Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Raaja Experience

A good friend of mine, Vignesh, who is much more a 'ilaiyaraaja buff' than a mere mortal, has started a 'blog-tag' game and tagged me in it. The idea is to spontaneously write about 5 things concerning ilaiyaraaja's music and me...and then tag people who could be interested in posting the same on his blog.

I am borrowing same aspects/questions from Vignesh's post.

1. The moment that introduced you to Raaja:

I know this would be quite surprising because ilaiyaraaja's music existed, and in tall stature, even before he made this song. The first time i ever heard the name 'Ilaiyaraaja', was when I listened to this song from 'Gharshana' (Agni Nakshatram in Tamil) - 'Ninnu Kori Varnam'. The music was absolutely different from all the music i heard before. My never-ending journey with ilaiyaraaja started with this song. Incidentally, that was the first time i heard another name, who became my favourite - Chitra.

2. Name one occassion where Raaja's music directly/ indirectly influenced your life:

Well, this is a tricky question, especially to someone who listens to atleast 2-3 ilaiyaraaja songs every day. but I think I can get this one. There was one album, which acted as a divisive force on my experience of raaja's music. Before listening to this album, ilaiyaraaja was one of my favourite composers who gave some wonderful music for few Telugu films. After listening to this album, i realized that this man is actually much more a genius than i knew. His capabilities stretch much beyond making good songs for commercial telugu films. I felt that he does not just compose music, but explores it. That album is 'How to Name it'.

3. Lets take Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi into account. Assuming that one of this is either your mother tongue or native language, name a favorite song in each of the other 4 languages that immediately comes to your mind:

My mother tongue is Telugu, so excluding that, i pick from the other four:

Tamil: Hundreds of songs, but for now, lets say 'Vazha Osai' (from Satya). Absolutely brilliant. is it melody? or groovy? gives me goose bumps.

Malayalam: again many; the pick right now would be 'Poonkaattinodu kilikalodum' (film 'Poomukhappadiyil ninneyum kaathu'), it is a classic.

Kannada: 'Jyotheyalli' (film Geetha).

Hindi: Dilwaale Raat Hain (film 'Mahadev')... i think this song was much ahead of its times.

4. One song of Ilaiyaraaja that you consider rare and think a song that many people should have known but don't:

There are many like that, but to think of it..actually i would again quote 'Dilwale Raat' from Mahadev. Sounds disbelieving, but i spent one entire day asking for this album, in the entire music casette shops market of Kothi, hyderabad. i couldn't get it. It is still a rare find infact.

5. Lets keep the last one simple.. Raaja's number that you are hearing right now/ most recently heard..?:

"Vaan Megham" from Punnaghai Mannan, i still find it puzzling, to understand the elements weaved into it. How could he do it?

My (new) tags: Ravi, Divya, Ananth, Prashanth, Raghu, Chinmayi (hoping that they would post their Raaja moments too :) )

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Composer's view of A.R.Rahman

I came across an interesting post, on this blog, which attempts to comprehensively capture the elements which make A.R.Rahman what he is. For once, I felt that the opinions were very objectivistic instead of being another fan's ramblings. The writer is a composer who works for Marathi films. A very interesting write-up which looks at Rahman's work, from a composer's point-of-view.