As I sit back and think about the year 2008, reliving the events of the year one word comes to my mind - eventful!!

The year has been pretty eventful, mostly very good! :D
The year started off on an interesting note, with me shifting location for work, and then coming back... moving from one line of business to another - all within the first month of the year!!

As a Rahmaniac, this year was a blast! 2008 will be a memorable one for Rahman-fans, what with ARR delighting us with 7 amazing albums (Jodhaa Akbar, Jaane Tu, Sakkarakatti, Ada, Yuvvraaj, Ghajini and Slumdog Millionaire). And, we got to enjoy two wonderful live conerts in Chennai! :) However, it was even more special for me, cos i got to meet ARR a few times this year!!! :D

And, the year ended with a pleasant surprise - Thanks to Dreamy Dryad, I got to see my name scroll up in the credits for music, in a short film! Yes! I composed for the short film, Maami's Memories directed by Sandhya!

What I loved in 2008?
Movies: WALL·E, Jaane tu ya jaane naa
Songs: Difficult to pick one... but Kahin toh and Khwaja have a slight edge! :D
TV show: Airtel Super Singer
Singer: Benny Dayal (Kaise Mujhe, Tu hi mera dost and Taxi Taxi)

What I hated in 2008?
Most IRRITATING songs: Naaku mukka, and that utterly annoying "Mozha mozha nu" song from the dumb Kuruvi...
Movie: Sakkarakatti - there can be no competition for this one!!
TV Shows: all the copied programs in Sun TV (ozhungaa copy adikka kooda mudiyaadhaa?! :P) and the commercialisation of Mumbai attacks on all news channels

As 2008 draws to a close and 2009 dawns, here's wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!!!
By Aravind on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 9:00 PM Post Categories: ,
I had earlier written about how the Indian media are giving false news with respect to the Slumdog Millionaire track Ringa Ringa being similar to Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai. Now, it is the turn of THE HINDU, which has publushed a totally biased article which is in such a bad taste!!

The article in question is "Who gets the credit?" in The Hindu - Cinema Plus (dt: 19-Dec-2008) (Link to the article:

The writer seems to be totally biased against A.R.Rahman, for he uses strong words like "rip-off" unnecessarily, though there's hardly any similarity between Rahman's Ringa Ringa and Choli Ke Peeche!

Also, the article mentions about a "song by MIA featuring blaaze which sounds like an MIA composition". There is no MIA song in the album which features Blaaze!!! Which song is the writer talking about?

I doubt whether the writer had listened to the tracks even once before writing this article.
It looks like the writer's sole aim was to demean ARR, without even caring to verify the facts! At a time when ARR is getting laurels from all over the globe, the writer just wants to pull him down - there seems to be no other reason for an article written in such a bad taste!

Hope Hindu avoids such inane and biased articles henceforth!
By Aravind on Friday, December 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM Post Categories: ,
... both for ARR and us Rahmaniacs!

With ARR already bagging 5 awards (LA Critics, NY Critics, San Diego Critics, Black Reel and International Press Academy Satellite Awards) and many more nominations including a Golden Globe Nom, chances are high for an Oscar Nom too! :)
Fingers crossed :)

If this wasn't enough, ARR gives us all more reasons to celebrate, with the Jiya se Jiya music video, from his latest album Connections!
What a way to end to 2008 :)

By Aravind on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 7:01 AM Post Categories:
H Sridhar will be sorely missed. Such a great loss for music industry!
By Aravind on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 at 8:01 AM
All the media have taken this news that "Choli Ke Peeche" has been used in Slumdog Millionaire, and blown it totally out of proportion. Some have even criticised AR for tampering with a classic which should be left as it is! But, the sad part is that the news is not even totally true!!!

The song in question is "Ringa Ringa". I listened to it. Except for the mood of the song and probably the rhythm, there is absolutely nothing similar to Choli Ke.

In his interview, Rahman just said this about Choli Ke song: "It represents that period in the early 1990s. The colour, the swirl and the frenetic pace - so I've re-recorded it in the same two voices, Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun, though in a totally re-worked form".

The keywords there are "totally reworked" and "same voices". Without even listening to the song, all the media jumped up and started promoting that Choli Ke Peeche is in SDM, conveniently forgetting these facts mentioned by AR! Musicindiaonline has just ignored that statement about "totally re-worked form", in its article.

Sensationalising at its worst!! Pah!
By Aravind on Friday, November 28, 2008 at 6:43 AM Post Categories: ,
If you are expecting a review of this masterpiece, then you will feel disappointed. I'm not reviewing Yuvvraaj - at least not as yet! I dont think I can do justice to the album with the limited number of times I've listened to it in my limited time!

