Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:22 am

fring151 and Drunkenmunk,
Nice set of posts the clap So happy that you are bringing out the intricacies of Maestro's compositions and highlighting 'what breaking the rules actually is'. This is another misnomer which needs to be addressed. Breaking the rules as you described with examples is a perfect case in point. Breaking the rules does not apply to just breaking the conventional one-pallavi-two-charanams-two interludes, it actually applies within that conventional structure how do you break the rules. If you break that pallavi-interludes-charanam structure once in a while again based on the situation of the song, then it is acceptable. If you often do that, it takes away that credit and becomes monotonous.

Second thing, breaking the structure or rules should not be so evident and on the face. It should be inherent and it should be visible only when we deep dive. First the song and melody should first capture your heart. After you listen repeatedly then each and every aspect of the song automatically fall on you without your knowledge. But we keep hearing songs in the name of experiments, but it does not have any flow to the song. So much cuts and disruption to the flow and the melody is not at all captivating. The song first of all does not have any connection from a composer to the audience (unless you are forcefully trying yourself to like it by repeated hearings). If the so-called experimentation is so drastic that it even takes away the meaning of  the term 'song'. I would not even call that as experimentation, it is just another song, but cries for our attention. Most of these experimentations are not actually so, as they cleverly rehash the ones which are done decades back in western countries and present it as if it is new to India (which people also blindly fall for that) and put a tag called 'world music' to it.

Breaking the rules is not doing different genres (irrespective of the films). I have done pop, so I am going to do rock now. I have done rock, I am going to do Jazz and consiously making the moves. This is not breaking the rules, instead you are not confident in what you are doing. Just fearing that you should not repeat at all, but falling prey to western genres and thereby losing your stamp and signature. If these songs are presented to westeners, will they not say it is their music? Will they not ask what is 'Indian' about it? Where then comes the world-music?. The world-music you are calling is just reduced to American music. Breaking the rules is not just bringing some alien genres from Africa, America, Europe, Middle-East and presenting to the people of India straightaway (since people would not have listened to them, so we can easily fool them), it is how you present our millions of raagam, millions of our traditional and native genres combined with alien genres in your style to our people. World will automatically listen to it when time comes. People from India AND the world should say that they have not heard anything like this. If only people of India say so, but world does not say, it is a failure. Again if only World say so (they obviously won't), but not India, then again it is a failure. This term 'world music' used by us is certainly not used in correct sense, instead we are fooling ourselves.

A clear example here is 'naanthaan ungapppandaa' which suddently got familiar in UK and in Olympics (thanks to Andy Votel). Before playing that song on their radio, I think someone asked what genre is this and who composed it. They could not even figure out what genre it is, they mentioned all that they want. That's the beauty of the song. They have not heard such a song at all. A thorough native folk song of India (TamilNadu) with amalgamation of native percussions with roaring western trumpets, acoustic drums, lead and bass guitars suddenly makes into the world which was hiding for years here. Every song of Maestro if accessible to the world would have classified as world music long back. Since no one listened it does not disqualify that it cannot cross boundaries and it does not break the rules. It's good for other fans as long as these songs are unheard, as they have a good point to argue against and ridicule until then.

Coming back to the point that Maestro retains that same structure (pallavi-interludes-charanams) most of the time (as it is a proven successful and acceptable structure) and tries to think within that boundary (in addition to the film song situation which is another boundary) what novelty can he bring in. That's where we hear unexpected and contrasting usage of instruments, choice of raagams, multiple-genres in the same song (as you said). Most of all a seducing melody content. The structure is so tight that we cannot add/remove a note from it. He does not leave India (melody) to impress our people. Ask any composer to compose 100 songs in kalyaani raagam alone. Ask a composer to use only flute and come with 100 songs. Ask a composer to use only violins and come with 100 songs. Ask him to compose anything, he will do. Many will run away. That's the true gift for any composer. He can give you different shades and flavors in the same raagam/genre/instrument repeatedly again and again, that's how you grind our tradition and bring the essence of our music. He does not fear that it is already been done (and jump to another), as he knows and has enormous confidence in himself and our tradition/music that still lot left to be unearthed. That's the reason we adore him more than anyone else.


