Topic started by Are Yaar (@ 22.214.171.124) on Thu Oct 10 08:44:25 EDT 2002.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
For many days, I felt that I should have a thread to share some of the articles about ARR in desi and international press and website. I intend to start this thread and expect others also to post some articles about ARR here.
- Old responses
- From: s0 (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Thu Oct 10 09:49:15 EDT 2002
Is there any way of knowing the sales stats for TFM? Even for movies, the box-office and other collections seem to be wild guesses.
- From: GS (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Thu Oct 10 16:22:24 EDT 2002
You need to download tamil font "tam802.ttf" to read this article
- From: Thiru (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Fri Oct 11 10:19:34 EDT 2002
thanks for the link... but the article looks like 'Vanjapugazchi' at some places....... and whatever has been discussed in the ARR threads & the raagam threads and Karthik's website has been summarized into one.... But its good to know that there are different articles on various websites on showing ARR's use of different raagas in TFM...
- From: Are Yaar (@ 220.127.116.11)
on: Thu Oct 17 07:14:02 EDT 2002
Queen Elizabeth to view Bombay Dreams
London, Oct 16 (IANS) Britain's Queen Elizabeth is to attend a
performance of the hit musical Bombay Dreams.
The queen is not known to go much to West End theatres but the
success of the musical and a charitable cause will take her to Bombay
Dreams on October 31.
The queen, who is patron of the British Red Cross, will attend a
special performance of the musical that aims to raise funds for the
work of the organisation in Britain and overseas.
Following last year's earthquake in Gujarat, the British Red Cross
has been working closely with the Indian Red Cross on a number of
projects, including a nationwide disaster preparedness programme and
the reconstruction of primary health centres and community
The performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre will be followed by a
dinner hosted by Yatra restaurant at the Victoria Park Plaza.
Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive for the British Red Cross, said
Wednesday: "We are honoured and delighted that Her Majesty The Queen
is attending this special performance of Bombay Dreams. We are
looking forward to a wonderful evening, which will help raise much
needed funds for our work throughout the world".
The attendance of the queen will also be a major boost for the
musical, which is already taking bookings up to March 2003. Andrew
Lloyd Webber who has produced the musical, is now looking for a new
cast that could take the musical's run beyond March 2003.
After a strong response from the Indian and South Asian community of
Britain, the audiences at the musical are mostly white. Some had
panned the musical but its success has belied claims that the musical
would fail to outlast the cricket season.
- From: raycas (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Thu Oct 17 11:49:54 EDT 2002
friends, there is a rather healthy discussion going on about arr's latest 'era' in yahoo fangroup. someone called 'scary_promises' has written a discussion-worth writeup. it may be interesting to you...
- From: Are Yaar (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Sat Oct 19 08:13:11 EDT 2002
Yes, but I lost that mail. If you have that, lets post it have a discussion here and know what people here think.
- From: Are Yaar (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Sat Oct 19 09:22:01 EDT 2002
Netaji would be released middle of next year. I hope A.R.R comes up
with awesome desh-bhakti songs again which would be very inspiring.
Read the article on shyam benegal. It doesn't mention anything on
A.R.R though, but we know for sure that he the M.D
LONDON: Shyam Benegal, considered father of new wave Indian cinema,
will in November start work on a feature film on Netaji Shubhas
Chandra Bose, the legendary freedom fighter who raised and led
Indian National Army.
"The film will be ready for release by the middle of next year,"
Benegal said here on Thursday night.
At a function marking the release of book entitled Shyam Benegal
authored by budding writer Sangeeta Datta, the acclaimed film
director said the film would be shot on locales in Germany,
Khazakhistan, Burma and Japan.
"It is a great adventurous story. It deals with the last five years
of his life. It is also great adventurous story from the time he
escaped from Calcutta and built an army of 80,000 fighting men
within a short period," he said.
At the function that saw Indian High Commissioner Ronen Sen
releasing the eponymous book on the film director, Benegal also
presented awards to winners of the Nehru Centre-ImagineAsian
Short 'Film Competition'.
Sandhya Suri won the first prize of 600 pounds for her film Safar
and Anjali Nair received the second prize of 400 pounds for her film
Black and White. The cash awards were given by Bank of Baroda's
According to Datta, Benegal has discovered some of the best acting
talents in Indian films - a veritable gallery of critically
acclaimed dramatic actors whose names became synonymous with
parallel cinema - Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Anant
Nag, Om Puri and others.
And these performers appearing and then reappearing as in a
repertory company, exhibit unique strengths and talents from film to
film and in the works of other parallel cinema directors, Datta
Benegal said he opted for the actors from the National School of
Drama, Delhi, as he could not afford to pay the "stars".
