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Exclusive! 'I was first approached for an acting role in Orchestra, Mysuru!': Raghu Dixit

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the music composer talks about Orchestra, Mysuru! resonating with him, how he came on board and more...

Exclusive! 'I was first approached for an acting role in Orchestra, Mysuru!': Raghu Dixit
Raghu Dixit in his mojo
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 10.33 AM, Jan 13, 2023

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For Raghu Dixit, Orchestra, Mysuru! has always been more than just a passion project. As much as he believes in giving his all to every film as a music composer, there was something very cathartic and personal about working on Orchestra, Mysuru!. On the one hand, the film allowed him to walk down memory lane and relive the glory days of watching and admiring orchestra artists as a young boy. "When I heard the one-liner of the story, I realized just then that this is right up my alley because I have grown around the orchestra scene in Mysuru - both as a far admirer and as someone who aspired to be part of an orchestra team. So, when Sunil (the director) gave me the narration, it brought back so many memories of me knocking on orchestra doors, trying to find something to play or contribute, and being constantly rejected - the story just took me back to those days. And I must confess that I was quite desperate to do the music," he says.

And on the other hand, the opportunity of being part of a film like this compelled Dixit to take on newer roles and add a new entry to his repertoire. Although he had planned on turning a film producer prior to that, the ethos of the film and the emotional connection he had with the story urged him to get on board. Raghu Dixit, aside from being the music composer, served as the co-producer of Orchestra, Mysuru!.

But, interestingly, Sunil Mysooru did not approach Raghu Dixit for the music or seek funds for his film. Turns out that the debutant director saw a potential actor in Raghu and wanted him to play a specific role in Orchestra, Mysuru! 

"Sunil came to me with the idea but to make things better, he brought a 20-minute concise version of the film. He first made Orchestra, Mysuru! as a short film first that captured the essence of the story in those 20-odd minutes and I was super impressed with what he had done. Even with a less expensive hand-held camera and really low production value, he put the whole story together coherently and cleverly used Ilaiyaraaja music to support the narration. So, I was quite sold on the idea and as I said, I was very keen and desperate on doing the music. But turns out, he had met me to offer me an acting role in the film and not for the music! He already had a music composer on board or I am guessing he was in talks with someone but he didn't approach me for music because he presumed that I wouldn't be affordable!"

"But I was so smitten with the idea that I was willing to do it even if there was no money in it for me. I told him that I really wanted to do the music because I could connect so much to the story and there was immense scope for me as a composer. And once we had worked on about 2-3 songs, the film's actual producer, Ashwin Vijayakumar, and Sunil came over to me to tell me that they weren't comfortable having me make the music for free. They would propose to have me as a partner or one of the producers of the film and my contribution as a composer eventually became my investment in Orchestra, Mysuru!," adds Raghu Dixit.

And what happened to the role that was written for him? "Well, we decided on doing away with that character. I was supposed to play the protagonist's mentor in the film but later realized that the character was redundant experiences are far better mentors than people!" he says.

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