Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya ~ January 12

15 11 2009

After the stupendous success of the film Vaaranam Aayiram starring Surya, Sameera Reddy and others, Gautham Vasudev Menon is currently directing a breezy entertainer titled “Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa” starring Silambarasan and Trisha in the lead.

The film which has been under production has been shot vtvextensively at Chennai, Kerala and Malta. With an urban look to it, the story is set between two young people who fall in love. The film is almost complete with some portions and the climax to be shot. The authenticity and mood of the film is maintained by shooting at some realistic ambience in and around Chennai and some picturesque locations at Allepey, Kerala.

A much awaited musical from the Oscar Award Winning Composer A R Rahman, the film is sure to churn out some magic in its own special way, rendering some unforgettable and soulful numbers in the composer’s style, shot to the creative visuals of Director Gautham. The musical got a shot in the arm when Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa’s music director A R Rahman was nominated for 3 Oscars and bagged two.

With five song situations in the film, three songs have been composed already, out of which two songs have been shot extensively in Malta at some virgin locations.

The song “Hosanaa”, sung by Vijay Prakash of “Jai Ho” fame, penned to the lyrics of Thamarai and a rap by Blaze is a sure hit among the young crowd for its peppy beats and stunning visuals shot by Manoj Paramahamsa at Malta corresponding to the stylized choreography by Flexy Stu of Adiye Kolluthey fame.“Omana Penne” written by Thamarai too and sung by A R Rahman himself, holds a style of its own in the way it has been sung and programmed.

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Passage ~ Music out on September 8.

9 09 2009

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.

Passage

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.”

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A R Rahman meets Vangelis in Greece

24 08 2009

How could A R Rahman become the first Indian musician to hold an Oscar? This rhetorical question arises from the signs, over the years, that if the genius from Chennai found his way to global recognition, it would be through the Grammies.

Ar rahman vangelis

That was the international award I thought he’d win first, this restless pop-rock explorer whose far-flung voyages of musical introspection have consistently reshaped the landscape of the film song. There was the unmatched finish in his albums, for instance — the kind of sonic spit-polish we’ve encountered only in international records.

Then there were the influences that shaped Rahman — Osibisa, Jim Reeves, Switched-On Bach, Chick Corea, Vangelis and Dave Grusin, none of which appear, at least at first glance, capable of being co-opted into the traditional five-minute film song.

Vangelis Music was always an inspiration to Rahman. This is what Rahman has to say, when he met Vangelis in Greece recently.

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Passage ~ A R Rahman’s next Holly Flick

16 05 2009

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.

Passage. A R Rahman

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”

The 25-minute film “Passage” stars Haley Benett, Lily Cole and Julia Stiles.

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.

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A R Rahman: On a Song and a Prayer

26 01 2009

Kareema Begum, formerly known as Kasturi, is a slight woman, clad in a shiny blue zari-edged sari, every square centimetre of her worn fingers studded with diamonds, her sparkling toothy smile belying the struggles of her past.

In the sets of Connections

In the sets of Connections

A single mother since 1976, she kept her four children together by renting out the two keyboards her husband, music composer R.K. Shekhar, had left her when he died of stomach cancer.

Times were tough and her prodigiously talented son, then known as A.S. Dileep Kumar, was barely 11 when he started performing in public. “It got to the point where I had to go take him out of school every day to take him to performances,” she recalls, speaking in Tamil, translated rapidly by Dileep Kumar a.k.a. Allah Rakha Rahman’s imperious 12-year-old daughter.

“He was in Class X. He told me I should either let him study or let him perform. We had to survive. He had to drop out of school,’’ recalls Kareema. “I will always regret it.”

What kept her going was what gives 43-year-old Rahman strength even today. Prayer and work. Influenced by a Sufi mystic, Karimullah Shah Qadri, in whom Kareema found solace as she battled her husband’s illness, she converted the family to Islam in 1987. That faith drives her son today, with everything from the door to his recording studio to his mobile number bearing the holy numbers 786.

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Ghajini ~ Rahman is back with Aamir Khan

28 10 2008

Aamir Khan’s Ghajini was slated for a Diwali release this year, but it had to be postponed because Aamir suffered a ligament injury. Not satisfied by this decision, Aamir wanted to create some kind of buzz for the film. Now he is releasing the promos of the film today.

Some source close to Aamir Khan said, “Originally, even when Aamir was making Taare Zameen Par, he had planned a Diwali release for Ghajini. But because of his ligament injury he had to take a break for two months as he couldn’t shoot for the stunts.

So the release had to be postponed. But Aamir was hell-bent on having a Diwali release, even if it was only the promos. He decided to release at least the first moving visuals on Diwali.”

Since the past fifteen days, Aamir has been slogging to complete the promos on time. The source continued, “Aamir has been working non-stop in order to meet the deadline. He requested A R Rahman to put aside his other commitments and come to Mumbai to work on the background score of the promos.

Rahman, who generally doesn’t work outside Chennai, gave in to this last minute request and came to Mumbai. He has been working in a Mumbai lab for the past four days, only on Aamir’s insistence. Being such a perfectionist, he didn’t want to compromise on anything at all.”

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Rising Star of Rahman ~ Benny Dayal

31 08 2008

The Rising Star, the latest find of Rahman is the voice to watch out for in the music business.

Most of the songs that he has sung seem to reflect his personality to the Tee fun, confident and passionate. Twenty three-year-old Benny Dayal has had the dream start in the music industry that many dream of. His debut was with A.R. Rahman and from then on he has gone on to wield the microphone for the likes of Harris Jayaraj, Vidyasagar and G.V. Prakash.

His first song to hit the airwaves was Maduraikku Pogadhedi, from the film ‘Azhagiya Thamizh Magan’ in which he has also sung Nee Marylin Monroe Cloninga, both of which can get you to shake a leg or two. But it wasn’t just luck, there’s a lot of practice and exposure that earned him the call from Rahman’s studio.

Based in the Gulf, Benny came to Chennai to earn a graduation degree from MCC. That’s when he participated in SS Music channel’s talent hunt contest and became a part of the then-famous S5 band. A few years later, he was also spotted in Vijay TV’s ‘Paadum Office’, a singing competition between professionals working in corporate offices and is a part of a Rock and Roll band called “Rainbow Bridge”.

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