Archive | December, 2009

Blogs on Ilaiyaraja

5 Dec

Indian music has been blessed with MANY talented music composers. To name a few that I know—Naushad, S.D.Burman, Shankar-Jaikishan, R.D.Burman, M.S.Vishwanathan, Raveendran etc.

But there are two more composers who are not part of this illustrious list but they literally have a Demi-God status, you definitely would have guessed it, they are Ilaiyaraja and A.R.Rahman. Two absolute geniuses who have completely different styles of composing yet they are acknowledged as Legends of our time. Both these have many blogs and websites dedicated to them by their raving fans.

I would like to focus more on the Ilaiyaraja aspect because there are a few blogs that have dissected the works of the Maestro beautifully. These blogs are not only a goldmine for any Ilaiyaraja fan but for any lover of music in the world. They discuss in detail and in simple language, many musical concepts, so that we can appreciate not only Ilaiyaraja’s music but ANY music. They list out and show (backed by perfect examples) how the genius has made innumerable innovations in his monumental 30 year career. It is an astounding read which clearly show that music is indeed a great art, where there are no limits to one’s creativity. These blogs have been written by very knowledgeable people (who have learnt music) who have taken the pains to illustrate how Ilaiyaraja has continuously redefined his music and set new benchmarks. The word “Maestro” is no small word and it is attributed only to a select few like R.D.Burman, Ilaiyaraja and A.R.Rahman. The following are the FANTASTIC, MUST-READ blogs on Ilaiyaraja which any music lover will enjoy. they deserve all the credit for their hard work.

  1. Violin Vicky’s blog
  2. Ravi Natarajan’s blog
  3. As we feel Raja
  4. Ragaranjani
  5. Apoorva Ragam
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Melodious Fast Songs

1 Dec

“Melodious Fast” song is almost like an oxymoron because generally fast songs are not expected to be very melodious but they will be foot tapping and dance-worthy. Indian music especially Tamil music has many fast songs but 90% of them are very noisy and they don’t last long in the minds of the listeners.

Thankfully amidst all this din, there are are many songs which are very peppy and also melodious. Such songs show the true class of the composers because they are not easy to compose because you have to keep the beat pretty fast and yet make it pleasing to listen. Here I am listing some beautiful such songs across languages in random order, read it as Song-Movie-Composer.

  1. Ooru Vittu Ooru Vandhu—Karakaattukkaaran—Ilaiyaraja—A kuthu-like folk in Shanmukhapriya raaga, the charanams are sheer joy with amazing variations by Malaysia Vasudevan, the singer.
  2. Meherbaan—Perummazhakaalam—M.Jayachandran—A Malayalam marriage song, extremely catchy with fantastic harmonium interludes.
  3. Kajraare—Bunty Aur Babli—Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy—A super-hit song, spanning multiple genres.
  4. O Ranga Srilanka—Singaaravelan—Ilaiyaraja—One song to show the modulation abilities of SPB, fabulous stuff.
  5. Kay Sera Sera—Pukar—A.R.Rahman—Begins like a disco song but becomes a mellifluous Hamsadhwani in the charanams.
  6. Prayam Nammil—Niram—Vidyasagar—A song I discovered quite recently, set in Madhyamavathy raaga, sung with gusto by P.Jayachandran & Sujatha especially at the end of the charanams.
  7. Varaaga Nadhikkarai Oram—Sangamam—A.R.Rahman—One of best-sung songs of Shankar Mahadevan.
  8. Peigala Nambaadhey—Mahanadhi—Ilaiyaraja—Set in Jog raaga with awesome ghatam beats and sung well by Kamalahaasan.
  9. Thanni Thotti—Sindhu Bhairavi—Ilaiyaraja—You can’t believe that Yesudas sang this number!
  10. Jogi Mahi—Bachna Ae Haseeno—Vishal & Shekhar—A catchy Punjabi-flavoured number which becomes very melodious in the charanams, Shekhar is indeed a very good singer.
  11. Soona Soona—Classically Mild (album)—Deepak Pandit—This Hindustani-meets-rock song is sung amazingly by Sonu Nigam, who does every possible vocal gymnastics.
  12. Unakkum Enakkum—Sri Raghavendra—Ilaiyaraja—Can a song sound sensual and catchy and melodious too, maybe it can when the Maestro composes! Credit also to Malaysia Vasudevan & S.Janaki, who have sung it brilliantly.

There are many more such songs, have just listed a few of them. These songs are what we call today “fusion music” and many of these have been composed many decades back, only that they were not called as such.