But, one thing that strikes me every time I listen to it - the sound track of Yuvvraaj is class apart. I dont think western classical has been blended seamlessly with hindustani in a mainstream bollywood soundtrack! And, I dont think anyone other than ARR could have pulled this off with such success!

Kudos boss!!

an ad, summarising the reviews of Yuvvraaj and congratulating the team.
By Aravind on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:06 AM
'Varanam Aayiram' audio launch - 24 Sep 2008
'Saroja' audio launch - 14th July 2008

(This could be just a coincidence :P)
By Aravind on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 7:11 AM Post Categories: ,

One instrument that has fascinated me a lot is the bass guitar. That's because of just two people - A.R.Rahman and Keith Peters! I'm so very enamoured with Keith's talent that I exclaimed "Sir.. You are the reason that I love bass guitar", when I met him at the TOI concert in April!

In Indian music, there was hardly any importance for bass guitar. Composers have been using bass guitars for decades, i'm not denying it... But, it was more like it was pushed to the background. Rahman brought that change - he made bass guitar an important part of his compositions. And, thus Keith's extraordinary skills were exposed to the world, and elevated him to such a level that he is arguably the most wanted Bass guitarist in the country!

I'm planning to write about some of his exemplary work in Rahman's songs, and here's the first one!

The first song that comes to my mind is Thee Thee Thithikkum Thee (Thiruda Thiruda), one of my top favourites of AR. Everything in the song - be it Naveen's flute, or Thumba Raja's powerful jathis or the sensuous voice of chinese girl Caroline or the innovative percussion - is out of the world! But, let us push everything else aside for now, and focus on Keith's work.

Bass Guitar is definitely one of the main pillars of this song, which is very unusal in Indian music.
Right from the start when he plays the bass by plucking the strings hard(right at the start), then the normal bass guitar sound in most parts of the song, then the slap bass (during the swaras ma-pa-ni-sa.. ri-sa), Keith shows his class throughout the song.

The emhpatic fusion between Keith's bass and Naveen's flute (second interlude) is such a bliss, and takes me to a different world every single time I listen to it. The song ends with another brilliant bass piece accompanying the jathi.

This song is one of my all time favourites, for many reasons, bass guitar being the most important reason!
By Aravind on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 at 10:28 PM Post Categories: , ,
When you look at Indian music directors, the classification is easy - There is AR Rahman, and then there are others! When the others are looking for music from around the world, from which they can "get inspired" for their next song, here's one man whose songs are being lifted/used by composers across continents.

I've already written about the Mandarin and Uzbek versions of AR's songs... Here's the latest one. Serbian singer Jelena Karleusa has used Mayya Mayya from Guru in her album JK Revolution. Like in the Uzbek version by Iroda Dilraz, this song has been rightly credited to A.R.Rahman.

By Aravind on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 7:08 AM Post Categories:
Let's get into some imagination, shall we?

Imagine you are fast asleep, and you are woken up by a loud unusual noise. You rush to the terrace to check whats happening. You see a big UFO landing on your terrace (Terrace not big enough? ah, geez!! when you can imagine a UFO landing on your terrace, can't you imagine your terrace to be bigger! just imagine!! Back to the post, now!)
And then, the door of the UFO opens, and out comes a creature - an alien - a la the E.T., comes out. You look at it and are frightened. It looks somewhat familiar to you, with two arms and legs! But, yet it is an alien and looks a lot different too. You don't know what to expect because you haven't seen anything like this before! Initially, you don't get close to it as it is a very strange creature. But, then you get along with it and become friends with it. It demonstrates its special powers - though those powers are extraordinary, you get used to it and start loving it!


Now, the focus shifts to "I miss you da" song (sung by Chinmayi and Indai Haza) from Sakkarakatti. Isn't it exactly like the alien that you encountered a few seconds back? At least for me, it was!!
The first time I heard the song, I was like "What is this?! What's going on?" It was unlike anything I had heard before. Rahman must have been at the height of his experiment-mood!! There are so many unheard sounds. The tune is so very unpredictable - keeps going smooth and suddenly there's a fall - like a roller coaster! And, so suddenly it goes up! And, I got one more surprise that Indai Hazaa is none other than Chinmayi herself!
Once I got to terms with all these surprises, I started absolutely loving and adoring the song!

