Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Wind and Music..How beautiful these feel and sound..

It is amazing to know how a particular thing acquires different names depending on the quality/character/circumstance.

Take the seven basic notes for example. Same notes used in different contexts give a totally different flavour. Though my intention is not to get too technical, the notes ‘pa’ ‘dha ‘ and ‘Sa’ are present in both Mohana Ragam and Kamboji Ragam. However, we call the same combination by different names depending on how they are rendered.

Examples galore..

In Tamizh language, the wind has many names.

If it blows from the east, it is ‘KoNdal’ (கொண்டல் ).
If it blows from the west, it is ‘Kodai’(கோடை).
If it is from the north, it is ‘Vaadai’ (வாடை) and when it blows from the south, it is 'Thendral'(தென்றல்).

A hurricane is called as ‘SooRai’ (சூறை) while a snowy breeze is known by the name ‘Oodai’(ஊதை ).

Out of these, 'Oodai' is supposed to be sensual and therefore the union while ‘Vaadai’ kindles the Viraha feeling.

Today’s rare gem is a wonderful mix of both these qualities.

It is ‘Oodai Kaaththu Veesaiyile’ from ‘Gramaththu Athyayam’(1980).

The entire song is an example of how folk tunes can be brilliantly used in films (of course he is a master in this!).

The song starts without a prelude with the melodious voice of Jayachandran. A very simple folk instrument accompanies the voice.We are transported to a beautiful village as Janaki now takes over.

The first interlude is a wonderful combination of folk and western as instruments vie with one another.If the sharp percussion sound gives the rustic flavour, the electronic instruments give the western contours without in anyway spoiling the mood of the song.The interlude ends with a mesmerizing piece.

The charanams are as tender as the ‘Oodai’ and as innocent as the ‘Thendral’.The way the female voice takes over in ‘Naan Ennaththai Seyya..’in the first charanam and ‘Adhai Solladi Pulla’ in the second interlude is wonderful.

The second interlude is a kind of ‘question/answer session’. The playful question and answer takes place between the electronic and bass guitar in the beginning and the flute in the end. In between, we have the santoor acting as the referee.

This is my most favourite interlude and I cannot help now swaying whenever I listen to this.

The third interlude is again different. The Santoor is sensual while the graceful flute is nostalgic and evokes viraha.
‘Oodai’ and ‘Vaadai’.

Wind and Music-How beautiful they sound and feel…


Suresh S said...

Wonderful song selection Raj. And I must thanks you for improving my Tamil. All I knew is all these were synonymous with wind (katru) but the direction matters is something I didn't know :)

It has been a while since I heard this song. As you say, when it comes to folk he is 'Raja'. What a tune and what orchestration !!! Really takes you to the village proper. He was such an asset to the directors of those days as he could enhance the whole atmosphere with his music.

Raj said...

Thanks Suresh!
He is still an asset to all the Directors who trust him..