Thursday, September 17, 2009
As we step into another year with more expectations, lets relive the past as well as enjoy the present with this artist of the month. Yes, the artist of this month is still going strong and is a pride of TFM. Its none other than our own A.R. Rahman.
A. R. Rahman(originally named as A.S. Dileep Kumar) or Allah Rakha Rahman was born on the 6th of January in the year 1967, in Madras. His father R.K. Sekhar was a composer, arranger and conductor in Malayalam movies and had worked under the likes of Salil Chowdhary and Devarajan. His mother was Kasthuri (now Kareema Begum). Dileep's baptism in music happened early in life. Dileep's earliest memories of the studio are with his father. On one of those visits, a music director Sudarshanam Master found the four year old playing a tune on the harmonium. Sudarshanam Master covered the keys with a cloth. It made no difference. Dileep replayed the tune effortlessly. This impressed the music director who suggested that he be trained in music. Dileep started learning the piano at the tender age of four. He received his early training in music from Dhanraj Master.
But he wanted to grow up to be an electronics or computer engineer. He says today, in reminiscence " I was not crazy after music. I was more interested in technology". He was first drawn to music strongly when his father bought a synthesiser, one of the very first in film circles then, from Singapore. "Till then", he now says, "As a child, music seemed to be a means of earning bread and butter. I had no special fascination for it... it was associated purely with work. Yet I couldn't take my eyes away from the synthesiser, it was like a forbidden toy." This instrument was an object of much curiosity to the young Dileep and caught his fancy. Dileep used to spend hours experimenting with the novel instrument. This instrument was to shape the future of this child. It was perhaps divinely ordained that the synthesiser would become Dileep's favourite instrument since it was the ideal combination of music and technology.
Rahman's early years were one of struggle and hardships. At the age of 9, his father passed away following a mysterious illness with rumours abounding that he was the victim of black magic practised by his rivals. Unfortunately R. K. Shekhar passed away the very same day his first film as composer was released. It was at this time that Rahman's belief in God first took a beating. Much of his time was filled with hospital visits, pain and anxieties. It is an issue that Rahman outrightly refuses to discuss even today. After his father's death the pressure of supporting his family fell on the young Dileep. At first the family subsisted by lending out his father's musical instruments. At the age of 11, he joined Illaiyaraja's troupe as a keyboard player in order to earn for his family's upkeep. He also learnt to play the guitar. Thus Rahman formally entered the world of music. He also began to play the keyboard for programmes on television.
It was his mother Kareema Begum who encouraged him to follow in his father's footsteps and fully supported him in his vocation. But all this had an adverse effect on his formal education. Infrequent attendance and an unaccommodative management forced him to shift schools from the prestigious Padma Seshadri Bal Bhavan to the Madras Christian College and finally he dropped out of school altogether when he was doing his 11th grade. He also played on the orchestra of M.S.Vishwanathan, Raj-Koti and Ramesh Naidu and accompanied Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on world tours. He also appeared playing the keyboard on a few popular music shows on televison like 'Wonder Balloon' on the Madras Doordarshan channel. He also did music programming in some Ilaiyaraja's films, a notable one being K.Balachander's 'Punnagai Mannan'.
All this experience enabled him to earn a scholarship to the famed Trinity College of Music at Oxford University from where he obtained a degree in Western Classical Music. He came back with a dream to bring an international and contemporary world perspective to Indian music.
Fast forward to the year 1991. Arguably the best director in Tamil film industry Mani Ratnam was looking for a new music director for his movies after his long relationship with Illaiyaraja ended. Manirtathnam had a chance to listen to ad jingles in an awards function while presiding over a function. Manirathnam was curious about the composer and requested a few of his works.. Impressed with the young man, Manirathnam visited his studio and the young man played a tune that he composed long back on the cauvery issue. Manirathnam signed the guy immediately for his next movie being produced by Balachanders Kavithalaiya. The movie was "Roja" and the song was Thamizha Thamizha
Though Roja was an instant hit, critics didn"t stop questioning Rahman's style of music and whether he was a one-movie wonder like many other music directors. His second movie was Suresh menon's "pudhiya mugam".
Though the movie was not a hit, the music was well appreciated by the fans. Rahman's usage of singers was also well received as he tried out new and young upcoming singers in his movies as well as veterans like P. Susheela and Jayachandran. Also Rahman didn't go on a signing spree based on the success of 2 movies. He was very choosy in his projects and took his own time for composing. This was considered by a few directors and a critics as a major drawback. At a time when TFM had music directors like Deva who composed music for 15-20 movies in a year for a paltry salary, Rahman took 6-7 months for a movie but the output was much different and led to many success stories. His third movie was what brought him into the limelight. The movie was "Gentleman" and it was a directorial debut for Shankar. The music for the movie came out well ahead of the movie's release and it was the talk of the town. "Chikku bukku rayile" and "ottagathai kattikko" were runaway hits and "ottagathai kattikko" also went onto be featured as the background music in BBC's fashion show.
