Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:43 pm

Usha wrote:ravinat,

intricate harmonies.... idhae theriyadhae  yarukum.. apo edhuku Obsure nu solli limit panreenga..........

poovukoru arasan poovarasan.. indha youtube il sound nalla iruku enaku...........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH3Luy0dzoI

rasathi rasathi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os3IgGkSE-k

Usha

  I want to surface not so known films and songs where Raja has done great harmony work. If I were to cover Raja's harmony in his popular tunes, we will be in this thread forever. You can create almost 10,000 posts to the thread - let's not go there.

  The youtube videos are the same ones that I dismissed as bad quality. Raja deserves better!

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:40 am

I had mentioned about how Raja wites beautiful harmonies for 5 seconds with the same level of commitment as a large score like TIS or OAK. This post will showcase another such few seconds of harmony that few composers write.

Pon Vilangu (Tamil 1993) is another such forgettable film which has a beautiful song 'Oru Kolakili Sonnadhe' by PJ and Sunanda. We will particularly focus on the prelude of this song.

Between 0:20 and 0:29 Raja starts this song as a tremolo strings arrangement and uses synthesizers and flute to add an occasional layer to his harmony parts. 

Between 0:30 to 0:45, the tremolo strings continue with the flute taking the lead as one of the harmony parts. 

25 seconds of pure harmony based melodic bliss to the song, that you can now come to expect of Raja...


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  Usha on Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:20 am

ravinat,

indha badhilai edhirparthen dhan........... IR's  Music Greatness.......  ellam theriyanam....... ondrum illadhadhai ellam ellarum kondadum podhu...

IR endrum  solli kolla matar....... adhu dhan unmaiyana humble........  ungalal dhan...  ipodhu theriyaradhu..... idhaiyum limit panna vendamae
endru oru perasai.. adhan kaetutuen........ no prob... unga style il.. unga ennapadi continue pannungo..............

song quality...... 90s songs.. ellam  ipadi than iruku....... padathilum dhan........ konjam kashtamana time dhan adhu............2000 la irundhu
quality nalla irukum..........

parkalam.. raja4ever or DM.. ivanaga dhan good qualityai ready pannanam.. indha poovkoru arasan poovarasan paatuku....

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:43 am

The song of this post is from a popular film, but this song was not in the film and also its wonderful harmonies are never discussed (exception, I remember a post from Vicky) in popular Raja forums. The song not only had nice instrument harmonies, but excellent vocal harmonies. 

Oru Vaandu Kootame from Nandalala (Tamil 2010) is the song we will discuss in this post.



Instrument Harmony passage 1: Between 1:11 and 1:32 - the initial harmony between 1:11 and 1:19 is purely with violins. From 1:19 to 1:32, one of the parts is given up for the synthesizer that plays its own melody. 

Vocal harmony passage 1: 2:18 to 2:38

இல்லை ஒரு பள்ளிப்பாட தொல்லை  - female child voice in 'T'  (all three lines) - this is not harmony
நாம் போகும் தூரம் எல்லை இல்லாதது
என்று சொல்லு கண்ணம்மா

கூரை இல்லாத பள்ளிக்கூடம் நமக்கிருக்கு - female child voice in 'T', Raja and the male child voice in 'A' (both lines)
ஊரில் திரிந்தபடி கற்றுக் கொள்ளம்மா

ஹே மேகம் குடு குடு கல்பாறை - 'T', 'S' and 'A' arranged with a minor shift as a beautiful vocal harmony
தாகம் தணிக்கிற தண்ணீர் பந்தல்
போகும் வழியில நீரோடை நீச்சல் அடிச்சிடலாம்



For those who watch live TV programming and consider the competitors as singing great harmony, please hear these lines, again. Raja gets the kids to beat them hollow.


Vocal harmony passage 2: 3:45 to 4:05

While the second harmony passage appears identical, Raja does some clever harmony switching, if you observe closely.

