Hulkster, I can tell you that your post is not Sour Grapes. Sour Grapes is when fans of Composer A are miffed at Composer B’s rise and then when Composer C rises to eclipse Composer B, then rejoice in that and take cheap potshots at B.
Clearly, the clearest proof that IR doesnt care much awards or recognition is when IR fans’ desparate attempts to get him to help in simply getting Chicago S.Orchestra to play his music fails. How can an average human not be interested in a simple chance for publicity? The answer is then he is not average. He is beyond that. If actions speak louder than words, then this action clearly speaks louder than anything we fans can say about he doesnt care for awards.
I also think you have over-simplified Rahman. He has his own theories I guess which he doesnt talk about but there is so much he experiments with sound. You cannot claim that sound is not music because that is what IR himself says “nai kuraikkarurudhula music irukku, kuzhandhai azharudhula irukku etc”. In that sense, ARR is a cut above the average Indian composer. Both IR and ARR have differentiated themselves from the average Indian film composer because their sound is A-z theirs. Every interlude, every movement is conceived by them.
I do agree with many that this is not the time to worry why ARR got recognition and IR didnt.
Also, I dont think ARR cares for awards either. Clearly, he has said and done enough things for us to infer that he is an exceptional talent who is more interested in taking Indian music beyond shores it has traditionally washed its waves with. I do think he sees an oscar and GG as a recognition for Indian film music than for himself. If he lobbies or explains himself to the suited crowd judging him at oscars, surely I believe it is not pursuit of self-glory but the bigger goal of limelight for the music community he represents In other words, I see ARR’s Oscar as an award for IR, an award for MSV, and his talented predecssors, too but particularly MSV and IR, because these are the two giants that defined popular tamil film music. Given ARR’s personality and genuine humility seen on many occasions, I would rather believe he thinks the same.
Also, a century from now these 3 may be seen as the trinity of popular tamil music – when we think of Carnatic music, which was probably POPULAR MUSIC in the 19th century, we dont think of what their fans at that time thought of each other. We simply accept that Deekshitar, Thyagarajar and Sastri were masters all and move ahead. A similar thing might happen with these 3 and we have to be thankful that we lived in the times of all these 3 great musicians. Maybe our grandchildren may envy us for that.
//Experimenting with sound// – Yes ARR does that a lot and as you said IR also acknowledges that music is sound and vice versa. But we all know that sound is the primitive form while music is its advanced form. We human beings have come a long way experimenting with sounds and have culminated the knowledge gained over thousands of years into ‘music’. If We are going back to experimenting in sounds, it doesnt mean progress, it means degeneration of a system that humans have evolved by all trials & errors. May be ARR is setting the stage for the upcoming generations to evolve the patterns of sound through digitized means, when in future there will be no more natural musical instruments to play and the whole world will be Filled with the digital form in everything. Even then I believe they can’t go beyond the 12 notes which is the very nature of music in this universe. Its just that it doesnt make sense to me when someone is experimenting in ‘sound’ when there is so much to explore and extend the realms of ‘music’. IR had definitely inculcated the ‘sounds’ arising out of synthesisers in many of his compositions but never once he let them overtake the song or the emotion it needed to portray (Listen to the car honks in ‘Poatta Padiyuthu’ it is done in warrant of the situation and it has a musical pattern of its own. The tension of the reckless unemployed youth is portrayed throught the song using various sounds). The purpose of music/sound is what is more important for Raaja, than the extra richness that shadows the emotions in a Rahman song.
One reason I see in the striking contrast between Raaja’s and Rahman’s perception of music & sound is this – Raaja whose only aim was to compose for ‘Films’ saw music as a form to convey a story, the mood of the characters and their underlying emotions and he evolved his style in that way, while ‘Rahman’ being an Ad film composer and who had never even dreamt of composing for a film, built his style to suit a 30 sec or a 1 min Ad film which needs to be bold, strong and needed to convey the consumer about the product and the necessity for them to buy it, in that given short time and frame of the film. He had to create musical motifs and patterns which needs to be catchy and instantly striking, he resorted to ‘loops’ and ‘sounds’ which are bolder than ‘music’. He extended the same style to films as he would not be able to shrug off a deep understanding of musical creation, which sunk in him during his formative years. Hope I have put it right! that I see Raaja-film-music-audience are all intricately interwoven with a emotional relationship while I see Rahman-film-sound-consumer are connected in a Product-Consumer relationship.
I can see people in various forums discussing and dissecting Raaja’s musical richness and the underlying emotions/moods it evokes. While most of the peers in ARR fan club are trying to find the layers, soundscape and the aural pleasure it gives. Take for example ‘Amma endrazhaikaatha’ by IR and ‘Kaliayil Thinamum’ by ARR though not comparable on parallel lines for the situations in the movie, both tries to evoke the understanding of a sons need for mother…I just cant relate with the later composition! no feeling of motherhood in the song. Its yet another song for ARR to showcase his brilliance in setting a tune and engulfing it with rich sound-music pattern. OTOH I also agree that there is an entire generation which cries for this song with their pseudo emotions. Ok…there may be a question now how to identify this pseudo and real emotion forming within the heart of human beings. A very simple analogy – If we realise after we had shed our tears that we had cried – its real, if we know beforehand that we are going to cry and weep in full conciousness – its pseudo. Not to deny that world is getting, more and more immune to real emotions and deriving pleasure out of pseudo emotions. Here is where Raaja is still sending out a strong political message with his music that ‘I will compose music only that which will touch your heart’. It wont take a fraction of a second for him to embrace the modern technologies and exploit our senses to the fullest. He is just against it. So we dont know yet whether will Raaja will do it or not (I believe he will not), but so for ARR is the best in what he is doing.