All of Rahman's movies were city-oriented movies. He had used keyboard and digitial synthesizers for these movies. Now the question was: could he score music for village based movies. There was a doubt whether he would be able to score folk music and excel in all sorts of music like Illayaraja. Then came his opportunity to work in movies like "Uzhavan", "Vandhicholai chinnarasu" and "Kizhakku seemaiyile". These movies were village based movies and Rahman seemed to handle it with ease. Kizhakku seemaiyile was a big hit and it also united veteran director Bharathiraja with Rahman. The music for other movies were moderate hits. Rahman also did a couple of Telugu movies and a Malayalam movie meanwhile. It was his second movie with Manirathnam "Thiruda Thiruda" which got rave reviews for his Background music. "Konjam Nilavu" was easily one of the best songs of the year. The next hurdle was to score music for a music-oriented movie. The chance came in the best possible way, a movie with Veteran director K. Balachander "Duet". KB is known for his music oriented movies like Aboorva Rahangal , Sindhu Bhairavi, Ninaithaale inikkum. So Rahman had to be at his best for this movie. Duet turned out to be one of the best (if not THE best) in his short career until then. It also stopped critics questioning Rahman's knowledge of Carnatic music. Though the music was a great hit, the movie was a big disappointment.
Rahman continued his success with movies like May Maatham, Kaadhalan, kadhal desam, Minsara kanavu, Bombay etc. His music in Bombay (which was dubbed into Hindi) caught the notice of many in the Hindi Film industry. Rahman got his first opportunity in Hindi music with Ramgopal verma's Rangeela. Rangeela's music was a hit in south India but it wasn't an instant hit in North India. It took a reunion with Manirathnam in "Dil se" to capture the hindi music audience. Rahman got more and more opportunities in Hindi with Daud, Kabhi na kabhi, Shikar (which never came out) etc but it was not until "Taal" that he was really treated as a Hindi music director. Taal was well received and Rahman got more offers from Hindi film industry and from well known directors.
In 1997 , during the 50th year of Indian independence, Rahman along with his childhood friend bharat came up with an idea of doing a private album. In 1997, the International music giant, Sony Music, whose portfolio included the likes of Michael Jackson and Celine Dion, entered the Indian market in a big way. They were looking to promote Indian artistes internationally. And the first person to be signed up by Sony Music from the Indian sub-continent was, who else but, A.R.Rahman, on a 3-album contract. The financial details of the contract were not disclosed but Industry experts believe it to be the largest of its kind in India. Rahman suggested the idea that he had discussed with Bharat to Sony Music India and was immediately accepted. Called 'Vandemataram', it was a tribute to the motherland and featured songs to mark the 3 colours of the Indian Flag . Sony asked him to choose from any of its international stars to work with and supposedly even suggested the name of Celine Dion. But Rahman settled, very appropriately, for the Pakistani Sufi music star Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Dominic Miller. Rahman had decided that he would definitely work with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan after he attended his performance in Delhi. Explaining his choice, "I don't want to collaborate with just a name. I must feel something for the person and relate with his work. I've seen several famous names collaborating on songs and albums , but they remain just two names. There's no chemistry. It's like oil and water. They can' t come together." Rahman worked overtime on it to come up with a memorable album. He devoted so much time to this prestigious project that his film assignments went behind schedule. He went all the way to Pakistan to record the 'Gurus of Peace' number with Khan Saheb. Rahman composed, arranged and sang all the songs on the album.
Rahman continued his success both in Tamil and Hindi film industry with hit after hits like Jeans, Pukar, Deepa Mehta's The Earth, etc. He became a regular for the movies of Manirathnam, Shankar, Bharathiraja. He also scored music for Rajinikanth's Muthu and Padayappa which topped all the cassette sales records. In 1999, he signed for an aamir khan movie named Lagaan. The movie came out after two years but Rahman got international acclaim after that. He made frequent abroad trips on light music shows and performed in different countries. It also earned him the chance to compose for Broadway show Bombay Dreams by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This was a prestigious honor for anyone and Rahman started to concentrate on this more. His TFM projects started to go down as he concentrated more and more on International projects. He composed music for a lot of periodic films like "The legend of Bhagat singh", "1947- The earth" etc and his commercial music style was going down. He still composed for tamil films but at a very low rate of 2 or 3 films every year. He continued producing quality music for movies like kannathil muthamittal, kadhalar dhinam, paarthale paravasam. He also composed for a chinese movie named Warriors of Heaven and Earth.