I've said it before and I say it again - Only Rahman can create such magic!
By Aravind on Friday, July 18, 2008 at 7:00 AM Post Categories: ,
Yes... it's more than 3 years now, since I started blogging! (Sorry bloggie, I missed ur birthday... Belated Happy Birthday! )

It seems it was just yesterday that I thought of the name for the blog! I remember it distinctly. Just as the Chennai-Bangalore KSRTC bus was nearing Bangalore at about 4:30 am, I was wide awake thinking about starting a blog (though it was in my mind for quite sometime, I wasnt serious before) and thought of the name just then! One of the first things that I did when I got to campus was to start this blog and make my first post!

3 years! The blog has had an impact on my life, and how!! That, my best friends and confidante now are people who I discovered through blog, is incredible! (The crazy gal in Pune hates to say we know each other through blog coz it takes the closeness out and makes it sound very superficial but getting close to someone whom u met through blogs is something interesting in itself, illai??)

I'm not much of a writer, but the blog has certainly helped me improve and kept me writing. The blog has brought out my creativity. It has been there for me to vent out my frustration! It has helped me boost my ego many a time. (It is really surprising and heartening when someone you don't know comes to you and says "You are 'Aravind' of Rahmaniac's Reflections?"... Trust me, it has happened. And, No.... I'm not talking about any bloggers meet!!)

3 years down, I'm so glad I started blogging! Haven't been able to be very regular, but will try to be regular!

By Aravind on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 7:06 AM Post Categories:
Ask the organisers of the Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards, they will have all the answers to this question!

The event held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on 5th July 2008, had no scarcity of stars. The luminaries who lit up the evening included legends Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy and Vikku Vinayak Ram, Maestro A.R.Rahman, KS Chithra, Harris Jayaraj, directors Shankar and Dharani, actors Vijay, Nayanthara, Kushboo and Simran.

The event which was supposed to start at 6 pm started at 7 pm. This delay is usually considered normal these days for shows of this scale. But, what followed for the next 3 hours should probably be the biggest mess up among events of this scale.

The hosts of the evening (Raghav and actress Aparna) had no clue of the proceedings of the evening. It was utter chaos right from the start, when they walked on to the podium and waited for a couple of minutes only to go back, after realising that they should have come only later!

Even the way the awards were announced was totally unprofessional. Many a time, the AV started while the hosts were announcing the winner's name, interrupting them. There was absolutely no coordination!!! Halfway through the show, the hosts decided to avoid this confusion - they just stopped with "and the award goes to". The winners name just came up on the AV! Sometimes, they played the AV for the next award, before the current award was presented, creating more confusion!

That was not all. After a long commercial break when the stage was set for Shruti Hassan to sing, the hosts were nowhere to be seen! Shruthi straight away started singing without anyone introducing her, and majority of the crowd was left wondering who it was on the stage!

Talking of commercial-breaks, they were far too many in number and the duration of each break was also pretty long, which left the audience restless! The frequent technical glitches gave more reasons for the audience to scream and boo!!

The celebs who presented the awards and those who got the awards were left totally clueless when they came on stage, because there were no thank you-s from the host once the awards were presented. The celebs were left wondering whether they should leave the stage, or they should wait or should they speak! When the hosts announced the next award, that was the cue for the celebs to step down! What a way to treat your celeb guests!

Surprisingly, none of the celebs were given the mic! All the talking was done by the hosts - till 9 pm, that is! It took them more than 2 hours to realise that the winners should be given some airtime on stage! But, why couldn't they have asked the girl who carried the award tropy, to carry the mic as well and pass it on to the celeb? Each time, either Raghav or Aparna had to run with the mic, from their podium at corner of the stage to the centre, just as the celeb was getting down from the stage! Have the organisers and the hosts never watched any of the award functions on TV?

The stage setup was the other irritating thing - the hosts' podium was in one corner, but the entry to the backstage was at the other corner. So, after inviting the performers to the stage, the hosts had to walk the full length of the stage each time, even as the dancers assembled for the performance!

The way the awards were conceptualised was, in itself, totally inane. Take this for example. The best melodious song award was presented to singer Balram for "Kaatrin Mozhi". Engaeyum Eppodhum was selected as the best remix song, and the award was presented not to the singer or the composer but to the director & producer. June Ponal was adjudjged the Best Youthful song, and this was presented to the composer, Harris Jayaraj! I fail to comprehend if there is even a faint logic in their decision of who gets the credit for each song - the singer or the director or the composer or even the producer!

I had to endure all this to catch a glimpse of A.R.Rahman receiving the best music director award, for, that was the last award of the day! It was quite obvious to everyone there at the venue that A.R.Rahman was gonna get the best Music Director award.