Last edited by V_S on Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:23 am

Raaga_Suresh wrote:So in that way, Raja broke away from the conventions of the Indian Film Music. Rahman got us back to the same aesthetic. Raja was and is the discontinuous part of our musical legacy. And that is exactly the reason we celebrate him.
This statement bears thousands of meaning and need to be preserved. Thanks a lot Sureshji!cheers 

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Drunkenmunk on Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:45 am

V_S ji,

Well summarized. Just adding my two pence here:

http://raajasongadaykeepsboredomaway.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/59-of-poet-and-composing-laureates/

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:56 am

V_S, fring151 and Drunkenmunk


Lovely set of posts. As I told V-S on twitter, even after we discuss everything, there will be still something more to discuss about Raja. Such is his depth. 


D_M, yes, there are lot of vested interests which try and bring Raja down. We need not worry about them. We just need to put up Raja's brilliance. In the long run, these people have nothing to hold on to. The musically inclined youngsters will come to Raja automatically. S K Rajiv and you are great examples of this.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:10 am

V_S,

Very valid point about 'breaking rules' nonsense which is generally being touted. This needs to be dissected in detail. Infact I feel that the inability to come up with a gripping charnam where the melody keeps increasing and an excellent bridge to get back to pallavi has forced MDs to go for this, 'I am breaking rules' game. So what is a very big handicap is converted to an advantage using lot of marketing gimmicks. I have personally never felt that any rule was broken or a new rule was conjured up because I listen a lot of western and world music. It is just borrowing from there which is passed off as innovation. A pity really.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:15 am

My friend @seevin on twitter felt that this interview should be linked here and i think he is right:

http://raagadevan.blogspot.in/2009/11/blasco.html

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  fring151 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:15 am

Second thing, breaking the structure or rules should not be so evident and on the face. It should be inherent and it should be visible only when we deep dive. First the song and melody should first capture your heart. After you listen repeatedly then each and every aspect of the song automatically fall on you without your knowledge. But we keep hearing songs in the name of experiments, but it does not have any flow to the song. So much cuts and disruption to the flow and the melody is not at all captivating.

V_S sir, You say everything that I want to say and much more. In most examples I gave, I did not even notice or realize that what he has done was pretty extraordinary till I started paying careful attention. In fact nothing even sounded remotely odd or out of place. This, I am sure is the case with most people. First and foremost, it is the melody that captivates us. To me Chandirararum soooriyanum from Avatharam is a magnificent wcm composition whereas to another person it would be folk. Has anyone ever attempted a counterpoint for bass guitar and indian flute? Check. Thaen poove poove vaa second interlude. What about carnatic voice over voice counterpoint? Check. The end of Vedham anuvilum.  He has even included a piano for good measure harmonizing with fiery arpeggios.

The musically inclined youngsters will come to Raja automatically. S K Rajiv and you are great examples of this.

Saar, include me also in this list. I am tondy five. So still eligible to be called youth Very Happy . And I have several friends who are also huge Raaja fans. Just that they are not active in social media and forums. Raja is more popular among youngsters than you might think. There is no doubt  his music will be celebrated for generations to come. Abominations like kolaveri and so called "global music" and "experimentations" rampant today will be forgotten sooner than the winner of a Kaun banega crorepati. Meanwhile let them enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  plum on Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:17 am

Holy schmoozles, fring151, accept my apologies I thought you were an oldie. I thought 51 in the handle was your age Smile

Yes, Suresh, IR's music will speak for itself. But let's not forget - Rahman's hype and success will also attract the next gen youth of similar mentality worshipping material success.(apart from that he is pretty good too, but the same level of exaggerated appreciation will also carry over for a gen atleast)


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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:24 pm

There is a debate ongoing on twitter about my post reg Rahman taking us back to MSV era and Raja being a disruptive force. Bala (Karthik) felt that he cannot accept my assertion that Rahman is MSV++ and that Rahman, after Raja, is the most disruptive force in TFM. This requires an elaborate answer, so I am posting it here rather than on twitter.

