Thursday, July 31, 2008

ஒரு கற்பனை - II

Well, extending my imagination is not going to cost me anything. Here you go:

Kamal: Raaja.. Raaja.... Konjam nillunga.. Situation'e kekkama eppadi ezhudhi kuduthuttu pona eppadi?

Raaja: 800 padam paathaachu.. Pudhusa enna erukka pogudhu situation?

Kamal: Enna eppadi solliteenga? Romba vidhyasamaana situation... Heroine romba rich and arrogant type.. Hero heroine'a tease pannara maadhiri oru situation..

Raaja: Hmm. Hmm... Edhu podhum

Kamal: Lyrics? Yaara paada vekka poreenga, Raaja?

Raaja: Varigal Vaali ...Matrapadi Karthik paarthupaan... Bhava vere summa thaan erukkaen pa veetula nnu sonna... paarthukkalam

(Raaja walks out, while Vairamuthu and Vaali enters the room.)

Kamal: Paadal varigal illamal tune varadhavargalukaaga kavignargal vandhurukaanga...

Rahman: Vanakkam Vaali Sir.. Arambikkalaama..

Vaali: Oh.. Beshaa pannidalaam..Edho pidi...

"Kuzhaloodham Kannane
Vennai Thirudiye...."

Rahman: (scratches his head) Illa Illa.......Vennai Yennai ellam vendam....Konjam...

Kamal: Idhu "Andha" maadhiri situation.... Konjam Paarthu ezhudhunga...

(Rahman gives some basic chord and rhythm; Vaali is transformed to a different world and starts tapping his feet)

Vaali: Hmmm......Edhu eppadi erukku?

"Jackson Magale Jackson Magale
Jackie Chan Machaan Naan
Kambanukku Machini Nee"

Rahman: Yes.. Feel varudhu....We are going in the right direction...Go on...Tamil Jaasthiya erukku....Konjam English please...

Vaali: Done..

"Up & Down poga naan Gear'a
Nee Miss World Model Figure'a"

Vairamuthu: (looks at Deva) Kavithai pozhiya naan thayaar, neer?

Deva: Illa Anne.. Namma paatukku vere maadhiri venum.. Vaali sir vara varaikkum naan wait pannaraen..

Harris: VM Sir! Hello.. Please join me...

Vairamuthu: Sollu nanba, Harris. Endha karu nira kaagathin magimai umakkavadhu purindhadhe...Arambikkalaam..

"Smile Smile Edhu Smile'a
Nenjai Thulaikkum Missile'a
Gundu Vedi Gundu Un Kannam
Unnal sidhariyadhu En Nenjam
Un Idhazh Oram Naan Thee Kulippaen..."

MSV:(whispers to Kamal) Ayyoo....Enna YEZHHAVU da edhu...Vedi gundu, Saavu, Sangu, Paalai nnu enna paattu edhu..

Harris: Wow.... Its shaping up well.. I think....Hmm.... Kamal Sir, shooting for this song ... Iraq le try pannalaam.. My 2 cents..Romba different'a shape aitrukku

Kamal: Yeah.. Romba different'a erukku...

Harris: Regarding tune vandhuttu..."Vaseegara" maadhiri venuma? Illa "Suttum Vizhi Sudare" maadhiri venuma?

Kamal: Adhaan rendum kettutome..vere maadhiri edhavadhu mudiyuma... illa...?
Harris: Why not? "Paartha Mudhal Naale" maadhiri ? ..I will try...

Kamal: Sutham...

Vaali: (turns onto Deva) Ungalukku enna vedum?

Deva: Namma enne aNNe.. Gaana vecha endha situation kku super'a erukkum nnu ...

Vaali: Edho pidi Gaana...

"Saidapetta Julie
Unnala classroom'e gaalee
Enga vidadhadee look'ku
Pasanga padikkaraanga book'u"

Deva: Edhu podhu aNNE...Nan Ready....