There were some remarkable performances during the show, including Bharatnayam by Shobhana, percussion ensemble by Vikku Vinayak Ram's family and some spirited singing by Shruti Hassan. But, all this was shadowed by too many glitches and unprofessional organising!

After all the hype that they generated for this event, it was a big big let down! A very amateurish and unprofessional show! Hope they learn from the innumerable mistakes they made this time!
By Aravind on Sunday, July 06, 2008 at 9:12 AM Post Categories: ,
After the successful historicals and biopics, Rahman hits back with a youthful and modern Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. As with ARR-Aamir Khan combos in the past, this one too is magical!

Kabhi Kabhi Aditi
When the song starts off with a swanky guitar piece and the stylish vocals of Rashid Ali, we know this album is gonna be one trendy, modern one! After the heavy Ishq Ada Hai (Ada), the new singing sensation Rashid Ali rocks with this light number, rendering it so casually which is just perfect for this song! At some places, the style reminds me of Adnaan Saami! The lyrics by Abbas Tyrewala are very fresh and contemporary.
The song has become a chartbuster and may become one of the biggest hit of the year!

Pappu Can't Dance & the Remix
A super cool fun song after quite some time from ARR. Boasting of a huge list of singers - Anupama, Benny Dayal, Blaze, Tanvi, Darshana, Satish Subramaniam & Aslam, - this one will rule the dance floors for quite a while! The energetic beats, playful rendition by Tanvi make the song extremely enjoyable! The short guitar piece during the line "Pappu guitar bajaata hai" is so cute!

Krishna Chetan has done a good job with the remix, though the fun is somehow lost in the heavier beats!

Jaane Tu Meri/Mera Kya hai
The two songs, one by Runa Rizvi and the other by Sukhwinder , are the pathos songs in the album, talking about the pain and separation. Sukhwinder packs in so much emotion and pain in his voice that Runa's version sounds ordinary in comparison, though it is actually very good!
The arrangements in the two songs are different, though the tune remains same.

Nazrein Milana
Yet another group song, rendered by a big list of singers - Benny, Satish, Sayanora, Darshana, Shweta, Bhargavi and Anupama! The use of accordions/harmonica in a modenrn and trendy track filled with distortion, guitars makes the song interesting.

Tu Bole
Rahman's versatility in composing music is well known. Nowadays, it looks like he is on to prove what a versatile singer he is. Fast paced fun numbers, mom-son sentiment songs, romantic duets, pathos songs, inspirational songs and what not.... Now he has tried "60s Jazz" for the title song of Jaane Tu and has struck gold!!! The composition and singing are exemplary. Rahman transports us back in time, aided by Adam Rapa's splendid performance on the trumpets.

Kahin Toh
After the peppy Kabhi Kabhi Aditi, Rashid Ali pairs up with Vasundara Das for a melodious rock number. The tune is simple and melodious. Rahman always creates wonders with chorus in his songs. In this track, the chorus lifts up the song a few notches, especially when they sing the "jaane na" part at a higher note.

Overall, a very trendy, modern and "guitar-ry" album from Rahman, which will staisfy public and critics alike!

By Aravind on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 7:53 AM
Ada - the album is aptly tagged "A Musical journey by A.R.Rahman", for he has been composing for this film for about 7 years and the album takes us through a journey with ARR!!!

The album starts with the male version of Ishq Ada Hai rendered by Rashi Ali, the guitarist who has been playing guitars for ARR for quite sometime now. Though he has sung "Nadhirdhinna" in Parthale paravasam, it went unnoticed... Ishq Ada should prove to be a nice platform for him, to launch him as a singer, for it showcases his powerful voice brilliantly! The waltz pattern, the addictive accordion bits, the simple tune - all of these make the song instantly likeable.

Then comes Hawa Sun Hawa - one of the most beautiful melodies composed by ARR. Rendered by Sonu and younger-sounding (less shrill) Alka Yagnik (probably recorded in 2002-2003), this track takes time to grow on. But this one will become one of the songs, closest to the heart! Naveen adds more beauty to this song with the wonderful flute interludes, which leaves you yearning for more!!

Gumsum Gumsum is one of the tracks that was given for the remix contest, which was organised for promoting the movie. So I'd heard first 60 seconds of just the voice track and imagined that it would be a totally western track with drums et al! Lo and behold... Rahman surprised me totally, making it a desi track with dholaks!! Was this composed at about the same time as Water? I felt there was an "aayo re" hangover in the santoor interludes (just the style, I mean!). Another duet for Sony and Alka and they do a commendable job!
And, how could I forget the short guitar surprise at around 3:40!!! The muted guitar bit is MAGICAL!!!