First, let me make it clear, you can carry a legacy and still be a disruptive force. You extend that legacy. More than Rahman, it was MSV-TKR who were the important disruptive force as far as TFM was concerned. Before they came into their own, TFM was very much weighed down by the Carnatic music roots. They were the ones who lightened the impact of the raga and gave a more 'modern' face to TFM. Listen to the songs of the 50s of G Ramanathan, S V Venkatraman et al and later listen to MSV - TKR music from the 60s. The difference is stark. Yet, philosophically the paradigm was the same. Voice was supreme, tune was supreme. When I say they inherited and carried forward the legacy of G Ramanathan I do not mean to say they did not do anything new. They did lot of new things and gave new direction to TFM. Still the paradigm remained the same.

When I say that Rahman took us back to MSV era, it means that his musical paradigm was very similar to what we had heard earlier. This does not mean that he did nothing new. Nor does it mean that he did not give new direction to TFM. All it means is that musically his aesthetics was closer to that of MSV-TKR era. He moved that paradigm forward with his pop influence, sound recording and bringing in certain pop structures into the song. His earlier songs were more like MSV TKR songs in that the song was mostly about the tune (and additionally the hook) The orchestration was not integrated into the song to produce a complete idea. If at all there were any ideas in the orchestration, they were disjoint many a times and did not integrate into the complete song. Not in the way Raja orchestration did.

P_R asked for some examples. Here I give some examples which will try and give an idea of what I was talking about. 

Let us take first songs, 'annakili' and 'chinna chinna aasai'. Right from the prelude of 'annakili' you can see that the orchestration and the song is just a single idea, irrespective of the twists and turns in the charnam. Whereas in 'chinna chinna aasai' the focus is on the tune and words. Yes, there is orchestration but what grabs you in the song in the principal tune and the words of Vairamuthu. The orchestration adds interest but what Rahman does here is take up a simple song structure and then make it interesting with some beats which are new to TFM but the tune remains very similar to the MSV era. For comparison I also link you the song whose song structure which many people feel is very similar to 'chinna chinna aasai' (If you slow day this MSV song you will get the structure similar to 'chinna chinna aasai')

MSV's 'mampazhaththu vandu' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFlUntVyGGk
Rahman's 'chinna chinna aasai': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpMK2UYmgw8
Raja's 'annakili unna thedudhu': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtd_9LkMxig

Let me reiterate. I am not saying Rahman just took MSV's song or something like that. I am asking you to check for structural similarities in the tune. Yes, the orchestration and approach of the Roja song are different but the soul is that of the MSV era.
(There are many such examples like 'enna vilai azhage' sounding similar to 'thanga padakkathin mele' etc.)

Here again I am going to give two songs which show the structural similarities between Rahman's tunes and the tunes of an earlier era. 

Here is 'Marghazhi tinal allava' from Sangamam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL1XrtraKUw
Here is 'pazhamudhir solayile': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-BNm0SM-jY
No, they are not copies.  I want you to concentrate on the song structure, that is all. 

Another aspect in which Rahman followed MSV is the way he interpreted the raga. Again, I am not trying to say there was copy but the way Rahman looked at a raga was very close to how MSV looked at it. Raja deviated a lot here and had a very unique way of approaching a raga. Let me take the raga Mayamalavagowla. 
Here is MSV's take, the lovely 'kallelam maanikka kallagumaa': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL3qDEBkFhM
A very similar Mayamalavagowla from Rahman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0fNjcxOlco
And here is a Mayamalavagowla from Raja: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qywfmIF2A3s
Once again Rahman modernizes it but the soul is still MSV, whereas in Raja's case, it is complete different and the whole structure is a single idea which encompasses multiple ideas. Yes, Rahman's song does have interlude but observe how the interludes flow in Raja's case, not as if they are separate. These songs will give you an idea of what I mean by Rahman's continuity of MSV's aesthetics and Raja's disruptiveness

Continuing on the raga affinity between MSV and Rahman, SPB once sang 'ilakkanam maarudho' and showed how seamlessly it flowed into 'malargale malargale':
'ilakanam maarudho': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnRb4kqhHQY
'malargale malargale' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnqSfDkiig4

Again, don't get into the copy argument. I am not making it here. All I am saying is that Rahman took the torch from MSV and ran further ahead, the same way MSV took it from GR. Here too you can clearly see that the tune is paramount. The interludes have nothing to do with the overall song and the ideas they contain are minimal. 

