It’s been a busy time for Oscar-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman, and there’s no sign of a let-up given that he’s involved in 2012’s biggest event, the London Olympics.
Mr. Rahman has composed a Punjabi track for Friday’s opening ceremony, which is being directed by Danny Boyle. The Chennai-born musician and the Lancastrian movie director have enjoyed great success in their past collaborations, most notably 2008’s multi-Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Mr. Rahman has told India Real Time that his composition “Nimma Nimma” will be a hybrid desi sound with some brass elements and lots of voices. He says the tune had to be arranged in a way that is “full-on” from the start, as it is part of a medley.
Late last month, Mr. Rahman announced on Facebook that his track would “celebrate the Indian influence in the U.K.”
How does Mr. Rahman, who composed the theme song for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and performed at the opening ceremony, feel about being invited to compose music for the Olympics?
“It’s always interesting to work with Danny Boyle,” says Mr. Rahman, who also worked with the British director on “127 Hours,” a highly acclaimed movie about the true story of an American adventurer who gets trapped in a canyon.
Mr. Boyle has opted for an “Isles Of Wonder” theme for the opening ceremony, complete with meadows and farmyard animals.
In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, the director said he would be most honored if his spectacle was compared to the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, “a wonderful people’s Games.”
The London 2012 opening ceremony, with an estimated global audience of four billion people
will surely be a career highlight for those involved. Still, Mr. Rahman has managed to keep himself busy with other projects in the run-up to the Olympics.
The 46-year-old was music director for Gautham Menon’s movie “Ek Deewana Tha” released in February, as well as Imtiaz Ali’s “Rockstar” from November last year, for which he won Best Music Director at both the Filmfare Awards and Star Screen Awards.
He also composed the music and soundtrack for the Hollywood movie “People Like Us,” which hit theaters in June.
“The story really moved me when I read the script and it had an interesting first time director, Alex Kurtzman, who is a big time soundtrack fan. He was in love with ‘127 Hours’ which got me nominated for this,” he told India Real Time.
“Since it is a middle class American family story, I decided to stick with a more American friendly sound for the music,” he added.
For a couple of songs on the movie, Mr. Rahman collaborated with Liz Phair, an indie artist with no formal training in music. It was also the first score he had composed in his new Los Angeles home, according to the LA Times.
It’s not just been a string of musical hits for Mr. Rahman. In February, he partnered Shekhar Kapur to launch a digital media company called “Qyuki,” in which Cisco has reportedly invested 270 million rupees ($4.9 million) for a 17% stake. In May, Mr. Rahman got his fourth honorary doctorate, but his first in the U.S., from Miami University.
Now expectations for Mr. Rahman’s Olympic composition are high. If his record for the last few months is any indication, he might just exceed them.
Thanks : The Wall Street Journal