Yuvan: (shakes his body vigorously and murmers the tune to himself)

"Ye PeNNNNNeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Enai Kattttttikkkkkkkkooooo Kattikkkkkooooo
Illai ... EndraaaL....
Thotttttukkoooooo Thotttukoooooo
(rap bit)Everyone wants a change, BabeeeHooooo
HaaaHooooo Haaa"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ஒரு கற்பனை

Kamal Hassan makes an unique attempt to bring music composers of various generations into one room and attempt a collaborative effort for making an album with a theme in mind. Sharp 10 AM and the room is already filled with composers of various generations.

We could see MSV, Illayaraja, Rahman, Deva & Srikanth Deva, Harris and Yuvan all eagerly waiting to hear what Kamal has to say.

Kamal: Vanakkam. Pudhu Pudhu muyarchigal eduppathil naan munnodiyaaga eruppavan endru palarum ninaithu kondirundhaalum, endha muyarchi oru vidhyasamana.....

Harris: (interrupts) Sir. Konjam Tamil la pesa mudiyuma?

MSV: Ada da da daa......Oh Muruga....En appane..

Kamal: Oru album panna vendum. Oru koottu muyarchi oda.. Adhukku dhaan koodiyirukkom indru..

(Illayaraja takes a notepad, pen and starts writing notes onto it. Deva tries to look at the notes over Raaja's shoulders..and Raaja gives a rude look back at him!)

Deva: Anne.... Enna anne edhu?

Raaja: Notes

Deva: Yeppadi anne ungalaala mudiyudhu edhu?

Raaja: Thambi.... Isai endral enna?

Yuvan: Basically, .... actually....

Harris: I think ... it is a mixture of....various albums and ....various..

Raaja: Isai enbadhu pala pala vadivangalil varugiradhu..pala pala parimaanam erukkiradhu..

Harris: You mean foreign album and CDs?

Rahman: He means dimensions..

Deva: Eppa puriyudhu anne..

Kamal: Raaja, yeppadi vara pogiradhu endha paadal?

Raaja: Mudhalil, prelude kku Trill vechurukkaen..

Deva: Thrilling aana situation nnu sollave illaya?

Rahman: No.. No... Edhu Trill.. A technique...

Raaja: Idhil "Invertible Counterpoints" upayoga padutha pogiraen

Srikanth Deva: (murmers to Deva) Appa, indha instrument nammalum use pannalaame?

Deva: Idhu varai naan kelvi padalaye !

Yuvan: (murmers to himself) Selvaraghavan'ukku edhu pidikkum nnu ninaikkaraen...Will surprise him with this..

Kamal (turns at Rahman): Rahman, unga plan enna?

Rahman: Well..Infact, I wanted to ask you.. I need 9-10 months for this..

Kamal: No no... You don't need to compose 9-10 albums.. In fact, just 1 song in this album..

Rahman: I know.. adhu dhaan sollaraen... and regarding my look.. do I need to have a hair cut for the album? Does it have appealing visuals?

Harris: This is very insulting.. No access to internet.. No access to foreign albums... What is this? You just dump us in a room and how the hell you expect us to compose music? Hmm...

Yuvan: Adhaan... I agree....I need to go to Thailand..

Kamal: Thailand? Edhaavadhu problem'a inga?

Yuvan: Noaa.. Anga pona dhaan I get music...mood ... you know?? I target youngsters... you know?

Kamal: OkOk...

Kamal turns back at MSV. And MSV is busy with his harmonium..and disappointed with the noise around him he starts playing loudly...

MSV: Shambooooooooooo.. Siva Shamboooooo...

Kamal: Okay.. Situation enna vendral....

Meanwhile, Raaja completes his part, hands over the musical score sheet to Kamal and walks out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Uliyin Osai - II

The more and more I hear this album (Uliyin Osai), I am getting deeply engrossed in it..

