Archive | December, 2008

Vidyasagar—Versatility is his forte

23 Dec

To compose in a music industry where you have stalwarts like M.S.Vishwanathan, Ilaiyaraja and A.R.Rahman is not an easy job. You have a great legacy to maintain! Vidyasagar is one such music director, whom I would like to write about today. What I like about him is that he has the ability to make even fast songs sound melodious. His melodies are one of the best I have heard as they have intricate tunes backed by soothing orchestration. His music has many qualities of his predecessors- great tunes, multilayered charanam, amazing orchestration, bass guitar usage, use of a variety of raagas, great background scores (an often ignored yardstick to measure talent) etc. The fact that he is compared to these stalwarts in it itself shows he has great talent. Moreover apart from Tamil, Vidyasagar has composed many great tunes even in Malayalam & Telugu (his mother tongue). I personally feel Vidyasagar has not been given his due at all. Many a time, his soundtracks have been dismissed as below par even when there were one or two fantastic tunes in them. Like most other music composers, Vidyasagar too has his share of terrible tunes but they are much less as compared to Srikanth Deva, Imaan, Deva, S.A.Rajkumar, Sirpy etc.

Many of his melodies are as good as the ones we have ever heard. A true test for any music director are the classical tunes (both Indian & Western styles) and even here Vidyasagar has shown his class. If he has got a good script, Vidyasagar has done great justice to it. Here is a list of my favourite Vidyasagar songs in Tamil. I will write another post on his Malayalam melodies soon.

TAMIL

  1. Malare Mounama (Karna)—One of the best songs you will ever hear in Darbari raaga.
  2. Nee Katru (Nilave Vaa)
  3. Yaar Yaar Shivam/Poovaasam/Mouname (Anbe Shivam)—A wonderful movie with wonderful music.
  4. Poi Solla Koodathu (Run)—Superb orchestration and great singing by Hariharan.
  5. Thavamindri (Anbu)—One of my favourite songs of Vidyasagar, this is in Gowrimanohari raaga.
  6. Azhagooril/Neeya Pesiyathu (Thirumalai)
  7. Un Samaiyal Araiyil (Dhill)—What a song!
  8. Orey Manam (Villan)—A fantastic tune.
  9. Gilli songs—Loved almost all the songs. This is intelligent music making, fast songs but with high repeat value, they make you tap your feet!
  10. Ding Dong (Ji)—A superb song in a rarely heard Rasikapriya raaga.
  11. Kandaen Kandaen (Madurey)—Splendid tune in Brindavanasaranga raaga. Stunning mandolin interludes!
  12. Konja Neram/Raa Raa (Chandramukhi)—The former is a great song in Baageshri raaga and the latter was a great classical composition though ONLY the first line was taken from a Kannada song.
  13. Kaalai Arumbi (Kana Kandaen)—What a song!
  14. Vennilaa (Ponniyin Selvan)
  15. Iruvar Vaazhum/Athiathikka (Aadhi)—The former is an amazing tune which was never was noticed.
  16. Kana Kandaenadi/Aalankuyil (Parthipan Kanavu)—The former is a beauty in Anandabhairavi raaga with amazing sax and bass guitar interludes!
  17. Chithiraiyil Yenna/Atrai Thingal (Sivapathigaaram)—The former is a great folk tune and the latter an amazing melody.
  18. Mozhi songs—Should I say something here? I even loved the bit songs which were pure melodies.
  19. Pirivom Sandippom songs—I loved ALL the songs, each melody is amazing with high repeat value.
  20. Vizhiyum Vizhiyum/Engaey (Chathurangam)—Unfortunately, this movie is not yet released. Vizhiyum is a masterpiece.
  21. Naan Varaindhu/Adai Mazhaikaalam (Jeyam Kondaan)
  22. Ippavae/Mazhai Nindra/Vaanathai (Raman Thediya Seethai)—Fantastic songs!
  23. Pallanadhu/Thaen Thaen (Kuruvi)—I loved Pallanadhu especially, it makes me dance!
  24. Vaa Vaa (Abiyum Naanum)—What a beautiful charanam!
  25. En Uyirukkul (Mahesh Saranya Matrum Palar)—A duet song in a supposedly sober Sindhubhairavi raaga!

Uliyin Osai—Masterstroke from Maestro Ilaiyaraja

22 Dec

Uliyin Osai has to be one of THE best soundtracks of Maestro Ilaiyaraja at least considering the 2 stunning classical compositions in it. I am now only able to FULLY appreciate the genius of the songs, especially Aganthaiyil, Pulargindra, Kaalathai Vendra and Kallai Irundhen. Instead of writing about these, I would like you to read a brilliantly written post here. After reading it, I am enjoying the songs even more! It will give you a clear idea about the intricacies of the compositions tuned by Maestro Ilaiyaraja and how he THINKS in a different plane altogether. Though I am not so well-versed in classical music, I am still hooked to these songs, just imagine the classical connoisseurs, how much bliss they would be deriving from these songs!

Where is the music director?

