Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rang De Basanthi

Rang De Basanti

This is the 2nd film of director,"Rakesh Mehra", who earlier made Anu Malik to come up with phenomenally different score with his debut "Aks". I still rate Aks as one of the very few best albums of Anu Malik because he gave a very unconventional score, steeped in contemporary-techno sound.I shall cover that album in another post.
For Rang De Basanthi,Rakesh Mehra ropes in Aamir Khan for lead-role,A.R.Rahman for music and Prasoon Joshi (ad-maker) for lyrics.Though the title reflects a period-film-revolutionary feel(bhagath singh song),the film actually is very modern and has lot of hep-look.The music reflects exactly the same.

Ek Onkar-- it is a short song, a punjabi Bhajan infact. just a recitation of some stanzas.
Khalbali-- its a techno great tune...Rahman sings it with two new singers.The song is too repetitive and doesnt boast of any compositional skills.after some time, it simply irritates.

Khoon Chala-Khoon Chala is a short song, but a slow one...sung by Mohit Chauhan, who was the lead singer of the band "Silk-Route". this song begins softly and rahman gives anthemic feel as the song progresses, with his instrumentation.However, the song doesnt linger in your mind for long..

Lalkaar is another short one..but it is not a is a recitation of poetry by Aamir Khan..backed by chorus.

Lukka Chupi--Rahman does the unexpected. He,as a singer, teams up with Lata Mangeshkar.This song is a "mother-son" song.The song has nice guitar strumming..with even the tweaks of guitar. Tune is good. Its typical rahman-experiment..with just one charanam instead of conventional pattern.Nice orchestration..bass-work..tabla and all..everything about this song is good, except the vocals. Since, its mother singing for/with son, probably Lata Mangeshkar suits (picturised on waheeda Rehman) it, but rahman spoilt the song with his vocals.He sounds like Lucky Ali with his terrible nasal twang and overly accentuated Tamil/South-Indian Accent (the way he sings "nayaa nayaa" charanam).Probably the only song of rahman, in which he screwed the song with his own vocals.The ending of the song is interesting though..rahman raises the tempo by classicalisation with swaras and Lata ends it with completion of crescendo.a better song of the album.

Paathshaala--this song has two versions, one of them being a remix.this is ultra-techno-heppy song..which is aimed at discotheques...not a single word is audible clearly during 1st hearing (u will eventually get the lyrics during 2nd or 3rd listening)except "apni tho paathshaala..masti ki paathshaala..."..laced with some people yelling "lose control" and "be a rebel"(in its remix version)...this song might become a rage with going chaps and all..after repeated hearings, even you might hum this tune bcoz its hummable..however, the bottomline is that the song is meaningless and doesnt qualify as a composition..All we need to compose songs like these is a computer with a good music software.

Rang De Basanti title song is typical punjabi bhangra song with techno stuff thrown in, sung by Daler Mehendi.Chitra makes a guest appearance. There is nothing different about this song..same punjabi string sounds..but overlapped on synth sounds.and i dont like those punjabi beats with single string stuff and all..hence, this song didnt appeal to me.

Roobaroo--this song again has simple guitar strumming and very simple tune..this song has lot of Indi-Pop kind of sound...nothing extra-ordinary but you will eventually like this song, compared to all the others in the album...the song at times, reminds you of "Smiyaai" from kandukondein..because of the multiple-vocal effect used for a jingle-like tune..this song again might become a hit because its too simple ..for the college-youth to sing/play with a guitar in hand...

Tu Bin Bathaaye-- This is the only romantic song of this album...the main melody, which is reminiscent of some hindi oldie, keeps playing and slowly instruments are added one by one...Nice rendition by madhushree...Though the tune sounds very simple without many variations,even in charanam(again single charanam only), it has that likeable quality because of that Breezy feeling stamped to it...The last saving grace of the album.

The album is certainly not rahman's one-of-the-best.It reflects his increasing-dependence on technology/computers to compose music and most of the music is synthesised using loops and other effects. except for few guitars and string section in 1-2 songs,i dont see any acoustic stuff at all.It may justify with the theme of the film but it doesnt showcase the compositional genius of Rahman.Given such resources, anyone can experiment with sounds and can come up with a score like this one...Some argue that techno albums cannot be that classy.My example would be "thiruda thiruda"(thee thee theeyani song is still ahead of present-times..its very techno..but laced with wonderful ideas) or even the more recent "Yuva"...

Also, unlike all other rahman albums, here, the soul is missing..there are many albums in which his hard-work is underlined by the raagas used,the innovative ideas interwoven, and the over-all feel he paints to the sound of the album.He infact makes an album into a beautiful pot-pourri of various genres of songs.Rang De Basanti lacks those elements and turns out to be just another techno-album on the block, which may become instant hit during film's release..but would be definitely forgotten 2 years down the lane...
Rahman!Its time for some retrospection.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Of Hindustani

The enlightening discussions by prc and aakarsh on mavericks forced me into thinking(literally!! I had stopped thinking for a while now!) about this...

Hindustani system has a definite signature for each raga, called the raagaanga, and a singer wishing to elaborate on a raga first provides the signature and then launches into in-depth analysis and experimentation on the raga ("Nee RaaNi chacchindi po!" types).

The signatures of some of the very well-known ragas are very very interesting:

ex: Yaman(Kalyani) and Bilawal(Sankarabharanam) have only a difference of madhyamam...

It seems quite obvious that their signatures have madhyamam in the starting phrases as well... but surprise surprise!!

yaman: n3 r2 g3, p--r2 s, m2 d2 n3 d2 p.

bilawal: g3 r2 g3 p, n3 d2 n3 s, d2 n2(uses both n s, n2 optional though) d2 p m1 g3.

In the above example, both m1 and m2 are not exactly necessary for fairly acquainted listeners to identify them as the respective ragas. In fact, just n3-r2-g3 is sufficient to dump a raga into the yaman catalogue.

Also, Todi (Shubhapanthuvarali) needs only 3 swaras as its signature: s-r1->g2->r1-s.
Of course, uccharana is of utmost importance.

The Hindustani system provides ample opportunity for-

1) having more than one raga with the same notes:

ex 1: Bhoopali, Deshkar, Jait Kalyan, and Audav Devgiri (never heard that one!) have same notes but since they have different raagaangas prominent, they sound differently. Since I am only an amateur, I can only guide you where to find the exact solution:

ex 2: just the intonation of the meend from p to r2 differentiates 3 ragas: Chhaaya, goud-sarang, and of course yaman:

2) creating composite ragas, called jod-ragas: Since each raga (well, most!) has its corresponding raagaanga, it is possible to interface two ragas and create a unique phrase for the composite raga borne out of the two parent-ragas. Of course it requires tremendous talent and skill to catch hold of the right parent ragas and the right sewing points-- points where shift of ragas occurs.

ex: Malhar anga is : m1 r2 p
i) malhar anga + Kaanada anga (deergha kampitha g2 m1 r2 s)= miya ki malhar (of course it also has some other ornaments such as both the n s),
ii) malhar anga + nat anga (s r2, r2 g3, g3 m1)= nat-malhar
iii)malhar anga + kedar anga (s m1, m1 p, p d->(m2)->m1, s r2 s) = kedar-malhar

There are more than 25 malhars...

Similarly, nat anga and Kedar anga are very popular and are a part of many jod-ragas.

I wonder if Carnatic music has raga-signatures, or does it leave to the performer on using the notes to create the required bhava. I just know that varnams are used to provide the basic support on what swara-phrases impart that characteristic colour to the raga.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pagal Nilavu-2: Vaidehi Raman

Pagal Nilavu

Analysis is a journey whose beginning is delight and the destination - a delightful revelation. The purpose of analysis is that revelation... a "goosebump"y feeling... which makes life livelier. The song "Vaidehi Raman" from Pagali Nilavu gives me such delight and joy that I'm already jumping in the chair just writing about it. However, some technical issues need to be mentioned upfront if I have to get through the writing and manage to convey some meaning across. In other words, imagine a bee sucking nectar from a blooming flower. The scene does not require a conscious being to think about it to make it beautiful... it is beautiful already... consciousness just recognizes it - but put an observer in the scene and he/she will enjoy the nectar vicariously. I hope the talk on tech issues will serve this purpose - as a conscious observer to be a guide to enjoy the beauty of this song.

Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Da Ni Sa constitute the notes of any melakartha scale (chromatic scale in the Indian system akin to do re mi fa so la ti do in WCM using all seven notes). Each raaga therefore takes different pitches for Ri, Ga, Ma, Dha, Ni to establish its scale (scale only not its essence). Raagam Kalyaani follows the scale - Sa Ri2 Ga3 Ma2 Pa Dha2 Ni3 Sa (refer to Carnatic Ragalist)(in WCM notation, in the scale of C, that translates to - C D E F# G A B C). Sa is called the aadhara shruthi or the root note of a scale (which plays on in the tanpura along with the fifth note Pa and higher octave Sa). From this elementary concept we jump to a relatively advanced idea. If the root note of a scale is changed, for example from C to G or Sa to Pa in the above Kalyaani scale, while still playing the same keys/notes- it sometimes becomes another Raaga (not always the case- in some cases it might not be any raaga at all). That is if the root note is changed from C to G/Sa to Pa (hence making G/Pa the aadhara shruthi or the root droning note but still using the exact same notes of Kalyaani), Kalyaani changes into a different raaga (in this case Shankaraabharanam). In fact, this exercise can be done to each note of a scale to see what raaga results from it. This is called Sruthi bhedam in the classical circle. Kalyaani is one of those wonderful scales which produces a different Melakartha raaga on sruthi bhedam with almost every note. Almost. In fact, Kalyaani (Melakartha number -abbr. as M#- 65); Hari Kambhoji (change shruthi to Ri or D; M# 28); Nata Bhairavi (to Ga/E; M# 20); ( change of shruthi to the 4th note F# or Ma2 does not produce a melakartha raaga); Shankaraabharanam (change to Pa/G; M# 29); Kharaharapriya (change to Dha/A; M# 22); and Hanuma Thodi (Ni/B; M# 08) form this set of raagas which can be derived from each other just by Shruthi Bhedam . With this knowledge let's proceed fearlessly into magical "Vaidehi Raman".

