “Chinna Kannan Azhaikkiran”, “Senthoora Poove” and “Nee Partha” and for me to hear “Senthoora Poove” in WCM is seriously an answered wish. I’m really interested in the song by Rahman Ji’s father R.K. Shekhar, I would really like to hear the original.

I sit here writing this, trying to contain myself as I’m emotionally lost in all these ques. I would so love to be in India visiting one of these spectacular events right now but thanks to you and others who have shared reviews, videos, audios, images etc. I feel I have lived 50% of this experience. This is a great treat for us Rahman Ji devotees who couldn’t attend in person.

I was surprised in a pleasant way when “Aayo Re Sakhi” from “Water” was chosen to be played at the end but I recall Rahman Ji once saying he has worked the hardest for “Water” than any other album of his. As far as I remember, I’ve heard him he raving about three albums in particular: “Roja”, this was when he was asked what’s his favourite piece of work? “Kadhalar Dhinam, an album he rates 10/10. And recently he has been all praise for “Rockstar”. “Aayo Re Sakhi” is certainly an underdog composition that’s unpredictably arrived in the climax of the event. Rahman Ji might of wanted to use this track as an ode to God.

I said this to another member who shared his experience that, I can only dream of you felt in the actual auditorium.

If this doesn’t define him as the “Mozart of Madras” nothing will!

Thank you,

Sunil Malhotra