Monday, 9 December 2013

Right or Wrong?

Wrong information, wrong notions, misconception, perception, mindset….
Of late I come across all of these in the social media and needless to say that it leaves me annoyed, perplexed, irritated and even embarrassed. While I do not need to care for such things and can choose to ignore-which is what precisely I do by not commenting or reacting- it does affect me because it is about a thing very close to my heart. Since what is close to my heart needs no further explanation or elucidation, let me move on and share with you some examples of what I have mentioned in the first line of the post.
Wrong information- Giving wrong year of release can be excused and getting the names   of singers can be pardoned. But mentioning the name of Music Director wrong can neither be excused nor pardoned. I had mentioned about this in my post on ‘Thedum deivam’ in this Blog ).
Wrong notions - Recently in a ‘post’ in which musicians who have played in his orchestra were also tagged, it was mentioned by the author that ‘ILaiyaraaja who started his ‘empire’ in 1980 started showing his dominance over the guitar since then.
Two facts are presented wrong here. He started his Empire in May 1976 and had already scored for 100 films by 1980. Secondly, his mastery/artistry of guitar started right from ‘AnnakkiLi’. Wonder if these people would have even listened to the TMS version of ‘AnnakkiLi unnai theduthe’, ‘oru vaanavil pole’, ‘kuiyile kavikkuyile, ‘iyaRkai rathangaLe’, ‘naane naana’, ‘ore naaL unai naan’ just to name a few of the hundreds of songs where guitar spoke in a special language. Even if they have, I doubt if they know these are of course the compositions of the Master!
Misconception- Almost related to this is a comment about one of his songs from a film released during Deepaval-1983. It read ‘His Younger day Music’. I am still scratching my head to find out what exactly is meant by this. Forgetting the grammatical error, what the comment tries to convey is ‘he was still a child in TFM’.  7 years, 200+ movies and still a child? That too in an industry where longevity is short and where many Music Directors haven’t yet crossed the 100 mark? Of course, in all his innocence the gentleman who made this comment would have also thought Raaja sir made his debut only in 1980!
Perception- This varies from his ‘inability’ to score ‘fast-beats’ songs to compositions in Hindutani raags. The latter point was touched upon and explanations with examples were given to break this myth during the Geetanjali-2013 Event but still many(and this includes his ‘fans’ as well as his detractors) continue to believe that he is conversant only with Carnatic Music and WCM.
Mindset- Even people who call themselves as ‘hardcore fans’ say that they do not like his ‘70s music. Maybe this partly answers why some do not even know many of his great compositions and his mastery over guitar. But the funniest part is that these people hardly know many gems of his ‘80s, ‘90s and even the 21st century compositions.
Well, the objective of this post is not to find fault with anyone nor is the intention to make fun of anybody’s ignorance. At the same time, I feel people will have to be extra careful while writing or talking about a legend and as far as possible try to be objective. But this is also too much to expect in these days of ‘google aaya namaha’ and ‘youtube saraNam’ where one just has to type something in the search box and cut and paste what appear(s) on the screen.
While I know I can’t do much about this in this democratic world, I also know that I can spread genuine information and break the myths about the genius by writing more and more about his works.
One of the many rare gems of his is ‘Poo enbatha’ from the unreleased film ‘Uyire unakkaaga’(1984) which of course should not be confused with the 1986 film by the same title, music for which was scored by Lakshmikant-Pyarelal.
The mouthorgan in the beginning sets the tone while the alternate repetition of the same sets of notes-Janaki/mouthorgan, chorus/guitar- shows the innovative brilliance of the composer. The unmistakable shades of Sindhu Bhairavi being shown in the prelude is of course the mark of the Genius!
The repetition mode continues in the Pallavi with the mouthorgan yet again following SPB’s first line.
The mouthorgan makes a brief appearance towards the end of the first interlude but not before, there are question-answer sessions between the chorus and the flute, between the shehnai and the guitar and between the guitar and the flute.
The structure of the CharaNams with three parts- the third part touching the higher octave notes and ending with the humming shows yet again his logical mind.
If the first interlude is interplay of different instruments, the major part of the second interlude uses only the voices. Janaki in upper octave, SPB in lower octave, upper, lower, upper, lower, lower, upper… followed by the chorus. Is this what is called as creative innovation? The Shehnai and the keys then take over the musical romance..
The title of the song is apt. And if people fail to notice the gold and forget to enjoy the fragrance of the flowers, whose loss is it anyway?

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