The song Vaidehi Raman is in the scale of D# (also represented as Eb). It just means that the Sa is D#. That's all. We shall talk about the song in the Indian Classical System notation, i.e., sa ri ga etc.

The song begins with the sound of Ghungroo (Gajjalu/dancer's anklets) and Bells/Xylophone leading to an orchestral string section piece. The delight has already begun to take shape. We know here that the harmonically sound piece is pointing to the development of the Raaga Kalyaani. A mridangam solo follows the orchestral piece. This idea of using mridangam next to an orchestral piece might sound ridiculous. But the execution in the song's intro is almost unbelievable. The idea is simple - use the rhythm of the orchestral piece. Follow it and build it up to a crescendo with the Mridangam. The genius is in that simplicity. From melody to rhythm and viceversa. If Kalyani didn't spring up in the mind of the listener yet, IR plays the scale in bells immediately following the mridangam solo. Sa ri ga ma pa da ni sa on bells and then vocals begin "Vaidehi Raaman"... and we definitely know now that it is the blissful Kalyaani beyond all doubt. IR uses all the instruments that are most perfectly suited to bring out the joyous flavor of Kalyaani - Bells and Bass combo, the ecstatic pair of mridangam and tabla, Sitar, Flute, Violin Orchestra, and a female voice! So we bask in Kalyaani's divine beauty and the images of brightly lit huge temple alleys suggest themselves to my mind (I donno how Mani picturized it! never seen the song). A beautiful Kalyaani interlude follows the pallavi on Sitar and flute (mainly) leading to the charanam.

The charanams in this song are goldmines of musical information. The composer takes the leading vocal close to the note "Ni" toward the end of the charanam. Ordinary composers might have left it at that and returned to the pallavi (cuz the beginning note of Pallavi is Sa). But IR, being the maverick he is, uses this as the perfect time to change the sruthi to "Ni". But if you've observed there is no tanpura in the song. He accomplishes this Sruthi Bhedam through the use of Bass guitar and strumming the note Ni (where Janaki sings "ni sa ni ni sa sa").
So the phrases - ni sa ninisa sa - ni sa ri ninisa sa - ni sa ga ri sanidapa dapamapa;
pa da mama pa pa - pa ni damama pa pa - sagama- gamada- madani-danisa-belong to Hanumathodi scale with the Ni of Kalyaani being droned with the Bass (If you look up our Sruthi Bhedam scheme for Kalyaani above you will notice that the scale that is produced by a tonal shift to Ni is Hanuma Thodi. ) Numerous other posts on this blog have devoted themselves to the bass lines in the compositions of IR so there is no need to dwell on that subject anymore. He hints at "Hindolam" by the use of the phrases "gamada-madani-danisa" (hindolam uses the same notes in its scale sa ga ma da ni sa but is not a derivative of Hanumathodi)...and he joins back to the Pallavi via a simple phrase "ni sa ga ri" and a shift to Sa in Kalyaani. The devil of an idea! For an unintiated listener it might definitely sound like voodoo... but we know its only sruthi bhedam. Also the use of hindolam phrases is not an accident. It is a hint that he is going to use hindolam again.

After a single rendition of the pallavi, IR uses an unusual format. Swaras follow the Pallavi. The primary idea he uses to join to the Kalyaani in the second charanam is the use of pentatonics. Or ragas that use only 5 notes. Similar to melakartha ragas sruthi bhedam can also be applied to the pentatonics. Saving you much calculation and trouble, mohanam, hindolam, suddha dhanyasi, suddha saveri, madhyamavathi all form a sruthi bhedam set (all derived from the melakartha ragas mentioned previously). IR touches every one except suddha saveri in this song.

With the swaras they are -
ga ga gaga riri- ga ga gagagaga - ri gapaga ri sa ni sa ni (they still are in Kalyaani , but note the use of the swaras as if deriving a pentatonic from Kalyaani using sa ri ga pa ni which actually is hamsa dhwani but the swaras dont do justice to hamsadhwani) and conecting to a real pentatonic
ma ma mama - saga mamamama - gamadanidamadasama (in Hindolam - by sruthi change to Ni ; as mentioned earlier hindolam shares its notes with hanumathodi)
ga ri ga papapa- magamada (alternating between kalyaani and hindolam)
ga ri ga papapa - ga ma da ni ( " )
sa sasasa- ni ni sa sasasasasa - nisasa nisasa nisasa nisasa nisa nisa nisaga gagasanipa - pa ni sa sasa ni pa ga ( all of this in suddha dhanyaasi - tonal shift to Dha of Kalyaani - suddha dhanyaasi is a derivative of kharaharapriya as expected from the shruthi change to Dha -refer to the list of melakartha ragas mentioned above which are sruthi bhedam partners of kalyani)
sa ri ga papapa ri ga pa da sa gapadasaa (in mohanam - sruthi change to Ri gives HariKambhoji - Mohanam is a derivative of HariKambhoji--- end of story!) And join back to the actual second charanam in Kalyani.

So the movements in the song can be described as going from Sa (Kalyaani) to Ni (Hanumathodi/hindolam) to Dha (Suddhadhanyaasi) to Ri (Mohanam). It is the play with these movements that creates the beautiful effect which is the trademark of this jewel of a song in Kalyaani. All that is left for us is to enjoy the song in the light of this observation opening up a new world of ideas and more joy.

P.S: Apologies for the size of the post. Believe me if I could make it any shorter I would.

--Random Walker.

To add my observations(or to make it more lengthier..):

1.The blend of sitar+violins in the 1st interlude and towards the end of 1st interlude..Intermittent Usage..How to name it?a classical symphony!!!well!Only the Emperor can name it.

2. the Violin pieces used in the charanams are simply master-strokes. A restricted single stroke on violins,after 1st line of charanam adds beauty and what is restricted to a single stroke in those given a freehand to finish the counter melody in the next lines..thats Killer of an Idea..and these are my fav pieces.

3. Not just the beat(mridangam) but even the Sound of it changes as soon as she takes over the swaras from charanam lyrics. infact, he brings in Tabla also which swaps its place with Mridangam and vice-versa..for very short duration that too.

4.There is no 2nd interlude, as Ravi implied...only vocals play with swaras..backed by mridangam+tabla...and he effortlessly pulls into 2nd charanam.

5.I have heard many Kalyanis(classically sounding ones..) of IR and i have observed that, in majority of them, he has used Sitar/Veena.(this discussion will form another post).As far as i remember,the latest "kaatril Varum Geethame" (oru naal oru kanavu) is the only exception.

6.I think this song is the first song of Mani-IR combo which falls in pure-classical category..i mean..a song which has more traditional instruments like Mridangam etc.,.

The song is definitely a mile-stone among IR songs(among his Raagamaalikas too..) and hence, we are compelled to come up with a post this, Blame it on Maestro.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Maniratnam - Ilaiyaraaja....Pagal Nilavu-1

Pagal Nilavu (1985)

Pagal Nilavu is Maniratnam's third film and debut tamil film. Starcast comprised of Revathy,Murali & Sathyaraj. The story was about a Village Dictator, his henchman and a Police Officer & his sister. I read somewhere that this film was a flop but it has got couple of fantastic songs like "poomaalaye", "Vaidehi Raaman" & "Vaaraayo".

In this post, I would like to discuss the song "Poo Maalaye...Thol Seravaa", sung by Janaki & Ilaiyaraaja himself.This song is regarded as one of the best songs of Ilaiyaraaja, for the innovative ideas he has used musically.

The prelude of this song is very interesting. A section of Violins play on , which are overlapped with another section. His facsination for WCM is stamped right from word GO...This string ensemble ends with keyboards with flute which play alternatively and then together, as in a Symphony style.But they are immediately cut by Sitar notes, which are replayed by Flute. The most notable element here is Bass which takes over the background when the flute plays the final lines.The rhythm is on Jazz+Dholak kind of instrument and Janaki starts off the pallavi. When she sings the 1st line for the 2nd time, Ilaiyaraaja cuts in with a different connecting tune in background which comes into foreground as next lines of pallavi.When he sings it in base,she catches the higher scale and vice-versa.and Pallavi ends with a lenghty line as ilaiyaraaja's voice fades into background. Infact, this song catches your attention right in the first hearing because these alternative humming in lower and higher scales sounds interesting.

Another wonderful aspect of this song is the pace. There is hardly any gap between one instrument and another. The instruments take over the interlude, the very moment the pallavi ends.And Ilaiyaraaja's first preference is always String Section.The ensemble of Violins, Cellos and Bass aptly fill that class feel.The flute and guitars play a tune which has nostalgic feel after which the sitars end the interlude.

Here comes the tricky part. The rhythm shifts to a more traditional Tabla and ilaiyaraaja starts off the charanam.After singing the first line once, he repeats it again...but now, it is interspersed with Janaki singing a totally different tune but of same length. Her humming ends with a note on higher scale, which forms the starting note for his next line.This exercise is repeated one more time.The 1st time i heard this part, i was really baffled by the idea as such, given the fact that Ilaiyaraaja conceives the entire score in his mind first.And here, you can virtually see a mixing of vocals in two different tunes.How could he do it? its only a revelation that there is a mixer & sequencer in his mind. Anyways, the following lines highlight the guitars and bass work in the background and the charanam completes in the same the pallavi a complettion of a loop.the tabla piece ends and only here , u get to hear a very small pause in background..before the main rhythm takes up.

The 2nd interlude is not that behind..a guitar melody plays on, which is dominated by Key-board.This sound is very peculiar..i isindeed a peculiar sound to be used in a conventional romantic song because generally this kind of sound is used in comical situations as BGM.The string section plays a very brief piece after which the sitar plays a tune, which is a very fast descent of notes.This piece is immediately (no time gap) hummed by ilaiyaraaja as an initiation for charanam-2.this idea has been used several times by ilaiyaraaja where he signals the listener about the tune you are about to listen, by playing that bit on an instrument just before it is actually sung/hummed.