"Abhinayam Kaattukindra" is a classical number and the ending segment of the song is really a pleasure to hear. Maestro has set the right tempo for the song. I only wish, if he had roped in Nithyashree instead of one of them (Bombay Jayashree & Sudha Raghunathan) to give a more contrasting variety in voice.
It appears to me that the whole album seems to have one hidden agenda - To demonstrate Sriram Parthasarathy's abilities as a singer! After hearing the whole album, I get a question within myself - "Is he the same singer who sang 'Ilangaatru Veesudhe' ?" His rendition is simply superb.

The song "Aganthayil Aaduvatha" is a class in its own. After the pallavi, Illayaraja enters with a dialogue-styled-rendering and towards the end Sriram takes off effortlessly and only I wonder - Isn't this called "seamless integration"?

I have a historic intolerance towards scale and shruthi changes. Many gems, I haven't heard much because of those shruthi and scale changes. I wonder why? But, in this song, my experiences were different. I only wish I could bring out my experiences in words when I heard the scale changes in this song when Sriram sings "aadiduvaen paarthidama ... kaigalil oru baavam". Experts say that the song starts in Rasikapriya and turns into Mayamalavagowlai. All I can tell is, if the song was originally heading towards Chicago I-94 W, it takes a U turn and somehow (don't ask me how) gets on to I-80-90 E! And more, without any squealing shrill discomforting noises! I don't have the competence to analyze and get into "how" aspect of it.

Sriram has done justice when he sings "Ethanai Baavam Undu Nadanathile", effortlessly brings out all the emotions/baavam in his voice ranging from "Parivu" to "Mogam". Full marks to Sriram for his brilliant singing. Will he bag an award for this album or would he sit and watch some nasal singer bag the award for brutally butchering the lyrics?

For those who want to hear the song, here it is:

I know, I shouldn't have put the whole song considering the "piracy" and "moral" aspects. But, didn't some new-age-guru say that "Naalu Perukku Nalladhunna Edhuvum Thappila"?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rise of Rahman - I

If Illayaraja is an apple, then, Rahman is an orange. It doesn't make any sense to compare one with the other. And Rahman is successful only because he is an orange and not a variant of an apple. If and only if he was a variant of an apple, the Raaja apple would have crushed and swallowed as it did many other variants of it. And Rahman orange must have been very cognizant from the day 0, not to even cross the shadow of the apple. If apple was serving melody sweetness all the years, Rahman orange decided to give a totally different flavor.

It was not a fluke or overnight success for Rahman. In my opinion, it was not Rahman's Roja that took him to the heights. Roja was followed by some of his sensible and matured decisions. IMO, those decisions and convictions took him to the heights and not the mere tunes/rhythms.

If Rahman gave Roja, so did Vidyasagar come up with a musical hit Karna (a year after Roja). In fact, Aasai became a much popular album in those days, composed by Deva. Why they weren't able to attain the heights that Rahman did? (Are you wondering, how insane must Emjay be to compare Rahman with Vidyasagar and Deva? Hold your breath till I complete).

My answer to this is, while Vidyasagar, Deva & Co. were walking at a brisk pace, Rahman was climbing at a slower pace. He knew very clearly that walking would only make him cover distance and not take him to heights, whereas only climbing would do. Other composers were able to walk 20-25 steps per year, whereas Rahman chose to climb just 5-6 steps per year.

In detail, I can illustrate some aspects that I think that took him to the heights and also some external factors that acted like a catalyst to his growth. I will cover all but the external factors in this post.

They are:

a) Being selective
b) Betting on winning horses
c) Choice of veteran & upcoming filmmakers
d) Right moves @ Right time
e) Humbleness & Clean image
f) Public relations & Marketing sense
g) Display Rahman'ism and never-be-Raaja'ish.

Being selective: Raaja was the undisputable king of music making in the film industry those days. There were many many gruntling filmmakers prostrating before Raaja while wondering if there will ever be an alternative! Imagine within a week after Roja's release and its musical success, Rahman would have been flooded with offers. If "Chinna Koundar" was a hit, at least a dozen film makers were ready with similar stories. If and only if Rahman had accepted all those offers with his both hands, he would have been booked for 3-4 years, but would have been DOOMED by now!! He was an intelligent chap, wasn't he?

