Ohio: Oscar-winning musician A R Rahman has been conferred with his first American Honorary Doctorate by the Miami University here.
The Indian composer was given the honorary degree for Doctor of Music at the University’s 173rd Annual Commencement Ceremony held at the Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.
It is Rahman’s fourth doctorate. He has previously been honoured by Aligarh Muslim University, Anna University and Middlesex University in the UK.
Addressing a gathering of over 15,000 students, Rahman said it was great to share his love and music with Miami University.
“I wish to thank a few people who have made a significant impact in my life: My father and mother have anchored me with good values; then Mani Ratnam who is India’s noted filmmaker gave me my first break in the world of cinema in the film Roja,” Rahman said in his address.
“My Sufi teachers opened my consciousness and helped me discover myself. People from all around India have embraced me and my music without any discrimination and today, I find the same spirit of acceptance in Hollywood,” he added.
Rahman has been associated with the university for past 10 years and it had also assisted him in the making of K M Music Conservatory in Chennai.
“I cannot believe that it is over ten years since my music and I have been associated with Miami University. I have enjoyed collaborating with your students and faculty and above all, every interaction has allowed for greater understanding, sensitivity and growth,” he said.
David C Hodge conferred the Honorary Degree on to Rahman and thanked him for his unwavering support to the University.
One of the most influential names in Indian music today, the composer is credited for redefining contemporary music.
Rahman, who started his career with Mani Ratnam’s “Roja”, went on to win two Oscars, two Grammys, a Golden Globe and the BAFTA for his music in “Slumdog Millionaire.
He has given music in hit films like ‘Bombay’, Dil Se’, ’Taal’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Vandemataram’ and more recently, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘Delhi 6’ and ‘Rockstar’
Rahman recently collaborated with Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and Dave Stewart for their international band SuperHeavy.
Music speaks about A R Rahman,AR speaks about Islam means submission to Allah
This is Islam: Islam means “submission to God”. Islam is the belief that there is only One God, whose proper name is Allah, which means ” the God”. Islam is the same message given to all the prophets, from Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and finally to the Prophet Muhammad, the last messenger (peace and blessings be upon them). They all brought the same message: worship only God, and stop worshipping human beings and their ideas.
Music and language are uniquely human. A world without either would be hard to imagine. “Both language and music are characteristics of the human species that seem to be universal,” says the book The Musical Mind. They are aspects of our need to communicate. So it could be said that, as is true of language, when music “speaks” our emotions “listen.” Music resounds through creation from the blowing wind, to the chirping birds, to the human voice and the tune of the harp.
One of the most amazing artists I had the privilege of bumping into in 1991 on my first visit to Australia (sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs) was a muso named Linsey Pollak, who happened to be creating some music for Doppio Teatro (a trilingual touring theatre company founded by Teresa Crea) .
I knew he was amazing within minutes of our meeting. How so? I showed him my Balinese flutes and he tried one out and instantly was able to coax the sweetest sounds out of it. At the time I didn’t know Linsey could coax sweet sounds out of garden hoses and broomsticks. Linsey gave me a cassette his group – the Paranormal Music Society – had recently released, which featured Linsey playing, among other odd instruments, the kitchen sink and a rubber glove gaida (a miniature bagpipe made from a surgical glove – that’s right, another Pollak invention).
Twenty-one years later, I chance upon Linsey Pollak yet again – this time on YouTube. Actually, I was looking for some inspiring music to feature on this blog and did a search for the Paranormals. The original band seems to have disappeared – but Linsey Pollak is just as amazing and musically alive as ever, perhaps even more so. Indeed, I regard this unassuming genius as one of the most masterful musicians I have ever been inspired by. Linsey Pollak certainly gives Didier Malherbe (wind instrumentalist with Gong) and Jan Garbarek a jolly good run for their money… and he’s a damn lot funnier!