கண்ணா நீ எங்களையும் உன் கூட்டில் சேர்ந்து கொள்ளு  - Raja sings this  in 'T'  (all four lines) - this is not harmony (see the difference between the earlier passage)
என்னா இது உனக்கு பிடிக்கலியா

சொன்னா உன்னை விடவும் என்னா குறும்பு செய்வோம்
வெண்ணையை திருடி தர நாங்கள் இல்லையா

ஹேய் ரோட்டு கடையில் சாப்பாடு  - 'T', 'S' and 'A' arranged with a minor shift as a beautiful vocal harmony. Now Raja sticks to his 'T', and gets the children to take care of the 'S' and 'A'. 
வழியில கடை மேல குதிச்சிட வேண்டும்

உண்டியல் உடைச்சி சில்லறை எடுத்து
ஓடி ஆடு கண்ணா



A great lesson in vocal harmony for those who really want to practice it. For him, another walk in the park or do you say that it's child's play ?  Very Happy

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:48 am

Another Carnatic favorite of mine that is harmony laden is 'Ponnil Vaanam Poothathu' from Villu Paatukaaran (Tamil 1992). According to Vel, this song is set to Khamas. Harmony within Khamas, that's Raja.

Harmony passage1 1:08 to 1:15 - Done beautifully with violins in pizzicatto mode, lead violins, synthesizer and flute - it has the Raja harmony written all over it. 

Harmony passage2 1:28 to 1:32 - Synthesizer, guitar and a bass guitar playing the harmony parts just for 4 secs - another small walk in the park.

Harmony passage3 2:15 to 2:27 - Passage 3 is a further development of passage 2. Synthesizer, guitar, bass guitar and now a flute added to the mix. If you observe closely, there are three melodies in play at the same time for these 12 seconds, the first one is the singing bass guitar (80s fans must now be happy), the synthesizer plays its own melody and the third melody is played by the flute. It is very easy to screw this up (ends up as cacophony, instead of polyphony), but not to worry when it is in the master's hands. Few composers can write this.


Harmony passage4 2:28 to 2:38 - This is a repeat of harmony passage 1. 


Harmony passage5 2:39 to 2:45 - These six seconds have 3 harmony calls responded by simple flute melody. Each of these 3 harmony passages is about 1 second, but even this is carefully arranged.

Carnatic, Western harmony coexisting so beautifully - this is possible only in Raja's compositions. I have not heard anybody who can do this better before his time and now.

The only thing disappointing is the visuals.


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:26 pm

Though I covered Ajanthaa (Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam 2007) in this topic, one of the finest harmonies written by Raja in the 21st century is in the song 'Thoorigai Indri' from Ajanthaa, that obviously went unnoticed. 

This is absolutely a modern harmony - nothing gets more modern than this. He uses synthesizers, traditional violins, flute, synthesized flute and literally freaks out.

Harmony Passage 1: Prelude between 0:01 to 0:21 - Starts off with a piano roll and is joined by the violins, cellos, double bases, synthesized flute and regular flute to knock any WCM listener's socks out. Observe the last few seconds of the prelude - though not a tremolo arrangement, intricate is an understatement. You do not hear these 20 seconds from any Indian composer - period! Worth every second as a ring tone.


Harmony passage 2 : 2:55 to 3:22  - This is one of the earliest set of interludes that made me realize the genius of this man. 2:55 to 3:00 - this is almost like a Carnatic avarohanam on the violins with the piano and the cellos taking care of the other harmony parts - I have heard these parts at least a thousand times. 3:01 to 3:10 - it is more of a Carnatic play (experts tell me what ragam this is) on top of the harmony parts played by the piano, cellos, and violins. 3:11 to 3:22 is a beautiful C&R between the violins and flute. This sometimes reminds me of the second interlude of 'Enulle Engum'.

For those who dismiss Raja's modern work as 'synth' must hear this before typing the first letter on any forum...

I would take this synth any day for Raja's 80s. The 80s fan argue about his abilities to interplay with ICM and WCM - this track is a great modern showcase of this interplay. Try replicating this and retain the beauty of it - guaranteed to fall flat.


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:07 pm

In my WCM Raja world, 2007 was a great year - Ajanthaa and Cheeni Kum made a huge difference. He also did his Carnatic based Malayalam film, of which Sooryan is an important one. This film had an average run and the songs did not get very popular. Ishatakaari and Vasantha Nilavin are my favorite songs from this film.

We will focus on the title score of Sooryan (Malayalam 2007).

The title score is half Western and half ICM. We will discuss the harmony parts of the title score only here..

Harmony passage 1: 0:01 to 0:10 secs - The synthesizer plays the A part and the sustained violin note takes care of the S - you'll notice that the other two parts are filled by the bass and the synthesized violins. A nice introductory play for what follows.


