Michael Makhal

Published On: August 11, 2011   |   Posted By:

The Business of Tollywood had a chat with the Famous Violinist and Upcoming Music Director Mr. Michael Makhal at his Residence.

The text of the interview is as follows…..

Sir, tell us about you? What inspired you for becoming a violinist?

I began learning Violin from the age of five. My biggest inspiration has been always my father Mr. Ananta Makhal as he himself is a musician (Violinist & Conductor). At the age of eleven, I gave my first stage performance and started performing professionally from the age of fifteen. I have done my licentiate eight years course on Western Classical Music from ABRSM, in music composing and violin performance, with distinction and was a topper in Kolkata.

Where did you learn music?

I learned Violin and everything about music under the guidance of my father. My music theory teacher was Mr. Tapas Ghosh.

What is ABRSM?

Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (London) is the World’s leading authority on musical assessment, actively supporting and encouraging music learners all over the World.

Which symphony orchestra represents India in the field of western classical music?

If you ask my personal opinion, then that should be “Delhi symphony orchestra” and I am privileged to be an official musician of DSO for more than a decade now.

What is the structure of your own orchestra, how many members are there in your team?

I have number of musicians in the group, which includes Keyboard, Guitars, Violins, Cellos and Rhythms. If the budget permits we can even have more than 30 members like a chamber orchestra. I am coming up with this unique orchestra to perform improvised Western Classical Music and famous Hollywood theme tunes. There are not many orchestras like this in India.

What was your father’s role at oxford mission?

My father was one of the students, when the school was formed and later he decided to stay back and served to grow the mission which produced hundreds of western classical musicians and now they are all over the World. It is one of the first institutes in India, which started producing western classical musicians. He served as a Superintendent until he retired couple of years back.

In how many songs you have worked as a violinist till now?

It is difficult to say a number, that’s in hundreds, as I have played for close to 100 movies so far as a Violinist.

Like “sa re ga ma pa da ni sa”in Indian classical music, what will be there in Western Classical?

We call it “Scale” in Western Classical Music, that constitutes “A to G” or for vocal its ”Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do”

What inspired you to become a Music Director?

It is my childhood dream to become a Music Composer. I have learnt a lot by observing Music Director MM Keeravani Sir while playing for him. I am proud to say that I am his “Invisible Student” as Keeravani Sir is not aware of this fact.

How could you stabilize your position in Hyderabad?

I always wanted to work in South India and when I got the chance to work for RP Patnaik, I came to Hyderabad. Mr. Suresh Babu took my audition at Ramanaidu Studio, nine years back. He liked my performance very much and encouraged me a lot. RP Sir took me in his group and supported me to build my career. However, initially I had to struggle a lot to conquer my ground in the film industry. I have been always very lucky to find great friends in Hyderabad, they always been very supportive.

As you worked for Music Director Keeravani for movies like “Sri Ramadasu”, how did you manage to play Indian classical music?

It is about every film, the “Music Conductor” gives us notations in “sa re ga ma pa da ni sa” and we transform them to western notes and follow the style explained by the music director. I am a very quick learner; I picked up all the skills and a fair knowledge of Indian / Carnatic Classical Music in no time. Also, I can converse in Telugu language very well.

Under which music director you started your career?

It is “Music Director R.P. Patnayak” for the movie “Jayam” and second is for “Music Director Chakri” for the movie “Kabadi Kabadi”.

With whom else you worked till date? Have you ever been a lucky charm for any music director?

I have worked with all the big names in the industry till now and about being a lucky charm; I guess that happened, or may be a mere coincidence. Whenever I contribute my performance to a music director for the first time, it is a big hit, like when I worked with Devi Sri Prasad for the first time in “Arya” the movie was a big hit. Same happened with MM keeravani when I worked for the movie “Simhadri” it was a big hit…and of course, Jayam for RP Patnaik Sir, Malleswary for Koti Sir and many more like that. It’s strange, but I am happy for this record.

Which music director you are comfortable to work with?

There is nothing like that, I am always comfortable with all the music directors I worked till date. That is supposed to be their call whether they are comfortable with me or not. It is my job to satisfy them with my performance. However, I enjoy a lot when I am with “Music Director MM keeravani” sir as I have learned a lot from him while working.

According to you which are the best recording studios in Hyderabad?

Well, that should be Prasad labs, Ramoji Film City (Symphony) and Ramanaidu. The sound engineers are highly experienced and also these three studios are spacious, you can easily fit a big strings orchestra along with other live instruments.

So sir, tell us about your future projects?

Right now, I am working in two movies; one is for Rudra Production which is being directed by two directors, Mr.Arun Rudra and Mr.Kiran Meegada. Another movie is “A MELODY IN THE HAUNTED” that is the English title for the English version, it is a multilingual film made by Debut Director Vishwa C starring Rajiv Kankala. My next movie is for film maker Suresh Thirumur and there are few more, but yet to be confirmed.

What according to you is the best song with violin?

There’s nothing like that, Violin is famous for its universal appeal. One can use Violin in any kind of song, but maintaining the beauty of it.

Do you also teach Violin? How many students you have?

I like to share my knowledge with my students and there are few, but right now I am getting very busy in composing, so, I teach a limited number of students, especially, the ones who joined me long back and very serious about taking up Violin as a profession.

Why do you want to teach?

I want to share what I have learnt, in free time. If I am not able to share my music knowledge, then, there would be no value for my learning so much. I spent more than fifteen years in learning Violin and will surely pass on the skills to as many as possible.

Do you have any success Mantra? Do you want to Share your Success Mantra?

As a music composer, I am still an up comer, but as a Violinist “Yes”, if a musician is properly qualified or trained, if he can read notation and can play any given score, then he can survive in film industry without much trouble. There is no replacement of knowledge and experience along with talent for long run.

Your Goal?

My dream and goal in life is to become a versatile music composer, a master of ears. Legendary Music Directors like Salil Chowdhury, RD Burman, Illayaraja, A.R.Rahman, Harris Jayaraj and of course MM Keeravani inspired me a lot, for which I have followed their Path from the beginning. I have worked for years to pursue the same level of music education what they have. I would try my best to carry their legacy, if my talent permits along with the knowledge. I am a big fan of Western Composers like John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, James Horner etc.I have a wish to compose scores like them if I get a movie with such demand of Background Score.

As in Tollywood how much you scale luck would play the role from 1- 100?

You know, we can go till 99% with our hard work and talent, but the final call depends on the last 1%, which would be luck or God’s blessing to step on the journey called Success.