Sonu Nigam comes back, this time accompanied by Sunidhi Chauhan (her second song for Rahman) for Gulfisha. And Sunidhi works wonders in this one! The song starts of with French chants by Viviane Chaix and then Sonu takes . But, it is Sunidhi who takes it to a completely new level! The point when she switches to the high pitched Gulfisha from the low pitched one (at around 1:18) is mindblowing!! This song, too, will take sometime to grow on you!

The next song in the album is the one which brings in the "what came first - chicken or egg" type question back again - Does Rahman always choose to render the best song of the album or does the song become the best because of Rahman's rendition? yes... Meherbaan rendered by ARR is definitely the "Song of the album". Starting as a soft melody with backed by piano and a gentle rhythm, it it becomes rock-ish with distortion guitars in the second half of the song, still retaining the melodic feel. There's a certain something in his voice which makes any song he sings, SPECIAL! This one is no different!

Next in the album, Tu Mera Hai must be one of the songs recorded during the later half of Rahman's 7 year long "Musical journey", for it features Naresh Iyer along with Chitra and Sukhwinder! Sukhwinder and Chitra have done a commendable job, with Naresh Iyer chipping in with the "laahi laahi" bit! Though this was my least fav in the album, this one is rapidly moving up my list!!

Rahman tries to recreate the "Ae Ajnabi" magic with Hai Dard - a sad song sung by Udit Narayan - and pulls it off! Though not as powerful as the classic Dil Se track, this one is great in its own right. The song is styled like a 1970s bollywood pathos song, in waltz beats. Udit's voice aptly conveys the emotions of the lover in pain! The sax interludes create a mystic feel to the song!

Parul Mishra, the winner of Fever FM's Voice Hunt (held last November), makes her debut with Ishq Ada Hai. Her voice is fresh and quite unusual. She carries off the song with ease, and makes this song rank higher than the male version! The backing vocals and arrangements are quite different from the male version of the song.

Legendary Malayalam singer P.Jayachandran makes his Hindi debut with the pathos number, Milo Wahan Wahan, with Alka for company. Alka starts off the song, and sets the mood of the song perfectly. When Jayachandran joins in, the song moves up a few notches! The highlight of the song is the second stanza by Jayachandran (starting 5:05). What a voice!
The lyrics, are a bit of a letdown - though the mood of the song is conveyed perfectly in the lyrics, the lines are far from poetic!

Sanjeev Thomas mesmerises us with the Guitar instrumental version of "Meherbaan". The instrumental is as impressive as the original sung by Rahman. The use of distortion guitar for the high pitched parts and normal electric guitars for the softer parts speaks of the genius of the man!

In all, Ada is a classic - on the likes of Meenaxi or Taal - a must-have for any music lover.

PS: ARR composed this album over a period of 7 years.... I wrote this review over a period of 21 days!! :P
By Aravind on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 7:03 PM Post Categories: , , ,
My dear A A K,
It's been a long time, right?
Yeah... 13 years to be precise... The summer of 1995 - that was when I first came across you. I still remember that day - a cultural event in Trichy. All thanks to a dance performance that morning, for that was when our rendezvous happened! You bowled me over that very instant. You were very different, extremely pleasant, totally bubbly, amazingly exuberant, instantly likeable (now... now...let me stop here or I'll keep adding enough adjectives about you to fill an entire book!)

Hmmmm.... 13 years have passed... During this period, many others came about in my life. I probably got carried away. I guess that's why our closeness has reduced. I've not been as crazy about you over the past few years, as I was during the first few years!

Now, one day last week when I was so tired and worn out, and I wanted some one to boost me up, you came to me - quite unexpectedly. Though I've been coming across you on and off, I failed to give much importance to you off late. But, that day, when I was in need, you came in with so much energy, so much freshness to pep me up totally. Everything was just as it was during the first ever meeting! I was bowled over by you - yet again, after 13 years. That too, after I had come across so many others, who are supposed to be modern and up-to-date. You haven't changed, my dear, but you still match up to others who claim to be following today's trend. That's because u were way ahead of your time, in the 90s itself!

How many ever dance-songs come and go, my dear Andha Arabic Kadaloram, I know you will always be fresh and will be there to pep me up, and will always be one of my top favs!!!