The 2nd charanam has the same Blending of tunes idea but in role-reversal. Another interesting idea is mxing the last word and first word of lines: "poo maalye thol seravaa." and connecting line is "vaasam oru Poo"..but he connects it as "poo maalaye..thol seravaa..Vaasam oru poomaalaye thol seravaa..".
i dont know if the credit should go to composer or lyricist but definitely Ilaiyaraaja has displayed his compositional skills and more so, the mixing skills by weaving very beautiful musical phrases, which made this song a memorable one, among the best of ilaiyaraaja gems.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Flawless Harmony in his Music.

I came across a nice article on Salil Chaudhary, in today's HINDU newspaper. and thought of sharing it with you. But when we are talking about him, why not remember a nice song as well.

I choose a relatively not-so-famous composition from the Film "Honeymoon". This fantastic song by Mukesh, once again dismisses the myth that mukesh was good only in sad songs. Infact, Salilda was one of the few composers who tapped the other-side of Mukesh.Remember, even in Madhumati, he gave a lilting melody "dil tadap tadap" to mukesh and a SAD song "Toote hue khwaabo ne" to Mohd.Rafi (not to forget, to the same rafi,he gave a comic song "jungle mein mor nacha" the same film..), instead of Mukesh, who already made a mark in singing sad songs.
The song "Mere Khwaabo mein " from this "Honeymoon" has a really peculiar tune. Salilda was famous for composing strange tunes like these, which would baffle the instrumentalists. i mean, if you plot a graph for the tune of this song, it would be an unusual curve, with many uthar-chadaos. The Salilda song we discussed last time ," aansoo samajh ke" from Chaaya, also has similar property. At the first earing, you cannot understand where he is starting and where he is heading to. The very prelude displays his fascination for WCM. And he restricted Lata only to a brief humming during interludes.
My favourite part lies in the 2nd line of the Pallavi (the tune of which repeats in the endings of charanams as well). the line " ek din meet mere...meri gali aap chale aayenge" is the crux, according to me. the words "ek din meet mere" is sung in base while "mere gali " is given a lift and the words "chale aayenge" have an unconventional end-up tune. if..suddenly he switched over to a black-key, after many white-keys..on a key-board. I am not knowledgeable to explain what he did..but i can feel the change he brings out during those last two is quite unusual and only Salil-da could walk away with such different strokes. and Mukesh too did 100% justice to that composition. i have tried singing it and myself felt "what an odd composition"!
anyways, let me not write too much that you guys forget reading that article. Just play on and Read on, remembering the Genius of Salil Chaudhary.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Main Dil hoon ek armaan bharaa...


This film belongs to 50s era. One of my most favourite songs of composer Roshan, is in this film. The song,"Main Dil Hoon ek Armaan Bharaa" , has been a favourite of mine since i was a kid. I dont know how my Dad got this lesser-known song but all i remember is that sony tape..which had a vinyl record version of this song.

Roshan was, perhaps, one genius of composer who was overshadowed by icons like Naushad,S.D.Burman,O.P.Nayyar,Salil Chaudhary etc.,. though his compositions were very popular, his name was never considered among the likes of these Dhiggajaas. One reason could be that there was never a Roshan-Style. Though he created marvelous gems, they were all different and didnt follow any particular trait of the composer. For some, it is versatality while for others, its lack of signature...whatever! its all perception. For me, he was one of the most fantastic composers of yester-years. This song by Silkvoiced Talat Mahmood underlines his genius.

main dil hoon ek armaan bharaa..
tu aake mujhe pehchaan zaraa..

khud maine husn ke haathon mein..
shaukheen kaa chalakataa jaam diyaa..
gaalon ko gulaabon kaa ruthbaa..
kaliyon ko labon kaa naam diyaaaa..
khon ko diyaa saagar gaharaa..
tu aake mujhe pehchaan zaraa..

ye sach hain teri mehfil mein..
mere afsaane kuchh bhi nahee..
par dil ki daulat ke aage..
duniyaa ke khazaane kuchh bhi nahee..
yun mujhse nigaahon ko naa churaa..
tu aake mujhe pehchaan zaraa..
Main dil hoon ek armaan bharaa..

Nice lyrics there, by an unknown Satyendra.

Roshan comes up with wonderful piano-work aptly backing a heart-touching Tune which forms the melody of the song. the entire song is carried only on the piano primarily.beautiful notes.Not to forget the most appropriate rendition by the fitting singer Talat. Tunes like these have left the world of indian film music long ago. Now and then, when i dig out some or rewind(and thereby remind) back to listen to them, apart from nostalgia, i feel the loss of such fine melody in today's music. and ofcourse,the dearth..or infact the absence of composers like Roshan too...
If only they and those times come back...thats what i wish..."main dil hoon ek Armaan bharaa".

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pallavi-Anupallavi Part-3

No Discussion about Ilaiyaraaja's music is complete without talking about his Bass-work. And there is no composer who can write tricky Bass notes like the way he does. If you follow the bass-work in his songs, it will take you to a different world, as Ravi mentioned in the previous post.And needless to say that Bach keeps popping up now and then.

The third/last song from Pallavi Anupallavi, "Nagu Enthidhey" needs as much discussion as the previous songs did. i can use only one word to describe this song. It is "Stylish", in genre.i mean, its not down-to-earth kind...but has quite sophisticated feel to it, be it the tune of pallavi or that of charanams.somehow, i am led to believe that this is Raag "Nata-Bhairavi"(for it sounds similar and also, IR composed 2-3 Natabhairavi's which sound similarly styish). but experts, plzz clarify.

But, first, take my observation: All the songs(taken for discussion) of this film have lengthy and wonderful Preludes. I may not be wrong to say that they themselves are enough to give a glimpse of what this man is capable of. this song ,"Nagu Enthidhey" does just that.

Prelude: it starts with key-board Santoor-ish sound coupled with Bass on a higher scale. we have, basically 2 lines...which repeated again...making it four, before the rhythm is introduced. and the end of first line & third line here is highlighted by a single note of Flute, which joins the bass. and for that last note, the santoor-ish sound is missing. then, when the rhythm is introduced, only Flute & Bass take over. Do listen to the bass-work carefully, it is more split while the flute flows(Its Bach again). When the flute piece ends, string section takes two sections infact. One which scales from low notes to higher ones and the other which takes the exactly opposite direction. and even when the string section concludes the prelude, the bass work does its part by drawing your attention towards it.This idea has been used many times, in many songs. Now you know why actor Kamal Haasan said, " people call him Isai-Gnani(scholar of music) while i think he should be called "Isai-Vignani(scientist of music)".

Janaki sings the first line. quite alright. Now, she repeats it..and violin counter-melody fills in the background. he doesnt believe in unidimensional compositions i think. and then, as if thats not enough, just as that line ends, the bass-volume if its saying ,"even i am here.."..which continues as the 2nd line progresses..after which it completes its loop. Observe the bass structure.Amazing & Unconventional. also, when she starts singing, some electronic sound constantly plays in the background..which comes to the forefront (along with bass) only after that 2nd line. How can he write all these things in one-go?

The first interlude: i like the way it starts..two sections...the 2nd following the first one. the bass work, till the string section finishes its part is again captivating ( IR<=>Bach).the oboe kind of sound, having a dialogue with guitar is probably to suit the picturisation. one interesting combination of instruments follow here...Flute has a dialogue with violin section (now this is fusion), while bass and Ek-taara(how weird to use it here) complement in the background. totally diverse instruments..but playing together to create a wonderful effect. thats Raaja.

Charanam: i love the timing where he starts the percussion(exactly after 1st two words). the extra-ordinary guitar work in the background supports main melody very well, (the 1st two lines of charanam have that stylish feel..even in rendition too..). and from the 3rd lines, the same violin counter-melody starts off in the background (salil chaudhary here..). The charanam ends with his usual trade-mark loop-ends..on jazz kit and bass/electronica.

2nd interlude: this has a brief aalaap, which tends to take pathos-feel at the end(raaga change)..after which violins play over to teh scale given by Bell-like sound.. i think this song is more situatonal, which IR must have depicted through these sudden changes.

the 2nd charanam is similar to first one. but the counter-melody of violins which start half-way trhough the 2nd charanam seamlessly continue into the pallavi repetition till the end of the song.

Maniratnam, as i said before, has struck great chord(s) with IR right in the first film, which made him repeat him in all the subsequent films. But i still wonder why the music of all other films have gained much more recognition than Pallavi-Anupallavi, which is equally phenomenal.

Anyways, we now give in for some other posts, after which , the next film "pagal Nilavu" would be discussed. Ideally, the next film should be "Onaru" but the soundtrack of this film is rare and unavailable. I heard that it has only 2 songs which are extremely good but...could never get them.So, shall skip it and write about "Pagal Nilavu" sometime soon.Meanwhile Digest this one.