8 Dec

I have been noticing a disturbing trend off late in music release functions—in most cases the music director is sidelined or not there! It is a MUSIC RELEASE function and the focus is always on the actors or the guests and never on the person responsible for the event, the music director (along with the producer/director of course!). It is very irritating to see even articles sometimes covering music launches but there is no mention of who the music composer of the movie is. The problem I believe is that today producers/directors believe that music is just an add-on for the movie and not an integral part of it.
Only directors like Maniratnam, Shankar, Karu Palaniappan, Gautam Menon, Aditya Chopra etc. have been promoting the music with some keen interest and passion. Most others consider it as just another part of a movie, when actually it is not. If the music of a movie is done well with care then everybody would realize that it acts as the best promotional tool for any movie and the songs are on everybody’s lips before the movie releases! Case in point is Vaaranam Aayiram. This will do wonders to the movie’s publicity. This is the reason we find generally the songs in the movies of the above mentioned directors to be excellent and they add to the overall beauty of the movie. I just pray that this disturbing trend ends soon and music directors get their due.

Songs I am hooked onto!

2 Dec

Over the last 6 months, there have been some good songs which have been continuously in my playlist.

HINDI

  1. Ha Rehem-Aamir-Amit Trivedi
  2. Khudha Jaane & Jogi Mahi-Bachna Ae Haseeno-Vishal/Shekhar
  3. Mari Teetri-De Taali-Punjabi song at its catchy best!-Vishal/Shekhar
  4. Khabar Nahi-Dostana-Vishal/Shekhar
  5. Maine Hawa Ke-Mere Baap Pehle Aap-The most underrated song of the year-Vidyasagar
  6. Ek Meetha Marz-Welcome to Sajjanpur-Shantanu Moitra
  7. Tu Meri Dost-Yuvvraaj-A.R.Rahman
  8. Muskura-Dasvidaniya-A great retro song!-Kailash Kher/Naresh/Paresh
  9. Kaise Mujhe-Ghajini-mesmerizing vocals by Shreya Ghoshal, the motherly caressing humming sends me into raptures!-A.R.Rahman

TAMIL

  1. Adai Mazhai Kaalam & Naan Varaindhu-Jeyam Kondaan-Vidyasagar
  2. Mazhai Nindra & Ippavae-Raman Thediya Seethai-Vidyasagar
  3. Kalaadhara-Vegam-A great song that was never noticed-Rajesh Vaidhya
  4. Marudhaani-Sakkarakatti-A.R.Rahman
  5. Dost Bada Dosth-Saroja-Yuvan
  6. Aganthaiyil-Uliyin Osai-Amazing raaga and graha bhedam variations!-Maestro Ilaiyaraja
  7. Natta Nadu-A Aa E Ee-what an elegant song, very addictive!-Vijay Antony
  8. Anul Mele & Ava Enna-Vaaranam Aayiram-Harris Jayaraj
  9. En Uyirukkul-Mahesh Saranya Matrum Palar-Vidyasagar

MALAYALAM

  1. Etho Jalashankkil& Maymassame-Laptop-celestial tunes!-Sreevalsan Menon
  2. Radha Madhava-Anthiponvettom-great tune in Hamsanandi and great singing by Krishnakumar-M Jayachandran
  3. Thaazhika Kudame-College Kumaran-Ousepachhan
  4. Coffee @ MG Road & O Saathi-Coffee @ MG Road, a very good malayalam album-Vineeth Srinivasan/Shaan Rahman
  5. Arigil-Thirakkatha-superb tune-Sharath

Music and Healing

1 Dec

It is a proven fact that music indeed is one of the most effective therapies. Owing to sheer interest, I have read a few expert articles written on Shri Kunnakudy Vaidyanathan, who until recently, before his demise, was heading the Raaga Research Centre in Madras. He and his late father (who was one of the pioneers of raaga research) have confirmed that music/raagas have the power to cure us of many ailments! This is certainly good news to all music lovers. I personally believe in this completely and I have experienced the therapeutic effects of music innumerable times. Each raaga is said to have a unique medicinal property. This post is just a starting point to discuss about the healing effects of music. The study in this field has been quite extensive leading to some pleasantly stunning results. I give below the unique properties of a few raagas. These are culled from various authentic articles in the internet and “The Hindu” newspaper.

  1. Keeravani-Good for heart.
  2. Rathipathipriya-Strength and vigour, remove ill-will.
  3. Shanmukhapriya-Sharpens intellect and instils courage.
  4. Kalyani-Destroys fear.
  5. Karaharapriya-Remedy for worry, stress and neurotic disorders.
  6. Abheri-Heals the mind.
  7. Shankarabharanam-Cures mental disorders, showers wealth!
  8. Charukesi-Rejenuvates mind
  9. Mohanam-Filters ill-effects of our bad qualities like anger, lust and attachment.
  10. Mayamalavagowla-Counters pollution.
  11. Anandabhairavi-Lowers blood pressure.

This is an incomplete list. For those who have faith, music is the best medicine. If we are mentally happy, then I feel, the presence of physical diseases cannot affect us. Music is a wealth that we have, its a gift from God itself which can give us a lot of bliss and satisfaction. Let us use it so that there is more Love, Peace and Harmony and let us promote, good, melodious music!