//Every interlude, every movement is conceived by them.// Yes for Raaja – apart from the inspirations from WCM and various folk songs, when he composes every single note is coming from his mind. No for ARR – I know by talking with many people in the industry and also through various interviews by personalities involved with him, that he picks from various sources readily available and the sources around him.For exaample If he needs a particular mood for rhythm he Asks ‘Shivamani’ to play some rhythms, if he needs a flute bit he will ask ‘Naveen’ to play for a amood and so on with other instrumentalists and singers (Hey singers too sing for him in various styles and they wont know which one will be selected, and would know only after the release of the ACD) all of which will be recorded into his MIDI processer. Then he ‘picks’ and ‘packs’ an almost final version over which the additional programmer will work and complete the job. Yet the composition is not over…He listens, relistens and starts adding layers upon layers until he thinks the song has now become ‘Complicated’ for the masses.If we are trying to get into their minds I would say The moment someone explains a song situation to Raaja the patterns start forming in his mind and he will be clear within few minutes like a google map showing all details with where is NH7 where is NH16 etc., 🙂 Rahmans mind also start forming some patterns but I would say they would be hazy or cloudy which will get clear only after he sits down and gets help of other instrumentalists around him. And after he has found the NH7 and NH16 he will try to find the ball bearings in the wheel of a car moving down in NH7 or the sound of its horn honking 😉
In this context of their working styles I say Raaja is a genius & complete composer while Rahman is brilliant yet incomplete composer.
//Both have differentiated from an Average Indian composer// – no qualms here, Although Off late Yuvan is proving better than others in the dept. of BGM & few songs, which makes me have hope on him after Raaja.
//Also, I dont think ARR cares for awards either…Given ARR’s personality and genuine humility seen on many occasions, I would rather believe he thinks the same.// – Rahman cares much for these awards which will push him towards more oppurtunities and more money! Tell me one award function ARR has missed in his lifetime?!! I can quote numerous instances wherein Raaja had sent ‘Yuvan’, ‘Bhava’ or ‘karthick’ to collect his awards. he doesn’t go because he doesn’t care for the awards while because he cares for the people behind the awards he sends someone representing him. ARR had been very clever and had been successful in using the oppurtunities presented, expanding his Horizons which in turn will give him more oppurtunities and more markets. Rather Blunt, but I would definitely say ‘Money’ is the driving force for ARR and he is using his musical and marketing skills to earn more of it. He keeps the demand for himself very high by accepting few offers and then to keep himself always in limelight he feeds the consumers with what they need from time to time.
Compare with Raaja who doesnt even want to come to limelight, I had a friend of mine who was connected to an event management group. The group wanted to do a show with Raaja in Bangalore…The reply he gave was ‘Do you want me to compose fresh music or sing the same old songs…there is so much rehearsels to be done… atleast a month will be wasted on this. I can use that time to compose some new songs’.The Person who contacted Raaja was surprised by this answer and replied ‘Its Ok, we want to hear more of your new music’ and came back from the studio.I know it took a lot of persuasion by the people behind for the performance in Italy, Chennai & Dubai to happen. The point is he is not into this kind of marketing himself while ARR is perfect in marketing himself and his ‘products’. When it has come down to ‘Market economics’ no body is too egoistic to spoil the market they have. Look at the humbleness of ‘Infosys Narayanamurthy’ or a ‘Bill Gates’ are they any lesser in ‘humbleness’ as perceived by the society?!! all these humbleness, humility has a ulterior motive behind – ‘Making Money’ & ‘Making More Money’. Connect this with ARR’s misunderstanding with Farah khan during ‘OSO’. Every action of his oozes out of this Greed to be in limelight and make money. Every action! Be it brand ambassador for UNO, Be it ‘Pray for me brother’ Be it ‘Playing for Tsunami victims’ – everything lack genuinity behind the actions and I see it all as a ‘Capitalistic System generated Sympathy’ which doesnt come from heart but from ‘Head’. If Raaja ‘feels’ for the ‘Tsunami victims’ he goes to the Chief minister and gives 2 lakhs for the relief fund and walks away, When ‘Rahman’ feels for the ‘Tsunami Victims’ He arranges an orchestra and spends many lakhs in organising them, flying them down to the beach and conducts a musical programme for the people who are desolutes and are devoid of basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. He makes an Advt. of the feelings he has towards them – Straight Capitalistic Attitude. When an oppurtunity presents itself for Raaja to compose a song for eradicating Aids and support its victims, before many Hollywood personalities and Other NGO’s, He composes a crossover song and sends KarthickRaja to perform it on stage! never trying to come into the limelight. When Rahman gets an oppurtunity to perform a song to ‘Eradicate Poverty’ He composes, acts and releases a ‘single’ asking everyone else to ‘Pray for thy brother’ and ‘Pay for the thy Big Brother’.I can go on writing more and more on both of their actions for which there will be reasonings & Brickbats from ‘ARR camp’, Hell I care Because I know ‘Raaja is getting paid for composing music, which is his passion’ and ‘Rahman is composing music for getting paid’ which is his passion’. Music is means for Rahman to make money, if not music he would have become an ‘Electronics Engineer’ to make the same money. Come what may and if the whole life & world had been against ‘Raaja’ He would have become a composer in Tamil films.
Disclaimer: There is no disclaimer 🙂 Anyone is welcome to ‘Argue’ here and no reply from anyone will be edited unless it contains ‘Ketta Vaarthais’