THE MIRACLE WORKER

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THE MIRACLE WORKER

Post  Admin on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:42 pm

India’s only Oscar-winning composer tells t2 about going SuperHeavy, bonding with Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Dave Stewart, answering his critics and keeping the Bollywood connection alive...

How did you become a part of SuperHeavy?

I was doing a lot of movies in 2008 at the end of which there were a lot of dark things that happened in my life. I lost my sound engineer, we had those floods in Chennai and so many negative things were happening around me. I was going through a lot of stress in my work. At that point of time I got this call from Dave (Stewart) saying, ‘AR, would you be interested in collaborating with me and Mick (Jagger)?’ So I was like ‘anything to get out of here at this point’.

The first meeting happened probably at that time when I was in LA, when I was doing promotions for the Oscars and stuff during Slumdog (Millionaire). So we met, some sessions happened and then I met Joss (Stone), Damian (Marley) and the whole band and the lovely players from Jamaica.

How did the studio and jam sessions with the other super heavies go?

The story would be — well to go on the more spicy side — in one zone there would be a lot of very beautiful smells in the studio where we recorded, a lot of scented candles all around and the piano. A nice and almost angelic atmosphere. On another side you could smell marijuana. We wouldn’t go to that zone! But ultimately I think the music has always been a core essence of the whole experience.

We had sessions in different places like Turkey, Greece, on a yacht, in India, in Singapore — all over the place. Dave worked with Damian in Miami. We had jamming sessions where Mick would be playing something, Joss would be singing, Dave would join in, Damian would add to it and a melody would just evolve from all the interaction.

We’ve heard your vocal bits in Miracle Worker and Satya Meva Jayathe but people back home are curious to know your exact role in the band…

I was playing solos in most of the songs — on piano and synth — but my full-fledged compositions would be two of the songs, Satya Meva Jayathe and Mahiya. And then I did harmonies and extra vocals, Persian strings and Indian strings.
A.R. Rahman

Satya Meva Jayathe is essentially an Indian song. How did it come to be the second single from SuperHeavy’s stable?

Dave said ‘AR we want your voice in this album and we want this to be a great Indian song too’. A long dream for me was to take one of the morals of Indian culture, which is ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and turn it into a song. I said this is historic if Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, Dave Stewart and me come together for a song like this. It’s iconic in a way. I had to act spontaneously because I didn’t have any other lyrics than Satya Meva Jayathe when we started with the song. Then later we filled in the lyrics and brought in a choir to make it more epic. I hope people like it.

And you got Mick Jagger to sing in Sanskrit!

I’d like to think of Jagger singing in Sanskrit as an iconic moment.

With SuperHeavy and your Hollywood commitments, where does Bollywood figure on your priority list?

I am cherry picking and will only take up interesting projects. I have Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar and Rajinikanth’s Rana coming out. It’s because of the constant support of my Indian fans that I am here and I will continue making music in Indian languages for them.

What do you have to say to some of your fans who have been complaining about Rahman losing his touch?

I know certain people think ‘what is he doing; why did he leave music composing for a movie to do something else?’. I think it’s going to complement my writing in a great way, working with all these great people and vice versa. I think the world is going through a great change of connecting cultures through the electronic medium, Internet and all that stuff. And I’m being a part of that change, I guess.

Is a SuperHeavy tour on the cards? Any plans of coming to India and, of course, Calcutta?

If the album is a super duper hit and people are going to shout at us saying ‘Come on we need you’ and of course give a lot of love, definitely it will happen. I’m looking forward to that (coming to India/Calcutta) too.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on Alex Kurtzman’s Welcome to People and Dreamworks’ animated movie which is tentatively titled Monkeys of Mumbai.
Mohua Das

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110831/jsp/entertainment/story_14444347.jsp
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