Harmony passage 2: 0:11 to  0:35 secs  -  this is pure harmony with just violins and the bass parts being played on a synthesizer. 29 seconds of WCM bliss. Raja separates the WCM and the ICM that follows by a single bell note on the synthesizer.

https://soundcloud.com/dil-1/title-score-sooryan-2007

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Tue May 03, 2016 3:53 am

Kanukkulle (Tamil 2009) was a story of a violinist which went nowhere. There were some fantastic songs by Raja in this film.

The first 38 seconds of the title score of this film is a violin harmony treat. What follows is a melodious violin based tune with percussion and bass. My focus is the first 38 seconds of this good title score:

https://soundcloud.com/navinmozart/illayaraja-kannukulle-2009-soundtrack-titles-with-violin-sonata

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 am

Kamagni (Hindi 1989) should have been a disaster of a movie for sure. However, it had some great songs and fantastic arrangements. Not sure how HFM world did not latch on to such great harmonies of Raja, after hearing some of his work in this movie. Till Balki came on the scene, Raja had no HFM opportunities that are worth talking about.

Before I start off describing the harmonies in the song Jiske Sahare, thanks to DM for uploading a great quality song. 

Harmony passage 1: 0:01 to 0:08 Starts off like a WCM concert with violins in counterpoint. Why only 8 seconds?

Harmony passage 2 : 0:09 to 0:20 - The clarinet, the double bases and the violins provide a full treat - something special here that is reserved for my next research topic.

Harmony passage 3 : 0:21 to 0:25 - this is a canon. All the violins play the exact same note with the pitch constantly going up. Raja has used canons in many of his compositions.

The backup strings throughout this song is something all composers of today must learn how to arrange. One word - brilliant!


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Wed May 11, 2016 7:51 pm

Raja had very good introductory songs for both Ashaji and Lataji. His first song for Lataji was 'Aaraaro' from Anand (1987), which had a below average performance.

This post is about one of the most soothing harmonies written by Raja for the song Aaraaro from Anand.



Please do the following to listen to this song and enjoying it: 1) Listen to it uninterrupted once and I am sure you'll enjoy the melody and the flow of the arrangement without the detail. 2) The second time around, please stop at the places I have listed below and listen - you'll appreciate the genius better.

Listen to the prelude.

Harmony passage 01 : 0:09 to 0:30 secs - The whole passage has a simple Alto part in a synthesizer which is common for all the 21 seconds. The other parts - bass lines, flute, synthesizer, violin lines come and go. You can just play this 21 seconds in a loop and when they say in English, 'Peace and harmony', you'll understand why.

Harmony passage 02: 1:08 to 1:22 secs - Two harmony parts are played by the violins between 1:08 and 1:14 in preparation for the countermelody that follows. Violins play another melody on the other two parts with the two harmony parts continuing as before. Very melodious, simple and beautiful counter melody that is typical of Raja. There is no bragging here that he knows these techniques and the flow of this harmony passages is the highlight of this song. Right match to the queen of melody.

Harmony passage 03: 1:23 to 1:31 secs - The two foreground harmony parts are adjusted to become the background melody and the synthesizer now plays the foreground melody. You can simply call this as harmony and walk away and one is not mistaken. However, the switch of the violin parts between passage 02 to passage 03 defines the master from the boys. Please show me an arrangement such as this from any other Indian composer!

Harmony passage 04: 2"34 to 2:50 secs - the synthesizer plays a simple repetitive melody covering one part of the harmony and the flute joins the fray with its own counter melody. This is arranged as a three part (the bass lines obviously take one part). The flute melody is such a soothing one that you almost forget it is playing counter to the synthesizer. Raja does this in many of his compositions. Give one of the instruments the dominant part.

If you stitch all the 4 harmonies together using software tools, you can easily figure how this baby flows:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Music?preview=Aararo+Aararo.mp3

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  Drunkenmunk on Wed May 11, 2016 9:05 pm

ravinat wrote:Raja had very good introductory songs for both Ashaji and Lataji. His first song for Lataji was 'Aaraaro' from Anand (1987), which had a below average performance.

This post is about one of the most soothing harmonies written by Raja for the song Aaraaro from Anand.



Please do the following to listen to this song and enjoying it: 1) Listen to it uninterrupted once and I am sure you'll enjoy the melody and the flow of the arrangement without the detail. 2) The second time around, please stop at the places I have listed below and listen - you'll appreciate the genius better.

