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Rediff.com  » Movies » Why Rahman's music is fit for the kings!

Why Rahman's music is fit for the kings!

December 19, 2003 19:22 IST
A R RahmanWorking with a fabled composer and impresario such as Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom Of The Opera and Cats) is fulfilling for many reasons, says A R Rahman. Lloyd Webber, who used to earn $1 million a day in royalty from his shows a few years ago, openly appreciates the good work of other composers, Rahman adds.

Such things just don't happen in India, says Rahman who became the first composer to write music for a production by Lloyd Webber. In India they (other composers) wait for a composer to die before praising him, Rahman says with a thin smile.

He is heard making the comments in a videotape that was played at an event at the Indian Consulate in New York on Thursday evening to present the two lead players in Bombay Dreams. The show, which is still running in London after having opened 18 months ago, comes to New York with significant changes in the script. Rahman has composed three new numbers for the show, including a bhangra number which is expected to be a showstopper.

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Soon after the video presentation, Anisha Nagarajan and Manu Narayan, lead players for the Broadway version of the show sang two of Rahman's hit numbers.

Lloyd Webber also spoke about Rahman's music and how it would prove that there are other kinds of music in India, not just the sitar. He said he was sending out a message that Bombay Dreams music is not performed by sitarists sitting on the ground.

On the opening night of Bombay Dreams in London, Lloyd Webber embraced Rahman at the end of the show, saying he had composed the sweetest and best music he had heard in his 'entire entire life.'

The videotape, apparently made before the London show opened, also has a brief appearance by Shekar Kapur, who had broached the subject of a musical set in the slums of Mumbai as well as in Bollywood to Lloyd Webber over four years ago.

Kapur says the Bollywood music heard in the show is unknown to the West. But after seeing the show, he assures they will adopt it.

Kapur ended his association with the musical many months before it opened, whispering he had had creative differences with Lloyd Webber over its direction. While visiting New York for the promotion of Four Feathers, he had mentioned his decision to quit. Given Lloyd Webber's long association with the musical theatre, Kapur felt it was best to let the veteran do the show on his own.

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