His films Ankur and Nishant were directly sited in the history of
peasant revolt in south-east India.
Benegal used the revolt against the British in 1857 as the backdrop
for an unusual story of a Pathan and an Anglo Indian girl in Junoon
Muslim identity issue was explored in Mammo (1995) through a deeply
sensitive and understated story of a Pakistani refugee in Mumbai,
His work radically challenged middle class morality and received
notions of womanhood (ideal wife and mother) sometimes drawing
censorious responses as he did with Ankur and Bhumika (1977).
Mainstream industry-wallahs condemned his subjects as un-Indian,
whereas feminists alleged his female characters were portrayed too
much as victims. Yet the very credibility of his characters (so
often double marginalised by case and gender invests them with deep
dignity, Datta says.
Benegal has had a prolific career with 900 films - shorts,
advertising films and documentaries - before he made Ankur, his
first feature. In 28 years there have been 21 features and several
TV series including the epic Discovery of India.
- From: Are Yaar (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Sat Oct 19 09:22:52 EDT 2002
Sometimes these writers really mess things up. When did rahman leave
hindi films to make a comeback again. Anyway read on.....
Rahman was pretty tied up with the musical Bombay Dreams till a
while ago, but his fans now have reason to cheer. In fact, what
we're going to tell them will definitely be sweet music to their
The music director is now taking up composing music for Hindi films
and the first of these are Shyam Benegal's Netaji and Rakesh Mehra's
Samjhauta Express. Incidentally, both these are period films, just
like Lagaan which was one of Rahman's last big hits.
- From: Are Yaar (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Sat Oct 19 09:35:05 EDT 2002
ARR's interview in New Indian Express
For every celebrity, fame is a momentary thing...
CHENNAI: Music lovers in India can be broadly divided into two groups. One likes A R Rahman's music and the other loves it. And it's not without a reason. Like a magician, in the past decade, Rahman has churned out superhits that have cut across regional and language barriers.
Back in Chennai after nearly two years of hectic travelling for his international assignments, including Bombay Dreams, he looks visibly pleased that many of his projects, which were stuck in the cans are now being released. At his studio-cum- residence, with daughters Khadija and Rafiya playing nearby and trying to grab his attention, the maestro spoke to this website's newspaper about his music, international projects and other plans. Excerpts.
Q: Recently we saw you in the Airtel advertisements. Are you planning to take modeling seriously?
(Laughs) No. Basically, the main reason I did the Airtel campaign was because I wanted to connect with people again and put to rest rumours that I am going to settle abroad. Also, I felt that the campaign's concept suited me as I was not force selling anything. It was just me doing what I normally do.
Q: How is the response for Kadhal Virus?
It's too early to say. The album was released only last week, but I have got some e- mails from the US and other places saying that they liked the songs. However, I think it will take some time to get the clear picture.
Q: Are you satisfied with your work in the superstar's Baba?
Within the given time limit and challenges, I think my compositions for Baba tried to serve the movie. Also, there were two more extra songs in the movie, which we could not include in the cassette. Those who saw the movie liked those additional songs, especially the rap. I feel that if they had been included, the album would have been more complete.
Q: You have always said that a new universal sound exists. Do you think that view still holds good ?
There is a music that appeals to everyone. But when everyone tries to do the same thing it becomes confusing and the exclusivity is lost. Also, the sound should match the subject. We can't have villagers suddenly bursting into a Spanish song. But unfortunately that's been the recent trend.
Q: Have you ever felt the need to reinvent yourself?
I have felt the need to reinvent myself after every film. Because the moment a musician shows signs of favouritism for a particular raag or instrument, then his compositions begin to sound repetitive. Also, it irritates the ears to hear the same thing again. But sometimes it's inevitable, we have to use a particular raag to get a particular feel, even if it has been used before.
Q: Why didn't you use tunes from your earlier movies like Roja or Puthiya Mugam for Bombay Dreams?
My earlier tunes were melodic. Since, Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted tunes which were commercial, we used the later ones. In fact, it was only with Shankar's Gentleman that I began composing commercial tunes. When I started out, I didn't want to compose commercial tunes as I had been playing such tunes for other music directors and was tired of them. But Gentleman demanded such tunes.
However, some commercial tunes have their limitations as they have a very short life. Whereas you can listen to something like Roja even now.
Q: How do you feel when Andrew Lloyd Webber compared you with Paul McCartney?
I think for a composer of Andrew Lloyd Webber's calibre it's very kind of him to say such things.
