Wednesday, May 31, 2006
1) Raja talks about how a music should be:
Gist of the speech: Music is God’s property; we should not misuse it to spoil our mind and body. Avoid using ready-to-use, sequenced music and use your own creativity. Only when a composer makes his own contribution to a song, he can claim it to be his own. Legends like Devarajan, Dakshinamurthi, etc can compose without instruments. Now for everything, we resort to computers. He likens the situation to earlier days when there were no hospitals or medical facilities, people used to be healthy; nowadays with so much of advancements in medicine and technology, we are just living with so many diseases. We should not compose music which will spoil the ether.
2) Unplugged version of Mathu Bhuteshwari from Guru Ramana Geetham:
Guru Ramana Geetham (for samples: http://www.agimusic.com/guru.html) released in 2005 has not been actively discussed even among Raja fans. I didn’t see any discussion on the songs in any forum. It has 10 beautiful songs (9 in Tamil & 1 in Sanskrit) written and orchestrated by Maestro. Lyrics are deeply philosophical and meaningful:
1. Chinna payyan (about incidents in Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi’s life)
2. Ennai kavarndhu (beautiful Desh raga song about His presence in Thiruvannamalai)
3. Indroru naal (short but sweet song about another day passing without doing anything worthwhile)
4. Annamalaiyar (he lists about 20-30 saints who served Bhagavan and the Lord in Thiruvannamalai)
5. Enge sendralum (Maestro’s favourite Mayamalava Gowlai, says Bhagavan is always with him)
6. En ooru Sivapuram (famous and often sung by Raja in programs, he laments about worldly life and how to get back to the Lord)
7. Ippirappil (“I’ve not done anything in this life”)
8. Arunachala (Raja ‘complains’ to Lord about non-attention of Bhagavan on him and wants Bhagavan’s benevolent vision on him)
9. Arul thavazhum (guest-sung by Unnikrishnan, extolling Lord Annamalaiyar’s virtues, raga: Kalyani)
The last song in the album Maathru Bhuteshwari (raga: Saranga Tharangini, seems to be a rare raga) is the highlight. He says Bhagavan has inscribed the words ‘Mathru Bhuteshwari’ on the Linga kept on His mother’s samadhi in Thiruvannamalai. That word inspired him to write this Sanskrit song. He says the thought and words came to him in 5 minutes!!!
In the album, it’s sung by Bombay Jayashree but hear it in Master’s own voice here. He sings this song to the Malayalam singer (and interviewer) MG Sreekumar and teaches him also. As MGS says, the song contains majestically beautiful and musically tough gamakas / phrases to sing.
It’s a treat watching this in video - Raja playing his harmonium and singing and his troupe playing the instruments.
Note: Please correct me if there are any translation errors in the above.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Maestro has several songs to his credit in his raga – right from his most discussed Salakku salakku selai (from Chembaruthi), Nee pathi naan pathi (from Keladi Kanmani), etc. Lets hear some not-often-heard Chakravakam songs.
This is from the movie Kangalin varthaigal (dubbed from Nammoora mandhara hoove). The movie was a super duper hit in Kannada. This song has an amazing chorus. The orchestration is trendy.
Kelisade prema veda:
This song from Gulaabi (Kannada) is sung by Maestro (prelude) and SPB continues. This was another hit in Karnataka. The tune and orchestration gives a nostalgic feeling. There is a nice touch added by bells in the 2nd interlude. SPB’s singing is par excellence. Chitra as usual excels in her part towards end of the song.
Iniya malargal malarum:
This is a beautiful melody from the movie Poonthottam (*ing Murali & Devayani). The beautiful singing of Raja gives this song a different dimension. The sax interludes are very pleasant to hear. I like how comes down from high to low pitch where he ends the saranams.
Other MD's efforts:
No one can forget the beautiful song in Karnan – Ullathil nalla ullam (music: MSV & TKR). Rahman has tuned a beautiful song in Muthu – Vidukathaiya indha vazhkkai. The BGM portions for old Rajini in the movie also used this ragam.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Adikkira kottam / Indran Chandran
I have not seen this movie, understand the oldie Kamal acts as a womanizer. This song is picturised on him. The orchestration is unique and fascinating with bits of Bengali type lyrics (sung by Mayilsami?), strains of Chinese sounds like xylophone, rhythm using wooden blocks, etc. SPB sings in a bass voice.
Ival oru ilankuruvi / Brahmma
Initially this song didn’t catch my attention compared to Engirundho ilankuyilin. That’s a more serious version with 2nd interlude telling the whole story. This song, eulogizing the nature, has a bubbly music with Maestro’s forte flute (1st interlude) and violins (2nd interlude) weaving the magic.
Kadavul ullame / Anbulla Rajinikanth
Directed by Rajini’s friend Nataraj (villain actor), this film centers around the girl Meena in an orphanage and her uniting with her mother through Rajini’s character. The title song sung by Latha Rajini is very touching. It details the children’s situation in an orphanage.
Mothu mothunnu / Magalir mattum
The three female characters (Urvasi, Rohini & Revathi) dream about torturing their boss Nasser, who is constantly trying to seduce them. Each one thinks about a different way torture. Janaki’s singing is amazing with voice modulation for all 3 ladies (Brahmin lingo in Carnatic, Chennai style & modern girl respectively).
Muthu muthu medai / Nadodi pattukkaran
This song is a standard temple of Tamil movies – hero & heroine sing sadly when they are forced to live apart, thinking about the happy times they had. The sad violin tells us the story effectively.
6. Title song:
Enga ooru pattukkaran / Enga ooru pattukkaran
The title song as a genre was made famous by Maestro only. It was considered lucky to have his voice for title cards. This song in his rustic voice fits like a T to the theme of the movie.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Unai naane azhaithene / Chinna kuyil padudhu
Parents are divorced and living apart. The song depicts mother’s anguish to meet the child. I think the raga used here is Gambeera Nattai. The yearning of the mother is brought out very well. The orchestration is of highest quality as usual, pulls a string in your heart.
Pootha malligai / Echil iravugal
Though this is a love song, it contains an inexplicable sadness written all over, an art mastered by our only Maestro. Shenoy in the 1st interlude and humming in the 2nd interlude gives a ‘ruralness’ of the song.
3. Fun & Frolic:
Thottukko kattikko / Getti melam
An infectiously joyous song. Orchestration and voices are very funny – brings a smile in your face. Shows why Raja is still incomparable in all genres of music.
Malliyappoo kattilile / Enna petha rasa
Are there many songs in TFM with viraga dhabam feeling? I don’t know. But this one is amazing. The amazingly emotive voice (when she sings keranga vechan) belongs to P.Susheela.
Jinkan jinukku dhan / Veetle viseshanga
With the lyrics, no more details required for this song. This is a Bhagyaraj movie. Despite the quality of lyrics, the orchestration is very interesting with nice bass lines and unique rhythm. Is it Swarnalatha?