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AR Rahman: Story of India's rise fascinated me

Updated on: 10 October,2017 11:25 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari |

AR Rahman on finding inspiration in politics for his latest piece that sees him collaborating with the Seattle Symphony

AR Rahman: Story of India's rise fascinated me

There is nothing poetic about politics. Or so you would think. But AR Rahman can wave his wand and weave magic with the unlikeliest of subjects. For his latest outing, the Oscar-winning composer has found his muse in Indian politics. As he unveils his 19-minute music piece that finds inspiration in demonetisation, Rahman talks about the idea behind the project and collaborating with Seattle Symphony.

Edited excerpts from an interview:

AR Rahman with son AR Ameen, 14
AR Rahman with son AR Ameen, 14

What made you choose India as a subject for your new piece, The Flying Lotus?
The track is not only about demonetisation; it's about the rise of India and it's open to interpretation. In ancient times, politics influenced music, both in a good and bad way. That inspired me. If you listen to it, it's got many different emotions that vary from serene to bombastic orchestration. It's a poetic composition and an
optimistic piece. That's why it's titled The Flying Lotus.

This project marks your collaboration with Seattle Symphony.
I was in Las Vegas when the members of Seattle Symphony met me. Usually the orchestra and choir are limited to love songs. I wanted to experiment with textures of the orchestra and choir to explore something bigger. That's why I decided to take India as the subject. The story of India's rise fascinated me.

You turned filmmaker with One Heart: The A.R. Rahman Concert Film. Are you encouraged to make more movies?
Our company is a music-oriented film production, so I was pleased with the result of One Heart. I am glad that it satisfied people who came out of theatres smiling. My team and I were excited about the project. It set the right tone for our production via music.

What can we expect from you on the Bollywood front?
After Taal (1999), the last musical I did was Rockstar (2011). So I'm looking forward to 99 Songs [a romantic musical directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy], which is a full-fledged musical. It's releasing next year.

Your son, AR Ameen, has forayed into film music. You must be a proud father...
Ameen is just singing here and there; he is still not ready. He's slowly getting there. He is interested in film music and wants to dwell in it. But he has to complete his studies first. I don't want him to give up schooling and concentrate only on music. I want him to be academically sound

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