If needed we will go deeper taking other songs in account.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:20 pm

fring151,

Along with Plum, also accept my apologies. I also thought you were a veteran whose real name I did not know!!! Nice to you know you are also tondy fibe !! I am really happy to see such super posts from you.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:07 pm

Continuing from where I left off, let me also trace how the song structures changed from MSV to Raja and then from Raja to Rahman.

Before I embark on this, let me also warn you to not make the generalization that simple=easy=not so great and complex = great. I am not trying to say this here. Simple songs could be as beautiful and everlasting as complex ones. So the comparisons which will be made will be on the song structures and not on the merits of the song as such. Infact I will try and pick up 'hit' songs such that no one can say the song is bad.

In case of MSV and KVM, the song structures very simple in their flow but complex in the way the MDs adorned it with sangathis. The pallavi and charanam progressed quite nicely without too many twists and turns and the charanam smoothly flowed into the pallavi. (Singers swear how difficult it was in those days to reproduce the sangathis of MSV). As an example, check out this 70s song of MSV. (I chose this because this came out after Raja had entered the scene.) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Zq7XI_1TY

If you listen carefully, there are many micro sangathis in the song but the pallavi itself is quite simple. Also observe how the charanam joins the pallavi. It is done in a fairly straightforward way.

Raja took up the complexity of the tune to the next level. In his music, you started hearing new twists and turns. The pallavi itself could sometimes seem never ending. Then there was this amazing torturous and seemingly logical way he would join the pallavi from the charanam. It would be breathtaking. Here is a sample. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMANBuz672o

Observe how the pallavi moves. It is no way straightforward and you cannot guess the route it would take and also when it would end !! And yet, the whole long pallavi is a single unified idea. The charanam too revels in its complexity. And observe how the joining to pallavi happens.

Rahman's made the song structures simple again and I personally believe that it was one of the main reasons for his success. It ensured that his music sounded different from that of Raja and the simplicity caught the imagination of people for the same reason that it was different. Here is a song from Rahman's early days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6_ZBbIhXM4

The pallavi is very catchy but quite straightforward. You can also take 'chinna chinna aasai' as an example for this. In the pallavi the idea doesn't go far. The charanams too are of the same variety. Simple and straighforward. A simple going up the scale and a coming down and joining the pallavi. So in that way, we were going back to an earlier era but to be honest MSV's songs were a bit more complex than those of the Rahman of early days. No one will argue that the song is not charming. At the same time it does not have the complexity that Raja routinely brings in.

(I know it is very much possible for a person like me writing such a thesis to cherry pick examples. So counter examples are always welcome. I am trying my best to give examples of Raja from his early days so that there is some basis for comparison.)

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  fring151 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:05 pm

Hahaha, no worries Plum and Raaga_Suresh saars. My handle is just some random name I use to comment online.

Rahman's hype and success will also attract the next gen youth of similar mentality worshipping material success.(apart from that he is pretty good too, but the same level of exaggerated appreciation will also carry over for a gen atleast)

Unfortunately, this is quite accurate. Many Southies have an innate inferiority complex and consider any recognition from 
Naarth Indian junta or the pinnacle of glory in their eyes, the Aascaar, as the ultimate measure of one's worth. I have also noticed that few HCARRF are really interested in getting into musical aspects. They seem to be more interested in rattling off statistics like x oscars, y golden globes, z filmfare awards and smug refrains like "Global music transcending TN borders", "New sounds" and "Mozart of Madras" without bothering to analyze what each of these things actually imply as V_S expertly dissected here. 

