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Ilayaraja's Melodies - I

I will present a list of Raja's 10 melodies in the forthcoming days. They are by no means 'my top 10', for they keep varying all the time and I can come up with dozens of such lists. Though it's no countdown, I number them for the heck of it.

10. Indhaman endhan sondhaman, Karagattakaran - Such a gracious flow of voices in spell-binding sinusoids at a leisurely pace that you would think it's easy to compose melodies. Huh? I don't know if its the tabla that accompanies through the main course or the group of violins and flute that beautify the interludes that puts me to a semi-sleep state with a smug face. A romantic lightness pervades here, be it the lyrical word play (ennathan unnai ennithan) or Chitra's yearning rendition of those words; even the shenai interlude, which has a native pathos in it sounds just right for a happy couple. A just-about-perfect piece once can compose for rural love birds.

9. Elangathu Veesudhe, Pithamagan - The opening flute piece contemplates if it should stop breezing or just mellow down and pick up the momentum again. For such a serene mood piece which starts with a simple and absorbing pallavi, there are numerous beautiful minor variations in the charanam. A magnificent bass guitar accompanies Sriram Parthasarthy's smooth voice setting almost a prelude for a meditative session. But not quite, an interlude is totally dominated by percussion which makes the piece seem apart from the whole, but when you see the visual you'd know why Raja did that. It was the director who wanted a beautiful aberration and the meastro has simply obliged. One of the rare occasions where the choreography comes close to the composition.

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4 Responses to “Ilayaraja's Melodies - I”

  1. # Blogger Suresh Kumar

    Your description is as sweet as the melodies you have described.  

  2. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    I sometimes wish I had the musical knowledge to understand the nuances so that I could do a better job of carrying his tunes through my words... though when it comes to appreciating Raja, I'm second to none.  

  3. # Blogger Suresh Kumar


    How interested are you in Illayaraja's background scores?

    If you are interested, check my blog dedicated to background scores in Indian films  

  4. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    Thanks for the link Suresh. My theoretical knowledge of music limits me in understanding a verbal explanation. Of course, I'm willing to learn.. will check out your blog. Thanks again.  

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