Betting on winning horses: Secondly, he betted on winning horses by making some intelligent and most often correct guesses. He had a good flair of taste for winning films and good films. He signed up sensible movies (for the most part) and carefully managed to stay out of the gutter. How did he manage to do that? Did he have any good advisor around him? Or was he smart enough to do all by himself? I don't
know the answer. On the other hand, Deva was busy accepting all the offers with 4 hands (with Sabesh Murali) !!

Choice of veteran & upcoming filmmakers: Though he signed up movies with new directors like Shankar, he striked a balance with veteran filmmakers like Balachandar (in Duet) and BharathiRaja (in Kizhakku Cheemayile). That gave him a good visibility and established contacts. In particular, the initial years are as important as the first trimester for a pregnant women! And his association with Vairamuthu cannot be missed here as well. Some of his immortal lyrics have been a major factor for some of his album's success.

Right moves @ Right time: Having tasted great success in the initial years, inertia would hug anyone. Rahman was very conscious to break the status-quo and made right moves at the right time. He clearly understood the politics behind the geography of our country and stormed into Bollywood with "Rangeela". Small timers like Anu Malik, Anand Milind and Nadeem were looking like a tiny boat in front of this juggernaut. He colonised the whole India and everyone started singing to his rhythm. What Illayaraja didn't do in several decades, Rahman did it within 2-3 years. By this
time, Deva became a "Gaana" king tainted with all accusations of plagiarism. The best thing about Rahman is that he just didn't stop there. He again overcame the inertia and broke into the international arena with albums and some hollywood assignments.

Humbleness & Clean image: Five million units of one album sold in 1995 is no joke. Despite this feat, he remained humble and didn't lose his composure. That has given him the "media darling" status. Media is so powerful that even Gandhi can be shown as Godse and Godse can be portrayed as Gandhi.

Public relations & Marketing sense: His acumen in marketing and his public relations has taken him to new heights that no other Indian has ever achieved till date. The way "Vande Mataram", "Jana Gana Mana" was promoted is an example of how much importance he has given to the marketing.

Display Rahman'ism and never-be-Raaja'ish: Last but not the least, he has displayed always "Rahmanism" in his music and very consciously avoided being "Raaja'ish", even if asked to. This last point can be a separate post by itself. I intend to cover a lot in this point alone in my future posts.

I strongly believe that if and only if Vidyasagars or Devas or any other talented composer had adopted Rahman's above-said strategies, they would have touched new heights as well.

Digression: BTW, I have a chronic acid-relux problem. So, I don't take much oranges and apple serves me the best. An apple a day keeps the doctor away :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

என் பிதற்றல்

Couple of my blog readers have already sent their tunes for the few scribbles that I made and that prompted me to further take the pallavi to completion. One day, if I ever meet this genius, I will proudly present this to him.

உன்னை இசை அரசன் என்பேனா
இல்லை இசைக்கு அடிமை என்பேனா
அரசனும் நீயே
அடிமையும் நீயே

என் நரம்பினில் உன் நாதம்
உன் இசை தான் என் சுவாசம்
ராகதேவன் என்பார் சிலர்
இசைஞானி என்பார் பலர்
என்னை ஆட்கொண்ட ஓம்காரம் என்பேன் நான்

கலைமகள் அருளோடு
சப்த ஸ்வரத்துடன்
நர்த்தகம் புரிந்தாய்
வர்த்தகம் மறந்தாய்
சிம்போனி அமைத்தாய்
வெளியிட மறுத்தாய்
புரியா புதிராய் சிலருக்கு அமைந்தாய்
புரியாமலே பலருக்கு போனாய்
புரிந்தவருக்கே ராசா ஆனாய்

அரசனும் நீயே
அடிமையும் நீயே

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Uliyin Osai - I

Only a few meals are special and very satisfactory even though we have food everyday. After hearing "Uliyin Osai", I had a complete satisfaction of hearing a very good album.

