Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

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Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:55 am

Ok, after reading Drunkenmunk's blogpost and considering the relative extreme obscurity of this dreamy, ethereal masterpiece among the general public and even among many casual IR fans and listeners, I was inspired to start this thread. Every song, I repeat every song in this album is an exquisite beauty. In these exciting times when we are being treated to some fabulous new-age soundtracks like Megha and OA, I am tempted to dive a little deeper into this 'forgotten' classic.

From random googling and reading old tfmpage posts, I can only make vague guesses on the story of the discovery of EVK  (in late 90s or early 2000s?)  and the cult-like status it attained among IRFs then thanks to the efforts of the much admired Rex Arul and others. So everyone, particularly veterans (app_ji and co Smile ) please share how you came upon this album, your initial impressions and what place this occupies in your all-time IR list.


Needless to say, meesical discussions will be greedily consumed as well. Smile. My thoughts soon...

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Drunkenmunk on Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:59 am

paduchavan paduchavan dhaan yA. idhu enakku thONala pArEn. Touching 2 AM here. Going off now. Shall aajar regularly.


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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Drunkenmunk on Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:13 am

Actually, I have my own history and nostalgia, as GObi Manchurian calls it, with this album. Like I shared in another thread, I was already a Raaja fan who supported Raaja in arguments and did evangelism for him at around 2011 April. I discovered this album and turned more hardcore with this. Oru tipping point maari. Read Complicatuer's post in ToI on the 3 voices that defined his/our generations, KJY, SPB and MV. As an elegy to MV, it was a fine piece. However, he did mention on Kanavil Midhakkum. I tripped on it, had the gall to share it with Compli himself on twitter without realizing it was he who wrote the article and fell in love. I shared it with my close friends on FB, tripped on the album and it made 2011 for me. His post is here: http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQ0gvMjAxMS8wNC8xNSNBcjAzMzAw&Mode=HTML.

I had a chance to catch up with Compli via Hangout earlier this year when a bunch of inspired Raaja fans got together at Seevin's home. He was then in LA and I did get to thank him over the computer for his part in turning me into a hardcore IR fan by pointing to that song and he mentioned a Guitar Prasanna article (which I later read in 2011) which was the source for him. It is the very famous meditating in Mint street article: http://pkharry.blogspot.com/2005/12/ilayaraja-maestro-excerpts-from.html I am not able to recollect the list from this blog which is a copy paste of his article. But the original did have this in addition to a number of other vintages. This is a definitive album for me with respect to Raaja and I shall look down upon any fan, however hardcore he claims himself to be of IR's, with doubt if he does not rate this high. More on what I have to say on the songs later. Thanks again for starting this thread Smile

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  app_engine on Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:02 pm

Good job fring151, opening an exclusive thread for a very deserving rAsA album of H1 of 80's Smile

I have been posting about this album / movie from time to time right from hub days and have covered the songs also in GA & VM thread (I need to read again if I had done some justice to the decent lyrics written for the album)...

My pulambal about the movie had been so much that Nerd recently commented in twitter as to how I'm the culprit in blocking him from giving an unbiased watch of the movie Embarassed

It's possible I've done some damage to the movie without much consciousness Embarassed

Anyways, while I won't be able to give any insight w.r.t musical complexity, I will keep sharing my feelings for these songs...

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Usha on Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:49 pm

Great Thread.......   indru.. youtube il kidaikiradhu.. paatum kaeka kidaikaradhu.........

padam vandha  period....... Radio days dhan.......  Radio vil adhigam vaikavillai... indha pada padalgalai..........

7 years before..... indha internet world......  IR in indha pada padalgalai patri pesum podhu.. Net il kidaikavillai...........

Rex punniyathil... net il kaeten.. apodhu.. audio quality. Net il... athanai quality ilai...................   

Indru.. ipodhu............  Nalla audio quality ..... nalla speaker..  atleast Headphone................. paatai kaetkum podhu........

IR ai ninaithu kannil kannir.....  enna ninaithu... edhai ninaithu.. endha nambikaiyil ipadi  GEMS ellam tharar indha IR...........