With luv,
The ever crazy Rahmaniac!
By Aravind on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 8:21 AM Post Categories:
From a Rahmaniac's point of view, Rahmania show (on Aahaa 91.9 FM, Chennai) should be the best thing that has happened on Radio!!! The Friday celebrity interviews are a total treat, and these are something to be treasured... Last Friday, it was Director Vasanth, who spoke about ARR on the show. Though he has worked with ARR for just one movie (Rhythm), he had so much to say about ARR. In my opinion, this is one of the best interviews on Rahmania.
I've uploaded the interview at (5.7 MB - complete interview)

For the benefit of ppl who don't understand Tamil, I've transcribed it... Read on!

About Songs in "Rhythm"
ARR improvises a lot with the songs... Consider Nathiye Nathiye song (Dheem Thananaa) song for example. "Dheem Thana naa" was never meant to be the pallavi (antara) of the song. It was a refrain that was used in the middle of the song. Since it was catchy, he made it as the opening. The entire song did not stick to the usual format of 1 antara and two mukhda - there were lot of variations in the song - just like how the flow of a river is never uniform and varies throughout... Since each portion of the song was so different, we decided to make the "dheem Thana naa" refrain as the common link for each part, and thus we finalised the opening of the song.
Nathiye nathiye which was supposed to be the actual pallavi (antara) of the song, was made to appear only once or twice in the song!!

About ARR as a person
ARR is the only Indian composer, who is successful in the regional, national as well as the international arena... There may be many who are successful in the regional level. You can even find people who are successful in the regional and national level. But, he is the only one who has succeeded in all 3 levels... Be it Nagercoil (a small town in Tamilnadu) or New York - he is a success everywhere!
He is the pride of Tamilnadu and India..

When you consider only the film compositions, I see him as the major composer in Tamil and hindi film music. In Tamil, he is of the lineage following G.Ramanthan, R.Sudharsanam, KV Mahadevan, Viswanathan-Ramamoorhty and Ilayaraja.
If you look similarly in Hindi, he follows the lineage of people like Anil Biswas, Naushad Ali, Shankar Jaikishen, SD Burman, C.Ramachandra, Madan Mohan, Kalyanji Anandji, Lakshmikant Pyarelal, RD Burman...
He is one of the Titans in Indian Film music arena.
According to me, there has been no titan music director after ARR in India in any language. He is the latest and last arrival.

In this lineage, I include only those who bring a totally new style of music. There are new composers who follow his style. They may also do some good music, but they have not created a new style of music.... not until now...

The most important aspect of his music according to me, is his technology + music. It is not technology alone or melody alone.. This is something that he pioneered. we have heard lots of melodies.. we have heard technology being used... but he put both of them together in the right mix and composed music.... He follows this in all styles of music - be it hindustani or carnatic or sufi or soft rock.
If ARR had been around in 1960s or 1970, I think, he would have given songs which are 100 times better than what he has given now!
Even now he gives the best songs, but what I'm saying is that, "story" had lots of importance in movies back then... Important aspects of ARR's music - like the melodic nature of his music, the depth of his music, the ability to show different perspectives, the ability to transport us to a different world - all these would have had more importance back then. But now, there are not many stories which can fully utilise these aspects of his music. Sotry-telling has decreased these days!

About ARR's simplicity
His simplicity is what I admire the most. I had once read about what composer Pyarelal of Lakshmikant-Pyarelal fame, had to say about ARR.
According to Pyarelal, Roja is his fav ARR album, but the most important work in ARR's career is Thiruda Thiruda. ARR had met Pyarelal at a party, which was their first meeting. ARR himself went and introduced himself to Pyarelal, saying "I just wanted to meet you and get introduced to you... I'm A.R.Rahman". Pyarelal says that he had never seen anyone being so simple and modest, that too being a composer of international fame!
Rainahah: Usually ARR is very introverted and would not go and introduce himself to people... but since Pyarelal is a composer whom ARR respects a lot, he probably would have gone and spoken to him!

As a Director, what's your role in the music creation process?
According to me, a director's role is to create an environment or a situation for the composer to create a good song - mainly to inspire the music director... The director should strive to inspire the composer to reach greater heights... The director's intervention should not pull the composer down!!
(Raihanah ma'am interrupted here saying "Those are golden words... You should say this everywhere sir... You should say this loud and clear! It would be great if all directors understand this!!!!
Vasanth retorted saying "You seem to be really affected by such instances" (Laughs))

The director should try to bring out the best from everyone.... The director should identify what's the best aspect of the composer and bring out the most creative stuff from them.. and should never give up till the best output is produced!

Raihanah: You have explained it brilliantly, sir.. When we talk of this, the first song that comes to my mind is Nenje Nenje from Ratchagan....