I don't have the technical competence to review an album like this where Raaja has spread his wings, literally played and enjoyed in the album throughout. But, I can share my personal experiences while hearing the album, can't I ?
Let me first talk about the song that almost every blog/review had washed off, saying the song was that pedestrian ! The song that I am talking about is - "Azhagi Vara Soru Thara".

You know what? I have been wanting and wanting this kind of song for a long long time. It has been a long wait for me to hear the female chorus sections, rustic voice, no-synth-sounds and finally Raaja's stamp. I got to get everything I mentioned above in this song. This song reminded me of the olden days Malaysia Vasudevan's rustic voice, a typical folkish tune and the female chorus sections. (Chutti Chutti Un Vaala from Chinna Koundar, Thookku Chatiya from Ejamaan) My only question to Raaja is: "Where were you hiding this all these years?"

For the above said reasons, I am more hooked to Raaja's 1990-1994 period of songs more than 1980s unlike other Raaja fans. One interesting observation about this song is: From 1:40 till 2:36, you can notice that the alternation between chorus section and the main singer continues without a pause by alternating octaves as well. That brings out the beauty of the song, IMO.

Finally, couple of reasons (pure guess work) why Raaja might have kept this song in the movie -

a) To feed all class of listeners. Remember, even Sri Ragavendra had "Unakkum Enakkum Aanandham".
b) May be he knew the fate the movie will end up with and thought of giving something for the DMK party workers to dance for!!

Watch this space for review of other songs in the album.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Uliyin Osai

My friend had requested me to write about Uliyin Osai music composed by Illayaraja.

Here you go -

உளியில் ஓசை மட்டும் வரும் என்று நினைதுருப்பேன்
உன் உளியின் ஓசை கேட்காமல் இருந்திறிந்தால்

Saturday, July 19, 2008

நீ யாரோ ?

காலை மட்டும் நனைத்து சென்றவனுக்கு
நீ வாய்கால்

உடல் முற்றும் நனைந்தவனுக்கு
நீ குற்றாலம்

முழ்கி வெளியே வராமல் வீழ்ந்தவனுக்கு
நீ நயாகரா

Friday, July 18, 2008

7Swara turns 50

Guess what?

This is my 50th post since 7Swara was started. It is only all your support and comments that has kept my momentum going. Thank you and I look forward to your continued support. It striked me to write a blog only after I saw my wife writing blog about our daughter. So thanks to my wife for being an inspiration.

Last but not the least, let me thank my Maanaseega Guru - Illayaraja for inspiring me so much that even a paamaran like me could write something about music.

பாடறியேன் படிப்பரியேன்

ராகமரியேன் தாளமரியேன்

உண்னை தவிர நான் என்ன அறியேன் ?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Database - Illayaraja Movies

Old wine in a new bottle...

Please click here to download the database of all movies with year and language that Illayaraja has scored. If anyone has any more information regarding this, please do let me know. I intend to keep this up to date.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My friend Murugesh had requested me to write about "Uliyin Osai" music composed by Illayaraja. Also, Suresh Kumar had a post in his blog wondering why many don't write about recent albums of Raaja!

Whether I like it or not, I make it a point to hear most of the recent albums, at least once. IMO, if there is any album worth writing about after "Mozhi", it will be Uliyin Osai. Uliyin Osai's music deserves a separate post. I already see so many news about Uliyin Osai's music and media has mentioned "Illayaraja is back again with a bang!!"