Q: Can you tell use something about the new state-of-the-art studio you are building?
That's my gamble in life. Whatever I earn, I put it in my equipments and studio. The idea started in 1997 when there was no surround sound or other advanced recording facilities in Chennai. I was in a dilemma as to whether I should go ahead with my plans or not. One day I decided to go ahead. However, there are still some structural complications, which we hope to sort out soon.
Q: Why are you composing for so many historicals?
I think it's because historicals give me the opportunity to compose melodies. It's almost like an escapism to the earlier days of film music, when music had a poetic quality to it rather than the mostly dance-oriented pieces we compose now.
Q: Why aren't you singing much these days?
I am singing a number in the forthcoming film Saathiya. But as a composer I feel I should be objective and realise that only certain songs will sound nice if I sing them. Also, when I do an album, which I plan to (with Sony Music), I want my voice to sound exclusive and fresh.
Q: Are all the songs in Saathiya remixed from Alaipayuthey?
No, almost 40 per cent of the songs are new.
Q: What are the future projects you look forward to?
I am doing Subhash Ghai's new film. Besides that there is Shankar's Boys, Parthiban's Yelelo and S J Suryah's New. There is one more international project, which will be announced soon. It's a Hollywood production but the subject is not restricted to the US. It's a world movie.
Q: Do you read messages posted by your fans on websites?
Yes, I do read the messages when I find the time. However, in one of the websites it is wrongly mentioned that my family embraced Islam after my sister fell ill. It is not so. We embraced Islam following my father's illness.
Q: If you were to compose Roja on Thursday, would you do it differently?
It's a difficult question, but Roja is one film which I have never felt that I should have anything differently. There are lots of other films which I thought could have been done differently. Then again, music is God-given. I don't think anything less or more is possible.
Q: Has it become more difficult to satisfy your fans these days because of their rising expectations?
It's good that they expect more from me. Most often we don't push ourselves enough. But when people demand more, we work harder and do better. Like for Kadhal Virus if the fans like the new things that I have tried out in the film, then it will encourage me to be more innovative.
Q: Do you ever get scared that one day you may lose all your fame?
I believe that each moment of my life is a challenge given to me by God. It's the will of God guiding me. This way I start from scratch every time. For instance, even in the case of Bombay Dreams, I almost said no to it as I was under a lot of pressure. But by the grace of God, I accepted it and am glad for having done so. For every celebrity, fame is a momentary thing...
Q: Do you have any childhood friends?
I have many director friends, but no one whom I can call my childhood friend. Because my life has always been a journey with no permanent friends.
Q: Do you play any sport ?
Music (laughs). Usually, when I come out of the studio I am almost exhausted physically and mentally. After that I want to crash out or spend my time in spiritual pursuits, rather than do physical exercise and get more tired.
Q: What do you think of the new generation of music directors in the Tamil industry?
I think most of them are very challenging and come up with some extraordinary stuff. As for moving in a different direction while keeping the authenticity of the 1950s and 60s, I don't think that's happening. I think what has improved extraordinarily is music production and recording. Substance-wise, we still have miles to go.
Q: How do you feel when people compare Harris Jayaraj's music to yours?
Very flattering! I think it's inevitable that comparisons will take place, because I have been here for 10 years. I am happy that Vidyasagar is now getting the recognition he deserves, as it was long overdue for him. Do you know we studied music together? We had joined together for Dhanraj master's classes in Mylapore.
Q: Is there any recent album you liked a lot?
I liked Devdas, especially the production part. It's ethnic and different.
Q: Why do you think Tamil Nadu has so many talented music directors?
I think it's because Chennai was the centre for art until a few years ago. So we were influenced by the best of Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil. I feel really sad that the others (Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada) have split from us and gone their own ways. It's going to take time for them to get to where we all started off from. (Pauses) We could have been like another Hollywood, but now its difficult!
Q: Most Tamil musicians are deeply religious. Do you think religion helps a composer create better music?
For me, spirituality helps me to empty my ego and become non-existent. So, I feel whatever I compose comes from God. It's a different feeling, I don't know how to express it in words. Also, when you are religious it helps keep your mind focussed.
Q: Has Yelelo been shelved?
No, it has not been shelved. But Parthiban was busy with some of his assignments and I was busy with mine. It's a classic project, so it can take the time.
Q: Is it true that former chief minister Karunanidhi has written the lyrics for a song in Yelelo?
Yes, he has written the lyrics for a Pongal song.
Q: Are you frustrated that many of your films have been shelved?
