Posted by Vivek on July 12, 2010 | No Comments

A school of thought believes that the West must be won over.
He has done that with his multiple Oscars.
A school of thought believes that East is best.
He has a plethora of Filmfare awards and Bollywood recognition to have put his flag there.
The purist school feels it is all about classical study.
He has his music credentials from Trinity.
The non conformists feel that music cannot be taught.
His improvisations have made him a cult figure amongst the rebels too.

What’s next now for this musical maverick?

The world is not enough! But the world will have to do. AR Rahman embarks on a Global journey, which starts from the US, goes on to Europe, comes back to the US, then the Far East.
For the viewers who saw the first set of shows in the East Coast of the US, their opinions varied, what did not, was the unanimous consent that, as Indian/Bollywood shows go, this one has a character, a grandeur and a razzmatazz, quite distinct from anything that has been seen before.
Here is a quick break with AR Rahman, as he readies for the next show on the agenda

When did the idea of the tour come about?

After the Oscars we were planning an album. During that time, we started to get a lot of inquiries for a tour. But I did not want to do just another show. We have done shows for the past few years but this time we wanted to attempt something new and more creative. So Sam, my agent in Hollywood suggested we team up with some of the best talent in Hollywood and brainstorm on the show content and form. Around this time, Deepak Gattani came to the rescue of spearheading the whole effort. He has been a television director for 13 years and was gracious enough to step into the role of a producer and help put this whole tour together. About five months ago, we synergized our creative energies, which in turn lead to a jamming session in LA. Thus the tour conceptualized. We had the first set of sellout performances  in New York, Atlantic City, DC and Chicago. We had planned to cover all the major metros across the US and Canada. Due to an unfortunate accident in Detroit, prior to the show, we had to postpone the remainder of the North American tour, to September 2010.  We are now ready to embark onto Europe.

Was there a specific need to connect with the people of North America, given that some of your greatest artistic recognitions have come from here (the US)?

Yes ! Also a lot of people here (US) were inquisitive about AR Rahman the person and his music. So these shows were a means to communicate with them. The content of the show is not genre specific. The audience will be treated to fresh shifts in content, during the course of the show, to keep it invigorating. It has been designed to have the cumulative look and feel of a rock, classical and dramatic performance.

US, Europe, where next?

If all goes per plan, towards the end of the year we travel to the Eastern hemisphere, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Middle East, etc.

As a performer what gives you a greater high, live performances or recordings?

I think both. When you are recording, you are almost non- existent, only your spirit exists, but while performing, your whole physical self needs to be present and you have to be spontaneous, so both are very challenging in their own ways.

Any forthcoming compositions that will debut in this tour?

Since the tour was planned 4-6 months ago, it will have very few new numbers but will have many of the classic and recent ones. The set of songs have been carefully selected, and the singers have been trained, keeping in mind the show in its entirety.

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