I recollect - During 1990 a journalist asked Illayaraja - "Why are your recent songs not as good as your old ones?"
Raaja replied - "Thirumba Kettu Paarunga"

Again during 2000 another person questioned Raaja - "We don't get to hear those kinds of melodies anymore from you?"
Raaja replied - "Naan kuduthu kondu thaan erukkiraen. Neengal ketka thaviri viteergal "

As Kamal Hassan mentioned during release of Virumaandi album - "Raaja never went anywhere to make a comeback"

Superficially, all of us (including me) get a feeling that his magic is fading and he doesn't give the kind of songs he used to. But, probably we are all sorrounded with too much noise around us that prevents us from his gems. No doubt, his number of movies have reduced drasticallly due to some of the famous directors moving away from him and the market value. However, if I sit and think back he has been producing some gems and we have failed to notice it.

When I recently heard the song "Ketkavillayo" from "Madhu" and "Yaarum Thodatha Ondrai" from "Ajanthaa", I only wonder -

நல்லதோர் வீணை செய்து அதை நலம் கெட புழுதியில் எறிவதுண்டோ ?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Amusing gesture

Most of us lose the control over our tongue when we lose our temper. Understandable. There are some more amongst us who lose their control over what they say when they are in front of a mike. They just lose themselves.

Many such “Pithatrals” we have heard in the past. One such (IMO) is the recent statement of Rajini in the audio release function of Kuselan.

I have not worked with Illayaraja for a while. I decided to work with Raaja, but when I heard Veyil I came to know about G.V.Prakash…..”


G.V.Prakash is a very young chap and he is equal to Rahman and Raaja

Excuse me!!! You know what I feel?

குயிலுக்கும் காக்கைக்கும்
விதியாசம் தெரியாமல் போகட்டும்
ராஜா விற்கும் GVP க்கும் கூடவா
வித்தியாசம் தெரியவில்லை ?
உங்களை குற்றம் சொல்லி பயன் இல்லை
ஹிட்டு ஹீட்டாய் முத்து முத்தாய் உமக்கு போட்டாரே
அவரை சொல்ல வேண்டும் !!

சொன்னது நீ தானா?

இல்லகியத்தில் நான் வண்ண தமிழ் மழலைக்கு பாலூட்டும் தாய்
சினிமாவில் விட்டெரியும் காசுக்கு வாலாட்டும் நாய்


Monday, July 14, 2008

Plagiarism – II

Physics has always thought us that there is no perfect black body in this world. I would extend the same analogy to the music. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is only varying degrees in which the music has been presented in an illusionary way out of the fundamental 7 notes that sounds innovative and different.

Type 1: If you are not able to associate a song with any other song and it is so fresh to our ears, then, the composer has been successful in his work of “Yemaatru Velai”. There are thousands of songs in that category, though they are all derived from saptha swaras.

If they are all derived from saptha swaras, how do they make it sound different? Composers employ several techniques to mask it, intentionally or unintentionally. Some of those techniques include change in rhythm, usage of instruments, acoustics, building layers of music around the melody, lyrical value and finally singer’s rendering.

That is why I think it is possible for many of us to come up with a tune; rather it takes someone knowledgeable to ornament the tune with sensible orchestration.

For all practical purposes, let us call these songs as “Original”, though we understand in spirit that they are all recycled from 7 swaras.

Type 2: If the composer has done some good homework to take a baseline song and apply some algorithm to it to transform in such a way that only a few people can figure out the magic, then, I would put that song in to this Type 2 category.

Need an example?

Kamal Hassan is a very tough customer. He apparently was not satisfied with various tunes that Illayaraja came up with for a song in “Apoorva Sagodharargal” and finally he gave a baseline song –

Naan Paarthadhiley
Aval Oruthiyay Thaan
Nalla Azhagi Enbaen
Nalla Azhagi Enbaen

The composer took this song as baseline and used the same “Sandham”, but transformed the tune to come up with-

Pudhu Mappilaikku
Nalla Yogamada
Nalla Mana Magal Than
Vandha Neram Ada

To mask the origin, composer has beautifully poured and applied “Babbabare Babbabare” all over the song. Also, he has beautifully mixed the voice of Shailaja in this song. All these have created enough illusion to the listener’s ears that we ended up applauding the song.