Listen to the prelude.

Harmony passage 01 : 0:09 to 0:30 secs - The whole passage has a simple Alto part in a synthesizer which is common for all the 21 seconds. The other parts - bass lines, flute, synthesizer, violin lines come and go. You can just play this 21 seconds in a loop and when they say in English, 'Peace and harmony', you'll understand why.

Harmony passage 02: 1:08 to 1:22 secs - Two harmony parts are played by the violins between 1:08 and 1:14 in preparation for the countermelody that follows. Violins play another melody on the other two parts with the two harmony parts continuing as before. Very melodious, simple and beautiful counter melody that is typical of Raja. There is no bragging here that he knows these techniques and the flow of this harmony passages is the highlight of this song. Right match to the queen of melody.

Harmony passage 03: 1:23 to 1:31 secs - The two foreground harmony parts are adjusted to become the background melody and the synthesizer now plays the foreground melody. You can simply call this as harmony and walk away and one is not mistaken. However, the switch of the violin parts between passage 02 to passage 03 defines the master from the boys. Please show me an arrangement such as this from any other Indian composer!

Harmony passage 04: 2"34 to 2:50 secs - the synthesizer plays a simple repetitive melody covering one part of the harmony and the flute joins the fray with its own counter melody. This is arranged as a three part (the bass lines obviously take one part). The flute melody is such a soothing one that you almost forget it is playing counter to the synthesizer. Raja does this in many of his compositions. Give one of the instruments the dominant part.

If you stitch all the 4 harmonies together using software tools, you can easily figure how this baby flows:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Music?preview=Aararo+Aararo.mp3
Very fine write up. But not sure this qualifies as an obscure song. Gets TV airtime even today.

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Wed May 11, 2016 10:11 pm

ravinat wrote:Raja had very good introductory songs for both Ashaji and Lataji. His first song for Lataji was 'Aaraaro' from Anand (1987), which had a below average performance.

This post is about one of the most soothing harmonies written by Raja for the song Aaraaro from Anand.



Please do the following to listen to this song and enjoying it: 1) Listen to it uninterrupted once and I am sure you'll enjoy the melody and the flow of the arrangement without the detail. 2) The second time around, please stop at the places I have listed below and listen - you'll appreciate the genius better.

Listen to the prelude.

Harmony passage 01 : 0:09 to 0:30 secs - The whole passage has a simple Alto part in a synthesizer which is common for all the 21 seconds. The other parts - bass lines, flute, synthesizer, violin lines come and go. You can just play this 21 seconds in a loop and when they say in English, 'Peace and harmony', you'll understand why.

Harmony passage 02: 1:08 to 1:22 secs - Two harmony parts are played by the violins between 1:08 and 1:14 in preparation for the countermelody that follows. Violins play another melody on the other two parts with the two harmony parts continuing as before. Very melodious, simple and beautiful counter melody that is typical of Raja. There is no bragging here that he knows these techniques and the flow of this harmony passages is the highlight of this song. Right match to the queen of melody.

Harmony passage 03: 1:23 to 1:31 secs - The two foreground harmony parts are adjusted to become the background melody and the synthesizer now plays the foreground melody. You can simply call this as harmony and walk away and one is not mistaken. However, the switch of the violin parts between passage 02 to passage 03 defines the master from the boys. Please show me an arrangement such as this from any other Indian composer!

Harmony passage 04: 2"34 to 2:50 secs - the synthesizer plays a simple repetitive melody covering one part of the harmony and the flute joins the fray with its own counter melody. This is arranged as a three part (the bass lines obviously take one part). The flute melody is such a soothing one that you almost forget it is playing counter to the synthesizer. Raja does this in many of his compositions. Give one of the instruments the dominant part.

If you stitch all the 4 harmonies together using software tools, you can easily figure how this baby flows:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Music?preview=Aararo+Aararo.mp3

Forgot to mention one important thing. Listen to the Raja version of the song. The harmonies are very simple and they are different from the Lataji version. I have not seen the movie and I am guessing here. There could be two reasons: 1) the Raja version could be for a different situation or 2) For Lataji, Raja may have decided to rewrite the interludes as he would have wanted to decorate her first song for him better.