Yes, in the last two years alone, around nine projects have been shelved. But thankfully they are being released now. Even in Tamil, if you take the good ones like Kadhal Virus and Udaya, they were not released due to various reasons. They are coming out now, and the timing is also perfect as I was not physically here for the past two years.
Q: Will the music of Udaya (starring Vijay) ever be released?
Yes, we just finished the CD master.
Q: Is there anything you would like to change about yourself?
Everybody has their complexes. And I started out with mine. It's like the colours. There's a little bit of green, red or blue in every colour. It's only the percentage that varies. If I lack in something, God has given me a little extra in something else.
Q: Is it true that Viva has recorded a song for you?
Yes, for a film to be directed by Ahmed Khan.
- From: raycas (@ 220.127.116.11)
on: Sat Oct 19 12:08:33 EDT 2002
okay, i'll post the original message here. and then u people start discussing. i'll also post my 2 responses.
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:56 pm
Subject: ARR needs to Re-Think! - Pls Read!
All statements are my opinion. Criticism (in good taste ofcourse) is
We have looked at nothing but positive comments about KV in this
group so far.
I would call KV a total dissappointment and this one is more
disheartening because it is a kathir movie and there is a clear sign
from ARR that he will continue to do his experimentations although
people dont like it! He just refuses to do stuff he did pre-96. I am
sure he will never go back and I doubt if people would look back to
him as they did before.
My heart says ARR will NEVER get back his heydays in TFM UNLESS he
stops experimenting further and gives simple melody that people can
relate to! I mean how many people in a place like Panrooti or Salem
in TN will say "WOw the Baila More chanting is amazing" or "The flute
start of Sonnalum is mind-blowing" or "Sax in Vaan Nila is just
terrific and especially when the the piano comes around second
time"??? This people would probably not even know what a piano is!!!
You could quip saying "What is the percentage of those people in
salem and panrooti?" Well, I am mentioning the non-Madras population
which does not have very much exposure to foriegn stuff like
chennaiites do and these people constitute the maximum audience for
Do people care if ARR uses a string instrument made of rabbit skin
from a newzealand tribe??? May be we fans do! and we will even rave
about it for 2 months posting the "ARR is Best" messages! All they
hear is the final output. What happened to "No Problem" ??
remember ?? people did not care that Apache Indian sang it. The final
output(the rap) was not something people are used to. Remember these
people are the ones whose minds are fed by the glorious music of Vish-
Ramoorthy, IR and Pre-95 ARR. They want simple music that sticks to
their brain and not tarnished by ear-pounding electronic
experimentation. You can ofcourse set a new trend anytime!! In fact
thats what ARR did by introducing and electronic ambient touch to
TFM. But, the crux of TFM was melody even after ARR has set the
trend. In melody I mean melody that "stands out" and easily
retainable! "Minnale" from may maadham is an excellent example (apart
from soothing bass and chords) ARR let the melody stand on its own
and the touch ups to the melody complimented it. I know some dude
from here is gonna ask me why I dont see melody in KV?? i see melody
in KV but I dont think there is something in that melody that makes
it even better.
Someone even mentioned the use of dulcimer in SPB song and feeble
piano or flutes in sonnalum. Do these things enhance the melody
anymore and make it sound better?? No!! BUT, the chords that were
used for margazhi poove from May Maadham was just awesome!! Why??
Because the chords complimented the music and DID make it sound
The "KV shows ARR is back on top!" , "with KV ARR has proved he is
GOD of music", "KV is ARR's best since AP", "ARR's experimentation is
mind-blowing" may look good and may exemplify the loyalty and passion
of an ARR fan in this group ( and may show how great a fan they are
if they think KV is ARR's best!).
According to me if ARR wants to strike back, he has to shrug of
experimentation that do not compliment the music. I doubt he will do
The current breed of TFM MDs are churning out good music (good for
their level). Vidyasagar is the guy who just knows what people want
and his music in Meesamadhavan, Run, Kaarmegham just show how much he
has studied the impact of final output and restricted his boundaries
of experimentation. Ofcourse his music sounds like ARR's songs from
earlier movies, but so what?? It sounds good and he uses Keyboards so
This email does not make ARR any less greater than he is(he is
actually at the pinnacle - this is to make some fans happy so that
they dont come out at me in poor taste). I just want to express my
extreme desire to here some nostalgic music like that of Indra, May
Madham, Roja, Gman, KC, Uzhavan, Duet.....
Doesn't seem like it will happen....
PLEASE DONT POST MESSAGES THAT ATTACK ME PERSONALLY BECAUSE I FEEL
THIS WAY. I ALSO WOULD WANT TO REFRAIN FROM SARCASTIC MESSAGES.
CRITICISM IS WELCOME
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