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The Mozart of Madras revisits

Rahman is doing an anti-poverty anthem called Pray For Me Brother.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 18:39 IST

It’s not everyday that the ‘Mozart of Madras’ AR Rahman visits Mumbai but if it’s the launch of his flautist Navin’s (most remembered for the theme music of Mani Ratnam’s Bombay) music album Fluid, then he makes time to attend it.

We chat up with the Eid ka chaand (considering he comes once a blue moon) composer to find out what’s keeping him busy.

After Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams, are any more stage musicals in the offing?
I’ve finished The Lord Of Rings, the musical in Toronto. It’s going to London. It’s an adaptation of the book by JR Tolkein. It’s three and half hours in duration. Composing for a musical like that is challenging, where one gets to explore some thing new. It’s better to do something that satisfies me than do things just for the sake of being different.

Rahman is doing an anti-poverty anthem called Pray For Me Brother.

With two musicals to your credit, Hollywood films can’t be far away?

I’m composing for Shekhar Kapoor’s

The Golden Age

, a sequel to his earlier

Elizabeth

. Composing for projects outside India exposes you to a larger audience. Sometimes it’s a nightmare trying to cater to all the segments of the audience, in a sense that it’s very challenging and so you push yourself to supply the demand.

A lot of new composers admit to be inspired by you. Even Himesh Reshammiya is said to have wanted to work with you.
I like the respect they give to me. I hope they take the right things from me. I like doing stuff that’s new to me and it’s also a learning experience. Music has no boundaries and it keeps growing.

You’re Mani Ratnam’s favourite and you are working with him again for Guru. Do you think he brings the best in you?
That’s for the people to decide. Each one has his choice, but I give my best to every film, depending on its requirement. We’ve finished composing three songs for Guru. You’re also exploring a new territory with Rajkumar Santoshi’s musical, which is about a rock band?

It’s not gonna be ‘rock’ rock. It’s more of London underground meets Indian film music and we’re still figuring out the style for it. It’s in the initial stages.

With Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha-Akbar also in your kitty, is it a strategy to compose for films of different genres?
Yes, in a way.I’d like to give the audience a variety not only in terms of tunes, but also in sound, rhythm, tenor etc. And also that one album sounds distinct from the other. Vande Mataram remains your last album.

Why haven’t you followed it with anything?
I’m doing a single called Pray For Me Brother. It’s an anti-poverty anthem for the UN organisations and is being supported by Nokia. So it will be available for downloads on the mobile phones. Bharatbala will be directing the video.