Two-time Academy Award winner AR Rahman got candid with another music legend L Subramaniam in a conversation that’s out on the former’s YouTube channel. In the conversation, Rahman talked about what made him do things differently with respect to music.
When Subramaniam asked how he changed the old way of composing music with a lot of musicians and the whole orchestra, Rahman said that it was due to the advancement in technology. “Back then they had only eight tracks for a film, since I came from a jingles background I had 16 tracks, and I could do a lot with it. It’s just that nobody thought about it. Everyone wanted depth and the orchestra was costly, but all the big instruments became smaller. So, I came in the transitional period of technological change. It gave me a lot of time to experiment and fail. Nobody knew my failure, they only saw my success because it all happened inside the studio. We kept coming back again and doing it. So, the freedom I got because of having a home studio,” the composer said.
He added, “That gave me the freedom to experiment a lot… Of course, we all need to get money but beyond that I had passion. I mean the West is doing it, and why can’t we? When we listen to their music, why can’t they listen to our music? I kept asking that and that ‘why’ became better production, better quality, better distribution, and mastering… that still drives me.”
Rahman then said, “Sometimes, I see that our movies go till the Oscar… they don’t get it. Wrong movies are being sent for the Oscars. And I am just like DON’T. We have to be in another person’s shoes. I have to be in Westerner’s shoes to see what’s happening here. I have to be in my shoes to see what they are doing.”
The interview was shot on January 6 this year, much before the Oscar nominations. L Subramaniam is heard wishing AR Rahman a happy birthday towards the end of the conversation.In the meantime, India has won two Oscar Awards – Best Original Song (Naatu Naatu) and Best Documentary Short (The Elephant Whisperers).