Music Director Ghibran Exclusive Interview

“Everything is violence and everything is sound was the concept we imparted for Vishwaroopam 2” – Ghibran
Richard Mahesh Rajakumar

Every time you interact with Ghibran, there’s something beyond his musical accomplishments that impress you. His calm and aplomb nature wows you instantly and urges you to listen more from him. With his magnum opus ‘Vishwaroopam 2’ hitting screens today, Ghibran opens up more on his ambitious projects, non-film albums and of course, his and production directorial plans in this exclusive interview with Star Views.

You have proved yourself stronger with BGM much equal to songs. How was the process of scoring for Vishwaroopam 2?

First and foremost thanks a lot for the compliments. Right from my childhood, it happened that we used to watch movies in VCR deck system as guests visit our home. During this point of time, we used to have fun watching movies with and without sound. Although, this could have prompted in me the interest the prominence of BGM, it got enhanced as I started pursuing music from my childhood. Gradually, the reception for BGM in Hollywood got tremendous and I believed, one day the scenarios would be same in India.  Lately in time, I pursued a special course for film scoring at Lasalle College of Arts in Singapore.

But in context to Vishwaroopam 2, I must credit my thanks to Kamal Haasan sir, who had been a fervent believer of this concept too. When I shared about such musical desires during our first meet, he was really excited. I must say that even before Vishwaroopam 2, we started exerting our experiments in Uthama Villain. In a precise manner, I was inheriting lots of tutorials from Kamal Haasan sir for working him is a ‘Global Scoring Process’. He is someone, who is always bounded to International perspective. In addition, the way he keeps sharing the musical journey with Ilayaraja sir instigated me to offer more involvements.

Vishwaroopam 1 had more off International panache, but this installment has more soulful content, which involves romance, mother-son sentiments and so on. Henceforth, we decided to give a shot mixing western scoring with Indian classical music. Furthermore, the film travels across different places – USA, London, India, Thailand and Afghanistan, which demanded for unique music in every place… I must thank Sound designer Kunal, who is associated with Hollywood movies for being so much supportive in this process.

The song ‘Gnabhagam Varugiradha’ just didn’t have a new tune for Vishwaroopam 2, but it even eclipsed the former tune in first part

All praise goes to Kamal Haasan sir! If not for his complete encouragement and freedom, this would have not been possible. In fact, much more than composing the tune, what demanded a herculean task was to get out of that erstwhile tune. Naturally, the song ‘Yaarendru Therugiradha’ had already become a Kamal sir anthem, which was stuck so strong in my mind.  For all the songs in V-2 album, we had couple or more tunes for every track, but we just went with the first one that we composed for ‘Gnabhagam Varugiradha’.

The recent teaser involving gun shots and Kamal Haasan’s musical Jathi Naanagiya Nadhimoolam Nee has turned to be an unheralded delight for all… How was the experience of blending ‘Sound Effects’ and ‘Music’ together?

I must say, this isn’t just confined to this particular teaser, but will have its emphasis in many places of the film. ‘Everything is Music and everything is Violence’ was the concept behind this idea. Vishwaroopam 2 demanded unique sounds as it travels into new world, which includes Underwater Sequence. So with the help of ‘Sound Designing’, we wanted to impart a sonic sound image for this film.

Say for instance, for this underwater sequence, I had to use a real water drop sound, spoil and trash it for an effectual wobbling sound. Similarly, for the Afghanistan episodes, we used ‘Hang-Drum’ and detuned it as well.  We usually don’t know the sound of Gunshot (pauses and give a laugh with this following citation that we aren’t supposed to know that). So we tried a lot of experiments that the pain and trauma has to be experienced through ‘Sound and Music’.

As concerned with ‘Gunshots and Jathi’ in teaser, it’s again yet another brilliant one from the brain store of Kamal Haasan sir. He opened a new door breaking the stereotypical process of a trailer crafting process. Usually, it’s editor who would cut the shots and then forward it to music department followed by the final process with sound effects… But here, the process was completely reversed with Sound effects-Music-Editor mode. We travelled to Hollywood to know different types of gunshot sounds. After getting it from their library, we incorporated the same with Jathi and later gave it to editor.


Were there any scenes in the film where you took lots of options for better output of BGM in Vishwaroopam 2?

Yes! Definitely! Some of the theme scores we did for the film was before 5 years. While revisiting this span, I have learnt something musically. Eventually, the film has grown more into me with the inputs of Kamal Haasan sir. So we had to go back and redo music in lots of places. Naturally, when Vishwaroopam 1 had such a fantabulous music of being 10 years ahead of time, this one imparted on me a responsibility to offer music that would be an out front at least to some extent.

Can we expect Ghibran’s musical embarkation in Hollywood or international project soon?

I cannot give a solid answer for this now (Laughs).  Things are slightly moving in that favour. Right now, I am composing music for a Hollywood short film produced by Pooja Kumar. Initially, Idhu Vedalam Sollum Kadhai was supposed to be an English movie, but landed up in Tamil version as end product. Well, talks are going on for a long time regarding some International projects and we need to wait and see how things go on. I am also looking forward to it.

Your current projects…

Vishwaroopam 2 will be followed by Aan Devathai, Vishnu Vishal’s Raatchasan , Kannada movie titled ‘Home Minister’ with Upendra sir, Rajkamal-Vikram sir film, Madhavan starrer Maara, 24AM Pulikesi that is on interim hold,  Pagaivanukku Arul Vaai (Directed by Thirumanam Enum Nikkah fame Anis) that has real life former prisoners playing important roles, Bollywood actor Abhay Deol’s maiden production in Tamil ‘Idhu Vedalam Sollum Kadhai’ and talks are going on for some Telugu projects as well. One more important thing is that I am trying something new with non-filmy music and announcements will be made shortly.

Life as producer after Chennai 2 Singapore….

To be honest, it was quite tough and big learning process of Do’s and Don’ts.  (Laughs) One more thing was service tax raids. But yes, the experience as opened new windows for us. We are starting our new production soon with Rajathanthiram director AG Amid.

Any plans for directorial venture…

As of now, I don’t have such plans for now. But already, I have done a 3-4min short film. As far as concerned with favourite genre, it would be a fantasy based children. Whatever I have done now is directed, scripted, produced and musically composed is same as well. I wouldn’t say it’s a kids based film, but an animation one, which will be for adults too.


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