DIFF Daily 2011

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD A. R. RAHMAN

Dec 07,2011 - 10:21 PM

To say that A. R. Rahman’s music united a country is no exaggeration. Prior to his work on the groundbreaking Tamil film ‘Roja’ in 1992, music in Indian film was distinctly identifiable by the region it originated from. Chartbusters in one language would be dubbed in others, but never managed to retain the same appeal.
As was demonstrated in ‘Roja’, Rahman introduced India to a new sound. The A. R. Rahman sound – defined by its freshness, originality and fearlessness. A sound unfettered from commercial considerations, guided only by truth and purity to music, as he saw fit.
‘Roja’ a film that already touched upon themes of patriotism was a critical and commercial success, but it proved that an Indian film’s music could work with a story and not be limited to performing a mere accessorial role.
Rahman followed up on his spectacular debut composing for Tamil films, once again collaborating with the director Mani Ratnam on the politically-charged ‘Bombay’ (1995) and subsequently making his mark in Bollywood with ‘Rangeela’ (1995).
His irrepressible talent was soon tapped into by international filmmakers such as Deepa Mehta, who worked with him in ‘Earth-1947’ (1998) and ‘Water’ (2005), Shekhar Kapur for ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ (2007) and Danny Boyle for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (2008) and ‘127 Hours’ (2010). Meanwhile, his latest project sees him join the line-up of fusion outfit SuperHeavy, alongside Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley and Joss Stone.
As far as India was concerned, A. R. Rahman did not need international validation or recognition to cement his status as an incredibly talented composer. However, when he went on stage to collect his Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Original Music Score, he won over the nation yet again, when he not only spoke in Tamil, but also summed up his win with: ‘Ella pugazhum iruvanake’ (All praise to God).
Celebrating the work of A. R. Rahman, with a Lifetime Achievement Award is recognition of the monumental accomplishments the 45-year-old has to his credit. There is no doubt he will continue delighting listeners around the world with his sounds.

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