Archive | August, 2009

Collaborations with Professional Orchestras

28 Aug

The real test for any music composer is the ability to work with a full-fledged orchestra and create music by collaborating with them. Its a challenge because, any of these professional orchestras will have at least about 75 players playing instruments like violins, violas, cellos, flutes etc. There are very few composers in India have collaborated with orchestras abroad—Ilaiyaraja, A.R.Rahman, Yuvan and Sonu Nigam recently collaborated with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for the Rafi Resurrected album.

Ilaiyaraja has collaborated with the Budapest Symphony orchestra of Hungary twice—once for composing for Guru (Malayalam movie) and the second time for Thiruvasagam in Symphony and I believe he is working with them again for Pazhassi Raja, a Malayalam film. A.R.Rahman has worked with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra of Czechoslovakia for Subhash Chandra Bose (fantastic songs with awesome orchestration). Yuvan worked with the Budapest orchestra for Pudhupettai. When we hear the songs of all these movies, you will find a totally different sound which is grand and all-encompassing. It is because the orchestras play the music live and this live recording is mixed with the singer’s voice later or sometimes it is done together. It’s a good change from the normal electronic sound we get to hear these days. Now, I am eagerly waiting with bated breath for the music of the magnum opus—Pazhassi Raja, starring Mammooty where Ilaiyaraja has again used the Budapest orchestra, am sure it will be worth the wait!

Raagas in Films:Kalyani

4 Aug

Kalyani or Yaman (in Hindustani) is probably the most commonly used raaga in Indian film music. There are thousands of songs (if not more) in this raaga and all composers would have composed at least a few songs in this raaga. The uniqueness of this raaga is that it sounds very melodious and is instantly likeable, the reason being it is very common. But nevertheless, Kalyani is a very elegant raaga and it is considered one of the best raagas for aalapanas or expositions. Listening to this raaga is supposed to destroy fear and increase our self-confidence, a perfect prescription for exam fever!

You can be sure that many of your favourite songs will be in this raaga. Below are some of my favourite songs in this raaga, I have omitted MANY other good songs because of the sheer number of songs in this raaga.

  1. Ghar Se Nikalte Hi—Rajesh Roshan—Papa Kehte Hain—A superhit song with great lyrics. Almost all the songs of this movie were good and they were in this raaga.
  2. Kabhi Kabhi—Khayyam—Kabhi Kabhi—A legendary song.
  3. Hamesha Tumko/Woh Chaand Jaisi—Ismail Darbar—Devdas—Fantastic tunes in a fantastic soundtrack.
  4. Malaiyoram Mayile—Ilaiyaraja—Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam—A folksy Kalyani usage.
  5. Siru Kootula—Ilaiyaraja—Periya Veetu Pannakkaran
  6. Amma Endru Azhaikkatha—Ilaiyaraja—Mannan—Ilaiyaraja & Yesudas praise the mother using this raaga. Can lyrics get better than this, courtesy lyricist Vaali!
  7. Janani Janani—Ilaiyaraja—Thaai Mookambikai—Music for meditation.
  8. Kaatril Varum Geethame—Ilaiyaraja—Oru Naal Oru Kanavu—Ilaiyaraja confuses his fans as we can’t choose which is a better Kalyani!
  9. Azhagu Nilave—A.R.Rahman—Pavithra—Lullaby in Kalyani
  10. Ponmulam—Vidyasagar—Chandrolsavam (Malayalam)
  11. Pulariyil—Suresh Peters—Runway(Malayalam)—A must-listen!