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23 February 2009

And the Oscar goes to . . .


AR Rahman's Oscar 2009 speech
Link reference: YouTube.com

AR RAHMAN, "Slumdog Millionaire"! I've been watching the Oscars for a long time now, and tonight, while watching this year's show, it felt strange to hear that familiar Hindi accent being spoken on the Oscar stage. Tonight, we got it twice (for Best Song and Best Original Score). And that's courtesy of the talented Mr Rahman (and to a wide measure, the director Danny Boyle for bringing the British-Indian film to Western exposure).

My first full acquaintance with AR Rahman's music was through the highly enjoyable soundtrack to the movie "Rang de Basanti" back in 2006. The sound was a big diversion from the Bollywood music that I always knew: it was melodious with its rhythms, youthful in its beats, and it wasn't music to romp with around the trees or on a wide street with dozens of dancers. I thought the music had a strong chance at the Oscars that year, after reading that it was sent in for Best Song nomination. It didn't even get nominated. A big bummer, I think, considering how original the music was in the context of contemporary Indian film music. In fact, I think "Rang de Basanti" and "Delhi 6", which I'm listening to right now, are superior to "Slumdog Millionare". But I leave that to another post.

Congratulations, Mr Rahman! You have made India--and lovers of world music everywhere--so very proud!

Related Stories: Slumdog Slam; Congratulations, AR Rahman!

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