Vasanth: Definitely.. Definitely... Similarly, I like Thoda Thoda Malarndhadhenna (Indra) How do I say... I'm at a loss for words...

I think ARR is the only composer who has given his heart and soul to each and every song and each and every movie. Not jus for one or two songs in a movie, but for every song.... That is why he takes more time... He has never compromised on quality any of the songs - ever! He takes each and every song seriously!!

About directors/producers asking for tunes similar to another song
That's usually done to communicate the mood that's required for the song - we sort of give examples... For some composers, you can get the best only if you communicate this way... It's more about convenience.
About asking to compose a song similar to another song - i won't comment whether it is right or wrong... but, it is wrong if the composer creates the "same" tune, instead of creating a similar mood!

In case of a big composer like ARR, we need not give any examples. If we give examples, he'll stay as far away from that tune as possible!! That's why he is in such a great position now!! He understands that it just for easier communication!

Some other composers would assume that we like that particular tune of a old song that they can satisfy us only if they use that tune, and would end up giving the same old tune!!

About Re-recording (BGMs) of ARR
Silence is as important to re-recording as the actual BGMs. In many instances, silence, after the actual BGM, creates the required impact - Ilayaraja sir taught me this...
For instance, if there's a long BGM and it suddenly stops when a guy opens a door, all your focus shifts to what's behind the door. silence creates an impact there...
The composer should know when to have music in the scene and when to stop. I think Rahman is one composer who knows this and handles this beautifully!
He gives what's required for a scene, rather than playing music continuously!

Another important aspect of ARR's re-recording is his ability to use various different styles of music to elevate the quality of the scenes. For instance, in Rhythm, in the scenes involving the relationship between Arjun and the kid, he had brought an italian feel in the BGM... In the same movie, he had used a very Indian sound, for the scenes involving Lakshmi....

I think he can do this with ease as he listens to and enjoys all types of music - from carnatic to hindustani to western, pop and rock...

He brought a new style in re-recording. His re-recording gave a new dimension to the film. Even for ARR, Rhythm is one of his favourites in terms of re-recording, and he keeps mentioning this to me...

Fav BGMs in other ARR movies, apart from Rhythm:
I love everything that ARR has done for Mani Ratnam's movies, especially Bombay and Iruvar. According to me, Iruvar is Mani sir's best movie.. Iruvar's re-recording is ultimate!!

In the scene in Iruvar where it is shown for the first time that Mohan Lal has got 1000-s of people behind him, the Background score is brilliant. The BGM has "spoken" this exactly. If you just listen to the BGM without looking at the scene, you can visualise that scene in your mind - even without listening to a single dialogue!

Favourite Songs
For how many movies has he composed, till now? About 100? So, at 5 songs per movie, there would be a total of 500 songs? so, my favourite would be all 500!!
I love every one of his songs...
Let me quote just a few songs, which come to my mind at this instant...

Pudhu Vellai Mazhai - I love this song because it does something to me... I love this song because I love it very much!!! It creates an ambience.. The rendering, the freshness, the music, the composition - everything was great... The sound was totally new - when I heard it in 1991, I knew I hadn't heard anything like this before!! The sound was so new, so emotional and so real..

I love chinna chinna aasai a lot, but somehow my favourites are Pudhu Vellai Mazhai and Kadhal Rojave, with Pudhu Vellai Mazhai getting 100 points and Kadhal Rojave being a close second at 99.5!!

Similarly, I love "Minnale nee vandhadhenadi" from May Madham... I'm quoting this song specially, because of the sorrow in the song beautifully conveyed by the tune, SPB sir's voice.. above all - the intricate violin opening and interlude.... It doesnt happen often that the instrumental interludes get registered in our minds as much as the main song itself - but this violin interlude did.... I always used to hum that violin bit and my ears always long for that violin bit!

Snegithane - What do I say about this song,... This is one of the finest creations of Rahman. This is the ultimate song to portray a man-woman relationship!
(Raihanah: Sadhna's voice is so sharp - as sharp as the soung of glass breaking!)

Vasanth: I am usually not enamoured by the sweetness of a voice, for me it is always the composer who captures my heart! The emotions in the song are what attracts me!!

But if there's one voice which has attracted me a lot, it is ARR's voice... Listen to vellai pookkal... it will just make you cry!!! You dont hav to do anything else... The voice, tune, the lyrics - everything about the song is perfect - and it is as though the song conveys the entire sorrow in Sri Lanka...

