"An artist paints his masterpiece on blank canvas and a musician paints his on silence" - An amazing quote which I recently read and soo very true. Music is the most important and beautiful gift t omankind. It has the power to melt you, change you, give solace, give tranquility, joy, hope and comfort you!! Can you imagine how it would be like to live in a world without music!
We should all thank the creator that we are blessed to be in a world full of music, and these few amazing musicians who took this concept and transferred us into this beautiful sublime state with their compositions!
There is R.D.Burman, Jatin-Lalit, Illiyaraja and others, but my journey began in 1992, 23 years ago, when one cassette tape was stuck on my Videocon Walkman on loop and I couldn't just stop listening, humming, singing and loving every second of it. The soundtrack was Roja. Such kind of sound, such kind of arrangement, instrumentation and vocals were totally un-heard of until then. That one soundtrack and the artist behind it, transformed the face of Indian music all together and today, 23 years later, I recall all my found memories and the amazing journey which I have been through...couldn't stop myself from writing this and despite what everyone says, there is no denying that A.R.Rahman truly revolutionised Indian music and gave us music which was not just pleasant to the ears, but to the soul!!
So kicking off with Roja, a film which was brilliantly written and directed by an amazing Indian film-maker, Mani Ratnam, the film was patriotic to the core and was a blockbuster. But apart from the story, there was one more thing which no one could get off their heads and yes, the amazing sound track. Pick up and album even today and listen to Yeh Haseen Vadiyah, it still feels as if the song was composed yesterday. That is the magic of Rahman.
I was in high school back then, Roja was mesmerising and I spent countless hours lost in the magic. And then came Gentleman the very next year. The variation of songs, composed perfectly for the commercials aspects of the film plus Chikubuku Raile song, there was no stopping from loving every bit of it. However my personal favourite is the softer Nee inti Mundhu song, it was simply amazing.
After that, in the same year came the second film from Mani Ratnam, Thiruda Thiruda. I canít find enough words to describe this soundtrack, it just blew minds away. Where to start from, this soundtrack was years ahead of its time, I guess every other composer and film-maker took notice of these amazing compositions. The very brilliant Chandreleka, to the pulsating Tee Tee song, even the short music bits were full of fun and never before were even present, let alone been included into soundtracks. As far as I can remember, before ARR, all songs had the same pattern...intro, then stanza 1, then intro again and conclude with stanza 2 and if it was south album, they always were sung by SPB! :)))
Thiruda Thiruda completely changed that, the album listed several singers, one per each song. This album was the perfection and the songs/arrangements/singers were totally un-heard of back then!!
At that point, I went back and searched for other albums which I didn't know about from ARR. Mainly because these films were not released in languages which I was familiar by then (Telugu/Hindi). I found of Pudhuya Mugham (which later was made into hindi as Vishwa Vidhata) and a few more tamil films. All of them had brilliant tunes and carried the stamp of the genius which is ARR!
1994 exploded with musical magic. There was an explosion of flavour and sound and it was super colourful and exciting! There was ARRs fist straight telugu film Super Police with its peppy tunes and amazing choice of singers. This film was 100% commercial and the songs were pure fun!! I remember playing the title song on loop. Then there was soulful Duet with brilliant saxophone based "Anjali Anjali" but the top of icing was Kadhalan! The perfect album for youth and first Indian album to feature a western-style rap. The album also marked the combination of ARR and director Shankar (after Gentleman) and this combo, till date is still going super strong!
....You can read the rest of the article on Amazon:
The eBook is available on all other Amazon stores as well. Just search for "My Journey with A.R.Rahman"