In the past decade or so we have come a long way from the music perspective, the sounds of western music have been intermingled into ours. Bollywood movies which are the leading source of music in India have started producing music that has become bland, and within a day or two, you tend to forget it. Most of the movies have forgettable music with rappers dishing out words that make no sense on top of the monotonous tune. Being a music lover, I have missed the presence of A. R. Rahman in the music arena. He has become more of a reserved person who creates music rarely. But now he is here to tell us what great music feels like. Harmony with A. R. Rahman is an Amazon Prime Video series starring Maestro of Madras as he goes across India to collaborate with musicians who are hidden gems. (Harmony with A. R. Rahman Review)
The series explores the power of collaborative music and philosophy behind the connection of music with nature. Is A.R. Rahman able to create something magical and out of this world in this web series? Let’s find out what Harmony with A. R. Rahman holds for you.
The basic concept of the series is to create a Harmony with entirely different music styles and instruments with A. R. Rahman at its helm. The series takes you on the journey with Rahman himself as he meets different musicians from various parts of the country. The thing that captures you from the get-go is Rahman’s curiosity and humbleness that he showcases when he meets each one of them. He doesn’t act like an Oscar-winning star who knows everything but as a musician who has a lot to learn and each of them in some manner is a teacher to him. You cannot imagine a concept like this coming to life with any other musician at the helm. By seeing his mannerism, you get to know why he is one of the most excellent musicians of our time and it will take some miracle to create symphonies as he does. (Harmony with A. R. Rahman Review)
In the first episode titled ‘Entering The Kalari,’ A. R. Rahman goes to Kerala to learn about Mizhavu an ancient musical instrument. The episode opens with a narrative given by Rahman as he explains his connection with Malayalam music industry and the impact of Malayalam culture on his music career. His interaction with Kalamandalam Sajith Vijayan, one of the few players of Mizhavu is interesting as you get to see the curiosity to learn more in his eyes. The show brings you closer to Rahman and his ideologies which make him a superb human being. In the episode, you get to learn about the significance of the instrument. For instrumental music lovers, the show kicks in when Rahman & Sajith Vijayan create magical music sitting in the abode of nature. Those moments are pure bliss which offers you a spiritual high. (Harmony with A. R. Rahman Review)
In a similar way in next three episodes, we get to see Rahman meeting hidden talents in the states of Sikkim, Maharashtra and Manipur. Each one of them is protecting their form of art and doing their best to give it the future. Harmony with A. R. Rahman brings us closer to other artists namely Ustad Mohi Baha’uddin Dagar, the famous Veena player, Lourebam Bedabati, one of the champions of Khunung Eshei and Mickma Tshering Lepcha, performer of the Pangthong Palith.
In interactions with each of them, we find out the sacrifices these musicians have made to excel in their form and how much still they are giving to keep it alive. The fascinating thing about the series is that we get to learn a lot alongside Rahman as he expands his wisdom for music to another level. At the end of each episode, we witness the power of collaborative music with A. R. Rahman and each musician painting a musical masterpiece that we can feel with heart and visualize with our eyes closed. To keep it simple one has to watch the series to witness the magic as it is beyond one’s imagination. (Harmony with A. R. Rahman Review)
The last episode in the series brings all of them on the single platform with Rahman composing the Harmony where each one plays an important part. Almost 20-minute long track will give you goosebumps as they all take you through a new kind of musical high. Alongside these musicians, the other thing that shines out bright is the direction by Sruti Harihara Subramanian, she has graciously captured the essence of each tune created by these artists.
One thing I would like to add here is that the series is for the music lovers who want to experience something refreshing. Many people may not connect with the content because it’s not the mainstream music that we are habitual of listening. However, keeping this aside A. R. Rahman has truly created a masterpiece and taught us that learning never stops, even the Maestros like him will remain student till the end of life. A must watch series. (Harmony with A. R. Rahman Review)
You can watch Harmony with A. R. Rahman on Amazon Prime Video.