Sometimes, the composer is so inspired by his other number and he comes up with a varied version of it. Eg: "Anbendra Mazhaiyile" from "Minsaara Kanavu" was later transformed to "Dheemthanana Dheemthanana" in "Rhythm".

One other example is transformation of "Putham Puthu Poo Poothatho" from Dalapathi to "Piraye Piraye" in Pithamagan.

There are many such songs in this category. In my humble opinion, it still takes someone to have good acumen and brilliance to give some good Type 2 numbers.

Type 3: Many incompetent composers produce this category of songs. Less homework done, either changed the tempo of the song or made the same tune with a different rhythm or made to look different by making it sung by a nasal singer!

Example? Thanks to Ramesh. He wrote a nice post that would exactly reflect this Type 3 category ( Yes, it’s a shame. The composer (does he deserves to be called that way?) has merely changed the tempo of the song and changed the rhythm.

Some other examples are :- "Kurukku Siruthavale" was rehashed into "Maan Kuttiye" by S.A.Rajkumar; "Kannalane" was rehashed into "Sollamale" by the same gentleman again!

Some other examples would be many straight lifts that music directors like Shankar Ganesh, Sirpi and Deva did!

Finally, if I was successful in what I wanted to say, then you would agree with me that:

Maan kutti petha mayile” was not copied from “Vaa dee en kappa kazhange”.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Plagiarism - I

Recently, I came across a forum where a hubber had mentioned that ‘Margazhi Poove’ was copied from ‘Suprabhatham’. Was the hubber correct? Further another hubber claimed the bit 1:47 to 1:58 in ‘Sahana’ song from ‘Sivaji’ is copied from some MGR song. The list continues for every composer with no exception. Give me a break.

MGR Song? When did he ever compose or write lyrics for the song? Why do we have to always call Rajini Hits or Vijay Hits and why not Vidyasagar’s Hits or Rahman’s Hits?

Anyways, let us keep the digression aside. I intend to keep a series of posts on what people mean by lift or copy.

Illayaraja never fails to state in his interviews (which are very rare) that all the composers including him simply cheat by recycling (ஏமாற்று வேலை). It is very important to understand what he means by that.

This is an excellent example of a paradox. Is there something ever called “Original Music”? The composer who is most effective and brilliant in creating an illusion so that it doesn’t invoke ‘I-have-previously-heard’ feeling is a successful composer and considered as the one who provides original music.

Do we get 10 new notes (Swaras) added to the original list of 7 Swaras once in every 5 years? Be it 1950 or 2010; Be it Arabic music or Kutcheri; Be it Naushad or Rahman – All of them only get those 7 swaras to play around. Yes, music is nothing but a permutation combination math played with these notes.

So, any set/combination of notes that you play will one-way or other resemble some other piece in this planet. And when people pass a comment that the song is lifted because 10 seconds of the song resembles some other song, I only think we need to understand the fundamentals better.

Having said that, I am not willing to put MSV, Illayaraja, Rahman, Yuvan, Deva, S.A.Rajkumar and Sirpi all in the same bucket. Let’s try to keep it like this. All of the composers do the ‘Yemaatru Velai’. However, they do it at varying degrees.

Watch this space, more to follow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hava Nagila - II

Most (read as all?) of Prathap Pothan’s movies were inspired from English novels and movies. For eg: My Dear Marthandan was inspired from “Coming to America”, I learnt. Like many directors of that era, Prathap always walked out of Prasad Studio with super hit tunes for all his movies.

My Dear Marthandan was one such movie with all super hit songs and the usage of today’s most (ab)used synth sounds were aptly used 18 years ago. The genre of the songs in this film was quite different from any of the typical Illayaraja songs. The usage of percussions and synthesizer made the songs sound different in those days. However, the specialty with his songs is that the melody doesn’t get lost despite all these innovations.

