Shekhar Kapoor is on cloud nine. He has just finished a short film in Argentina, for which the music was by A.R. Rahman, and has been asked to sculpt a structure inspired by the film that will join likes of Salvadore Dali and Picasso in a museum in Europe. The 25-minute film “Passage” stars Haley Benett, Lily Cole and Julia Stiles.
Speaking about the music of Passage, Shekhar Kapoor quotes “Rahman composed a classic opera song that he recorded in India in an Indian female singer’s voice from his KM music institute in Chennai. When I played the song in Argentina, they said, ‘Oh My God, what a great opera and an operatic voice ‘ Their jaws fell open when I said both were Indians”
Rahman’s all compositions are mind blowing for this movie. The film was shot in Argentina. There is a beautiful song named Aria in French. I ask people to guess where it is from, and they search for all the great composers of the western classical form. And are stunned when I tell them the piece was composed by A R Rahman, sung by an Indian girl called Kavita Baliga from his Music Academy, and produced in his studio in Chennai.”
Synopsis : Three estranged sisters reunite one night when the oldest, Ella, comes back for her two younger sisters after leaving them years before in mysterious circumstances. Ella’s absence has taken its toll and the two younger sisters now struggle to find their way in the world without her. But Ella has returned for a reason to show her sisters a special place where they will experience an epiphany.
TRACK LISTING OF PASSAGE & LISTEN FULL SONGS ONLINE
- Opening Track of Passage
Performed by A R Rahman
Originally Performed by Carla Pugliese
Performed By A R Rahman
Performed by Kavita Baliga & A R Rahman
Performed By A R Rahman
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SHEKHAR KAPOOR SPEAKS ABOUT AR RAHMAN’S OSCAR WIN
I am really happy for A R Rahman. He is a musical genius, and deserves everything he has got. In fact I gave him the title “Mozart of Madras” and it caught on. But does the West really get his art and his genius ? I remember getting into an argument with Andrew Lloyd Webber about allowing A R Rahman to explore his own creativity for Bombay Dreams. We had co produced the show and I had introduced Rahman and his music to him.
I asked A R Rahman to score the music for Golden Age, and even then I was allowed only to take him as a co composer. And I watched as the studio rejected the most beautiful compositions from A R Rahman, because they did not get or were not willing to embrace something from another culture. As it happened the score of Golden Age was not half as good as it could have been.
Recently Rahman did the score for my short film that I did for Swarovsky, called Paasage. The one I shot in Argentina. One of the pieces in it is a beautiful song and an aria in French. I ask people to guess where it is from, and they search for all the great composers of the western classical form. And are stunned when I tell them the piece was composed by A R Rahman, sung by an Indian girl from his Music Academy, and produced in his studio in Chennai.
That is the genius of A R Rahman. Then why do we need the West to tell us how great he is ?
And that’s why I don’t understand why this hype of the Oscars for A R Rahman in Indian Media (Rah Rah Rahman was the TOI headline).. He is bigger than the Oscars Slumdog is not his best work. His music has been far more evocative than in Slumdog.
We in India have a far greater culture of music. Our depth of understanding of music, its resonance, its culture, be it classical or modern, is far greater than any culture I know. So why don’t I see that the West celebrates when one of their artists becomes popular here in India ? Why don’t we see headlines in the LA times then ?
Why do we admire the West so much. Even in my career I thought that Bandit Queen was a far far better film, a more heartfelt film, and a much more meaningful film than Elizabeth or any of the other films I made in the West. But in India I was suddenly celebrated as a film maker after Elizabeth. I even was awarded a Padma Shree after that film. Why ? Because the film was nominated for 7 Oscars, and Bandit Queen was not.