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Watch A.R. Rahman and L. Subramaniam Keep It All In The Family for Impassioned Performance of ‘Don’t Leave Me’

Khatija, Raheema and A.R. Ameen join on production and keys, alongside vocals and violin by Bindu and Mahati Subramaniam, plus ace percussionist Sivamani

Rolling Stone India Jan 19, 2023

Dr L. Subramaniam and A.R. Rahman with family at the music video shoot of "Don't Leave Me."

A new collaboration between three generations of musicians is captured in master composer A.R. Rahman and legendary violinist-composer Dr. L. Subramaniam‘s “Don’t Leave Me,” as a tribute to V. Lakshminaraya, the latter’s father. The 15-minute performance brings together Rahman’s daughters Khatija and Raheema and son A.R. Ameen on production and keys, alongside Subramaniam’s vocalist-composer daughter Bindu Subramaniam and his grand-daughter Mahati, plus ace drummer-percussionist Sivamani.

Recorded as part of a virtual part of the long-running Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, Rahman shared the video on his YouTube channel and explained the bond between him and Subramaniam. “The friendship between our two families goes back two generations, when my father, composer, arranger and musician RK. Sekar, and Prof. V. Lakshminarayana, who is responsible for making the Indian violin globally known, used to live in the same street in Mylapore, Chennai.”

Rahman counts “Don’t Leave Me” as a song he grew up with, which was composed by Subramaniam and first released on the violin maestro’s 1984 album Conversations with French violinist-composer Stéphane Grappelli. Subramaniam says in his statement about the new version of the song, “It gives me immense pleasure and honor to collaborate with one of the greatest film composers and a visionary musician ARR. We have recorded a composition called ‘Don’t Leave Me’ which is dedicated to my father and guru Prof. V Lakshminarayana. This video has three generations performing together for the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival 2023. Thanks a lot to ARR for his magic touch.”

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Anchored in a soulful piano and violin jam between Rahman and Subramaniam as Sivamani provides the percussive backing, there are bittersweet, dramatic and joyous moments alike heard in the first nine minutes. It makes way for a modern electronic palette, guided by the Rahman and Subramaniam clan on a range of instruments, with Bindu and Mahati bringing in konnakol vocals, followed by an spacey spoken word section led by Bindu.

Watch the video for “Don’t Leave Me” below.


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