Anyways, my post today is about the song “Uttalakkadi Pattanakodi Mottanakiliye” from this movie. The lyricist must have been so confident that he could give any junk filler and still Raaja would make it a hit. Many a times, the tune is inspired by music directors with a pre-set meter. In this example, this song is inspired from a simple meter with the words “Hava Nagila”.

Hava Nagila Hava Nagila Hava Nagila Hoi
Hava Nagila Hava Nagila Hava Nagila Hoi

1   2    1    2     1     2    1

Utta lakkadi Patta Nakodi Motta anaki liyee
Machana thoda acharam thara summa nikki riyee

Hava Nagila must have influenced Raaja so much that he derived two songs out of one, both sounding entirely different! Only SPB can make even dumb sounding lyrics so interesting and sing very involved even for mediocre lyrics.

Hava Nagila, now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hava Nagila - I

"Hava Nagila" means "Let us Rejoice". It is a very famous song sung by Jewish community as a song of celebration in Hebrew language. The song composition goes close to 100 years back. This piece was used in the film Mozhi, when Prakash Raj dances after coming directly from the shower :)

Very melodious piece!

Can you imagine that this song was presented to us in a folk'ish tune without much reminding of the origin? The movie name is Vikram and the song was none other than the most famous "En Jodi Manja Kuruvi". The lyrics were by Gangai Amaran and he got away with some junk lyrics that had no meaning in any dictionary whatsover!

Illayaraja has given the essence of this Jewish melody integrated seamlessly into our folk style.

My friend often tells me "It was AR Rahman who brought the global sounds to our arena." My answer is Panniyapura Raaja transformed them that much that he gave the essence of foreign subject in a native way. Never I was let feel foreign.

More about Hava Nagila continued..

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sonnadhellam Revisited

Hello Everyone,

Remember? Last week I had posted a poem (if you would let me so) and invited tunes for the four lines..

Sonnadhellam Marandhu Vidu
Arugil Vandhu Anaithu Vidu
Pudhu Kaaviyam Kaaviyam Ondrai
Indru Padaithu Vidu

Interestingly, I received more than 4-5 responses and I am herewith posting 3 of them. I do not have the electronic versions for the remaining. It is very interesting to note that the same verses can be perceived so differently by various people.

Submitted by Kumar S R:

Submitted by Gunashekar Jayaraman:

Submitted by Mohan Jayaraman:

I invite your opinion on the tunes and post.

Unnai Charan Adaindhaen

ச்வர வடிவம் இசை ஆனால்

இசை வடிவம் நீ அல்லவோ

உன் இசை வடிவம் தேன் ஆனால்

என் செவிகள் வண்டுஅல்லவோ

I was playing a song in Bhoopalam raagam from Uliyin Osai (first few lines) and suddenly some poetic lyrics came to my mind. Obviously, I dedicate this to Raaja's music.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Om Namaha

Thanks to Mani Ratnam for giving a deserving break to all dancing devils (devathais) in this beautiful masterpiece – Om Namaha from “Idhayathai Thirudadhe. After all, one must have some musical sense to pictutarize the song at the least aptly, if not elevate it. This romantic song is all about love-making and being a song that shows intimacy the director decided to just revolve revolve and revolve the camera around the young couple.

Have you heard this proverb: “Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham” – means “Even a grass can be a weapon in the hands of the skilled person”. Illayaraja has proved one more time that he sees music everywhere. He has demonstrated in this song that even the closing of the mitral and tricuspid valves of the human heart can be the rhythm. The whole song rhythm is based on the “lub-dub lub-dub” – heartbeat.

Another interesting thing in this song is that both the Charanam ends exactly in the note where the Pallavi starts. I remember SPB was mentioning this aspect in one of his shows that every few song can touch this brilliance. Look how Mano ends the 2nd Charanam with ‘Om’ and Janaki takes off the Pallavi with the same ‘Om’.

Vaali has penned the essence of love-making brilliantly, next to Kannadasan. Even the wild and crudest imagination of love-making is masked and beautified here with his choice of words.

Om Namaha

All time hits of Mano