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  Usha on Thu May 12, 2016 2:15 pm

ravinat wrote:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Music?preview=Aararo+Aararo.mp3[/quote]

Forgot to mention one important thing. Listen to the Raja version of the song. The harmonies are very simple and they are different from the Lataji version. I have not seen the movie and I am guessing here. There could be two reasons: 1) the Raja version could be for a different situation or 2) For Lataji, Raja may have decided to rewrite the interludes as he would have wanted to decorate her first song for him better.[/quote]

ravinat,

dropbox enaku work agalai....

paatu kaetadhu ilai. kaearadhuku link ilai... link pl............

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Fri May 13, 2016 12:08 am

Usha wrote:ravinat wrote:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Music?preview=Aararo+Aararo.mp3

Forgot to mention one important thing. Listen to the Raja version of the song. The harmonies are very simple and they are different from the Lataji version. I have not seen the movie and I am guessing here. There could be two reasons: 1) the Raja version could be for a different situation or 2) For Lataji, Raja may have decided to rewrite the interludes as he would have wanted to decorate her first song for him better.[/quote]

ravinat,

dropbox enaku work agalai....

paatu kaetadhu ilai. kaearadhuku link ilai... link pl............[/quote]


Try hearing the clip by this link:

http://geniusraja.blogspot.ca/2009/02/rajas-spectrum-of-moods-with-violins.html

Remember, that you need to use Chrome and not IE.

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Fri May 13, 2016 4:06 am

In the first post of this topic, I mentioned about 'Samakozhi' and the harmonies Raja just added to the song. The film itself was not an obscure one, just the fact that Raja will throw in harmonies into his otherwise folk composition.

This post is about a song that is not strictly not a folk number. However, as a song, there does not seem to be any scope for harmony, similar to Samakozhi.

We will cover the song, 'Ennathil Etho' from KallukkuL Eeram (Tamil 1980). 

Observe the second interlude and you will notice that this is arranged beautifully as a melodious harmony.

Harmony passage 1: 2:37 to 2:40 The usual Raja prep for a counter melody done with violins.
Harmony passage 2: 2:41 to 2:55 : While the violins continue on the background, the flute melody in the foreground for the next 16 bars or so is arranged in countermelody
Harmony passage 3: 3:00 to 3:07 : With the violins in the background, a synthesizer and a flute take care of two other harmony parts in a nice arrangement.

The picturization has absolutely terrible and so avoided the original footage. Another walk in the park ..


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  Usha on Fri May 13, 2016 9:57 am

Thanks for the link ravinat.. chrome la dhan iruken. blog il .. link kaeka mudiyum.........

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Mon May 16, 2016 4:56 am

Marangal Tharum Malargal - Dhruva Natchathiram (Tamil 1990)

This is a film I did not know about, till CSR introduced this song to me. This is a true work of a maestro (as mentioned before, I take this term very seriously, and this is the second time I have used it in this series) that deserves the highest accolades. Whenever I hear this track, I always recollect the description of John Williams's score of Raiders of the Lost Ark by Steven Spielberg. Unfortunately, there is no Spielberg to describe Raja's work and hence we need to do that  Embarassed By the way, Spielberg just described that it was a lengthy sequence and JW used horns to elevate the scene. Some of you may realize, why I keep loving these two maestros all the time after watching both these videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1guGftFSxbM

Thanks DM for the youtube clean audio, on this song.

There are only two harmony passages in this composition. The second passage is long and perhaps between 25 and 30 bars. However, to highlight the score, I will split the second passage into multiple passages, as it is convenient to explain the work of Raja.

Harmony passage 01: 0:58 to 1:10 secs: The first few seconds is just a synthesizer tone playing a bass part.1:03 to 1:07 is a thunder of violins playing all the 4 parts when the children continue to sing. You have to hear this patiently, as you can hear a wave of violins gushing and playing the A and the other bank of violins support it with the T part. The horns now join briefly for 2 seconds between 1:08 and 1:09 giving you a precursor to what will happen later on.

Harmony passage 02 (1) : 1:41 to 1:54 secs: For the first 6 seconds, it is violins in full cry playing harmony in all parts. You simply do not get to hear anything like this in Indian films. At 1:48, the horns join the full cry of the violins playing their harmony part till 1:54. You can hear the harmony divided clearly into two parts - the ones with the violins in high pitch playing their part throughout this 6 seconds and the horns playing with another bank of violins intermittently. This gives the heightened tension to the viewer of events that are unfolding on the screen. This is film music at its finest. 

