Oscar hopeful Ouseppachan has his fingers crossed

G Pramod Kumar

Jan,24 2012 14:32 32 IST

Chennai: South Indian music director Ouseppachan has something in common with Madonna, Elton John and Lady Gaga. At least for today.

Along with the international big shots, he is keeping his fingers crossed in the hope that one of his songs will find a place in the final Oscar shortlist for music to be announced later today. Unlike Madonna or Lady Gaga, he is a modest composer with a penchant for western and Indian classical music.

Three of his compositions from a controversial English film Dam 999 are among the 39 songs that made the first cut from which the final selection will be made.

Three of Ouseppachan's compositions from a controversial English film Dam 999 are among the 39 songs that made the first cut from which the final selection will be made.

Is he anxious? Not really. “I will be happy if we make it,” he told Firstpost on Tuesday. “We had no avenues to promote the songs and if they get selected, it will be a great honour for our merit and our industry” he said.

The three songs in contention belong to three genres: one, a western composition; the second is sort of fusion; and the third is Hindustani with shades of raag Charukeshi. “It has other notes as well,” he said.

“Along with the big names, they should be able to listen and appreciate our work.”

All the orchestral arrangement and recording of the songs were done in Chennai where he is based.

A national award winning musician, Ouseppachan, whose mainstay is Malayalam films, has been composing film music and background scores for over three decades now. Known for his unique style, often dominated by western classical music with subtle blends of Indian classical and folk music, he shot into the big league with the parallel movie genre of the late 1970s and 1980s in Kerala.

His earlier compositions were distinctive in South Indian film music for their use of western and folk styles. Since then, he has worked with some of the leading commercial and art-house directors in Malayalam. He has also composed music for Tamil, Hindi and English films.

Dam 999, although critically not acclaimed, ran into controversy when it was banned by the Tamil Nadu government for allegedly arousing irrational fear on the safety of Mullaperiyar dam.