Monday, 15 February 2010

Music of the Breeze..

P B Shrinivas is a multi- faceted personality.

We all know that he is endowed with a Honey Soaked voice.
But not many people know that he is a linguist. He knows 14 languages.

The surprise does not end here.
He can write poems in all these languages.

Now in his 80s, this gentleman can be seen in all major Sabhas of Chennai like the Music Academy , Narada Gana Sabha etc., during any good music or dance shows.

Until recently his favourite spot was a very popular restaurant in Chennai near the Gemini Fly- over(which has since been demolished) and he could be spotted there almost everyday with sheaves of papers either writing or reading..

His association with Raaja sir is very interesting.

Sometime back in the same thread, I had written about the two hindi songs of NaNdu(1981) penned by PBS.

In 1993, Raaja sir was honuored by the film fraternity for scoring the symphony and this function was attended by a galaxy of stars across India.

The great legend of Indian Cinema Naushad(another poet) spoke about Raaja sir in Urudu and PBS was the translator.

At one point, PBS stopped and gave a perplexed look. Naushad asked him to translate what he said verbatim.

After lot of hesitation, PBS translated it.

‘’ILaiyaraaja has lot of stuff. I will never hesitate to learn many things about music from this gentleman.’’.

Everyone including Raaja sir was stunned.

It is not that PBS did not like what Naushad said. But he thought perhaps Naushad was getting emotional and was being overwhelmed by the occasion.

But Naushad said it was his true feeling coming straight from the heart and that PBS could translate what he said without any hesitation.

PBS and Raaja knew each other even when Raaja sir was GK Venkatesh’s assistant.

He admired Raaja sir’s talent and his quest for innovation.

I still remember him praising the song ‘Naane Naana’(Azhage Unnai Aardhikkiren) in one of the Tamizh magazines.

He has also sang one song in Raaja sir’s music and according to me the song is a marvel.

‘Thendrale Nee Pesu’(KadavuL Amaitha Medai-1979) has the contours of a ghazal.

It is based on Sindhu Bhairavi, a Raaga with many dimensions.Maybe Raaja sir composed it in this Raaga as a fitting tribute to a legend like PBS,who is a multi faceted personality.

The composition starts with the santoor that itself sets the tone for the beauty that is to follow.

The violin orchestra and the flute towards the end of the prelude make us feel the gentle breeze.

The breeze follows us throughout the composition.

Whether it is the lovely Flute or the dulcet violins, the wonderful santoor or the amazing bass work, it is mellowness all the way.

The Sarod in the second interlude plucks the strings of our hearts.

Charanams are constructed with melody as the edifice.

The way notes jump in the last lines of each Charanam is the speciality of the Master.

And the voice of PBS makes us all close our eyes and meditate.

In tamizh, ‘Vaadai’ is the breeze from north and it depicts ‘Viraha’ or separation.
‘Thendral’ is the breeze from the south and this depicts happiness.

In this song, we feel both Vaadai and Thendral.

Yes, it is the Music of the Breeze!


V.P.Jaiganesh said...

very nice song.
lilting melody - the first interlude was typical of the times, the second interlude was more like 80s lude with lot of countrpoints and the bass guitar sets a nice pace for the beautiful melody and the way the phrases are made to end deserves a very particular mention - A forgotten melody and I cannot seem to control the 'and' s when i discuss Raaja and when PBS is also there...
well let me control myself here.
Brilliant writeup .
I am still combing through your older blogs. A real pleasure to read your observations - particularly the way you tie up literature, spirituality and music.

Raj said...

Thanks so much..
I was just now going thru your comments in the TFM page and what a coincidence..
This is what is life!
Coming to think of it,we are all in the same wavelength-the Radio station called 'ILaiyaraaja'.

Thanks once again for your comments in the TFM page and here.
Pl. go thru all my posts in both the blogs and give your feedback!