Grammy Award and Academy Award winner AR Rahman strongly believes in the amalgamation of technology and talent. The master musician has said that the Indian music industry is reaping the benefits of digitization. The maestro is all set to thrill the audience in Kolkata, the first city on his month-long Rahmanishq tour that begins Tuesday.
The says that he has not only made music of all forms but also simplified the process of making music for other composers.
“Hordes of music purists love to spend endless hours going on and on about how the age of digital music has completely ruined the art form, and that real music only exists in small, underground scenes,” Rahman said.
“However, the reality stands that thanks to these technological breakthroughs, for both the music fan and the music maker, the creative process and the act of listening to music are now easier, less constrained and more accessible than ever before,” Rahman noted. “We are living in a society that is dominated by the digital age. So it is a natural progression that almost every element beautifully syncs together. We need to move beyond album covers,” he observed.
“The concert capitalises on innovative never-seen-before technology, so that the audience can be overwhelmed with such knowhow at every stage of the concert…for an audience that will range from teenagers to senior citizens. The music is a reflection of two different generations,” said Rahman.
“For Jaipur, I will bring in an element that highlights royalty..for Ahmedabad I will bring in an element that highlights folk dance..for Kolkata I will bring an element that highlights literature and for Vizag, I will bring in an element that highlights mythology.”
“In India, we have a pool of talent which requires professional channelisation to make this industry as colossal and independent as the film industry. While India has singers in every street, many of them performing the Carnatic, or classical Indian music variety, the future lies in Indian cinema.”
“It’s great to see many young guns taking the lead and creating music that was unknown at one point of time. There’s enough room for all,” said Rahman, who insists on singers having a distinct identity. He said: “So with changing lifestyle, music is also revolutionising to connect with the audience. I feel there’s congestion. Just anybody can sing and it’s done just like a fad rather than with dedication. Songs don’t have an identity and you feel who just sang that song? He sounds like someone else.”
“There’s nothing controversial in merging two musical styles as long as it is appealing to the ears. Music for me is a merger of styles from two different worlds, East and West, and not as separate classifications. In fact, I would like to look at Hollywood and Bollywood being great learning platforms, with each industry teaching me a novel chapter,” he clarified.
“In India, we love melodies in the background of scenes. In the West there is a sense that soundtracks should not distract, and hence there is a greater preference for ambient sounds and plain chords. I find myself stuck between the traditional and modern styles of music.”