Thursday, 23 July 2009

Music is Universal..

Music is Universal!

The more I think of music or the more I listen to all forms of music, this phrase keeps coming in my mind and I cannot help it!

Maybe that is the power of Music itself.

Though Raaja sir has melded all major forms of music in many of his compositions, I would like to take up one of the songs today as an example.

It is ‘Eriyile Elantha maram’ from ‘Karai Ellam Shenbagappoo’(1981).

The story was by Sujata and it came as a serial(sorry!not a TV serial) in the Tamizh magazine Ananda Vikatan between 1978 and ’79.

A very interesting fact about this story was that Sujata wrote this after Raaja sir asked him to write something about the folk songs of Tamizh Nadu.

The hero visits a village to research on the folk music.The story takes an interesting twist and becomes a murder mystery.

Sujata in his inimitable style had woven the story interestingly giving a special colour to each colour.

If the case of‘NaNdu’(Sivasankari-Mahendran) was one extreme where the story was changed (rather abridged), ‘Karai Ellam Shenbagappoo’ was another extreme.The Director G N Rangarajan stuck to the story religiously. But he failed to bring out the flavour of each character.

Therefore, it was like a replica but without any life.

For example, Sujatha touched upon the platonic love between the hero and Valli, the village girl in a very subtle poetic way. This was absent in the movie.

Subtle and Poetic?

Are we not expecting too much from Tamizh Cinema Directors?

But, yes, we are fully justified if we expect this from a Genius whose other name is ILaiyaraaja.

And he has never disappointed us.

Though all songs in ‘Karai Ellam Shenbagappoo’ are great, my pick is ‘Eriyile..’
Not without a reason..

The song gives us Carnatic, Western classical, Folk within a matter of seconds.

The notes of this raga form the Major scale in Western music.

The prelude starts with the bass guitar and the chorus voice sings ‘sa ri ga ma pa dha ni Sa’ followed by ‘Thanthana naadeenam Thanthananna’.

Any other proof needed for the universality of music?

And in the hands of the master, the universal music takes a wonderful shape.

The Pallavi gives us all shades of the scale in different octaves.

What does one say about the versatile Janaki amma?

Look at the way she sings like a 12 year old boy..

The interludes are great-as usual -starting with the flute in western style, chorus( in harmony), and the folk instruments in the first interlude, a mini percussion ensemble- called as ‘Tani avarthanam’ in Carnatic Music parlance-in the second interlude show the Emperor of Universal music in full flow.

Eriyilum Karaiilum Shenbagappoo, Isai poo..

(Musical flowers on the Lake and on the banks!)

1 comment:

Praveen said...

This song is amazing in the way harmony and bass are used in a folkish situation. One of my favorites. Thanks for the lovely write-up.