After a long gap in Tamil film music, Rahman has chosen to comeback to TFM and concentrate more on the industry that introduced him. He was a trendsetter and his unique style captured the youngsters attention easily. His style of music has also inspired fellow music directors like Harris Jayaraj and Yuvan shankar raja and others. He has been conferred with a quite a few national awards and the padmashri award as well. On a humanitarian note he has also floated a Tuberculosis network by the name of "TB Sangarsh". He is also a global ambassador for "International Stop TB Partnership".
It is an understatement to say that Rahman is just another successful music director. His achievements and trend setting music will go a long way in Tamil music industry.. Lets hope that we are in store for a longer treat in his musical journey.
1) Gopal Srinivasan"s page on A.R. Rahman 2) Musicindiaonline.com
3) Various web sources.
JAI HO! RAHMAN
On 1995 March 12, A. R. Rahman (Do you know his birth name was A. S. Dileep Kumar?) got married to Saira Banu, sister-in-law of the Tamil actor Rahman and the daughter of a Madras based businessman. It was a arranged Marriage. Now they have two daughters Kathija and Raheema and a son Roomi.
Allah Rakkhha Rahman born on January 6, 1966 as A. S. Dileep Kumar in Chennai, India.A. R. Rahman was born to R. K. Shekhar, a Hindu Tamilian who was a composer, and conductor for Malayalam-language films. His father was a famous music director in Kerala. . His father died when Rahman was nine years old, and his family rented out musical equipment as a source of income. His family converted to Islam from Hinduism in the late 1970s.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
There is a foundation called TANKER (Tamilnadu Kidney Research Foundation), where they treat all kidney related problems free of cost. They even do Dialysis free of cost. Please forward this message and let people utilize this opportunity. It can help people who are in need. Don't neglect. Please forward the message. For further Details contact: 044 - 28273407 and 28241635.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Seva Sadana Auditorium,
14th Cross, Opp. MLA School,
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Today, 30-08-2009 evening, Vidya Ganapathi Seva Sansthe, Shimoga has arranged Carnatic Classical Music Vocal Concert by Vid. Srmt. DrII T. S Satyavathi. Charulatha Ramanujam with violine, K U Jayachandra Rao with Mrudanga and Sukanya Ramgopal with Ghatam giving saath to her. Television and Radio artist Vid. Satyavathi is disciple of Vid. R K Shrikanthan. Pls see paper add in NAVIKA Daily -
If you want to publish your concert dtls in our blog, pls send me sms or mail -
Friday, August 28, 2009
Pls see the article of the Raagam Sisters printed in THE HINDU -Online edition of India's National NewspaperSunday, Nov 09, 2008ePaper Mobile/PDA Version
Andhra Pradesh - Anantapur Ragam Sisters enthral music lovers
Captivating performance: Ragam Sisters giving Carnatic vocal recital at Sri Thyagaraja Sangeeta Sabha in Anantapur on Saturday.
ANANTAPUR: The classical music lovers of Anantapur had a melodious weekend on Saturday evening, when they were treated with the recital of some of the best compositions by Nalina Kanthi and Sivaranjani from Chennai, known as Ragam Sisters, in Sri Thyagaraja Sangeeta Sabha.
The Carnatic classical vocal duet by the Ragam Sisters had the audience spellbound and at times the duo had the music lovers on the edge of their seats in anticipation of their own unique touch to the compositions.
Complemented by S. Chandran on violin, Buvirahan on mridangam and H. Sivashankar on ghatam the sisters rendered several famous compositions.
Starting with ‘chalamela’ in ‘nataka ranji’ raga the Ragam Sisters had taken the music lovers through the evening with ‘gajavadana’ in ‘hamasadhwani’, ‘swaminatha’ in ‘nata ragam’, ‘bhajare chitta’ in ‘kalyani’, ‘venugana’ in ‘kedara gowla’ raga among others.President of Sangeeta Sabha C.N. Gnaneswara Rao, vice-president D. Harishchandra Rama, Anantapur DSP G.S. Karunakar, A.G. Venugopal Reddy and others graced the occasion.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
28-08-2009, Friday is really a festival for all music lovers in Shimoga, why because, Vid. Srmt. Bhagyalakshmi ChandraShekhar is going to do her VEENA Nadopaasana in SP Road, Vidya Ganapathi in this day.
Pls see the paper add in NAVIKA DAILY -
Pls see the interview of Bhagyalakshmi maami in -
Photo: Siva Saravanan Dedication Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar.
