For a musician, being associated with composer AR Rahman is a great achievement. Further, getting the opportunity to tutor his kids and be a music supervisor in his projects (both Indian and Hollywood) is a special achievement indeed — for Rianjali, an Indian-American, who has managed to impress the Isai Puyal.
Her latest outing as a music supervisor is for the Academy Award-winning director Vanessa Roth’s powerful documentary Daughters of Destiny. This Netflix original series will be out on July 28. AR Rahman has composed the music for this project along with Qutub-E-Kripa, which primarily has the alumni from Rahman’s music school KM Conservatory.
The documentary will focus on the school Shanti Bhavan in Bengaluru, which provides free education to under-privileged kids. The lives of the children studying in the school and their understanding of the world will be brought to life through this project.
Speaking to DC, Rianjali reveals, “The documentary is moving and one can see a toned-down version of AR Rahman’s music in this project. The school has been started by an American and the kids grew up in a hostel with Americans by their side. When they graduate, some of them can’t relate to their families anymore. They’re taught modern ideas, feminism and other topics.”
On her association with ARR, she says, “Rahman sir signed this project a year ago and I’ve worked with him in his directorial debut Le Musk. I’ve also written and sung two songs for his upcoming flick, Mom, starring Sridevi. He knows me well and always calls me when he thinks that I can better his product.” She adds, “Music supervision is a field that has always been popular in the US, but it’s slowly catching up in India now. Sir would give me briefings and I would coordinate with the programmers and performers. I would listen to the tracks composed by Jerry Silvester Vincent and Parag Chhabra of Qutub-E-Kripa and approve them before Rahman sir listened to the music.”
Rianjali is also responsible for brainstorming ideas, running recording sessions and deciding on song placements. Jerry, one of the composers in Qutub-E-Kripa, says, “I’ve been associated with Rahman sir since 2009, and I’ve also composed the BGM for the English series Everest. I assist him as a programmer and we took one-and-half months to complete the scoring for Daughters of Destiny. Vanessa briefed us that she wanted the music to enhance the visuals, not overpower them. Sometimes, Parag (composer-producer) and I come up with pathos music. Later, we would be asked to tone it down. There are vocals in the background and the audience can see a lot of genres including Indian classical, pop, world music and western classical.”
Parag Chhabra, who started assisting Rahman two years back, also shares, “The documentary has four episodes and I scored for three of them. Both Vanessa and Rahman sir asked us to come up with simple organic music that has a modernistic approach. We got used to it as we progressed and understood that scoring for documentary and feature films are entirely different. We had to work our way through the dialogues. We recorded veenas (played by Punya Srinivas), guitars (played by Rashad Ali), a percussion instrument called hang drum and ghatam as well.”...