Couple of very interesting write-ups by Raaga Suresh. I tend to agree on Raja being the discontinuous part of our musical legacy in more ways than one. I find an interesting parallel with Western music here. The complexity of Baroque polyphony followed by largely homophonic classical period, early 20th century atonality and Jazz followed by emergence of simpler and easy listening forms like rock and roll and blues in 1950s. Beginning in the late 80s, this has degenerated into mindless commercial pop which has very little to do with music and all to do with marketing. And this last period is where our new Indian MDs, both Naarth and South draw inspiration from. scratch

Edit: Sureshji, With regard to ARR complexity, I can think of Anjali Anjali as being an example of a reasonably complex song from the early period. Admittedly it was in 1994 and hence he was not a complete freshie. I have read, though that the sax part was completely improvised by Kadri Gopalnath. I think ARR consistently gave better and more "complex"  songs in Tamil than in Hindi. His Hindi work seems to be deliberately more generic and composed with the primary aim of satisfying the average Naarth Indian listener. Thiink Chayya Chayya and Taal. Of course he has delivered fantastic melodies like Ae Ajnabi and Lukka chuppi, but as far as complexity goes, his Tamil material is far ahead.

This, in my opinion goes to show that a composer can be confident about experimenting and breaking rules only when he is on familiar ground. This is where V_S's post stands out as brilliantly thought out. Remaining rooted in tradition and breaking the rules of that tradition and transforming and elevating it new heights of complexity such that listeners still identify it as Folk, carnatic, wcm or jazz according to their respective tastes is what Raja, and only Raja has achieved. He has made the most sophisticated aspects of wcm accessible to the villager in TN, carnatic accessible to the westerner (if only they are exposed to his work) and folk accessible to city dwellers unexposed to the rural way of life (like me). Again, only time will truly reveal the real magnitude of his achievements. To quote a youtube comment, "Raja's songs will be understood after 2080 like most revelations..."

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:50 am

Suresh ji,
What a beast of treat we are having! Fantastic follow-up posts! the clap the clap with brilliant examples. Still could not find much IR's sensibilities in his songs, as he consciously want to avoid. Only thing is MSV sir's songs (after IR's entry, but again not all) were way more complex in tune compare to earlier days of ARR. But he came back strongly for couple of films like KKKK, AP, KaNNathil Muthamittaal and again gone back to contemporary western mostly.


fring151 wrote:The complexity of Baroque polyphony followed by largely homophonic classical period, early 20th century atonality and Jazz followed by emergence of simpler and easy listening forms like rock and roll and blues in 1950s. Beginning in the late 80s, this has degenerated into mindless commercial pop which has very little to do with music and all to do with marketing. And this last period is where our new Indian MDs, both Naarth and South draw inspiration from.
Very well said, but using pop is not bad, even IR used pop, but as I said, it will not be on your face at all, as the pop elements will just carry the indian melody. When we listen to IR's songs with pop elements, we will never be able to classify it as pop songs, that's the beauty. On the other hand nowadays with others, it is on your face with their singing and the tune which makes unbearable.

fring151 wrote:Remaining rooted in tradition and breaking the rules of that tradition and transforming and elevating it new heights of complexity such that listeners still identify it as Folk, carnatic, wcm or jazz according to their respective tastes is what Raja, and only Raja has achieved. He has made the most sophisticated aspects of wcm accessible to the villager in TN, carnatic accessible to the westerner (if only they are exposed to his work) and folk accessible to city dwellers unexposed to the rural way of life (like me)
Very well said again!the clap thumbsup 


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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  ravinat on Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:23 am

V_S

"13. Rhythm innovation. This is one of the most diversified topic to be discussed in detail. The amount of innovation he has done in this field alone should fetch him the most coveted awards and felicitation. There is nothing unturned by Maestro in this aspect."

   I did some amount of research on Raja's rhythm innovation and could classify his mono rhythms alone into 14 categories and his polyrhythms into three more.  I did not cover some songs where my knowledge was inadequate (such as Adada Ahangara, Thappu Thagile Melam or Thatharam). There are a few factors that I have not covered in my analysis - use of mirudhangam for all unorthodox situations - there is a Solvanam articles on his mirudhangam player Madurai Srinivasan. Songs such as 'Poo Malarndhida' or 'Ayiram thamarai mottukkale', or ''Andhi Mazhai pozhikiradhu', or 'Oh Vasantha Raja', or 'Megam Kottatum' bear testimony for his innovation with this instrument.