Aristotle once said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekar, during her two-hour recital recently under the aegis of Gayathri Fine Arts, did not sim ply play the veena, but brought out the richness of Carnatic music. She also brought to the fore the beauty of this instrument which is considered very close to the human voice, and often, when producing gamakas, even more than the human voice.
The very opening piece, the Saveri raga Adi tala varnam, was delightful. In “Guruarul thiruarul” in Aboghi, she brought out the raga bhava. The swara formats emphasised her manodharma talents. Bhagyalakshmi is never tempted towards lighter music to popularise the veena, The hallmark of Bhagyalakshmi’s presentation of Dikshitar’s “Diwakaratanujam saniswaram” in raga Yadukulakamboji was the alap, wherein the complete essence of this raga was brought out. Two more of Dikshitar’s compositions, one the fast tempo “Puraharanandana” in the raga Hamir Kalyani and the other the slow-paced “Akhilandeswari” in raga Dwijavanti, were emotive. As her main item, Bhagyalakshmi presented a ragam-taanam-pallavi in raga Shanmukhapriya set to Chatusra jati Jhampa tala. After a fine sketch of the raga, the taanam had a telling effect in the Delhi Tamil Sangam auditorium. She also presented creative swaraprastaras, following them up with ragamalika swaraprastaras in Mohanam and Subhapantuvarali. However, Bhagyalakshmi should reduce her simultaneous playing in two octaves, which she did often. This produced a jarring sound because of the contact mike. It also somewhat dilutes the original sound of the veena.
Mysore P.S. Sridhar on the mridangam and M. Yagnaraman on the morsing provided understanding support, and their tani avartanam in Chatusra jati Jhampa tala was enjoyable. On the whole, this concert will linger long in the memories of Delhi rasikas.
Online edition of India's National NewspaperFriday, Nov 07, 2008
Heart to heart
Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar on her lifelong tryst with the veena.
Learning the veena is not fast food. You need at least 10 years
Photo: S. Subramanium Lifeline Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar.
She is full of laughs and doesn’t carry her dignity on her sleeve like a fragile load ready to topple over at a nudge. What she does carry that’s fragile, and lovingly at that, is her veena that has taken her across India and the world. Veena exponent Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar may have to make a few sacrifices for the sake of her instrument — like toting it around in hot weather, or manoeuvring it into an autorickshaw — but she would not exchange it for anything. The veena is for her, as it is for other devout musicians, God’s own instrument.
“Raj Narayan (G. Raj Narayan who received a patent for his invention of the digital veena) has created the electronic veena which can be dismantled into three pieces. It is very convenient, but I am not entirely happy with it,” says the Bengaluru-based Bhagyalakshmi, who was recently in New Delhi for concerts. “In travelling it is handy. The swarasthanam (tuning of notes) is perfect. But its tone is entirely different. Sometimes it sounds like a guitar and sometimes it sounds like a mandolin. If someone were to do some more research and improve its tonal quality, I would be the first to buy a digital veena.”
In speaking her mind, Bhagyalakshmi seems to follow the precepts of her music. The tone is sweet, even as the words hit sharply on the fret she intends them to. The accomplished veena player belongs to the tradition of Mudicondan Venkatrama Iyer.
All for a revival and further development of the instrument, she regularly attends seminars and teaches select students. “Those who want to take junior exams, senior exams, etc., I don’t accept. This is not fast food. You need at least 10 years,” she explains. Bhagyalakshmi feels musicians should not try to lure listeners by playing film songs. “If you have to do it for your bread and butter, okay, but I feel we should avoid it.” At the seminars, she suggests, prerequisites like learning vocal music and avoidance of “shortcuts” should be stressed.
Bhagyalakshmi who participates in music therapy sessions with Meenakshi Ravi, a doctorate in music, has heard that a doctor in Manipal uses her album ‘Varaveena Mrudupani’ while performing surgery. “When I hear of such incidents, I am very happy. Definitely the veena can cure any ailment.”
Her own is a case in point. A severe head injury nearly took Bhagyalakshmi’s life some years ago. “I was in coma for four days. My haemoglobin came to three,” she recalls. “The music was in my head. That Todi, that Shankarabharanam, I thought, how will I play them?” Having trained in the instrument since she was 12, she was terrified the injury would make her forget the ragas. But she began playing again even before she could sit up properly, leaning back on pillows for support. Today the injury is but a memory. In the playing technique, Bhagyalakshmi believes in less plucking with the fingers of the right hand and emphasises the movement of the left hand along the neck of the instrument while holding it close to the heart. “The heart is on the left — so the music should go from heart to heart.”