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A.R. Rahman: Finding Inspiration with Seaboard RISE 2

Crafting microtonal masterpieces with the legendary cinematic composer

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Watch A. R. Rahman share his thoughts on Seaboard RISE 2

Legendary composer A. R. Rahman has been one Seaboard RISE's biggest fans since the very beginning.

The Oscar-winning mind behind the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack and countless Indian cinematic classics was among the first to play the original Seaboard RISE in 2015. “I was always looking at alternate controllers, always looking at how I can express microtonal playing.” says A. R. Rahman. “And then ROLI came in.” With an unprecedented level of expressive pitchbend, RISE proved the perfect controller to perform the rapid, microtonal bends of traditional Indian music, as well as accurately reproduce the sounds of classical Indian instruments from the sitar to the jal tarang.

Students at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai even learned to play the Seaboard in A. R. Rahman's own personal studio — resulting in an iconic ensemble performance:


It came as no surprise then, that A. R. Rahman was one of the first to play the latest and greatest model of the Seaboard: Seaboard RISE 2!

In a studio in Dubai, Rahman performed a signature, atmospheric solo on the new instrument, before sharing his thoughts. “We need inspiration. Musicians need inspiration” he explains, “Sometimes it's the Seaboard... different things give us empowerment or expression.” Rahman explained how natural performances on the Seaboard — much like you might have on an acoustic instrument — can lead to “happy accidents” that inspire the next great musical idea.

The impact of the new Keywave2 surface — lined with precision frets similar to strings on a guitar — was immediate. “The new frets add more convenience. If you're just playing a solo close your eyes... and you can feel it. I like the new design a lot!

The Seaboard RISE has featured in A. R. Rahman's stage shows and compositions since its conception. Now Seaboard RISE 2 promises to continue this most productive of collaborations — and inspire even more musical magic!

Discover Seaboard RISE 2.