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A.R. Rahman : The Musical Storm

Kamini Mathai, Viking, 2009, xiv, 266 p, photographs, ISBN : 0670083718, $0.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Acknowledgements. Author's note. 1. Oscars. 2. Dileep. 3. Roja. 4. Breaking the rules. 5. The first award. 6. Bollywood beginnings. 7. Opening doors. 8. Under the spotlight. 9. Faith. 10. The wait. 11. At work. 12. At home. Discography. Index.

"With his Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman has become an international celebrity: they're calling him 'The Mozart of the East': In India, however, Rahman has been an iconic superstar for seventeen long years, ever since his first film Roja. Over the past two decades, he has produced unforgettable music for movies like Kadhalan, Bombay, Rangeela, Dil Se, Taal, Alaipayuthey, Zubeidaa, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti and Jodhaa Akbar, to name only a few, in addition to the stage musical Bombay Dreams and his acclaimed non-film album Vande Mataram.

His name is legend, but what is A.R. Rahman all about? Very few can claim to know the man behind the music. Rahman shies away from the public eye. He is fiercely protective of his privacy and prefers to be known only through his music.

For the very first time, this book tells A.R. Rahman's incredible story: the tragic death of his father R.K. Sekhar, a talented music arranger, when Rahman -- then Dileep -- was nine; Dileep's desperate efforts as a teenager to keep the family afloat by playing sessions, missing school; his reasons for embracing Islam and turning to Sufism; his 'discovery' by Mani Ratnam and his subsequent ascent to fame; his abiding popularity in the new millennium and his constant endeavour to break new ground. It also takes us straight into Rahman's inimitable world: the composing and recording sessions that run through the night; his compulsive need to 'get it right', which can cause directors to wait months for a song; his continuing fascination with electronic equipment; his relationship with his mother, his inspiration; and above all his religiosity, which is at the root of his being and his music.

Based on extensive interviews with Rahman, his family and those who have worked with him and know him best, this marvelously readable, chatty and anecdotal biography will delight every fan of the man Chennai calls 'Isai Puyal' -- The Musical Storm." (jacket)

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