If one (fantastic)song of IR can take so much to write, then what would it take to cover all his fantastic compositions, given the fact that his work is highly prolific.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


IR worships Thyagaraja. Idolizes Bach. Is enslaved by the compositions of Mozart and Beethoven. Let me dispel any doubts that you may have regarding IR's inspirations through "Naguva Nayana" from Pallavi Anupallavi. This one showing the connection between IR and Bach. (If we are lucky we'll get to his other inspirations soon)

Listen (and very keenly so) to the beginning of the song. Janaki (pronounced Jana'gee' ;)) hums the tune to chords played on the guitar. After a successful digestion of that tune, remember J.S. Bach's "Bourree" (everyone knows this piece - one only has to hear it to remember). I believe Bourree (go to the link and search for the name) has inspired IR so much that I find traces of it in almost all my fav songs of his. Compare the lines of main voice with those of bass in the beginning lines of "Aakasam enatidho" from Nireekshana; "Ennulle Ennulle" from Valli - to illustrate, the main voice's notes are played in the reverse order for the bass--ah! the genius of Bach. The beginning notes are all the same as that for Bourree but the time values are different.
Then SPB sings/hums the second part of the tune. Then a small silence- a rest (read 'arrest'). A full blown orchestra follows. To understand the Bach connection one has to listen to the bass lines (remember this mantra!). Each instrument's notes in this beginning orchestral piece can be separated and played as a distinct musical piece in itself. Not a big deal right? Wrong. To be able to conceive four distinct tunes (and in this case with different timing) and mesh them together in the mind is nothing short of mindblowing. The only connection between them is they are all harmonic siblings. A trait J.S. Bach nurtured to its pinnacle which IR embraced and preserved. The leading violins are complemented by a second set of violins (requires some selective hearing). There is a bass following in it's own time scheme (like 1234-1234-12345678). And you will have no doubt that each of them can be a main voice in itself. OK that's just the stuff even before the song has actually started (atleast for most people).

SPB starts the part that Janaki hummed and Janaki sings the part that SPB hummed in the prelude. This is the acid test for Bach's influence on IR. In Bach's canons - instruments change their roles from main voices to supporting ones. Tunes complement each other. It's so symmetric that if you write down the notes and code it into a different alien language and give it to an intelligent decoder, he might not be able to come up with Bach's canon- but he would have definitely decoded a beautiful theorem on symmetry. In fact, Bach's Crab Canon is the nth orbital state a musical piece can achieve in symmetry and beauty. The simple switching of voices by IR is an illustration that the seeds of his musical thoughts were planted by Bach (for an unbelievable discussion on symmetry in Bach's music read Douglas Hofstadter's "Godel, Escher, Bach - The eternal golden braid").

In the interlude that follows, IR takes you from Germany to Mohana with such flair that one might wonder how a geographical location could end up in a raga? The charanams are similar in format. Mohana ending with a touch of kalyani. This song has such an evolution in its development and concept! He starts with harmony and ends up in melody. He starts with a few notes well placed with respect to other notes, and goes to touching a classical raga (if you have to name five most important ragas in carnatic I bet Kalyani will be one of them in the list).

A final note on the ending. The humming of SPB is hemmed by a faster one by Janaki. This is another of Bach's ideas. The main voice complemented by bass or other voice lines are used in recursively evolving ways. One of such ways is to separate the main voice lines and the complementing voice lines by a specific time gap. And second, using the secondary lines in a faster pace, both of which are employed to finish the song. Does one need to say more?

I hope we can get to Thyagaraja very soon. The next post will about "Nagu enthithe" (hopefully by Aakarsh).

- Ravi Chandra (randomwalker)

And to add my part :

This tune is being used as the theme music(or Logo-music) for the brand "Tata-Idea cellular". i am not sure if they have paid any royalty to IR but i learnt that the CEO of "LOWE", (one of the top ad-agencies in the country), Balakrishnan or "Balki' -as he is famously known, uses/used many IR tunes for his Jingles. When enquired, he confessed to be a very big die-hard fan of IR.( see this page) So, next time if u see a IR tune in a jingle, remember, its by Balki.


Ilaiyaraaja-Maniratnam : Pallavi Anupallavi-1

Pallavi Anupallavi

About the film:

Maniratnam set the ball (or his reel) rolling with Kannada film Pallavi Anupallavi, in the year 1983. Anil Kapoor played the lead role. With great difficulty, maniratnam managed to persuade the already established film-maker,Balu Mahendra, to handle the camera-work. BM was apprehensive about working with a newbie(with no prior tryst with Cinema), that too,a management graduate from the prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Inst of Management studies, Mumbai. But, Maniratnam's zeal & screenplay compelled him to shoot the film. Maniratnam recollects in reference to his business school background,"When I started `Pallavi Anupallavi,' I had flow charts, budgets and cash flows all written up, One week later, I tore it all apart".
The story is interesting too. Lakshmi's husband,an estate manager, deserts her, unable to face her, when she finds him with another woman.that forms the pallavi i suppose. Anupallavi is when Anil kapoor, a young man, visits a neighbouring estate, for work, and meets her. a friendship is born between them, which is mistaken by people, including his girl friend. I heard that the focus of the story is more on the relationship between the young man and the middle-aged lady. whatever! this film was dubbed into telugu & tamil also, the soundtracks of which are not available anywhere. i watched the songs on E-Tv, which have typical Maniratnam picturisation.

Maniratnam got Ilaiyaraaja,who was already a phenomenon, to score the music. And together, they just nailed it right! mani couldnt ask for more, for ilaiyaraaja came up with fantastic numbers, though, the score didnt become very popular in tamil/telugu circles. Many believe that mani-IR combo began to excel from mounaraagam, which i completely disagree. In my opinion, every film had a different touch and the first film is no exception. The album has 4 songs, of which, i will be writing about 3 songs(the 4th one is ignorable).

I wish start my discussion with the song, "hrudhaya Rangoli".
Situation: picturised on anil kapoor's girl friend, after she mistakes him & lakshmi.

The song begins with heavy violins, in two sets..the 2nd one starts after 1st is reaching lower note. they end with piano backed by violins again..with cello work. The flute followed by violins... this brief prelude itself is very ilaiyaraaja-ish.very majestic entry.S.P.Sailaja starts off in a sad mood. the tune is closer to hindhusthani style, including the rhythm part on tabla. its classy no doubt, but what i like is the piano keys when she sings the word "manadhale"..he starts a piano loop exactly at the end of that word, the loop continues till "nauvondhu thanthu" and the last note of piano ends exactly after the last syllable of "thanthu" has been sung. i mean, the over-all placing of those set of piano-notes...i was floored when i heard for the 1st time.

The 1st interlude opens with flute and guitar strumming, giving way for violins..which play along with flute..but in different tune, reaching a high note. the electronic passage in between, connecting to charanam is his signature ofcourse. Charanam starts with same rhythm again, on tabla, which is S.D.Burmansque..i like the violin counter-melody which takes off when she sings the words "valumeyanu meetidhey" and "kanasugala thumbidhey"..and then..the violins play as counterpart to her rendition, while she scales to higher notes. here, somehow i am led to believe that S.D.Burman's high-pitched"chupke chupke" hovered in some corner of IR's mind.

The 2nd interlude is very heavy and tedious. Major part is played on sitar & veena with repetitive notes, thus testing the skill of the player (btw, do u know: Veena Gayathri used to play for IR). after touching high notes, exploring the raaga, the tune comes down and IR weaves his piano chords. same notes..played again and again..overlapped by a melody on string section. 2nd charanam has same ideas, same counter-melody..which acts like counterpoint..till she reaches high note of the song.

By all counts, the composition is very mature and difficult to perform kind. should we clap for maniratnam,for extracting such a song from IR or for IR,for dishing out such a wonderfully orchestrated song,which, unfortunately didnt get the applause it deserved.

Other songs of pallavi anupallavi : to be continued...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fantastic Combinations : Ilaiyaraaja-Maniratnam - A Intro...

I have been planning a series of write-ups on various terrific combinations, which produced phenomenal music scores in Indian cinema. And my eye was on the composers/film-makers/lyricists/singers of Yester-era, like “Naushad-Mehboob Khan” or “Naushad-Shakheel Badayuni” or “Madan Mohan-Rajinder Kishen” or “O.P.Nayyar-Asha Bhonsle” etc.,. but the output of such combinations was so prolific that it will take ages for me to track down the gems and write about them. However, I haven’t discarded the idea yet. I just need more time to probe more & collect interesting snippets, which is a continuous process ofcourse.
Even down south, there are such wonderful combinations, like “Ghantasala-Vijaya Productions”, “Rajeswara Rao-Pendyala”, or even Ilaiyaraaja’s films with Balu mahendra, Mahendran(tamil director), K.Balachander etc.,.

Only yesterday, it occurred to me that a comprehensive set of posts, as in a thread, could be posted about the fantastic combination “Maniratnam-Ilaiyaraaja”. This is one combination, in south-indian films, which gave some fantastic songs, in each and every film they collaborated.
When I shared this idea with Ravi, he green-signalled to come up with combined-write-ups ie.,. both of us would be adding our part to each post. Also, each post can be about a complete film or could be restricted to a single song alone. This is because the output of this combination is a phenomenal one and there are many songs, which deserve a detailed write-up individually. We hope to take up discussions on Background scores too, for Ilaiyaraaja is a king when it comes to background score. However, it wouldn’t take ages to complete this series as myself and ravi are geared-up, to make this blog more active, by writing more frequently.

So, before we shoot the first post, let me trace back the filmography of this brilliant combination. There are ten films which Ilaiyaraaja did with Maniratnam.

1.Pallavi Anu Pallavi(*ing: Anil kapoor,lakshmi)
2.Onaru(*ing: Mohanlal)
3.Pagal Nilavu(*ing: Revathy,Murali)
4.Idhaya Kovil(*ing: Mohan)
5.Mouna Raagam(*ing: Mohan, Revathy,Karthik)
6.Naayakan(*ing: Kamal Haasan)
7.Agni Nakshthram(*ing: Prabhu,Karthik,Amala)
8.Geethanjali(*ing: Nagarjuna,Girija)
9.Anjali(*ing: Raghuvaran,Revathy,kids)
10.Thalapathi(*ing: Rajnikanth,Mammootty,Shobana,Arvind Swamy,Bhanupriya)

The next post, on the music of “pallavi anu-pallavi”, will be up shortly. Do peep in.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Naushad still lives

Album: Taj Mahal (2005)

Singers: Hariharan, Preeti Uttam, Kavita Subrahmanyam
Lyrics: Naqsh Lyallpuri, Syed Gulrez

I have no idea how they convinced the maestro to let Preeti Uttam sing for him. Her deadpan style, reminescent of the drab "light music" shows on Doordarshan, succeeds in only one thing - reminding us that Mumtaz is dead. Of course, Hariharan more than makes up for her."Apni Zulfein", "Dilruba Dilruba" and "Mumtaz Tujhe Dekha" are in my opinion the pick of the album (see optional tracks below).

