Indian film composer extraordinaire A. R. Rahman, who wrote the Oscar®-winning score for Slumdog Millionaire along with Blue (which has its World Premire at MEIFF) appeared along with American composer Richard Horowitz (Any Given Sunday) and Iranian-American singer Sussan Deyhim (The Last Temptation of Christ) for a conversation onstage. With many years of experience in scoring films between them, they will discuss their inspiration and creative methods. All three have based their film scores and other work on boldly combining forms from different cultures (including that of the Middle East), and this mutual appreciation and pursuit of all music, whether eastern, western, popular, or classical, will inform the conversation. In the words of Horowitz, Rahman has been "broadcasting a message of crosss-cultural understanding, love, and peace to millions of people." Horowitz, who has explored the connection between Middle Eastern and Indian music and the sonic components of cosmic events, has also prepared a series of questions for Rahman about the timeless value of music in understanding not only our world, but the universe.

A. R. Rahman is rapidly becoming known as one of the world's great composers. An acknowledged master of the Indian movie soundtrack, he has nevertheless created music in many genres, traditions, and languages. His music incorporates the classical and folk styles of many cultures, western rock and pop, Sufism, and electronic music - combining forms with a bold experimentalism while preserving mass appeal. He is especially beloved in India for his successes in both the Bollywood and Tamil film industries. Nicknamed Isai Puyul, "The Musical Storm," Rahman has scored over 100 films since his 1992 debut Roja (Mani Ratnam) won the award for best music at the Indian National Film Awards. His many other hit soundtracks include Bombay (Ratnam, 1994), Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001), and Deepa Mehta's "Elements Trilogy." Rahman has sold over 200 million recordings worldwide. He has had a number of collaborations with western filmmakers and composers (including Andrew Lloyd Weber), but Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008) brought him two Oscars® and greatly expanded his fame. This year Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Composer and musician Richard Horowitz lived in Paris and Morocco for 12 years, studying Middle Eastern flute and music theory. His film soundtracks include The Sheltering Sky (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1990) and Three Seasons (Tony Bui, 1999). Composer, vocalist, and performance artist Sussan Deyhim studied dance in her native Iran, and Europe, before moving to New York and incorporating music, new vocal languages, and film into her performances. She has appeared on soundtracks including The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988) and The Stoning of Soraya M (Cyrus Nowrasteh, 2008). The two have collaborated on recordings since 1981, including the score for Any Given Sunday (Oliver Stone, 1999) and Tobruk (Vaclav Marhoul, 2008), which won them the Golden Lion from the Czech Academy of Film.

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