When composer A.R. Rahman’s first film Roja was released in 1992, his astonishing music with its other-worldly melodies, tonal texture, pulsating rhythms made an instant impact in India. His abundantly flowing talent has given life to the scores of over a hundred films! including Dil Se, Bombay, Lagan, Warriors of Heaven and Earth, 127 Hours and Jodhaa Akbar.
According to a recent estimate by the BBC, ISO million copies of his albums have sold worldwide. AR. Rahman has won a host of awards, together with a Golden Globe, a Bafta, two Oscars and two Grammys for his score in Slumdog Millionaire. In 2010, he received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour, awarded by the Government of India.
Despite all his great success, Rahman remains a deeply private person, shying away from the glitz and glamour of show business.
AR. Rahman, The Spirit of Music is in the form of biographical conversations between the composer and Nasreen Munni Kabir in which we hear of Rahman’s amazing journey from modest beginnings to an assured place in world music history.
Born in India, documentary filmmaker and author Nasreen Munni Kabir has written several books on Indian cinema, including Guru Dutt, a fife in cinema, Talking Films & Talking Songs with Javed Akhtar, Yours Guru, the intimate letters of a great Indian filmmaker, Law Mangeshkar in her own voice, and four different publications featuring the dialogue of Mughal-e-Azam, Awaara, Mother India and Pyaasa.
She has also made several documentaries on Hindi cinema for Channel 4 TV, UK, including In Search of Guru Dutt, Follow that Star: a profile of Amitabh Bachchan and The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan. Former governor on the board of the British Film Institute, Kabir continues to programme an annual Indian film season for Channel 4 TV, UK.
Her forthcoming book is The Dialogue of Devdas: Bimal Roy’s Immortal Classic.
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