"Apni Zulfein" is a ghazal in the truest sense, with simple, gentle and subtle lyrics, and a leisurely, masterful rendering by Hariharan (except when he says "ghumaan" with a strong G). The track leading to it is also simple and beautiful (the symphonic aspects of which the more qualified members of this blog can elaborate on), and the song carries all the majesty of a past era.

"Dilruba" is (unfortunately) a duet. Preeti Uttam shows up like somebody shanghaied out of a disco to sing sweet ballads. But the background score is the saving grace of this track. The "Allah, Allah" chant gives one goose-bumps, and the supporting instruments effortlessly create the imagery of long camel-back caravans in the desert. The lyrics are otherwise pedestrian.

"Mumtaz Tujhe" again belongs to Hariharan. Composed in the Hindustani equivalent of Kaamavardhini (I think, please correct me if I'm wrong), it begins where "Dilruba" ends, with a simple avarohana. Haunting (despite Preeti Uttam) and, once again, leisurely in its stately exploration of a bereaved romantic's heart, it effectively makes a statement for the listener trying to re-capture the glory of a bygone time:
"Phir aaj ki aankhon se guzra huaa kal dekha."

Optional tracks:
"Tareef-e-Meena Baazar" is somewhat interesting, especially for a lovely saarangi piece.
"Taj Mahal": Theme for the movie, borrows from "Dilruba" and "Mumtaz". Feels kind of reduntant.
"Yeh Kaun": Ajoy Chakraborty's very laborious attempt at reviving something of what Ustad Bade did for Mughale-Azam. Features more heavy breathing than music.
"Ishq ki Daastaan": A very lack-lustre qawwali. Preeti Uttam sounds like a dancing troupe lead and Mrs. Subrahmanyam like she'd rather be somewhere else.

Naushad's command over music still seeps through, though a little anachronistic, which I believe is expressed in the sentiment of "Mumtaz tujhe". In all, the album is worth a visit, if just to pay a tribute to the legend that is Naushad; just to think about a man who directed the likes of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan; whose ethereal tunes make jokers of today's Ismail Durbars and others with delusions of grandeur.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

An unedited discussion on Tam Tana

Thanks are due to Sketchy AKA Chandu for hosting the song.

Kottha Jeevithalu: All I know about this movie is that it was made by Bharatirajaa and Ilaiyaraja scored music for it. I guess it’s a remake or dub of the Tamil movie “Pudhiya Vaarpugal” from preliminary searches on the web. From the start to the finish this song is packed with elements of interest for every kind of listener (to listen to the song go to the post below by Sketchy). We’ll look at it from a composition POV.
The voices: Chimes, veena, tabla, chorus, bass guitar, chamber and vocals with touches of mridangam. The beginning of the song might as well have been the ending, but IR uses it to build up ‘tension’ right from the word go. Shanmukhapriya is established right by the time the intro finishes. The “Tam Tana” chorus starts after a very brief and effective use of silence, and the chorus in the intro also ends with a brief silence before the song begins (symmetry). The main tune starts as a further improvement of the already established intro. Prominently visible additions are a bass guitar backing and a mridangam touch. Bass embellishments for the lines fall exactly at the ½ beat before the count.

One of the interesting elements is the Tala scheme. If you start counting from the beginning (assuming it is adi tala or 8 beat cycle) the song’s pallavi starts exactly in the middle of the tala (precisely the 5th beat) and each line takes up exactly 12 beats. Which makes one wonder if the tala scheme is indeed 12. But wait till the first interlude – it has 8 cycles of 8 beats which is 64 (64 is indivisible by 12). Mm hmm. So if you start to count the total number of 8 beat cycles for the song – it is 50 (which is a space of 400 (=50*8) individual beats). Which are divided as Intro (7 ½ cycles = 60), Pallavi (5 ½ cycles = 44), Interlude 1 (8 cycles = 64) Charanam 1 (8 ½ cycles = 68) Interlude 2 ( 8 ½ cycles = 68) Charanam 2 (7 cycles = 56) and pallavi repeat to ending (5 cycles = 40) (which is 60+44+64+68+68+56+40 = 400). This 400 number of beats therefore cannot be a 12 beat cycle (12 doesn’t divide 400). So it is an eight beat cycle tala but the division of each part of the composition follows a different order. This opens a whole set of possibilities with the 8 beat cycle (lyrics need not start or end on the exact starting of the count – but the song should).

That aside, at every moment in the composition there is a carnatic classical-influenced element and a western classical-influenced element in almost equal proportion. To elucidate, the tune in general is in the shanmukha priya scale (although this must not be confused with shanmukhapriya raga itself – think of it like lego blocks to make up your dream (kiddy) home – just the lego blocks don’t give you the exact feel of the structure – one has to add cornices, friezes, etc to give it the aesthetically pleasing look – IR however manages to sketch some of broader ideas of the raga through this song) and the harmony part of the song is in the western classical mode (you might say what’s so great about this? every other Indian movie song follows and takes elements from a variety of systems – the answer lies in how much justice the composer does to both the systems – what I am driving at is the transition from one system to the other system is completely fluid not discrete which cannot be said for a lot of other south Indian composers) the tabla and mridangam do both Indian and Western beat patterns, there is a brush kit involved somewhere all merged smoothly.

Another blog can be started just to describe the usage of harmonical elements in the song. All I will say here is that the way the bass lines are laid with respect to the song lines, change their character as being supportive to both the Indian classical as well as the western classical elements of the song. One superb feature which is probably IRs pet subject is Sruthi Bhedam. He uses the idea in the second interlude before the second charanam. Shanmukha priya becomes dhenuka if the sruthi is changed to pa. By leaving some swaras, and application of proper gamakas, one could get gambheera nattai/nata (to be technically correct it is the janya of Chala Nata) which occurs in the interlude for a very brief period of time and is used to brilliant effect.

After all this, the song ends after the 400th count. Just as a reminder to folks that count and bash your head any way you like its still an 8 beat cycle…

tam tana tam tana by illayaraja

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Unsung Maverick - Prem Joshua.

One year ago, i was watching NDTV news after having dinner. As the bulletin was about to finish, they showed a newsbit about the release of a new album "YATRI" by Prem Joshua. At the first glance, i was curoius because the man there appeared to be a foreigner but was playing Sitar. And the pieces he played were amazing. It did (infact he did..) register in my brain.

15 days later, i was at sangeet sagar, secunderabad. Again, for the nth time, i was in the same position of breaking the resolution(everytime i enter a music/book shoppe, i resolve that i wouldnt buy anything..but eventually..i could never come out empty-handed..). By sheer trial, i bought Prem Joshua's "Secret of The Wind". And when i played it at home, i liked it immensely. I was more surprised/shocked because Prem Joshua is a foreigner and his compositions have their roots in Hindustani Classical Music.

Background : A german( i think..) by origin, he was an instrumentalist with many jazz/rock-bands. After his teens, he began to search for his own spiritual & musical roots. By sheer chance, one day, He came across a Record of Pt.Ravi Shankar's sitar concert and the next thing on his mind was Destination India. Since then, he's been in India, studying/performing Indian Classical music. Learnt sitar under Ustad Usman Khan. There were Occassions when Pt.Ravi Shankar himself graced Joshua's concerts and blessed him. He plays a variety of instruments like Sitar, Saxophones, Bamboo Flutes, Santoor, Harp, Dilruba and few percussion instruments. He is into spirituality & meditation. Dedicates all albums to Osho.

Later on , i bought another album " Mudra", which had lounge music feel. Then, One evening, i went to Music world. i found 2 albums by Joshua there,each costing 95 bucks. unfortunately, i had only 100 bucks in my pocket though i wanted both the tapes.after much dilemma, i choose one and landed at the counter to pay the bill. there i saw a poster which read , " Special Offer- Buy 2 Music-today albums..for the price of one" ( i told u right..when it comes to good music...i have been fortunate ..). i ran across the showroom and got the other one too. Both the albums " Desert Visions" & "Humsafar" were fantastic. Later on i bought his other albums " Tales of A Dancing River", " Sky kisses the Earth"(lounge music again), " Water Down The Ganges" , and got "Yatri" burnt on CD.

After listening to all his compositions, i still cannot understand why he is not that famous among the fusion artists. Though he is quite popular in the north, people down south hardly know him or his compositions.Though many composers have liberally lifted( or cut-copy-pasted) some of his tracks,( The sitar piece in "hare krishna" song from Mani Sharma's Okkadu is pasted from a joshua's is not even a lift..but it is copy-paste..) many of his albums lie unsold here in hyderabad. i could procure eight albums of Joshua. And the remaining ones and unavailable here.

Though he draws the roots from Hindustani Classical Music, Fusion is his style. And in few albums, he ventured into Lounge/Trance kind of music (sky kisses earth/mudra/dance of shakti etc..,.). i would love to buy his entire collection (CDs..not even Tapes) because he has got his own unique style...of composition..and even his own unique sound, which is marvellous. i would rate him far ahead of Indian Ocean and i wont be surprised if anyday, he collaborates with Shakti (Zakir Hussain, McLaughin & co. ).

I have just noticed that a couple of his albums are hosted by MIO. I would suggest the very first album i heard "Secret of The Wind". The compositions which enthralled me are : New Kafi, East Wind(chalanaata), Kites, From Across The Water, etc.,. just play on while u r working or relaxing..and i am sure u too will start buying his music...just like me. And mind you, he being a foreigner could compose(and even Play) these fantastic albums, while the youth today in our country swoon to 3rd rate remixes. Thats our shame.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New contributor

Hey!, how come no one is attempting to answer the quiz..c'mon guys! try ..

and welcome to the new contributor Smt.Padmasani.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rare Shyaam Kalyan

Though the Quiz-1 is still on (assuming that rest of the guys didnt visit the blog yet...), i couldnt contain my enthusiasm to continue.

