CNN’s 'Talk Asia'with Indian composer extraordinaire A.R. Rahman

Airtimes: Indian Standard Times

Saturday, March 18 at 0930am, 2000hrs and 2230hrs

Sunday, March 19 at 0600am, 1700hrs and 2030hrs

Monday, March 20 at 0900am

Indian composer and musical superstar, A.R. Rahman talks to Lorraine Hahn about his love of music and life beyond Bollywood in this weekend’s TALK ASIA. Rahman has more than 50 movie scores and a string of successful albums to his name and is currently composing the music for a stage adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Called a ‘Composer Extraordinaire’ by the Indian entertainment industry, he was honoured in 2002 with the Padmashree title, India’s highest civilian award, for his contributions to the arts.

Rahman started as a professional musician in his early teens in order to support his family. After a chance meeting with movie director Mani Ratnam, his music soon transferred to the big screen for the Indian blockbuster ‘Roja’. With his innovative mixing of technology with traditional Indian songs, Rahman’s tunes created a new buzz in the Bollywood music scene. “I was a big fan of electronics …when computer music, and computers and all this stuff came-it was fun, I was having fun”. His unique style featured in movie hits such as ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Rangeela’.

Collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber then led the maestro onto the stage with the hit musical ‘Bombay Dreams’, acclaimed by London’s West End and Broadway alike. Rahman views the new stage adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, as “probably ten times more than Bombay Dreams! You have like 18 hydraulics moving on stage…in three and a half hours…it’s amazing stuff!”

Educated in both the eastern and western music disciplines, Rahman sees the two schools complementing each other. To nurture the next generation of musicians: “My biggest dream now is to start a classical conservatory in India, or Chennai. I think the discipline of classical music is very important – and then we can ring in the eastern elements into it”.

AIRTIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

For more program information and details on upcoming guests on TALK ASIA visit http://edition.cnn.com/ASIA/talkasia/

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