Harmony with A. R. Rahman: The Music Connoisseur’s Masterpiece
A Musical Journey:
‘Harmony with A. R. Rahman’ was released on 15th August by Amazon Prime Video, featuring the Oscar-winning music maestro A. R. Rahman in a new light. The usually shy music composer, singer, and songwriter is now facing the camera head-on as an anchor as well as an interviewer in the series.
‘Harmony with A. R. Rahman’ showcases different forms of music through the eyes of A. R. Rahman as he undertakes a journey to four different parts of the country and meets with musicians, learning about the rich culture and traditions surrounding music and musical instruments in the region.
Introducing the Four Musicians:
- Kalamandalam Sajith Vijayan from Kerala – playing the Mizhavu, a sacred instrument that is a big copper drum used during the performing arts like Koodiyattam and Koothu in Kerala.
- Ustad Mohi Baha’uddin Dagar from Navi Mumbai – playing the Hindustani classical music’s string instrument Rudra Veena, a tradition that has been going since generations in his family.
- Lourembam Bedabati from Manipur – following the Manipuri folk vocal tradition of Khunung Eshei, a dying tradition which Bedabati is trying her best to revive.
- Mickma Tshering Lepcha from Sikkim – playing the Pangthong Palith, a bamboo flute that is used to invoke the nature, the gods, and used during shaman rituals.
These musicians interact with Rahman in their own individual episodes, engaging in discussions revolving around the musical form and the instrument that they are experienced with, the history of these instruments, how it entered their life, its influence, and the sacrifices they made in keeping these traditions alive. Finally, the four come together in Chennai at last for a magical harmonious performance.
A Lot to Learn:
‘Harmony with A. R. Rahman’ will leave you intrigued about the various cultures and traditions in the deeper sections of the country as it gives us a glimpse of the culture surrounding the music. The show explores deeper sections of the regions, going down to the roots. The show is not just a treat to your ears, but also a treat to your eyes. The visuals are absolutely stunning and breathtakingly beautiful.
One of the best parts about the series is A. R. Rahman’s simply yet impactful anchoring. He is not an award-winning maestro on the screen; he is simply a student out to quench his thirst to learn more. Along with Rahman, we learn a lot too.
The Final Masterpiece:
The last episode, titled ‘Mann Mauj Mein’, translated to ‘The Heart is in Ecstasy’, shows us the power of collaboration in music – when Kerala, Sikkim, Manipur, and Maharashtra come together – and these four mingle with western music.
The last 20 minutes of the 5thepisode is the final culmination of the series, the highest point, the climax, the crescendo, the finale, where it is reaching a peak high, when the four musicians and A. R. Rahman come together on a single stage to deliver an absolutely magical, mesmerizing, beautiful symphony, which is like Indian classical and traditional music dancing in synchronization with Western music.