Today, i was casually browsing through and in the page , i came across this song "yun neend se" from the film Dard Ka rishta. The music is composed by R.D.Burman. though i have a decent collection of R.D.Burman songs, i never knew about this song before and was pleasantly surprised at the beauty of this song. R.D used raag "shyaam Kalyaan" in this song and the dominant features which give the classical effect are :

1.his tune basically. brilliant tune.
2. Kishore.
3. Tabla ( typical Burmansque style)

Kishore Kumar once again..or as always, excelled in the rendition. And R.D has used his typical violin-section+sitar interludes backed by fantastic Tabla. After the 1st line of charanam, he uses a flute aalaap (with single rhythm of tabla), which i liked a lot. he doesnt repeat the same idea during 2nd charanam. actually the interludes are quite short. But the role of tabla is not restricted to interlude or charanam alone. Even in pallavi, he changes the taala.

another interesting aspect is the counter-melody on violins. during pallavi,the violins counter-melody start at the words "jaane chaman" and they take a different ascent while kishore classicalises the tune.Even as the charanams end,the last lines, which are in the the tune of pallavi, have the same counter-melody structure, which speaks the composer's genius.
Awesome composition plus Awesome rendition, makes this song the most-wanted for me. Unfortunately, only half of the song is available there. i guess there is one more charanam , because the song here fades out with tar-shehnai piece.

Now the purpose of posting this blog : I Want this song. Complete Song. Anyone???

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quiz-1- Answer

In the post-independence era, Name the first Indian Motion-picture Soundtrack (including songs and Background Score),which was played/aired on BBC Radio,London. What was the speciality of this soundtrack? try your guesses, fairly. and yes, it is implied that you need to crack the name of the composer too.. good luck.


The film is Aan (released in 1952), directed by Mehboob Khan.
Composer is Naushad Ali.
Speciality of the Background score : Symphony by Naushad.

(chandhu! U came close..but missed the film-name. It was Naushad and Mehboob Khan combination, but not Mother India.)

A month ago, i happen to watch a programme on TV, on Maestro Naushad and was surprised to know some snippets. Aan's soundtrack being the first-one being played on BBC, was one such snippet. They showed a clipping from the film which had phenomenal background music.

Aan also happens to be the 1st colour(technicolour) film of India.

Also, i found this in the internet -->
Speaking of Aan, Naushad says “I created a symphony for Aan on stage with a hundred musicians. I had a special tent... made of blankets... on the surface, I laid out coir carpets, so that the sound wouldn't echo. The final recording was done in London. We worked day in and day out for three months. We were under enormous pressure when we received news that the Liberty cinema in Bombay would open with this film. People slept for days outside the theatre to book tickets in advance. My symphony was widely appreciated in Britain, it was played on BBC. Orson Welles who was busy with his Othello also happened to see the rushes of Aan and loved the music.”

The extravagant opulence of the sets, the spectacular visuals and the universal appeal of good triumphing over evil propelled Aan to elicit notice even beyond Indian frontiers. Edited to 129 minutes, it was released all over Europe, titled ‘Mangala, the Rose of India’. The enchanting epic prompted Cecil B. Demille write to Mehboob Khan, “I found it an important piece of work, not only because I enjoyed it but also because it shows the tremendous potential of Indian motion pictures for securing world markets. I believe it is quite possible to make pictures in your great country which will be understood and enjoyed by all nations and without sacrificing the culture and customs of India. We look forward to the day when you will be regular contributors to our screen fare with many fine stories bringing the romance and magic of India.”

Thursday, October 06, 2005

By Chance...

"If you are passionate about something, luck is always beside you"--said one wise man. i dont know about the merit of this statement, but it holds completely true, when it comes to music & me.

i have had innumerable experiences when i could get some brilliant music, by sheer chance or luck, without any effort. take this--> tired of studying for long-time ( which means 1 hr, in my dictionary), i switch on the TV @ 1:15am and i get to listen to a brilliant tamil song of ilaiyaraaja. (this happened hundreds of times).
or this--> i was fortunate to grab the last piece of Thiruvasakam, before it got sold out.
well, i cant remember many..but i am quite convinced that some force has always been/is/will be (hopefully) guiding me towards avenues where i can collect some nice music.

today i had an unsual encounter with some long-awaited music. i was casually browsing through many links & chanced upon a site where this much-awaited album had been put up for sale. i was shocked, in disbelief..because the album hasnt been released in the market yet. and to my surprise, it was there, not only for sale, but also for online-listening. within a second, i started playing each of the songs & realized that they are indeed from that album.
but the twist in the tale came 2 hours later. that album had been pulled out of that web-page. i think they put it up only for some testing-purpose.and i am sure they are going to put it up back there , once the date of audio-release is out. now, if you are wondering which album it, let me break it.

The album : "Water", a film directed by Deepa Mehta
Music : A.R.Rahman.

And this is the chance-link for the audio-files.

I did have quite some expectations from this album because Deepa Mehta did extract some fantastic music from rahman for her previous film 1947-Earth. Also, rahman himself said long ago ( the music was composed/recorded during 1999-2000) that he moved out from the commercial-clutches to compose music for this, before you shoot your questions, let me write what i felt after listening to the album. in one statement, i think what he said was right. the albums sounds as if its a shyam Benegal film( arty-kind) .

the album has 5 compositions of rahman plus one more song, "vaishnava janatho".All the songs have minimal usage of instruments. and the tunes are such that you cannot even believe that they have been composed by a guy from south-india(given the fact that rahman usually blends all flavours). My picks are two songs sung by a female (i dont know whose voice it was..but i have often noticed that rahman seems to reserve the best songs for female it harini or sadhana sargam or sujatha bhattacharya-tehzeeb or reena bharadwaj-yeh rishta kya kehlaatha hai...& many more).

"Naina Neer Bahaaye" is one brilliant composition which has shades of two hindustani raagas (one being lalit i think).the lyrics reminded me of madan mohan classic from Bawarchi -more naina bahaaye neer.anyways,this song boasts about some wonderful rendition, without any major interlude music, leaving a flute piece. this song definitely showcases a different rahman, the one we rarely get to see.

"Piya Ho" is another classic composition, in league with the above mentioned song. the character of this song too is very similar to that one, in the sense that more emphasis has been given on vocals only. This one too has a mixture of 2 raaga is same as the one used in "koi nahi hai..mera yahaan ..tere binaa", in shankar mahadevan's Breathless.But rahman lets you to enjoy the raaga with elaborate aalaap-ic effects.i think these 2, are the best songs of the album & both these songs do reflect the maturity of the composer & you will wonder why he is being wasted these days ..friends..just watch on..listen to these 2 songs when the album is out..
The other songs are"bangri marori" & "aayo re sakhi", "shaam rang" which are folk numbers. though rahman's typical "hindustani+folk" formula has been used, this time, he didnt let the instruments dominate.these songs are by sukhwinder singh(somehow i dont like this fellow's voice), Richa sharma. Though not-so-great, they sound quite OK for 1st hearing "bangro marori" , sukhwinder tries to do the same what the female did to "piya ho" & "naina neer bahaaye"..but his being a folk-ish voice, the song doesnt captivate the listener that much, that too with no instruments to back-up.

the last song "vaishnava janatho" by Pt.Ajoy Chakroborthy & Kaushaki Chakroborthy has the usual traditional tune of the song.

This album is an unsual one, especially because it hardly has any orchestra in any of the songs & rahman is known for some beautiful instrumentation.however, the songs do speak about his musical sensibilties & most importantly his capabilities which are rarely utilised effectively by the film-makers these days. but the catch is that, even when he comes out with some classy music, there are no takers, like in the case of Shyam Benegal's "Bose".i hope it doesnt discourage him from making good sensible music.
For the meantime, wait for this album...exclusively for those 2 songs.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Amar Bhoopali

No Maharashtrian can call himself one, until and unless he has listened to "Jyothi Kalash chhalake" from "Bhabhi ki Chudiyan" and "Ghanashyama Sundara" of the movie "Amar Bhoopali".

Raga Bhoop or Bhoopali (Mohanam), is immensely adored in Maharashtra and some lovely pieces have been wrought as a result of this attachment to the raga. Till recently, even the layman of Pune would have told you if a song is in Bhoop. No wonder, when I heard the full version of the song for the first time (I had only a part of it till now), there was no need to ask for tears.. they obliged on their own!

The movie Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan had Late Sudhir Phadke as the music director. One of the most creative musicians of the Ghatiland, he was both an excellent music director as well as a beloved singer. I simply cannot forget the softness of his mellifluous voice.

Bhoopali is such a great raga that I, being only an aspirant to be an amateur, cannot dare comment on the lakshanas of this raga (in fact, I can only recognise it!) ... but you can find them here:

You will be surprised to know that though Bhoopali is a fairly common raga, very few compositions in light classical exist (atleast in Hindi cinema)

Lets what other songs are there in Bhoopali:

1) "Kusha Lava Ramayana gaathi" from album "Geet Ramayan"--Sudhir Phadke.
2) "Ghanashyama Sundara" from "Amar Bhoopali" --music by Vasanth Desai.
3) "Dehachi Tijori" from "Aamhi Jaato amcha gaava"-- music by Sudhir Phadke.
These three can be found at
4) "Vimoha Tyaguna" from "Samadhi Saadhana"--Sudhir Phadke. (My fav!)
I have this one.

1) "On Namah Shivay"--Bhairavi(1995): This is a pure beauty. A tarana (thillana) of similar notes exists in the Hindustani. Laxmikanth Pyarelal (confirm plz!) have done a really commendable job. The raga can be as majestic and royal as it can be and at the same time, can be sweet and tender.

