Once in a while you come across a person with consummate elegance at what he does. You are floored by this person’s skill and enigmatic capabilities that you know, for sure, that this man is not just here to entertain you but to elevate the very field he is skilled in. One such personality is A.R. Rahman. A two time Oscar winner, a music director, a composer, a multi-instrumentalist and the list goes on, but most of all, a humble human. His presence was greeted with utmost respect at the launch of the Roli: Colours Of India Soundpack.
The evening commenced with a graceful performance by the Brass Ensemble of The Sunshine Orchestra. Let me tell you a little about this amazing orchestra put together by Rahman himself. The Sunshine Orchestra is an initiative by The A.R. Rahman Foundation and KM Music Conservatory in an attempt to enrich and conserve acoustic music. The initiative picks children and young adults having an economic disadvantage and trains them in the field of music, nurturing leadership and equipping the students to take on the world through a medium which is music. This important initiative has been creating wonderful musicians who have now been provided with opportunities as instruments in top film compositions.
The Brass Ensemble of The Sunshine Orchestra, directed and conducted by Lisa Sarasini was a treat to watch. The kids carried themselves with poise and performed big but fun compositions like the Star Wars theme, Harry Potter etc., transporting you to a childhood safe place. The orchestra displayed their skill and clearly showed us the amount of practice that has gone into the performance. With the conclusion of the Brass Ensemble, we witnessed a short movie on sampling. Rahman himself has taken the initiative to record the sounds of the amazing Indian classical instruments, for the world to use and to create. “Sounds inspire melodies”, said Rahman, recollecting the early days of the beat machine back in the ‘80s. Sampling music was always from a repository of great western tunes. By recording instruments like Veena, Nadaswaram, Mridangam and Jal Tarang, Rahman gives the world the sounds of India, while preserving these instruments for years to come.
The KM Roli Ensemble took to stage. A set of five top musicians creating music through top of the line Roli equipment. From classical compositions to fresh tunes, the ensemble lead the evening with a stellar performance, thoroughly entertaining the audience. The fantastic visuals on the screen was an added advantage to the amazing performance by the KM Roli Ensemble.
The Roli instruments are highly versatile and facilitates better control to play any kind of music. Mahesh Raghvan, a Carnatic Fusion artist beautifully uses the Roli instrument along with the soundpack, to create magical tunes which are effortless without simplicity.
The evenings main event was the amazing strings of The Sunshine Orchestra. This was a memorable performance by the orchestra that has already performed in big projects like Mersal and Linga. Directed and Conducted by Mr. Srinivas Murthy, the orchestra was dynamic from the get go and packed a powerful performance. The most notable performance of the night was Padmavathy Divakaran x The Sunshine Orchestra performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major K. 488. Padmavathy so elegantly graced through the piano while the orchestra learnt a pivotal support creating an awe-inspiring moment.
The Roli launch is a step in the right direction towards globalising Indian music and we cannot ask for a better person to lead the initiative than A.R. Rahman. The evening comes to a close with felicitations. The musicians made the night a memorable one and the evening was also a reminder of the great promising tech that are available for musicians around the world to make use of.
Check out this video of AR Rahman with some students at KM Conservatory: