Musicians who played for Raja

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Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:32 am

I thought I'd start a thread where we can discuss the various talented musicians who have been just as important as the singers in the making of Raja's masterpieces, but perhaps not as celebrated. My own information about the musicians is sketchy and mainly comes from reading forums such as this, blogs and watching the few concerts of IR that are available on youtube. Here are a few that strike me as particularly impressive and important in Raja's orchestra. It would be great if knowledgeable forum members can write more about these musicians, past and present who have been integral members of Raja's orchestra.

Viji Manuel- The man seems to be a legend in musical and IR fan circles, but surprisingly I could not find much information about him on the internet and he doesn't seem to play in Raja's live concerts. Would love to hear more about him, his musical style and background.

V.S.Narasimhan- Of course we all know that he played the violin in HTNII and other great compositions such as the Raajapaarvai solo violin piece. I have also seen some videos on youtube of him and Sekhar playing "Carnatic chamber music" as part of the madras string quartet. A couple of them are very nice compositions and I would certainly recommend them.

Prabhakar- Definitely a violin virtuoso and I think a gold medalist from Trinity college. Apparently also a very talented arranger. I was really impressed with how he brought out every nuance in the solo violin bits of "Poongathave thaal thiravaai" and "Aayiram thaamarai mottukale" in the epic Chennai 2011 concert. 

Arunmozhi a.k.a Napolean (Flautist)- His playing in the live concerts has been absolutely splendid and I feel he deserves more recognition from the fans. He appears equally at ease with the Pullanguzhal, Bansuri and western flute, not to mention that he was single handedly fighting an "Army of violinists" in every concert as I saw someone put it.the clap 

Sasidharan- I believe he is the bass guitarist. Is he the person who plays the bass guitar in Raja's concerts? I think I read somewhere that he is Raja's relative. Again, anyone who knows more, please share.

I also remember Raja introducing Jeycha on percussion, who seems to be a pretty awesome chap, capable of creating interesting sounds and beats out of anything and Sekhar (Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan's son) on cello.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  kamalaakarsh on Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:28 am

Viji Manuel - He was considered to be a keyboard wizard, who could get amazing chord progressions written by Raaja. Raaja himself said that he is probably the best in the country. His health suffered in the last decade and he is no longer playing music.

V.S.Narasimhan - He is not an ordinary genius but a great one. He played for Ilaiyaraaja for very long time, not just HTNI and Raajapaarvai. He later started Madras String Quartet (with Sekar, who is son of Kunnakkudi and 2 others). Try his albums "Resonance", "Raga Saga". Very good albums.

Sekar - Sekar plays Cello for Raaja. He can be seen even in the latest video of Naadi thudikathudi recording.

Prabhaskar - Well known face already.

Sada - Guitarist for Raaja. Very popular.

Purushottham - called Puru in short. Raaja's right-hand person. Brilliant drummer. He at times conducts the orchestra. He is also involved in programming related tasks.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  ravinat on Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:56 pm

Great topic.

 A few others that I can add:

Pandit Baalesh : Shehnai virtuoso. He got trained by shehnai guru Bismillah Khan. I am not sure if his son also plays for Raja. Baalesh has been responsible for introducing a number of Hindustani nuances to Raja and he has used his suggestions a lot, according to Balesh. For example, Thene Thenpandi Meene is some Hindustani raga that he suggested to Raja (can't remember the name). Most of this info is from Manadhodu Mano program (I tolerate Mano's clichés and horrible English, and try to focus on the guest:D ).

Veena Parthasarathy: Played Veena for Raja for a long time. Sriram Parthasarathy's dad. Not much info beyond that. After Partha, Punya Srinivas plays veena for Raja. She is very knowledgeable as well.

Tabla Prasad: Veteran table player and has been playing fro MSV, Raja etc.

BTW, Sada is son of yesteryear MD, Suharshanam.

Embar Kannan: A trained Carnatic violinist. Has been playing for Raja for the past 2 decades. Plays regularly for Carnatic veterans like Sudha Raghunathan

I think Joseph Sabastian is his voice conductor on call (I could be wrong). I think there is another musician by name Kanniah who plays percussion for Raja. Ramasubbu is another experienced violinist (supposed to have played for MD Ramanathan).

In general, some of Raja's musicians are either world class or illustrious sons of great musicians.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:35 pm

Interesting. I didn't know about Pt.Baalesh. I managed to find the Manadhodu mano episode where he interviews him.
Here is another one where he interviews Flautist Sudhakar who seems to have been a regular in the 80s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoInRjJ0tI
As usual, Mano overacts, but there are a lot of interesting things that Sudhakar shares including the experience of working with the Dutch lady who played the western flute in Putham pudhu kaalai.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  app_engine on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:39 pm

fring151 wrote:Interesting. I didn't know about Pt.Baalesh.

Please checkout this fantastic article on Pt Balesh by Suka :

http://solvanam.com/?p=13585


பொதுவாக இளையராஜாவிடம் இசைக்கருவிகள் வாசிப்பவர்கள் தத்தம் வாத்தியத்தில் மேதைகளாக இருந்தால் மட்டுமே அவரிடம் வாசிக்க சாத்தியம் என்பர். கிடாரிஸ்ட் சதானந்தன் (பழம்பெரும் இசையமைப்பாளர் சுதர்ஸனம் மாஸ்டரின் மகன் இவர்), வயலினிஸ்ட் வி.எஸ்.நரசிம்மன் மற்றும் ராமசுப்பு, புல்லாங்குழல் கலைஞர் நெப்போலியன் (அருண்மொழி), மிருதங்கக் கலைஞர் மதுரை டி.ஸ்ரீனிவாசன், பாஸ் கிடாரிஸ்ட் சசிதரன், கீபோர்டு கலைஞர் விஜி மேனுவல் மற்றும் பரணி, பழம்பெரும் தபலா கலைஞர் ‘தபலா’ பிரசாத் என எல்லோருமே அசாத்திய திறமை வாய்ந்த ஒப்பற்ற கலைஞர்கள். இந்த கலைஞர்களில் ஒருவர் உஸ்தாத் பிஸ்மில்லா கானின் மாணவர் பண்டிட் பாலேஷ். பல முறையான ஹிந்துஸ்தானி வாய்ப்பாட்டு, ஷெனாய் கச்சேரிகள் செய்வதோடு மட்டுமில்லாமல், சென்னையில் ஹிந்துஸ்தானியைக் கற்றுத்தரும் குருவாகவும் இருக்கிறார்

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  app_engine on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:48 pm

Latest interview of V S Narasimhan in solvanam:

http://solvanam.com/?p=26899


ராஜ பார்வையில் உருக்கமாக இழையோடும் வயலின், ஹௌ டு நேம் இட் (How to name it?) இசைத் தொகுப்பில் வரும் அற்புதமான தந்தியிசை, சஹானா எனும் தொலைக்காட்சித் தொடரில் அமைந்த அழகிய பாடல் எனப் பல அற்புதமான கணங்களை நமக்காகத் தந்த வயலின் கலைஞர் வி.எஸ்.நரசிம்மன். விஸ்வநாதன் – ராமமூர்த்தி, இளையராஜா போன்ற இசையமைப்பாளர்களிடம் முதன்மை வயலின் கலைஞராகப் பணியாற்றியவர். லண்டன் சிம்பொனி ஆர்க்கெஸ்ட்ராவுக்காக இளையராஜா இசையமைத்தபோது அவருக்கு உறுதுணையாக வி.எஸ்.நரசிம்மன் இருந்துள்ளார். கண் சிமிட்டும் நேரம், பாசமலர்கள் போன்ற பல திரைப்படங்களுக்கும் இசை அமைத்துள்ள வி.எஸ்.நரசிம்மன், கர்நாடக இசையையும் மேலையிசையையும் இணைக்கும் முயற்சியில் பல இசைத்தொகுப்புகளை வெளியிட்டுள்ளார். இந்த இசைத் தொகுப்புகள் அவரது வாழ்நாள் சாதகத்தின் கனிகள். அவரது பெரும் கனவு.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:34 am

Please checkout this fantastic article on Pt Balesh by Suka :

http://solvanam.com/?p=13585
Wow! App sir, many thanks for sharing this priceless interview as well as V.S.Narasimhan's. Pt.Balesh certainly seems to be an artist of the highest calibre and sensitivity. The last video where he plays 'Jog ' with his son is quite amazing and clearly shows the depth and knowledge of this musician.

I also found it fascinating how pieces which on first hearing might appear to us as easy and not very complicated are in fact quite intricate and require great musical understanding and sensitivity to play as Raja intends them to be played. 

Sadly, as he notes towards the end, it is quite doubtful, if in the future we will ever get to hear such intricate instrumentation and raga based music in IFM.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  mythila on Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:01 pm

Great topic that brings the people working in the background to create that magic in Raja's compositions to limelightHere are few who worked during the initial phase of Raja :
1. Veena Gayathri played veenai for songs like "sugamO Ayiram", "kannan oru kai kuzhandhai", "veenai meettum kaigaLE"
2. Ramasubramanian played violn for songs like "pAdu nilAvE"

Not to forget the ace flautist cum singer Napolean [Arunmozhi]

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  D22_Malar on Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:58 pm

The nadaswaram vidhwan's name is Thirumoorthi, he played during the Chennai 2011 concert, terrfic job !!! (Kanmaniye kathal enbathu)

And, one more person IR introduced during the concert was a violinist named Judy (man), who compiled (correct me if this is a wrong choice of word) all the notes, of the yesteryear songs to be played during the concert.

And one of my most favorite musician who plays for Raaja sir, Baalesh (Shenai), the man is just too good !!! salute !!

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  jaiganesh on Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:08 pm

sivamani

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:51 pm

All of you have kind of mentioned the premier musicians who have played/are playing various instruments for IR. Would like to add that Viji Manuel was also a bass guitarist of the highest caliber for IR. The 'tunnnggg' at around 50 seconds and 4:26 minutes in Darling Darling Darling from Priya are Viji's. Like Violin Vicky notes in this outstanding piece for solvanam, http://solvanam.com/?p=23134, it is stuff which is a brahmaprayaththanam for even rock musicians in rock concerts. Viji does it here. TWICE.

Just that piece spliced here: http://solvanam.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/darling-bit.mp3

As this piece shares, this song was the first to be recorded in stereo in India.


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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  app_engine on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:12 pm

Since this thread is not necessarily about regulars of IR (but rather musicians whoever played for rAsA), let us include

MPN Sethuraman
MPN Ponnuswamy

who played nAdhaswaram for kOvil puRA Smile

Each of the songs had them credited for and AIR used to announce their names each time vEdham nee / amudhE thamizhE / sangeethamE got played Smile

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  skr on Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:52 am

MSV Raja , the sax player has played for several Ilaiyaraaja songs and BGMs.
He has played the leads for songs such as Vaa Vaa Pakkam Va , Manathil Enna Ninaivugalo etc.


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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  app_engine on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:44 pm

இசையின் மொழி தில்ரூபா சரோஜா


எம்.எஸ். விஸ்வநாதன், இளையராஜா, ஏ.ஆர்.ரஹ்மான், தேவா, அனு மாலிக், அம்சலேகா, கீரவாணி, தினா, ஜிப்ரான் போன்ற புகழ்பெற்ற இசையமைப்பாளர்களுடன் இணைந்து பணிபுரிந்திருக்கிறார் சரோஜா. ஏறக்குறைய 3 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேற்பட்ட இந்திய மொழிப் பாடல்களில் இவரின் தில்ரூபா இசை ஒலித்திருக்கிறது.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  crimson king on Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:27 am

Who played santhoor for Ilayaraja?  Was it Shivkumar Sharma or somebody else?  Never heard him making references to working with IR though he fondly recollects his work with RDB.  By the way, I am using "was" because I don't recall any songs of his from the last four-five years with santhoor; sorry if I missed out any obvious examples.  But it used to be a staple in his music even though it is a VERY North Indian instrument.

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  plum on Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:55 am

Before Napolean, a telugu person named sudhakar played flute for raja. He also came on Mano's program.

SKR - didnt MSV Roja score for some Abavanan movies? Kaaviyathalaivan?

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:23 am

Late entry Plum saab. Already mentioned flute Sudhakar in previous page. Here's the Manathodu Mano program.



CK,

No idea. If someone here knows, do share. Not too many Santoorists around are there?

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  plum on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:33 am

Yes, fring, it seems so you did. With youngsters like you taking over, think our retirement date is edging closer...happy to leave the legacy  in able youngsters' hands

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:54 am

Point to note: IR groomed Sudhakar, gave him chances even though he couldn't read music, personally taught him his parts, even  arranged for him to learn western flute from the Dutch master, even though he was not up to the mark by his own admission. Hint hint. Wink wink.  Razz


Last edited by fring151 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Musicians who played for Raja

Post  fring151 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:57 am

plum wrote:Yes, fring, it seems so you did. With youngsters like you taking over, think our retirement date is edging closer...happy to leave the legacy  in able youngsters' hands

Pls to wait till scores are nationalised...

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