2) "Jai Jagadeesh Hare"--Anand Math (1951): Jayadeva's Geetagovindam is set to music by Hemath Kumar. This is partly Bhoop... only the part sung by Hemanth Kumar is in Bhoop, the part sung by Geeta Dutt is very beautiful, but I couldnt figure out what raga (sounds typical bongish)... Nevertheless, everytime I listen to it, the sheer power of the composition engulfs me and goosebumps and tears are a norm.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

vessel of light

An analysis of this song would be much appreciated -- if necessary in a new post (posts). Thanks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Salil-da's Chhaya

To this day, people (musically sensible) regard 1950s & 60s as the Golden Period in Indian Film Music. The number of composers who created legendary compositions were many. And compositions too. Naushad, S.D.B, Anil Biswas, Shankar-Jaikishan, Jaidev, Madan Mohan, Sajjad Hussain, C.Ramchandra, Hemanth Kumar, O.P.Nayyar, Kalyani-Anandji, Roshan...and many more. Each had a very distinct style. One composer who was a cut different from the entire lot, when it came to innovative ideas, was Salil Chaudhary.
Salilda's combination was unique. Infact, he was one of the pioneers of Fusion, as his elements were Indian Classical+Bengali-Folk blended with his Favourite Genre "Western Classical Music".try "O'sajna" from "parakh", the tune is indian classical while his counter-melody ideas are western. Many people in those times, felt that, when it came to western classical, Salilda was a player. He was mad about symphonies and had the biggest collection in those times. Infact, if any of you heard "itna na mujhse pyaar bada", from the film "chhaya",you realize that it is borrowed from chopin's symphony. also, his characteristic style was that the notes of song used to be very tricky and difficult, sometimes to the extent that instrumentalists+singers wondered if the notes belonged to the same song they were playing.also, the music tested their skill.

I recollect a lesser-known song from the same film,"chhaya"(dir:Hrishikesh Mukherjee). the song,"aansoo samajh ke" sung by Talat Mahmood ranks among my most favourite songs of salilda. The song opens with a typical western harmony. the tabla beat is simple. the complexity lies in the tune of the song itself.before that, check the lyrics.Rajinder Kishen came up with some fantastic lines...

aansoo samajh ke kyon mujhe..aankh se tune giraa diyaa..

moti kisee ke pyaar kaa mittee mein kyon milaa diyaa..

jo naa chaman mein khil sakaa,
main woh gareeb phool hoo..
jo kuchh bhi hoon bahaar kee,
chhoti si ek bhool hoon..
jis ne khilaa ke khud mujhe.. khud hee mujhe bhulaa diyaa..

aansoo samajh ke kyon mujhe..

nagma hoon kab magar mujhe..
apne pe koii naaz thaa..
gaayaa gayaa hoon jis pe main..
Toota hua woh saaz thaa..
jis ne sunaa woh hans diyaa, hans ke mujhe rulaa diyaa..

aansoo samajh ke kyon mujhe..

meri khataa maaf hai,
bhoole se aa gayaa yahaan..
warna mujhe bhi hain khabar,
meraa nahii hain yeh jahaan..
doob chalaa thaa neend mein, achchhaa kiyaa jagaa diyaa..

aansoo samajh ke kyon mujhe.....aankh se tune giraa diyaa..
moti kisee ke pyaar kaa mittee mein kyon milaa diyaa..

The complexity of the tune is the classicalization. "aansoo samajhke" is ok..but the way Talat sings "kyon mujhe"..salilda made him ascend the notes in spiral at the word "kyon"..and then "aankh se tune giraa diya" is logical end to give the beauty.."moti kisee ke pyar kaa" again tests talat's careful ascent to higher note..and immediately in the line "mitti mein kyon milaa diya"..its an odd compared to the descent in previous line. also, check the violin counter melodies in between..(u can hear them in-between the words..background).
The interlude is western-classical again with violins and cellos. i just wonder "what is this man giving and how is he going to arrive back to main-melody?". and he does. The charanams are so beautifully composed. Talat is the most-apt singer to this song because the tune, as such, touches you at a different level and it can be supplemented by only a velvety kind of voice which belonged to only Talat Mahmood(then..or even now...). Even the ending lines of charanams have that peculair descent. Infact, being a non-musician, i cannot explain the logistics involved but i do believe that people who can play any instrument or atleast understand the notations can appreciate the genius of Salilda.try singing it or playing it.i tried singing it and i always went wrong at the "kyon" in the opening line itself.

when i heard this song for the 1st time in my life, i felt that if a person cannot appreciate/feel the beauty of this song, then his ignorance is irrepairable.Salil Chaudhary was one real maverick who broke the conventional styles. when i listen to any song of his, i think,"what is there up in his does he get these unconventional ideas?". this song is one of them.

Also try : cham cham nachthi aayi bahaar (a classical song by lata..can anyone analyze this one?)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Sunday Kalyani..

Recently, Ilaiyaraaja composed music for a tamil film,"Oru Naal Oru Kanavu". My sunday morning began with this album.i had this album in my previous hard-disk which crashed. thankfully, i remembered the film name and immediately got hold of it yesterday.

i jumped out of my bed and played the best song of the album ," Kaatril Varum Geethamae". Sung by ilaiyaraaja's current favourite shreya Goshal, along with his previous fav sadhana sargam,bhavatharini & hariharan, this fantastic song is set in "kalyani" and very beautifully crafted with simple chords. the instruments used in this song are keyboards(synthesizers) & flute only..along with the basic rhythm(percussion instruments) like tabla.

the wonderful start, sets the feel followed by a very simple 1st interlude(quite Un-ilaiyaraaja-like) on keyboards.then,1st charanam..this charanam is backed by key-board chords intelligently..if what i have noticed is right..the keyboard just supports the vocal part..after 1st line(which connects the 2nd line with a s.d.burmansque flute) the aalaap just elevates the classical feel in the song. and the way he ends the charanam(logically) is as if he is completing the crescendo.

the 2nd interlude has flute playing basic notes of this raaga.the tune of 2nd charanam is different from the first one..yet, so beautifully composed...there is some sense of maturity reflecting in it..the charanam gets into some swara-jugglery finally coming back to Pallavi.

the beauty of this song lies in its simplicity in handling the raaga..forget purists, even a lay man feels so cool listening to this song that he just wants to sit back..close his eyes and enjoy the rasa.there are no heavy/elaborate frills...with more emphasis on vocals and the composition as such..
the 1st time i heard this song, i was really dumb and folded my hands bowing to the invisible ilaiyaraaja infront of me. i bet, u will keep humming this tune, after listening to it only once.and then, you would be playing it..on & on...
(check it @ raaga )

Today, Ilaiyaraaja has reached a stage where he doesnt need to prove things to anyone.Yet, he does...
Salute the Emperor

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Gulzar's Nostalgia

Filmmaker and lyricist Gulzar is happy with his new anthology Mera Kuch Samaan, which features hit songs Dil dhoondta hai from Mausam and Chaiyyan chaiyyan (Dil Se).

The compilers have "managed to pack in some surprises" in the album, says Gulzar.
"When HMV expressed a desire to do a compilation of my songs for my birthday I was skeptical. 'Not another anthology. Hasn't the public had enough of my compilations already?' But they were adamant.
"I'm glad I went along. What I like about Mera Kuch Samaan is that it has been very beautifully produced and packaged," Gulzar said in an interview, reminiscing about old friends and favourite singers.
"I had nothing to do with the selections. The compilers have taken whatever they wanted. Of course the selections are familiar.
"After all listeners do expect to hear certain songs when they pick up an album of my lyrics. You can't get away from Dil dhoondta hai or Chaiyyan chaiyyan. These are songs that are too closely associated with me to be given the miss.

"However, they've managed to pack in some surprises, like a very old song of Hemantda (Kumar) Abhi na parda girao. It's interesting to know how HMV got hold of this rarity... Because neither they nor I had a copy of this song.
"I suggested they try Pavan Jha, a gentleman who manages a website called This website contains information about my songs and films that even I don't know. I often go there to collect information on myself."

On Hemant Kumar, Gulzar says: "Hemantda brings back a flood of memories. He was as tall in physique as he was in temperament. God's chosen one, is how I remember him. What a fabulous human being!
"When our team - Hrishida (Mukherjee), Salilda (Chowdhary), Asit Sen - broke up after the death of Bimalda (Roy), Hemantda rehabilitated us. He picked up the broken pieces of our camaraderie and gave us the courage to go on.
"From Ganga aaye kahan se to Tum pukar lo... I worked in close collaboration with him throughout his life. In fact HMV is going to bring out an album of Hemantda's songs with me...."

On the Mangeshkar sisters, Lata and Asha Bhosle, he says: "What can I say about their contribution to my songs? As Pancham (RD Burman) would say, they are like the Gary Sobers and Don Bradman of music. Lataji's numbers for me say it all.
"Pancham, Lataji and I shared many golden moments. I remember during the recording of 'Aapki aankhon mein kuch mehke huey se raaz hain' ... Pancham was petrified to show the word 'badmashiyon' (mischief) to Lataji. 'It's not a proper word for her. You do it,' he said and ran off.
"When Lataji read the word she not only smiled but also added her own inimitable 'harkat' while singing it...

"As for Asha I've never treated her as in any way inferior to the elder sister. In fact I'm partial to her. I have to be. I've no choice. She's my Boudi (sister-in-law) ... married to my dear friend and confidant Pancham.
"I've always maintained that Neil Armstrong got to the moon first. Asha is the one who got there second. It doesn't make her achievement any less remarkable.

"If Lataji has sung all the songs in my Aandhi, Mausam and Libaas, Asha did the entire score in Namkeen and Ijaazat and of course our collaborative effort Dil Padosi Hai with Pancham which is a personal favourite."
On Kishore Kumar, he says: "He was a dear friend of Pancham, and therefore mine too. To wriggle out of answering who his favourite singer was (Lata or Asha) Pancham would quickly name Kishore Kumar.
"He sang some of my best songs like Musafir hoon yaaron and O majhi re. Terrific company and a great entertainer."
On RD Burman: "Not a day passes when I don't think about this friend of mine. What he gave to my films was of course crucial. But what he gave to me as a friend is irreplaceable. Of course I miss him all the time. How can I not?
"Pancham and I spent hours and hours together. My lyrics would drive him up the wall. But he'd finally come up with just the right tune for even those lines that he didn't understand.