Avarin nalla manadhu...  ithanai varudam kazhithu.. Nalla Quality il.. kaetka  .. unmaiyil koduthu vaithu irukirom dhan...........

ipadi kashta pattu ... padalgalai.. kaetpadhal dhan. IR in paadalgal ellam epohdum... GEMMMMMMMMs.........

app...  padam patri.. naan orae oru time..  Jaya tvil... indha padathai parthen...  5 years munnadi endru ninaikiren.
padam parkum podhu...  ipadi oru padathuku.. ipadi oru Great MUsic ... Greatest BGM endru ninaithen dhan. anal...
kalam thaandi.. ipodhu vaazhum indha kalathil.. andha padam.. unmaiyil... Great dhan......... mosam illai.........

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  V_S on Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:29 pm

Great thread. Thanks fring151 for starting this thread. As DM said, it didn't strike me at all to open a thread, even though I have been listening to it for years. If at all I feel very guilty of any Maestro's soundtracks for not listening when it came, it has to be only this Embarassed  That was the time (I was studying 7th/8th) the craziness started within me about movies and music and have not missed anything, not just the popular ones. I have watched almost every popular movie from moondram pirai, payangaL mudivathillai, skv, thooral ninnu pOcchu, simla special, pOokkiri Raja, kaadhal Oviyam, DDD, manal kayiru, moondru mugam to not so popular ones like echchil iravugaL, ninaivellam nithya, rani thEni etc. Thanks to my parents Very Happy There are many flop films which I remember, but may not be the songs. This one, I still don't remember if this film was filmed in theatres. That's the pity. I dont' remember listening to the songs on radio too. Only around 2000 (after internet came) I came to know about this film and songs. When I listened I was thoroughly embarrassed of having missed this classic all these years. To at-least partially cleanup that embarrassment, I frequently listen to it since then.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Usha on Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:39 pm

DM... ungaludaiya blog...  porupa padithu vittu, ... purindhu konda  piragu dhan solla mudiyum.. IR music pola........

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:36 pm

Thanks DM, VSji, appji and Ushaji for your posts.

The first song I heard from this was En gaanam and it was one of those songs that instantly struck a chord for me. The exquisite guitar, IRs magical rendering and the bass guitar just made me immediately sit up and take notice. It really made me wonder how this song had been overlooked for so long. Particularly considering that this movie had 5 absolutely top of the shelf songs, at least three of which (the longer ones) would probably find a place in the top 10 list of almost any other composer. But such is the stupendous output of this man that >95% of IR listeners have no clue this even exists. I mean, I have heard several lesser known gems of the 80s over the past year or so - songs like pooonthendral kaatre vaa, vanthaale allipoo and so on, but what really amuses me (yes, amuses) is that here is an album with 5 absolutely stunning songs and most haven't even heard of it. LOL. What does that say about the quality and quantity of IR's output? I am willing to bet that the only reason this wasn't a hit then is that IR probably had 100+ hit songs in the year this was released (sometime in 82 or 83, I believe).

Anyway, coming to en gaanam, what is not to like about this song? Critics of IR's singing have no choice but to hide their faces. The beautiful guitar opening with an arpeggio in G minor followed by G min add2 (if I am not mistaken), the delicate guitar finger picking that punctuates the lines of the charanams when everything else falls silent, contrary motion of the bass guitar (counterpoint) in the lines 'Ezhai sonna geetham ...indru enthan raagam", the intensity and tension of the interludes..what trick doesn't he use here to draw us in? Staccato chords, violin tremolos, pauses, silence, syncopation, fast and intense flute-strings call and response, beautiful acoustic guitar parts, and the relentlessly persistent bass guitar -it's all there!


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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  rajkumarc on Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:45 pm

Thanks fring for starting this thread and to DM for your nice blog post on EVK. IMO, if someone hasn't listened to and appreciated EVK he cannot claim himself as a HCIRF.

I first listened to EVK songs in 2006 I think. I just found out about TFM and Dhool.com with some quality discussions on film music. Dhool.com had hosted Pazhaya Sogangal from EVK and I was totally blown away in the first listen. I'm a sucker for IR's pathos songs and Pazhaya Sogangal just shook me up by its tone and guitar work. I was gradually sucked into EVK and lot of other rare gems of IR that I never listened to. Whenever I start listening to EVK, I wouldn't come out of it for a while, it's that impactful, love all the songs in the movie. It just pains me that not many people have heard these songs.

EVK definitely changed my perception as an IR fan and made me search and discover more such hidden gems. I will credit EVK for motivating me to interact more with like minded IR fans, made me join the Hub and continue in this forum.  Of course, at times it includes loss of productivity at work, complaints from the family that I'm spending way more time with IR & his music than with them etc can all be attributed to EVK. On a different note, I would love to hear from you guys how you allocate time for other activities when something like EVK or more recently like NEPV/Megha/OA hits you Smile , that could be a separate topic.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Drunkenmunk on Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:08 am

Well analyzed Fring. I am a novice with the notations and being a guitarist, you are in a better position to nail the WCM intricacies. Yes, what a lovely song! To me, IR's voice, his emotions carry everything. What loveliness! Plus, like I wrote, the video was shot in 1981-82 (film came in '82) in Besant Avenue and that looks like a village highway in the video. So much has changed today. I still drive by that road regularly if I'm in Chennai. One of the best roads to drive in for me personally, from the cycle rides of my teenage days to car drives today. My school was in the parallel road and so a number of cycle rides through those roads remains an abiding memory. It's modern and glossy now, unlike then. But the swarm of trees, Theosophical society on one side, Blue Cross and J Krishnamurthy's foundation with its forestry on the other side with a snaking road and the perennial Bay of Bengal not far away have not gone anywhere and when I see a living proof of that from this video, it drives a wedge inside me and does beautiful things. The music with the pathos happens to be a double whammy. Pothan dances near bushes (all removed today) in Besant Nagar beach (I am either busy, at home or in the beach in Chennai) with its now decrepit Karl Schimdt memorial (a Dutch sailor who saved a girl from drowning during a high tide and died in the process) bring back so many many memories. Though the memorial has been much abused by the public and also in cinemas with a number of routine songs shot there, when I see that in this song, it touches some tender part of me inside. It must be the music and the pathos Raaja is able to translate. Pothen also stands in the estuary where Adyar meets Bay of Bengal in the beginning of the first charanam near the shadow of a bridge that is broken now (it is called broken bridge and has been used Mani saar and all in shooting Ayidha Ezhuthu; that fight between Madhavan and Suriya. Somehow the spot feels far more memorable here maybe because of the underlying pathos). That's another personal favorite spot of mine. Oh boy! What a song and memories, especially for a hardcore Raaja fan from the current generation brought up in and around Besant Nagar (anEgamA I am mattum dhaan iruppEn nu nenaikkarEn. Hence, all the more the pride and happiness that this song is one of its kind only for me).

Thanks Usha'ma, appji, V_Sji and rajkumarc for sharing your thoughts. Felt good reliving and adding memories of the song with the associated images in my mind in a little more detail and freedom here Smile

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  V_S on Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:19 am

I had briefly written about this song in another forum. Reproducing some of them here, especially the arrangement part. 
I was totally blown away by the prelude itself. Lead Guitar plays for first 9 seconds and bass guitar joins for a counter melody after that.  While we admire and get lost on one of the rarest guitar-guitar counterpoint, the lead guitar switches now to bass guitar and the (another) lead guitar continues on a different path (melody). This is the path which gives lead to the pallavi. When Raja starts singing 'En Gaanam', normal and conventional approach is to add percussion with a bass guitar. But with Raja, we can never ever expect anything conventional even though he uses the same guitar for another 100 years.  The guitar which played for the first 9 seconds (which went to background later) acts as percussion along with bass guitar during pallavi. The switches are so seamless. All this happens in the first minute. Holy cow!
Another absorbing piece of music is when we get the night effect during the first interlude. Keyboard (I think) plays a sort of "frog sound" followed by violins crescendo, flutes, pizzicato strings and back to guitar strumming. The guitar building up during the first line of charanam is another scintillating beauty. The violin conversation with keyboard first, then keyboard with flute and then keyboard with guitar finishing with violin tremolo. Again those switches are just free-flowing without any break. It is SO DAMN DIFFICULT to even imagine. When we try to decipher what he is doing, he would change the color so fast that we will now try to decipher the next change and so on. He will never give time for us to decipher anything even in this slow melody. The interludes are racy and the way he gives the lead to the slow charanam/pallavi is another goosebump material.
Raja's voice and singing is just impeccable and Jency adding another color to the composition. All this made me write that this composition is like Lord Shiva growing both ways and Vishnu and Brahmma trying to search his feet and/or head. This composition is such, that it is difficult to arrive any solution, except to surrender ourselves in it.

இவ்வளவு சித்து விளையாட்டு ஆடிட்டு ஒண்ணுமே தெரியாத மாதிரி இந்த பாட்ட பாடியிருப்பார் பாருங்க அங்க தான் ச்ச! இப்படி ஒரு சக்தியான்னு மலைக்க வைக்கும்.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:28 am

Lovely nostalogy post Drunkenmunk Smile . On Besant Nagar - I hear you bro. There is very something very charming about the lush natural greenery and forests in parts of Chennai and surrounding areas compared to the meticulously planted trees and artificial lakes in the U.S!

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:44 am

V_S wrote:இவ்வளவு சித்து விளையாட்டு ஆடிட்டு ஒண்ணுமே தெரியாத மாதிரி இந்த பாட்ட பாடியிருப்பார் பாருங்க அங்க தான் ச்ச! இப்படி ஒரு சக்தியான்னு மலைக்க வைக்கும்.
Smile . So true. LOL

Yes, the arrangements in this song are EXTREMELY intricate. In the charanam, the effortless syncopation at the start of the line 'oru pooncharugu' is incredible.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:54 am

fring151 wrote:Yes, the arrangements in this song are EXTREMELY intricate.
That should have read 'EXTREMELY sadistic'. Twisted Evil  Sorry, couldn't help it. Wink

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Kr on Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:54 am

I watched this movie when it was released - in my early 20s.  Twice in the first week of its release and its last.  I was a Medical Rep for Glaxo at that time and was based in Nagercoil.  The movie had Prathap Pothan as the hero and either radhika or sumalatha as the heroine.  The movie was very disappointing but I loved the songs so I saw it the 2nd time.  I loved the songs so much that when I was returing home to Madras for a weekend, I bought 2 audio cassettes of the movie songs.  The best part of that was we did not have a cassette player at that time - but I didnt want to miss having the cassette of those songs if I was going to buy a cassette player in the future.

In fact, I was so disappointed for a long time since no one ever remembered the movie or the songs.  In fact, in the early 90s when I went back home from the US someone had pointed to me that there was a place in Madras where they would copy some of the old IR songs ito a CD.  I was so ecstatic when I found not only had he heard of EVK but recorded the songs into a CD for me.

I am so glad that the album has finally got its recognition.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:12 am

Thendral idai has one of the most lovely chord progressions I have heard, C# min7 --- C# min --- G#7---C# min--- F# minor---C# min, if I have this figured correctly. It is just an exquisite composition and Raja's rendering is out of the world. This might actually be one of those songs which Raja wrote around the chords as opposed to composing the tune first - and why not? 1 min, 36 seconds of pure bliss that transports me to a galaxy far far away...not to be missed.


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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Usha on Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:44 am

Thank u fring....  Audio Quality is the Main factor to listen IR songs............  7 years before..  i listened the song ( idhae periya vishayam...........)...   your video  clip is soundly tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Good.....  Thanks a lot.....
ENjoying a lot........ Think about our IR.........wat a  Music Man HE is.....................

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:46 pm

You're welcome Ushaji. Great song and decent audio quality. innum cleara irundha nalla irukkum, but paravaala...adjust pannikalaam Smile

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:20 am

Pazhaya sogangal - Another song likely composed around the chords. The best guitar prelude in IFM ever. Period. 


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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Usha on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:48 pm

indha kalathil.. ellarum sollikara... Unplugged..
ipadi elalm anniki Raja sollindu.. vilambaram seiyalai.................
idhuku per dhan Humbleness.......nammai patri.. aduthavanga sollanam. naamae sollika kudadhu............

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:12 pm

Thanks fring. What lovely, gems of songs! Thendral Idai ThoranangaL looks like it is Besant Nagar beach again and looks like the film itself was shot in and around 4th and 4th main roads of Besant Nagar and Besant Avenue with the beach. Raaja's la la la la hum starts the song. There is a melancholy in his voice. What a beautiful rendition, as he pizhunjufies the sOgam at pOi varavA?! More nostalgia for me, seeing the then pattikaattu Besant Nagar. adhu eppidi irundhudhu naavadhu padatha oru mora paakkaNum Smile

Pazhaya SogangaL again with its sense of sorrow again. All songs have this underlying pit of melancholy and that is the film's theme. Like Sureshji was saying, Raaja the scriptwriter only. His soft, whispering tone at Ragasiya and following it up with hurt in the voice at RaNangaLO and the weeping tone at nenjil kaNNeer oorAdhO?! What a singer! ivarayA ooru mokka pAdagar nu solludhu?! And what does one say of the postlude whistle! Levitating stuff wallowing in genuine sorrow.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  fring151 on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:09 pm

Yes. All songs with the possible exception of Kanavil midhakkum have a melancholic undertone. But again, somehow in some inexplicable way, when you hear these songs (at least when I do, and I suspect it must be the case for many others) you don't feel downcast or dispirited. I mean, these are not songs which make you want to wallow in your own misery. Reminds me of what Kamal said 'RAjAvin sOga pAttai kEppavanum kooda dukhi alla...thannoda dukhathai adhulla pOttu karachittu sandoshama poiduvAn'. This, I suspect is reflective of IR's own philosophy towards music and life, which he probably feels should ultimately uplift and not depress.

And  as for 'Raja mokka pAdagar' folks, I don't think it is even worth our while to engage with them. Yes, his voice has a certain rustic quality, yes, he is not always pitch perfect in live concerts, but when it comes to dynamics, aesthetics and crystal clear pronunciation, he is right up there with the best in the business , and far far superior to any current singer in TFM.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  app_engine on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:15 pm

fring151 wrote:Yes, his voice has a certain rustic quality, yes, he is not always pitch perfect in live concerts, but when it comes to dynamics, aesthetics and crystal clear pronunciation, he is right up there with the best in the business , and far far superior to any current singer in TFM.
+ infinity!

en gAnam inRu arangERum - I'm not sure how many singers could've given the feel rAsa gave to this number...including our yesteryear-top-favourites!

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:28 pm

Yes especially + infinity for the crystal clear pronunciation. Since I was listening even yesterday, 'Athaadi Paavada Kaathaada'. The crystal clearness at "kuLikkudhu Rosa naathu" and the way he makes it sit in the tune with the beauty, rhythm and folk. The Lagaram and Ragaram ellAm romba spashtam. You want to hear the Tamil, however rustic and simple, when spoken/sung correctly.

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Re: Eeeravizhi Kaaviyangal - The ethereal masterpiece

Post  ravinat on Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:06 am

Kanavil Midhakkum is very special from an interlude perspective. Any non-IR fan is bound to be totally ticked off by the interludes as they will call out the way the violins are played so badly Twisted Evil  I remember introducing this song to a group of friends, who thought I was nuts. Raja took the ideas from this song to the ultimate level with his 'Oh Butterfly'. I even heard from a 'pundit' in one of the TV programs about how Raja is so great even with abhaswaram songs - perhaps, that's why it is  called an idiot box bounce  

Why do the violins sound so much like abhaswaram in this song? I know that a number of folks in this forum understand WCM. I threw the 'Oh Butterfly' as a hint.

I know this is easy stuff for those who understand WCM. Just wanted to throw something from my personal experience.

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