  Raja was into polyrhythms even before the first decent microprocessor got created! The way he has used the guitar at times to simulate a urimi or other percussion instruments is path breaking. Loud drumming is considered great rhythm by today's composers - they rarely get out of the 4x4 timing. Raja's use of thalams is amazing - Meendum Meendum Vaa from Vikram will teach anyone what misra chapu is (Raja uses mirudhangam very innovatively in this track).

  In every type of rhythm innovation, Raja has tried it with all possible percussion instruments (including instruments such as Chenda or vibraslap) in Western, Indian, folk, Carnatic type melodies.  Switching rhythms - though there are a number of composers who have used this between pallavi and charanam, Raja is the first one that I know of, who switches for every musical phrase (Ghanashyama Vrundharanyam).  The list is endless...

  The most important thing is the amount of work Raja did in this area before the first electronic drumming machines arrived. It is so easy for him to do rhythm experiments, as his rhythm fundamentals are rock solid.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:27 am

Ravi,
I know Maestro's rhythm arrangements is a pet topic for you. Amazing to know all these. Excellent post and analysis. noteworthythe clap

ravinat wrote:The way he has used the guitar at times to simulate a urimi or other percussion instruments is path breaking

applause for finding this one. Within that confined boundary, how he excelled. Yes, I can't take my ears off of ganashyaama, every line is punched with different percussion and pattern, highly impossible task without affecting the flow of the song. As you said, he is the one who used most vast rhythm patterns starting from standard 4/4 to 3/4, 6/8, 7/8 etc and at the same time used many percussions lavishly. The sounds emanating from each one of them will be totally different. Even with the same tabla, he would have combined it with bass guitar sometimes, sometimes with bell sounds, sometimes with piano to give a new perspective when listening to it. Even in standard Adi thaalam, he would have used tisra nadai, misra nadai, khanda jathi etc while many use the default chatusram. Many times we would have observed he would not start the song in 'samam' (at the first beat), he would start a fraction later or earlier called 'vishamam' or 'athitha eduppu' (before the beat) or 'anaagatha eduppu' (after the beat). There are so many nuances like these which Maestro adds to his compositions are not even noted. He has done all this magic within the same structure.

Apart from that, with Maestro depending on individual's taste, they can either relish the whole song or relish the parts they want, be it the melody, rhythm patterns, choir arrangements, melody in the orchestration, usage of instruments and the story it tells, singing, emotions, what not, as each component is treated on par with every other component. But with others, either you like it or reject it there is nothing much if we tend to analyze individual components. I can even hear the hastiness in completing the interludes, which tells they are not much interested in narrating stories through the interludes. It is plain, simple and bland.

These aspects of Maestro's compositions gives us a unique experience as he takes a giant leap like vaamana avatar. Smile

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  fring151 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:26 am

V_S, 
I agree pop is not all bad. Some 80s  pop bands were definitely not bad at all and came up with many good songs. IR's influences are mostly from those. Post 1990, with a few notable exceptions, it has mostly been packaged pop which has very little to recommend it.

Ravinat,
Those songs are very fine examples of unconventional Mridangam use. Poo malarnthida is just monstrously brilliant. Right from the time KJY ends the pallavi with  Sa ga ri ga ma pa da ni sa we have an inexplicably smooth transition from violin to electric guitar to flute to Mridangam. I say "inexplicabe" because there is no frikking way someone hearing the song for the first time can remotely predict one single bar of that first interlude and yet we are left thinking how come it sounds so natural and smooth. We should start a new fun thread on Raja's "monstrosities" meant in a "அக்கிரம ராஜா" kind of way. 

The way he has used the guitar at times to simulate a urimi or other percussion instruments is path breaking

Any examples of this? I know I have heard such usage but have trouble recalling specific cases.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  ravinat on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:52 pm

I understand that there is a serious discussion on composing styles going on here. This post is not to undermine anyone's efforts. I just want to present another view to this discussion, based on my personal experience. I travel by train to work, and at times do come across noisy arguments among Indians who have come here on some programming assignments. Once, I had three guys  arguing about Raja and AR and one of the guys knew me and asked me for my opinion. (No offence to DM or fring_151). I can argue with these young guys for a long time and convince them, but I had only 10 minutes before my station arrives. They were willing to listen and I was not willing to talk. Instead I asked them to answer three questions.

For the first guy, the question was to tell me his top of mind thoughts on Newton. He took a while and as expected, apologized that he does not know much science and said " he did some laws of physics" and was happy that his turmoil was over.

I asked the second guy, to tell me his top of mind thoughts on Einstein. This was getting worse. The guy felt so unlucky that he had to talk about someone that he knows so little about. I encouraged him to speak and told him that there is nothing like an answer, just his thoughts. After a long pause, he said, "I think he was a big scientist. I really do not know what he did".

For the third guy, the question was to tell me his top of mind thoughts on Gates. That guy brightened up. He was the lucky one. He rattled me stuff about how rich he was and also went on to tell me that he "invented" Windows. He told me about Microsoft and also about what he does now in the Melinda Gates foundation. He was a clear winner - that's how he thought.

I told these guys, MSV is the Newton who changed the way physical things are observed, recorded and theorized. Prior to him, there was no such thing. Raja is the Einstein, least understood. Like Einstein, Raja will be understood much after his lifetime. Einstein even challenged and extended Newton's theories. AR is like Gates, an entrepreneur, who is equated to the level of an inventor by the ill-informed.  All young people know Gates more than Newton or Einstein. Such is our world. The only place where this analogy does not fit is the fact that Newton, Einstein and Gates never met.

I thought I had convinced these guys for a little while, though, they may later, have thought about this 'insane' guy, they met in the train Wink

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  app_engine on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:12 pm

ஆஹா, அருமையோ அருமை!

வி_எஸ்ஜி , சுரேஷ்ஜி, fring151, ravinat, Drunkenmunk - எல்லோரும் இசைத்தத்துவங்களில் ஊறிய எழுத்துகளைக்கொட்டி இன்புறுத்துகிறீர்கள்!

தொடருங்கள் இந்த விருந்தை!

BTW, terrific software analogy Plum Smile

"You can have all your specs, but this is all what you get, change the specs" = "envelop pushing, breaking boundaries" !

lol!


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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:56 pm

the clap Super Ravi. Your example is perfect. That is the truth also.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  jaiganesh on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:37 pm

@Ravi fantastic analogy - however the general indian trope simply wants to keep fake discussions - just to feel alive - they dont have the patience to understand anything.
This thread is by far the best pages i have read in the recent time. 
For simpletons we can suffice by saying Raaja's own words " Dont think that I can score only one kind of music".
For folks who want to understand/comprehend a little better, I can say that Raaja - as every passing day buries itself, is extending himself into the Abstraction of music - he is no longer seeing music as an entity to be channeled, created or modified - he is perceiving it as its 'notion' - the thought that is behind it - This means he is past the phase of "patternizing" it to wield it .
In the phase of "patternizing" music - practitioner - much like a under grad math student deals with series, linear and logarithmic and tries to understand the logic that can generate a series - Musically speaking - trying to play with chords and swaras to keep inside a raaga. Creations from this phase always sound sonorous - wonderfully 'tied - in' and catchy. However one must understand that it is still basic and though it can find many applications and commercial viability - it still binds the creator to a lower lever - Raaja liberated himself from this phase in the late 90s (since Mal Guru) - He broke into a new height - that totally makes him a creative colossus with thiruvasagam where he gleefully breaks patterns - WCM, ICM - name it - the spiritual nature of the material and the dramatic conceptualization by him also helped. Since then he has been creating songs and BGMs that are more and more abstract - more and more subtle - but the purity in them can be found only at the great heights of the abstraction - much like how the water closest to the springwell being more pure. Many Raaja fans have difficulty comprehending this phase - I think it calls for great devotion to this master to appreciate this mastery - Luckily for us, the master still runs one line for us following him - that of emotional chord - If we follow that we can stay hooked - I feel soon he is going to reach a  height where we fail to follow him only to be rediscovered in the annals of musicology by a worthy generation - till that time we have to cherish whatever he is throwing at us..

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:45 pm

Thanks app ji Smile

Ravi, Fantastic and rational analogy. Nicely written. the clap

jaiganesh wrote:I think it calls for great devotion to this master to appreciate this mastery - Luckily for us, the master still runs one line for us following him - that of emotional chord - If we follow that we can stay hooked - I feel soon he is going to reach a height where we fail to follow him only to be rediscovered in the annals of musicology by a worthy generation - till that time we have to cherish whatever he is throwing at us..

Jai noteworthy eppadinga! Truly to be carved in gold.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  Nerd on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:15 am

What a brilliant thread this is and all these posts here are worth their weight in gold. This has been my pet peeve for a lo..ng time. I am not going to tackle this musically at all (that I can't is another issue), but lets get the basics straight. 

Who are we comparing here? Media usually attributes 80s for Raaja, 60s for MSV and 90s for Rahman. They come up with careless statements like, if the 80s belonged to Raaja, the 90s belonged to Rahman. Let's talk some numbers. For the sake of posterity. If we take just the 80s (from Moodupani to say Anjali), Raaja had composed about 400 albums. That's about 40 a year. F.O.R.T.Y. I counted the number of Rahman albums in the 90s (92-02) from wikipedia and the number came out to be 65. And he had way too many dubbed albums in that timeframe, so the actual count could be in the 50s. See the pointlessness? Why are we even comparing them both? Its like comparing an apple with 10 boxes of <insert your favorite delicious fruit Very Happy >. A composer who churns out 6 tunes in 35 minutes, the notes for all the tunes in a matter of hours with one who composes half-an interlude (with help from others) a night? Ridiculous, to say the least. MSV's numbers are not properly documented, so I am leaving him out of this.

And its not just the sheer numbers, look at the number of hits. In many years in the 80s Raaja had over 100 hit songs. 100 genuine certified hits and many of them are popular till this date. And if you take Rahman, he had a lot of hits, agreed but how many of them are still being sought after? And even if we take that he had 4 hit songs per album, his hit songs count will be around 200. And Raaja had over 100 hits probably on each year in the 80s. 1000 songs Vs 200? Whom are we kidding? And as for MSV, I don't think he had that many hits. And the biggest drawback w.r.to MSV is he has had a lot of embarrassing songs to his credit. I mean unlike Raaja of the 80s, you simply can't pick any MSV song of the 60s/70s and listen to it without skipping it.

The number of songs, the no. of hit songs and the gobsmackingly brilliant innovations that Raaja brought to the table (as fantastically described by our forummers like V_S, _DMunk, fring, Ravinat, Sureshji etc.) make him far head of others. Light years ahead. So all ye media, please do yourself a favor and stop making a fool out of you by putting Raaja in the same sentence with MSV/Rahman etc.

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  jaiganesh on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:59 am

Nicely put Nerd. 
Even leaving out numbers and just considering diligence and work ethic - Raaja being a total musician - has taken some serious pains to learn everything there is to learn
 before composing. Leave MSV, ARR, is there anyone else in Indian film music with that kind of devotion and ethic - without batting an eyelid one can say "NO".

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  fring151 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:21 am

They come up with careless statements like, if the 80s belonged to Raaja, the 90s belonged to Rahman. Let's talk some numbers.

Ah sir, there lies the problem. They don't want to talk numbers. Neither are they interested in analysing the music or composition styles. "Who is the Aascaar Naayagan?" "Who is the Grammy Naayagan?"

So all ye media, please do yourself a favor and stop making a fool out of you by putting Raaja in the same sentence with MSV/Rahman etc.

But that is what they specialize in. What will they put in their resume then?

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Re: Why IR is NOT simply someone between MSV-time & ARR-time

Post  V_S on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:49 am

Very nice and neat post Nerd with statistical data. the clap You brought up a great point about numbers, hits and also about the shelf life of those songs.

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