"After Pancham I've enjoyed my tuning with Vishal Bharadwaj and AR Rahman immensely. Vishal's songs in my Maachis and Rahman's tracks in Dil Se and Saathiya are outstanding. Of the newer lot Shankar-Ehsan-Loy has got what it takes.
"I hope Mera Kuch Samaan strikes a chord in music listeners' hearts. To assume that today's generations have lost touch with poetry and music is unfair. Let's not make excuses for mediocrity. Didn't MM Kreem come up with some fine music in Paheli recently?"

Link :,00110005.htm

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Jaane Kya Soch Kar...Nahi Guzra..

The "Kinaara" continues :

"Jaane Kya soch kar nahi Guzra" happens to be one of the best songs of R.D.Burman-Kishore Kumar.When i heard the song for the first time, i felt that it was Dada Burman's composition. The composition as such is very mature and made only for kishore kumar. or i must say he proves that it was only for him.
R.D.Burman uses "Khamaj" -flavour (if i am right!! experts..plz clarify) in this song, which is again difficult to categorize into a particular genre. Is this semi-classical or ballad or what? Gulzar came up with some fantastic lines. and R.D adorned with the best music. i particularily like the way he changes the taala of tabla when the line "ek pal raat bhar nahi guzra". even in the charanams, he changes the taala between two lines.the song starts off with a santoor descent...

jaane kya soch kar nahi guzraa..
ek pal raat bhar..nahi guzraa..

The 1st interlude is beautifully woven..with violins, santoor and a tar-shehnai..

Apni tanhaayi ka auron se na shikwa karna..
the saarangi piece is the logical extension (like an aalaap) of the previous line.

Apni tanhaayi ka auron se na shikwa karna..

(the way kishore uses gamakas for word "auron se"...he should have been called pt.kishore kumar)

Tum akele hi nahi ho sabhi akele hain..(tabla beat changes)
Yeh akelaa safar nahi guzraaa....(and he connnects guzraa with gamakas to jaane kya..wah!R.D..)
jaane kya soch kar nahi guzra..
ek pal raat bhar nahi guzra..

the 2nd interlude is one helluva piece..the guitars change the mood as if it is some energy-filled song..overlapped by santoor ( R.D loves santoor a lot..) and everything end with xylophone..followed by saxophone which gets ack to the mood..the notes of saxophone are peculiar with uthar-chadao (high-low) notes..

Do Ghadi jeene ki mohlath tho mili hain sabko..
again that saarangi..
Do Ghadi jeene ki mohlath tho mili hain sabko..(same gamakas by pt.kishore)
tum bhi miljaao..ghadi-bhar eh kam hotha hain..(table beat changes..)
yeh ghadi kaa safar..nahi guzraaaaaaaa...

jaane kya..(tabla..) soch kar ..nahi guzra...
ek pal raat bhar nahi guzra...

every time i listen to this song..i just wonder at the way R.D gave importance to each and every tabla changing beat for a brief duration..for just 1 line..that actually doesnt get noticed much because of the weight of Kishore's voice..and the santoor..saxophone..
today, i cannot just imagine any other singer this song...that heavy reverb of Kishore's voice...that was the time when R.D composed only for kishore...
today so many singers duplicate kishore's voice..i dont see them reaching atleast 1/10th level of what kishore has achieved in a song like this. And there are so many composers...but why not another R.D.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pulp Fiction -- Mayamalavagowla

The theme of Pulp Fiction --

Monday, August 29, 2005

western music, indian soul

2 movies.
2 pieces.
2 ragas.

1) Mask of Zorro: "I want to spend my lifetime loving you"

Superb piece! Almost completely set in Charukeshi.. a hauntingly intense raga that symbolises the intensity of expression in love. Here is the song. The lyrics are not bad either:

Moon so bright, night so fine,
Keep your heart here with mine
Life's a dream we are dreaming
Race the moon, catch the wind,
Ride the night to the end,
Seize the day, stand up for the light

I want to spend my lifetime loving you
If that is all in life I ever do

Heroes rise, heroes fall,Rise again, win it all,
In your heart, can't you feel the glory?
Through our joy, through our pain,
We can move worlds again
Take my hand, dance with me

I want to spend my lifetime loving you
If that is all in life I ever do
I will want nothing else to see me through
If I can spend my lifetime loving you

Though we know we will never come again
Where there is love, life begins
Over and over again
Save the night, save the day,
Save the love, come what may,Love is worth everything we pay

I want to spend my lifetime loving you
If that is all in life I ever do
I want to spend my lifetime loving you
If that is all in life I ever do
I will want nothing else to see me through
If I can spend my lifetime loving you.
2) Pulp Fiction: Main theme.

The theme starts with a conversation which is produced here, just for the readers' (in)convenience:

man: "I love you honey-bunny"
woman: "I love you pumpkin"
man: "Everybody cool! This is a robbery!"
woman: "Any of you $@#^ing pricks move and I'll execute every mother$@#^ing last one of you!"

And then, the most pristine Mayamalavagowla I ever heard from a spanish guitar, accurate to a single note, ensues! You have to listen to it to understand how suprisingly faithful the tune is to the raga!


Friday, August 19, 2005


Well, let me attempt to write abt Gowimanohari as well, since I am this semi-classical mode these days, and I already had a small discussion abt Gowrimanohari. I am sure junta will add to the list.

As Ravi put it, this is one of the most under-rated ragas. Also, its very catchy and easy to identify!

To me, the melodic- expression "d2-n3---d2---p---, m1-p---g2---m1---p" defines the raga.

Let me start with tamil, because the following song is the one that got me into identifying the raga--

1)Paatum naane-- Thiruvilayadal: T.M.Soundararajan starts off with a rather boisterous note, and then takes off on a vigourous voyage. Only one word describes this one-- energy. This raga can carry any amount of energy on its shoulders with such ease!! Listen to it!

Of course, you can watch the whole movie... its good.. some other songs from it are good as well --pazham neeyappa: Jaunpuri, Oru Naal Pothuma: ragamaalika(mostly maand.. needs a post of its own).

1) Vennello Godaari andam: The King at work again... this one exposes the softer, yet more intense expression of pathos. .. has a very weirdly catchy start.

If anyone can find any other song in telugu, I will be grateful!

In Hindustani, this raga goes by the name "Patdeep".. it is basically viewed as Bhimpalasi (Abheri) with a shuddh nishad (n3) instead of komal nishad (n2).. for the same reason, r2 and d2 are not used in Arohana. (anyone get it?? r2d2!!!)

1)Megha chhaaye adhi raat: Camena Immortalis (Immortal song) if one ever existed! To talk abt the composer or the lyrics, let me leave it to the learned. The song begins with a sort of "differnt" guitar and drums of a normal duet.. and then the sitar restores order and gently nudges the mood into the pensive, thats characteristic of patdeep. The song seems to have been set in Khanda Chaapu taalam.

2)Chhodo mori baaiyya: This was a completely unexpected one, but then ARR did have his moments!! This is from Zubeidaa. Starts off with an alap in a different raga.. prehaps chandrakauns (if not, some kauns-anga raga that sounds like Kalyana-Vasantam--remember the duet theme by Kadri??) ... and then switches to Patdeep... A very decent and consistent composition.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gar Yaad Rahe..

i am haunted by a song since morning. The song is from the film "Kinaara".This film, made by Gulzar, is one of the well-made films by him with the not-so-great actor jeetendra. Gulzar signed his favourite R.D.Burman for music.
Gulzar emphasized many times that he worked with many other great composers like Salil Chaudhary, Hemanth Kumar etc.,. but it was R.D.Burman who adorned his unusual poetry with some great music. this fact is evident in this song from the film.

naam gum jaayegaa,
cheharaa yeh badal jaayegaa
meri aawaaz hee pehchaan hai..
gar yaad rahe.

waqt ke sitam kam haseen nahee,
aaj hain yahaan.. kal kahee nahee..
waqt ke pare agar mil gaye kahee,
meri aawaaz hee pehchaan hain..
gar yaad rahe ..

jo guzr gayee, kal kee baat thee,
umar to naheen ek raat ki,
raat kaa siraa agar phir mile kahee,
meri aawaaz hee pehchaan hain...
gar yaad rahe

din dhale jahaan raat paas ho,
zindagee ki lau unchee kar chalo..
yaad aaye gar kabhee jee udaas ho,
meri aawaaz hee pehchaan hain..
gar yaad rahe..

naam gum jaayegaa,
chehra yeh badal jaayegaa
meri aawaaz hee pehchaan hai,
gar yaad rahe..

the mukhuda(pallavi) of this song doesnt have a meter..especially with las line "gar yaad rahe"'s length is very odd compared tothat of previous lines..Only R.D could do it.. i dont know the raaga on which this song is based but this definitely falls into semi-classical genre. the wonderfully woven interludes..with instruments like sitar, sarod or haunting (hill-kind) flute ..with echo at tail-end(his stamp)...till 2nd charanam, the song is picturised on jeetendra and hema malini..but just before last anthara(charanam), he uses pakhwaj along with guitars. the mood here varies..compared to previous interludes...on the screen, the variation is shown with dharmendra (guest role) entering the scene(dream sequence)...

wonderful lyrics..looks like gulzar wrote it just for Lata(meri aawaaz hi..pehchaan hain!!), because she just nailed it. even bhupinder(male singer) is dwarfed.R.D knew the range of Lata's voice and tapped it eloquently.and musically, it is excellent craftmanship by him.who says R.D means only club songs..infact, this genre of songs (of semi-classical kind) faded out with R.D. today we dont have such songs...and such composers.

PS: i sincerely/strictly suggest all the readers to listen to this song keenly...after reading this.