Sweet surprise

Ilaiyaraaja was surprised when he learnt he had been chosen for a Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. “The news was a sweet surprise,” the maestro told friends who wished him. He has scored the music for 920 films (Neethanae En Ponvasantham in TeIugu is his 919th film, and the Tamil version takes his tally to 920).

Asked how his long years of experience in the industry helped him tackle problems, he responded, saying, “Having scored the music for so many films, I’ve faced various situations and know how to handle them. For instance, when I was doing the re-recording of Neethane En Ponvsantham, I saw a new face on the screen. I was shocked to realise it was not Jiiva (hero of the Tamil version). But I did not ask anybody about this and continued with the re-recording to finish the reel. Later, I came to know that the new face was Nani, hero of the Telugu version. They had merged the two shots (Tamil and Telugu) just to show me the length of the shot.”

‘No desire for awards’

After bagging two Oscars, was the Mozart of Madras A. R. Rahman dreaming of his next award? Denying the poser, Rahman said, “I’m not thinking of awards now. I’ve no such desire as the Almighty has given me two Oscars, and more success than I could have ever asked for.” About the future, Rahman said he had a couple of international projects lined up. “Besides, I am composing for more Tamil films, including Kochadaiyan. To a question about son Ameen making his debut piano recital at the recent International Film Festival in Chennai, Rahman expressed regret that he had not been able to make it for the performance.

Website for Ramesh Vinayagam

Ramesh Vinayagam, who has compositions in all the four South Indian languages to his credit, launched his website recently. He is known for having pioneered the ‘Gamakam Box’, which helps visually represent and notate gamakas in Carnatic music. “The ‘Gamakam Box’ has been appreciated by several well-known musicians,” he says, going on to add, “besides completing work on an English film A Common Man, starring Ben Kingsley of Gandhi fame, I have two international projects lined up.”

No controversy, here

Even before it hit the theatres, director S. J. Suryaah’s Isai stirred up a controversy in the Tamil film industry because of its storyline which is about the rift between an established composer and a young music director. The director hurried to clarify that the film did not target any composer in particular but was, in general, an attempt to focus on what up-and-coming composers experience when they try to get a footing amid stalwarts in the industry.

S.J.Suriyaah has not only directed the film but also scored the music. He says, “I have not told the story with anybody in mind. As the theme was about a music director, I decided to score the music. The story is not about rivalry between two musicians, but about the new among the old faces.”

Kadal on Valentine’s Day?

The much-awaited film Kadal is likely to be released on February 1. However, director Mani Ratnam is also considering a Valentine’s Day release. The songs, tuned by A. R. Rahman, are already chart-busters. The first look has kindled audience interest. The trailer will be screened from January 2013. This Madras Talkies’ production has Gautham Karthik (yesteryear actor Karthik’s son) and Thulasi (actor Radha’s daughter) playing the lead roles. Arjun and Arvind Swamy also have important roles. The film will be dubbed and released simultaneously in Telugu as Kadali.