The Paranormal Music Society consisted of: Professor Crivici (Romano Crivici) on keys and violin; Frank Brutal (Blair Greenberg) on percussion and guitar; and Denis Bland (Linsey Pollak) on winds (of many persuasions). The Paranormals (as they were fondly called) had a cult following in Sydney and were known for channeling the works of dead composers (especially Hidegarde Spumoni, a lesser known Baroque composer) and playing music whose notes were determined by rolls of a giant dice. They improvised requests called out by the audience. Things like: the pinnacle guinea pig races, haddock, Bob Marley goes to Turkey, Rawhide and so on. They recorded two albums (but only released one, Moving On), They were a legend in their own time.
Devised by Linsey, Out of the Frying Pan was commissioned by The Out of The Box Festival in Brisbane, directed by Chris Willems and produced by Performing Lines. It created music from house and garden objects with a cast of musician/actors that included Ceri McCoy, Jorge Rico, Penny Glass, Kari and Linsey. It was a show for 3-8 year olds that created music from bottles, glasses, brooms, mops, chairs, a ladder, rubbish bins, a garden fork, an ironing board, a carrot, inflatable trousers, a hammer, a kettle, a pumpkin, etc, etc.
The Art of Food ~ solo show (1999-2002) directed by Mark Bromilow
Ivan is a home-styled kitchen-hand with a difference. He’s eccentric, hilarious and totally irresistible. And he lives in a musical world where anything is possible. From the moment Ivan walks into the kitchen, everything becomes musical: carrots, potatoes, satay sticks, meat cleavers, and even an electric drill, with which he transforms a carrot into a clarinet before our very eyes. This musical world that Ivan creates is more than a series of clever tricks. It is an aural world of depth, energy and beauty. Although the materials are disconcertingly simple, the music itself is complex, rich and emotive, ranging from energetic and percussive cross-rhythms to haunting and lyrical woodwind (or should we say vegiewind) melodies. As with his previous solo show, Knocking on Kevin’s Door, Linsey uses digital technology to record sounds instantaneously so that the audience is able to see each piece being constructed layer by layer, but in this show all the sounds come from the cooking utensils and the food. The Art of Food is an aural feast, an ode to the music of everyday life, which is there for everyone who cares to open their ears.
Linsey live loops voice percussion and melodica, soloing with Rubber Glove bagpipe, Chinese bamboo flute, and kaossilator. From his solo show, Live & Loopy.
Linsey loops balloon, kaossilator and vocals, using TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch.
This piece called “Ghosting 13” (in 13/8) is from Linsey’s solo show, Live & Loopy. It features the saxillo and carrot clarinet. Linsey live loops vocal percussion, bubble wrap drum, melodica and kaossilator, with solos on saxillo (a wooden soprano sax-like instrument designed and made by Linsey) plus a carrot clarinet.
Linsey Pollak drills out a carrot and turns it into a clarinet and plays it, live looping with a Boss RC20 to record 3 layers. From his solo show, Making Jam.
How to make a carrot clarinet:
overall length of carrot is 187mm
bore: 12mm. (I use a spade bit)
6 fingerholes and thumbhole are all 7mm diameter
thumbhole is 22mm from top of carrot
fingerholes are: 39mm, 54mm, 74mm, 97mm, 123mm,140mm from top of carrot
I use an alto sax mouthpiece (Yamaha 4C used in this video)
The mouthpiece is connected to the carrot with a 12mm OD tube 35mm long. (Use electrical tape to increase diameter to suit mouthpiece). Bottom of mouthpiece is at top of carrot. This design is by Linsey Pollak and has been developed since 1995.
Linsey Pollak plays “Mr Curly” (a contra bass clarinet made from garden hose) – from his show, Passing Wind, as well as the feather duster clarinet.
Linsey Pollak live loops watering can clarinet – from his solo show, Live & Loopy.
Professor Squealy Deetbum (aka Linsey Pollak) plays the Harmonic Handlebar from his solo show CYCOLOGY.
Professor Squealy Deetbum (aka Linsey Pollak) plays the bicycle seat clarinet…
Professor Squealy Deetbum (aka Linsey Pollak) plays the spokes, frame and gear cable…
Professor Squealy Deetbum (aka Linsey Pollak) plays the bicycle and accessories in the Finale from his solo show, CYCOLOGY.
Two condoms are used (one inside the other) to create the bag for this bagpipe. The chanter and drone are aluminium tubes with a membrane reed at the top of each.