Oscar winner musician A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Middlesex University of United Kingdom (UK), focusing on blending Asian and Western music styles.
With this MOU between A.R. Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory in Chennai (India) and Middlesex University, both the organizations agreed to explore the possibilities for collaboration in music and education and it aims at educational collaboration between India and UK. Both the institutions are reportedly looking at offering a collaborative three year music program. Rahman has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by this University.
Rahman thinks of this collaboration in music instruction “as a great bridge between Indian and Western music”.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has applauded this East-West collaboration, calling it “a step in the right direction”. More opportunities like this should be provided to the youth of the world to share, learn, and sample each other’s music, arts, culture, traditions, etc., so that they grow up into better citizens of the world, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated in Nevada (USA) today.
Middlesex University, whose history dates back to 1878, offers programs in music composition, music management, music performance, jazz, popular music, etc. Besides London, it has campuses on Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Hertfordshire (UK). Lord Sheppard of Didgemere is the Chancellor; Professor Michael Driscoll is Vice Chancellor; while Dr Peter Fribbins is Director of Programs in Music. Its Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts is a multi-disciplinary and artist–driven research centre, designed to be a bridge between academia and the practices of professional performing artists. University alumni include Oscar winner actress Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen), actor-comedian Johnny Vegas (Happiness), etc. KM Music Conservatory calls itself “an international school of music & music technology”.
Rahman, who has reportedly recorded sales of over 300 million, was called “Mozart of Madras” by Time magazine. Pop icon Michael Jackson reportedly approached him before his death to partner on a peace anthem on the lines of “We are the World”. Rahman sees music “as a way to connect to spirituality and embrace it” and for “creating harmony in troubled times”.