I'm a big big fan of ARR, and I admire him as a human being also.. I am delighted and honoured that I got this chance to share my views about ARR, and his songs!!
By Aravind on Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 5:01 PM Post Categories: ,
That's the latest ARR song that's been released - It's not from any movie/pop album... This is the theme song for Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, which is to be inaugurated in a week's time!

Listen to the song online at
I'm in loue with this one track already - starting off with slow whispers, and then moving on to "aasmaan" at a high pitch, with wonderful string arrangements which is typical of ARR - he has created magic again!!!

Lyrics are by Prasoon Joshi, no clue on who the singer is... any guesses?

This one came as a pleasant surprise, as I didn't expect any new ARR release at least for a month or two (No clue when Ada and Jaane Tu ya Jaane Naa are gonna release, though there have been speculations that they may release in the first half of 2008!)

By Aravind on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 10:40 PM Post Categories:
I had made a Duet mix using the Chinmayi version and Jayachandran version of Kannathil Muthamittaal song (Oru Deivam Thandha Poove). I got a comment which said "Why don't you try making a duet video mix?" Was planning to do it for a long time now... Finally, I found time to complete this!! This is my first attempt at non-linear video editing... Waiting for comments!!

The Making :
As I already had the audio mix ready, I thought this would be a cakewalk! Only after I started, did I realise that the only the first charanam of one version and the second charanam of the other has been picturised by Mani Ratnam... So, my existing audio mix became unusable for this and I had to start the audio mixing from scratch. I decided that I will make only one charanam with a few lines each from first charanam of one version and second charanam of other version. Then came another surprise.... The background music that plays during the two charanams are not exactly the same! Did a lot of tweaking and adjustments to ensure that it doesnt sound odd! Once that was ready, I had to lip-sync the video with the audio mix!

And... one more thing... In this mix, there's something different about the "nee" in "Enadhu pagaiyum nee" which Chinmayi sings... Did anyone notice it?
By Aravind on Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 8:11 AM Post Categories: ,
That's what the makers of Simbu's new movie 'Kaalai' claim, in their promos of the film!
See for yourself!

Is this similar to "injurious to health" warnings on cigarette packs?

BTW, we all know what KaaLai is, but why taint Rajni's Murattu Kaalai?

Pic source: Ad in Dinakaran
By Aravind on Saturday, February 09, 2008 at 8:43 AM Post Categories: ,
No.. this post is not about the Steven Spielberg movie (oh.. I luv that flick!).... nor is it about AI using Neural Networks for robotics and such!
This post is about the Artificial Intelligence that my new Sansa MP3 player, seems to be picking up! BTW, no... I don't wish to see comments saying I should have gone for an iPod!! This was a very well informed decision, and after using my Sansa for a month now, I am absolutely satisfied with my choice!
Now, coming back to the topic... I put my entire ARR collection on shuffle mode these days and leave it to my Sansa to decide what song I'd be listening next! This is when my Sansa does very interesting stuff!!

One day, it played Mujhe Rang De (Takshak) and immediately followed it up with Rang Hai (Meenaxi). I thought to myself - has it selected these songs back-to-back, because both songs start with the same word? Then, I got a surprise - the next song was Pachchai Nirame (Alaipayuthey) - again something to do with colour!!

And on another instance, Rang Hai (Meenaxi) was followed by Satrangi Re (Dil Se)!!

Here's one more - It played Ishwar Allah (1947 - Earth) and Ek Tum Hi Bharosa (Pukar) back -to-back. Though both songs have the words "Ishwar" and "Allah" repeated throughout the song, nowhere in the ID3 tags or the filenames were these words mentioned (which was the explanation I had before I checked the ID3 tags)!!

These are just 3 of many such instances in just 10-15 days in shuffle mode... I've given up... I've stopped analysing and have started enjoying my music these days!!
By Aravind on Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 7:26 AM Post Categories: ,
I was tagged by Ponnarasi! Tag's simple - write about your new year resolutions!
Have been so busy that I'm writing about my resolution almost at the end of the month!!!

Hmmm... what are my resolutions for this year?!!

Only one that I can think of, right now - I have started many "projects" and most of them are incomplete!! I start something, and then I hit a roadblock... and then, I find something more interesting, and I start off the next one, leaving this one behind... As of now, I have three audio recording/mixing stuff, one flash animation, and one video editing in different levels of completion!

Hope I complete all of them this year, before I start off anything more!! :D

I'm not tagging anyone... If anyone's interested, take it up and post your resolution in ur blog!
By Aravind on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 6:51 PM Post Categories: ,
Happy birthday to the Mozart of Asia... Here's a little something for him from me...

By Aravind on Sunday, January 06, 2008 at 12:30 AM Post Categories: