SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

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SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:43 pm

This is a new album from ilayaraja. It surely needs a separate thread. I will share the articles here

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:43 pm

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/the-maestros-new-steps/article6725896.ece

In another first, Ilaiyaraaja composes music for a classical dance production, ‘Swappnam’. He gives some details to V. Balasubramanian

“Dreams are without any shackles, where you can have fast-paced fun. You are literally on an exclusive lane with no traffic jams. It varies from person to person,” begins dancer Krithika Subrahmanian who has conceived and scripted an operatic dance titled ‘Swappnam,’ produced by Namaargam Dance Company, Sreshta and Sumanth & Co. Fellow Bharatanatyam dancer Vaibhav Arekar is the co-choreographer.
The script needed music of a kind that would be expressive and guiding, and Krithika says she could not think of anyone other than maestro Ilaiyaraaja. Wary of whether he would accept such as paradigm shift in his professional work, Krithika wanted only a few songs composed by him.
But after listening to the script, Ilaiyaraaja nodded his head and said, “Why just a few songs? I will do the entire music!”
Krithika says that her excitement knew no bounds. And the following 40 days were full of bliss and divinity, as she worked with the maestro. She cherishes those moments she spent with him and is at a loss of words to describe many. Ilaiyaraaja is a nadha yogi and such experiences are bound to overwhelm any person who gets an opportunity to work with him.
The maestro spared some time amidst his busy schedule to talk about ‘Swappnam’, to be staged in Chennai. “Whether it is films or a stage production, music is the same. Though it is not a dance drama, there are enough dramatic sequences.”
This is the first time Ilaiyaraaja has scored music for a dance opera although there are several full length dance-based movies to his credit.
How different was it working for a dance-based production? He smiles. “In films, we do make a lot of compromises as the prime objective is to take it to the common man. Here too, the idea is the same but Bharatanatyam and classical music are based on certain well-accepted premises called Sastras. We have tread carefully to conform to the rules, be it the production, choreography or the music. Art or any form of art has to be really classic. I do not subscribe to the view that classic art forms never reach the common man. If executed in the right way, they can be enjoyed by one and all.”
Ilaiyaraaja loves to innovate with rhythm as is evident in his songs. Bharatanatyam offers a lot of scope for this. So what was new in this production? “In the song, ‘Pradeepta Rathnajowla,’ I have set a different talakattu.” He then looks at Krithika to explain it. She says, “It is a mix of sankirnam (nine beats) and misram (seven beats). It is new concept for a dancer to interpret. Choreographing for this was pretty tough as we had to set new jatis. It opened up a lot of dimensions for us.” Ilaiyaraaja adds that they sum up to 16 beats.
Krithika continues. “As we wanted a song with a pan-Indian feel, we requested Raja sir to compose in such a manner that it will not be identified with any particular region or State but the country as a whole. He gave us some high calibre music visualising the script. We had to do a lot of homework to create something that would only enhance his music.”
Sharreth, who had sung ‘Pradeepta,’ shared his thoughts over the phone. “After years of waiting, I first sang for Ilaiyaraaja’s 1000th film ‘Thara Tapattai’. When Raja Sir approved of my singing, I broke down. He then cajoled me and presented me with a Navaratna ring. Ever since, singing for him feels like a pilgrimage. The way he taught me was an experience of a lifetime.”
Rhythm is ubiquitous in dance. Ilaiyaraaja’s music always finds a balance between silence and music. His silent intervals too are pregnant with explanations. “You should never thrust anything in art. Every occurrence has to be natural, including the silent intervals. The ‘half count or three fourths count pauses’ before the commencement of a song are also silent intervals. In my music, the saptaswaras and the silent pauses are coherent, without any aberration.”
Thirty tracks have been recorded for ‘Swappnam’ and of then nine, will be released as a CD by santoor wizard Pt. Shivkumar Sharma on December 28. The music, according to Krithika, has evolved as a natural process without any premeditation or planning. Ilaiyaraaja asserts that the music for this production is something that cannot be experienced anywhere in the world!
The maestro adds that he has chosen ragas that seamlessly blend with the sequence, and has included popular songs such as ‘Ayye Metha kadinam’ and ‘Kana Vendamo.’He has used about 18 different types of drums to present ‘Nandichchol’ believed to have been played by Nandikeswarar.
“If I am to describe this whole process with Raja Sir, I can only call it as a ‘vision’ that has emanated with radiance from his temple of music,” Krithika Subramanian says with emotion.
Popular Carnatic musicians such as T.V.Gopalakrishnan, Sudha Ragunathan, Rajashree Pathak, Abhishek Raghuram, Vasudha Ravi, Poornima Sathish and Bharath Sundar have lent their voice while instrumental artists including A.K. Palanivel, Embar Kannan and Palghat Sriram have also contributed. Karthik Raja is also part of this project. The tracks were mastered by Sai Shravanam at his studio, Resound India.
About 15 artists have been allowed to listen to the tracks and interpret through painting. “That there is an aspect of Siva in every one will be realised at the end of the show,” Krithika says. It is well known that Ilaiyaraaja has an ethereal connection with Annamalaiyar. Krithika too holds Kapaliswarar close to her heart.
No wonder Lord Siva is the sutradhari for ‘Swappnam.’
The script needed music of a kind that would be expressive and guiding, and I could not think of anyone other than maestro Ilaiyaraaja.


Swappnam
[*]December 28,
6.30 p.m.:
Sir Mutha Venkatasubba
Rao hall,
Lady Andal School,
Chetpet.
[*]December 31,
7 p.m. at
Sri Krishna
Gana Sabha.
[*]January 2, 2015,
6.30 p.m.,
Narada
Gana Sabha.
Tickets:
[*]www.namaargam .com; bookmyshow.com ; eventjini.com
The Art
Alive Show
[*]On till December 28
at Decode Design Studio, Alwarpet.


“Whether it is
films or a stage production,
music is
the same.”
- Ilaiyaraaja

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:44 pm

Krithika Subramanian launches Decode in an effort to unify the arts

The first thing that hits you is the resinous tang of fresh paint, emanating from the artwork placed all around the room while its creators huddle in the centre. The launch of Decode, a design collaborative studio,in the city recently, saw many creative minds including artists, photographers and designers come together, to showcase their launch project ‘Swappnam, Dreams’ where the sole inspiration is the music composed by Illaiyaraaja, especially for this project.
Architect and dancer Krithika Subramanian of Transform Design, who will be performing to this music later this month (December 26-28), will head the initiative. According to her, “This initiative was launched in an attempt to build awareness of the arts. It is a non-commercial one. I wanted to provide a space for artists to come together and curate various projects. The name Decode stands for design collaboration delivered,” she says, adding, “Unusual work comes out when ideas are exchanged like this,” she says.
The work will be displayed at the venue of her performance she says, “Audience will have to enter the gallery to reach the performance and I’m sure this is something they have never seen before,” she says.
According to artist Shailesh B.O., who is busily painting florescent orange footprints and mudras on a dark canvas, “Dance is a celebration of the human body and I’m trying to capture its beauty in this art installation,” he says gesturing to the work in progress.
Says Krithika, “All the work is created in response to Illaiyaraaja’s music, which does not grace a classical dance production often, but he agreed to do it for this.”
Swappnam, means dreams, and the work created is inspired by this theme, she continues, “People thrive on dreams and are constantly using it to escape reality, to let go, to be what they want to be. This music is so powerful that it will transport the audience to another place.”
Keywords: Decode, design collaborative studio, Krithika Subramanian, Swappnam, Dreams

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:53 pm



Divine Dream
- R. Rajendra Kumar
e-mail: mercuryraj2001@gmail.com

December 24, 2014

It is dark. The atmosphere is chill. There is quietness. The Moon shimmers and the stars sparkle. The colour of the sky changes imperceptibly. The birds chirp even as the Divine Painter paints the sky with grey, amber, orange, crimson, red. The huge round ball makes its appearance gradually on the horizon. Suddenly the ‘Thiruppalli Ezhuchchi’ of Maanikavaachakar wafts through the cold air….And we wake up!

Is this all a dream or is it reality?
We experience such surreal moments while listening to the music of Swappnam, a dance production of Krithika Subramanian. The music conceptualized and composed by maestro Ilaiyaraaja is intensely distinctive, emotionally rich and classically melodic, taking us to the realms of the known and the unknown.

Take the ‘Thiruppalli Ezhucchi’ piece. It starts with the humming of the male and the female chorus in Bilahari with harmonious precision.  The voice of the birds is followed by the viruththam sung by Poornima Satish.  An amazing piece of swaras follows in Khandam and it is harmony again.  Isn’t it true that the dawn is always harmonious? We experience the maargazhi dawn yet again in the Thiruvembavai ‘Kozhi Silamba’ rendered by Sharath, Abishek Raghuram, Vasudha Ravi and Poornima Sathish. The mridangam patterns in this piece - which has Rasika Ranjani as arohanam and Malayamarutam as avarohanam - can wake anybody up from a deep slumber.

The alternating patterns go as ‘1 2 3 4/ 1 2 3 4/- - - -/- - - -’ and ‘1 2 3 4/1 2/1 2 3 4/ 1 2/1 2 3/ 1 2 3’ with the last two in the second 1 2 3 4  alone sounding in mel kaalam.  Meaningfully subtle! This 4 and 16 take a different avatar in ‘Pradeepta,’ the Ardhanarishwara Ashtakam of Adi Shankara. Sankeeranam and Misram alternate in pakhawaj and mridangam with pulsating vibrancy even as Megh and Kaapi move with evocative grandeur. Yin and Yang... White and Black...Shiva and Shakti!

Forms are different, god is one. The same applies to music, for after all isn’t He the music itself? The symphonic orchestra melody which is the prelude to ‘Ezhisaiyaai’ (Thevaram of Sundarar) flows through Wien, Danube, Tisza, Bodrog, Thames and finally joins the Cauvery. It is Kambhodi in full flow from then on with the veena and venu shining with a spiritual radiance. The laya vinyaasam after ‘thurisugal’ depicting the fallibilities and misdemeanors of mortals, carry the ‘Raaja Mudra’!

The Thiruvembavai ‘Kaadar Kuzhaiyaada’ rendered by Poornima Satish and Vasudha Ravi is a shower of melody in Jog with the violin and the bass flute dancing along with the other ornaments of the Lord. The snake charmer makes the veena throb with musical impulses and makes us all dance in ‘Ayye Meththa Kadinam’ rendered by Bharath Sundar. With the divine chime of the bells, we have the darshan of the Lord of Kasi in the Swati Tirunal piece ‘Visweshwara Darishanu,’ a heart-wrenching piece in Sindhu Bhairavi sung by Rajashree Pathak and Abishek Raghuram.

Swaras in Kaanada drizzle, twirl, take silky glides and dazzle in the taanam played by the veena in ‘Ammaiye appa,’ a musically gripping piece rendered by Sudha Raghunathan, Vasudha Ravi, Sreenivas and chorus. Sung with a heightened resonance by Rajashree Pathak, ‘Bhajeham’ in the raag  Purya Dhanashri quietly surrounds us like the Omkara naadam.  Full of grace, sanctity and purity and replete with reposeful ingredients, we become one with the divine.

In the tranquil state, we realize who we are. ..The dream merges with reality!

Rajendra Kumar is a music and dance enthusiast. Music is his breath and literature is his passion.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:32 pm

Songs 8 and 9 (Ayye Methakadinam and Vishweshwara Darshan) are not his tunes. He's arranged them (brilliantly at that, I mean the aarthi the rhythm evokes as the song goes to visiting Kashi to have the darshan of Lord Shiva is so appropriate in mood and may I cockily add that the song was waiting for Raaja to orchestrate it here Razz) and the first 7 songs are sparkling genius. My footnote to Rajendra Kumar's brilliant review. Do watch out for the violins and bass flute mimicking the bees evoked at 'vaNdin kuzhAmAda' in Kaadar Kuzhalaada Smile

And the energy in Bhajeham is a sibling of Om Shivoham in energy and Ninnai Charan Adaindhen in the meditative Purya Dhanasri mood. Terrific bhajan! Rajashree Pathak is the real deal here.

The vocal symphony in Koovina Poonkuyil ThiruppaLLi ezhuchi is noteworthy worthy. Every one of the 9 songs is a gem here. Thank you Raaja Smile

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Wizzy on Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:00 pm

^what is the procedure to procure this commodity in physical form?

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:35 pm

Wizzy wrote:^what is the procedure to procure this commodity in physical form?

The cd is released by Purple note - A unit of satyam cinemas. Go to satyam cinemas counter and it will be there.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Sakalakala Vallavar on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:54 pm

Wizzy wrote:^what is the procedure to procure this commodity in physical form?
Wizzy, eppdiyyaa irukka?! Wink) Contact Kamesh for physical CDs. Else u can wait till Jan5 when it reaches stores...

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  skr on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:02 pm

Wizzy , I called you to ask if you were coming for the show , but you didn't pick up .. Not sure if you have changed your no. Please give me a call whenever free..

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  skr on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:08 pm

The songs of Swappnam are Agmark Gold ..
Each of the songs in the cd are a gem and it's a pity that they aren't releasing all of them as part of a memorabilia cd..
There was a composition supposedly in Ahir Bhairavi as part of the show which is unfortunately not part of the cd Sad

Lovers of classical music will definitely find favour with this album.
I'm so stuck in Aezhisaiyai by Abhishek Raghuram that it's even tough to look beyond this , the prelude that leads to the build up of the Pallavi does something and all .. brilliance seems quite an understatement ..

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Swappnam: Music for your dreams by Suresh Sundaresan (Raaga_suresh)


Illayaraja has composed for a dance ballet for the first time. Hence there was an excitement amongst fans about this album. Let us look at how the album shapes up. First I will write about each piece and in the end give my opinion on what Raja tried doing in this album.

Dreams of the Young (Ezhisaiyai) - Abhishek Raghuram: For some reason all songs are given an English title. The song which opens the album is Ezhisaiyai. The opening though has a swell of violins in the western classical mode and other instruments join in to provide the harmony. Slowly the main violin starts playing strains of Kambhoji. Not the strong Carnatic variety, which would come later, but a more flatter Kambhoji. Towards the end of the symphonic music, you start hearing Kambhoji clearly, atleast clear enough to know that Kambhoji would follow. The violinist does a great job.

Abhishek Raghuram is in familiar territory. It is Kambhoji of the concert variety that he starts singing, with the veena and venu providing him support. It is here that you start hearing the rhythmic variation and this would be a constant feature of this album but I am running ahead. The rhythm instruments, mridangam, kanjira, ghatam and morsing get their share of attention, playing a sort of mini thaniavarthanam. The tune hugs to Kambhoji and when the piece finishes it is almost as if you have heard a standard concert piece. At the same time, the rhythmic variations offer a lot for the dancers.

Adoration (Kathar Kuzhalada - Tiruvempavai) Poornima Satish and Vasudha Ravi: (Surprisingly the cover says it is Tiruvasagam.) This Jog based melody is a knockout melody right from the pallavi. As with Tiruvasagam here too Raja gives us the feel of the 'bee' with violin imitating a 'bee' at 'vandin kuzham aada'. You will miss it easily and as is Raja's wont he does it very naturally, as if the violin is showing us one facet of Jog. The sarvalagu accompaniment for most part and the few twists once in a while keep the interest alive. There is a bit of tension between the tune and the rhythm which I am unable to articulate. The tune is something to die for and combined with the rhythm makes you dance involuntarily. Amazing melody this one. Poornima Satish and Vasudha Ravi do a terrific job.

Romance (Pradeeptha) Shareth and group: There is too much happening in the rhythm front that I am not able to follow but Rajendra writing in his blog says this is the 9+7 beat that Raja uses in the beginning. (Technically a sankeernam + mishram) It changes a bit later. Infact too much happens rhythmically in this and yet it doesn't sound forced. It is as if this is the only way you can orchestrate this song.

The tune is filled with vocal harmonies and is majestic, doing full justice to the verses. The verses glow in this song. And observe the orchestration: veena, flute, mridangam, pakhway and voices. Raja creates a song of great grandeur, as grand as Siva himself. It is very difficult to pin down the Raga. (There are traces of Kapi and Desh but when it comes to Raja it is better not to commit any raga to be on the safer side. ) Sarath and the group of singers outdo themselves, with the swaras which come in between wonderfully done. It is just impossible to believe that this song is just 4 mins long. There are so many ideas packed that I found it difficult to believe that he could pack all of them and create such a epic piece in that short time span. This song is like a natural wonder.

Recognition (Koovina Poonkuyil) Poornima Satish and group: The title also says Vocal Harmony and the song starts with a lovely vocal harmony, almost like Acapella, based on Bilahari. Ragas like Bilahari are quite difficult to fit into the harmonic framework given how rooted they are in Carnatic music. Taking up such challenges is Raja's daily job and the Bilahari harmony is outstanding. Then after a chirping of birds, Poornima Satish sings 'Koovina Poonkuyil', the Tiruvempavai Tirupalliezhuchi, with just the violin accompaniment. Once that is done, we have vocal harmonies with voices now singing the swaras. What a lovely Bilahari they deliver. The last section of swaras especially is charming. Again so many ideas packed into a less than 3 min piece.

Reverence (Bhajeham) Rajashree Pathak and group: This song introduces us to the best singer in this album, Rajashree Pathak. This is the first time I am hearing. She sings with assurance and precision. Her voice in the lower registers is powerful and it suits this song perfectly. The song is the famous Bhajeham Bhajeham which has been tuned and sung by many people. Raja brings in a meditative mood to this song, which Rajashree delivers perfectly. The initial strains of the veena capture the mood. The song is not meditative in a slow way but it is meditative and vigorous at the same time. A power packed meditation. It would sound incongruous but if you hear this you will agree with me. The rhythm is subdued and the tune is the one which carries the power within itself. A lovely interlude featuring the veena and flute add to the beauty of the song. The song ends with 'sivoham sivoham' sung at faster pace.

Realization (Ammaye Appa) Sudha Raghunathan Vasudha Ravi, Srinivas and group :  Raja had used this piece in his magnum opus, Tiruvasagam. While he orchestrated it in the western classical way, he makes Sudha sing this in Kanada with just violin as the accompaniment. The Kanada sounds lovely in Sudha's voice. The best part happens after she finishes sings. The veena picks up and plays Kanada for a few seconds, Then the vocal harmony starts. With only voices as backing Vasudha and Srinivas sing the same virutham again, It is a superb harmony that Raja builds with the backing merging brilliantly with the foreground singing. And listen to how they finish it. This harmonic piece alone is worth the cost of this CD.

Wisdom (Ayye Meththa Kadinam) Barath Sundar : Raja recites what I think is a Tiruvembavai verse before Bharath Sundar starts the famous Punnagavarali piece of Gopalakrisha Bharathi piece, 'ayye meththa kadinam' made famous by the inimitable M M Dandapani Desikar. Raja uses the same tune, The mridangam accompaniment is very interesting with the mridangam paying lot of nadais in the charanam and the syncopated beats alternating with sarvalaghu create an additional interest in this already lovely song.

Awakening (Kozhi Silamba) : Shareth, Abhisekh Raghuram, Vasudha Hari and Poornima Satish:  The song starts with an interesting rhythm with the mridagam playing some fast phrase in an otherwise slow rhythm. The rhythm has enough silence to grab our interest. The tune perfectly evokes the morning right from the word go when the female humming starts and each of the singers does great justice to this amazing tune. Once again vocal harmonies towards the end add additional depth to the song. Again a plethora of ideas in a song which last just 2.2 mins

Dream of Old (Vishweswara Darshan) Rajashree Pathak and Abhishek Raghuram : This is the famous Swati Tirunal piece which is often sung in concerts. Raja uses the tune as it is and the rhythm is kept well in control letting the tune take precedence.

The chimes of the bells, the pakhwaj (or some other North Indian rhythm instrument) try to take you to Kasi. The interesting aspect is that Rajashree Pathak's voice sounds masculine and Abhishek feminine. Not sure if Raja wanted it that way but that is how I felt especially with Abhishek singing the high pitch. Rajashree is very assured here and the Sindhu Bhairavi is a joy to hear.

Truth (Anbum Sivamum) Raja : The album ends with Raja reciting one of Tirumular's Tirumandhiram 'anbe sivam'

Overall this is a fantastic album. Raja as his wont straddles multiple worlds with ease. One one hand, he experiments with vocal harmonies in Indian ragas, one the other hand he gives us mellow tunes keeping with the requirement of the dance drama. The rhythm is the mainstay of this album but Raja doesn't let it intrude and spoil the melody. While rhythmic experiments are happening all the while, they somehow end up supporting the tune and don't distract you.

This is an album, which the master of dance, Lord Siva himself, wouldn't mind dancing to.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Balu on Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:55 pm

Ilayaraaja said he can compose music like this for people who come to him with subjects like this. The same example he said for k balachandar during the audio release of the movie DHONI.

Pandit Shiv Kumar sharma was praising ilayaraaja's music writing abilities and said god has chosen him to do it. Ilayaraaja in his speech accepted it. He said he does not know from where the music comes.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  fring151 on Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:51 am

I'll repeat - Swappnam simply reinforces the fact that Ilayaraja is possibly (certainly?) India's greatest living cultural treasure. Only a person with a profound understanding of Indian philosophy, literature, art, aesthetics, and of course, music can do something like Swpannam or TiS or NBW.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  counterpoint on Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:01 am

Hmm.. swapnam'la TM Krishna paadalaiya :-)

Glad to note that names like Sharreth are being featured often in IR's compositions these days. Similar feelings on seeing the whiz kid Abhishek Raghuram's name in the credits. More such collaborations are needed.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  jaiganesh on Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:29 am

counterpoint wrote:Hmm.. swapnam'la TM Krishna paadalaiya :-)

Glad to note that names like Sharreth are being featured often in IR's compositions these days. Similar feelings on seeing the whiz kid Abhishek Raghuram's name in the credits. More such collaborations are needed.
oho indha collaborationsla dhaan kozhambe kodhikkudhungreengaLaa?

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  app_engine on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:18 pm

Youtube has the album now:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLED5jPa_hewtVhMH33UI6EDSE4PE4iEkU

One song with vocal harmony (koovina poonguyil) :


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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  ravinat on Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:24 am

Firstly, we are blessed to have a composer who can do such great work. I have not heard music in a loop for the past few months and this one will linger on for a long time.

Secondly, Suresh's review. It is so fitting and gets you to focus on several things that are going on with each song.

Who else can put you on cloud 9? Raja and the cloud guy  Very Happy

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  skr on Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:55 pm

Review by Kalyanaraman Gopalan after watching the show in Narada Gana Sabha on 2nd Jan 2015

02/01/2015
Swappnam - a Maestro Ilaiyaraaja Musical treat
“Swappnam – the title is so vast. It encompasses all emotions – that of children, the aged, romance, the aspirations, everything. Thiruvembavai, Thevaram, Shiva leela conceived like the Raasleela, Shivoham, Eppovaruvaro, all the pieces are very close to my heart” – Maestro Ilaiyaraaja.


True to his words, Swappnam was really an experience, a musical experience. This reminded me of the lines from the book “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra and I’m quoting the physicist’s experience for the pleasure of your reading.
“Five years ago, I had a beautiful experience which set me on a road that has led to the writing of this book.


I was sitting by the ocean one late summer afternoon, watching the waves rolling in and feeling the rhythm of my breathing, when I suddenly became aware of my whole environment as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic dance. Being a physicist, I knew that the sand, rocks, water, and air around me were made of vibrating molecules and atoms, and that these consisted of particles which interacted with one another by creating and destroying other particles. I knew also that the earth’s atmosphere was continually bombarded by showers of “cosmic rays,” particles of high energy undergoing multiple collisions as they penetrated the air. All this was familiar to me from my research in high-energy physics, but until that moment I had only experienced it through graphs, diagrams, and mathematical theories. As I sat on that beach my former experiences came to life; I “saw” cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I “saw” the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I “heard” its sound,……and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshipped by the Hindus.”


Krithika Subrahmanian’s introductory speech clearly set the expectations, an expectation with an open mind !


I had the greatest opportunity to interact with the Maestro few years back and gathering lot of courage asked him a question. I asked him if he had composed any song in raga Bhairavi. He smiled and replied that he did not compose any song in Bhairavi and added that it is a gana raga and that many stalwarts have aleady done wonders with this raga.


The programme started with “Kunitha Puruvamum” (4th Thirumurai) from Thiruvembavai in raga Bhairavi !
Raga Revathi is close to Lord Shiva’s heart it seems and the musical garland decorating Him is certainly not complete without a flower of Revathi in it isn’t ! A short and crisp piece with Jathi in Revathi raga was the first piece with choreography. I have never seen a dance programme showing the life of Bala Sivan and the choreograph was neatly done involving two cute kids where the Bala Shiva, the snake charmer, tames the snake that is around His neck every now and then ! Beautifully conceived. A Nelambari with Sudha Raghunathan’s honey-coated mellifluous voice puts the kids to sleep. 

“Ezhisaiyai”, Thevaaram of Sundarar with the wonderful voice of Abhishek Raghuram was the next piece in Kambodhi. The song was choreographed well with right choice of costumes.

https://soundcloud.com/connectkaly…/yaezhisaiyai-kambodhi-ar

With Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance as central theme the team had equal number of male and female dancers. However, what I felt was the portions of male dancers were more of display of martial arts than classical dance. 
Swati TirunaL’s “Vishweshwara Darishanu” in Sindu Bhairavi was heart-wrenching in the voices of Rajashree Pathak and Abhishek. The interludes with a beautiful orchestration were simply melting.

https://soundcloud.com/…/vishweshara-darishanu-sindhu-bhair…

The melody emanating from the nadaswaram in Charukesi was Maestro’s touch reminding us his background score in Kovil Pura. 
Eppo Varuvaro in jOnpuri and kAna vEndAmo in Sri Ranjani in Bharath Sundar’s voice was a treat for our ears. The songs had some melodious interludes built in elevating the listening experience. 
This was followed by Adi Sankara’s Ardhanareshwara Ashtakam “Pradeepta”. It was a brilliant and complex composition in 9 and 7 counts (SankErnam and Misram) alternating in Pakhwaj and Mrudangam with pulsating vibrancy in Kaapi Ragam.

https://soundcloud.com/connectkalyan/sankeernam

Palakkad Sriram was outstanding with his flute and the composition had the typical stamp of Raaja’s chorus.
https://soundcloud.com/connectkalyan/sankeernam

The next composition reminded us Papanasam Shri. Sivan’s Ennappan Allava sung by DhandapAni Desikar. “Ayye Meththa Kadinam” in Bharath Sundar’s voice in Punnaga VaraLi ragam explained how we are caught in this materialistic life counting what we don’t have instead of counting what we have. 
Can someone compose a Capella in Bilahari? The song starts with a Capella style chorus and was wonderfully choreographed with some wonderful visuals

https://soundcloud.com/connectkalyan/a-capella-bilahari

Verses from the hymns of Rudram, Chamakam and Sama Vedham were aptly inserted at appropriated places. 
Another brilliant experimentation for the krithi “Naadha Thanumanisham” in Chiththa Ranjani was usage of Chandai.

In Thiruvasakam, the verses “Chikkenappidithaen engezhundharuLuvadhiye” had distress, pain and sorrow pleading to God to shower His grace. Maestro, for Swappnam, composed this in KAnada in Sudha Ragunathan’s voice. Wonder how he knits western classical with Indian classical so seamlessly and effortlessly. The song has a wonderful piece in a Capella style in kAnada (Anbinil viLaindha Aramudhe”).
https://soundcloud.com/connectkalyan/a-capella-kaanada

The pick of the evening, in my opinion, was the wonderful melting Bhajan sung with an elevating resonance by Rajashree Pathak in Puriya Dhnashri (I thought it was Hamsanandhi during my first listening). 
I only thought the choreography could have been better. Perhaps for a novice like me there were many “blind spots” !
Overall it was a wonderful musical experience with full of grace, sanctity and purity and replete with reposeful ingredients, we become one with the DIVINE !


I urge all music lovers to buy the audio CD and this will indeed be a priceless possession

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  soco_sri on Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:37 pm

Good news for folks in US - Swappnam is now avaiable on iTunes and Amazon digital !

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  kiru on Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:24 pm

soco_sri wrote:Good news for folks in US - Swappnam is now avaiable on iTunes and Amazon digital !

Re: Amazon Digital - I dont want to buy mp3s. Getting indian film music legally here in the US is a BIG issue. Spotify just streams and I dont trust even the premium ogg-vorbis format. I want some real lossless format or WAV files.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  kiru on Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:30 pm

I listened to the 7 songs on youtube. As a non-classical music listener my appreciation for it is not as much as some of you here, but definitely I am able to enjoy these songs very well. There is a modern feel to it, without the actual synth sounds (even though synth is being used in these recordings). If I am not mistaken IR is pushing the 'sabha' style carnatic music concert format to some extent , but not fully. I guess he does not want to alienate the purists. Apart from the vocal harmonies widely noted here, i see some innovative 'fills' using the veena or flute, not to mention the interludes. He has also arranged a 'rhythm concert' in one. The symphonic prelude in one is really enjoyable and classical music lovers seem to discern the raagam in it well. Film music and other albums will continue to be the medium IR experiments in integrating WCM and ICM, I guess.

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  kameshratnam on Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:31 am

This song is not in the cd. It was shared today by Palakkad sreeram

https://soundcloud.com/palakkadsreeram/singing-sloka-music-by-raja-sir-for-swapnam-for-krithika-ji

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  jaiganesh on Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:04 am

kamsh sir.andha 7 paattayum part 2 release panna sollunga.. pls..

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  MH on Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:22 pm

Am deeply addicted to visweswara song.. The phrase where the female voice sings janan maranu.... Whenever I hear this song, the other sing which comes and reverberate in my mind is, Mile Sur Mera.... Don't know why..

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Re: SWAPPNAM -A DREAM ON SIVA

Post  Drunkenmunk on Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:35 am

Easwar wrote:Am deeply addicted to visweswara song.. The phrase where the female voice sings janan maranu....  Whenever I hear this song,  the other sing which comes and reverberate in my mind is,  Mile Sur Mera.... Don't know why..  
Both are the same raaga, Sindhu Bairavi. Nothing odd. You just happen to have a fine ear Smile

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