Harmony passage 02 (2) :1:55 to 2:02 secs: This passage is organized as two sets of harmonies playing a Call and Response with the horns being part of the response. 

Harmony passage 02 (3) : 2:03 to 2:10 secs: This passage is also organized as two sets of harmonies playing a Call and Response with horns doing their 'response' part - however, this is done on a different time and the focus is on the sustained notes to drive home some 'result' or 'decision' type of scenario. This is very common in lengthy action sequences in Western movies, where after a bunch of rapid sequences, when one of the characters gets an upper hand, the slowing of time is used as a technique. 

Harmony passage 02 (4) :2:15 to 2:25 secs: This is a repeat of the passages 02(1) and 02(2), where the pace is picked up again.

Harmony passage 02 (5) : 2:26 to 2:35 secs: This is a repeat of 02(3) where the horns return

This is the fitting work of a maestro and you can never get to hear such music in any Indian language film music. The film situation is about blind children about to get poisoned and the hero learns about the situation and has to react quickly. I rate this as one of the finest harmony by Raja int he last 40 years. Salute the maestro.


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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  Usha on Mon May 16, 2016 3:42 pm

[quote="ravinat"]Marangal Tharum Malargal - Dhruva Natchathiram (Tamil 1990)

This is a film I did not know about, till CSR introduced this song to me. This is a true work of a maestro (as mentioned before, I take this term very seriously, and this is the second time I have used it in this series) that deserves the highest accolades. Whenever I hear this track, I always recollect the description of John Williams's score of Raiders of the Lost Ark by Steven Spielberg. Unfortunately, there is no Spielberg to describe Raja's work and hence we need to do that  Embarassed By the way, Spielberg just described that it was a lengthy sequence and JW used horns to elevate the scene. Some of you may realize, why I keep loving these two maestros all the time after watching both these videos.



This is the fitting work of a maestro and you can never get to hear such music in any Indian language film music. The film situation is about blind children about to get poisoned and the hero learns about the situation and has to react quickly. I rate this as one of the finest harmony by Raja int he last 40 years. Salute the maestro.


Best pick ravinat....... romba azhaga solli irukeenga Rajavai patri............ True. avarai purinjavangaluku than avarudaiya arumaiyai eduthu
solla theiryum............ We are Gifted...... Neenga kedachu irukeenga........... sorry for the disturbance. Pl continue your service....



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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Fri May 27, 2016 12:41 am

It is embarrassing to figure out why Raja would ever do such a fantastic set of harmonies for such an undeserving  movie.  I saw this movie because of this score and it was unbearable. Incoherence, amateur histrionics, you name it  - you have everything in this movie. I do not want anybody who has not watched the film to suffer. Just experience Raja's work. The only thing I can think of is that when ideas flow through him, he has no way to stop it and reserve it to another decent film. 

As two scores from the background music of this film are fitting for a maestro, I will do two posts. The theme we will cover is a score called 'Exhilaration' from the obscure film - 'Kadhal Kavidhai (Tamil 199x)'. It is one of my standard ring tones and is the work of a true maestro. The folks who think that Synthesizer based themes of Raja are bad have to hear this. I rate this as one of the finest mix of synthesizer, violins, and flutes .

Harmony passage 01: From 01 to 06 seconds - it is a nice synthesizer melody played with the bass. This is in prep for the harmonies that follow. You can hear the ascending melody throughout these 6 seconds and it is nicely arranged with the guitar chords.

Harmony passage 02: From 07 to 11 seconds - the violins play their own melody counter to the synthesizer. The synthesizer based exhilaration theme continues. 

Harmony passage 03:From 12 to 18 seconds - the exhilaration theme (rapid ascension of a melody) is now played equally by the violins and the synthesizer. Note that the chords are played by violins and not the guitar anymore. Masterstroke. Passage 3 is hardly different from passage 2, but switching of instrumentation makes a HUGE difference. Only a master arranger can think of such a fantastic score.

Harmony passage 04: from 18 seconds to 30 seconds - Raja takes the whole score to another level by adding flutes into the theme. The driver of this passage is both the flutes and the violins with the guitar providing the support. Raja cuts out the synthesizer for this passage and the melody has a new color due to the change of the instrumentation. Worth a million bucks.

You can compare this score to the prelude of the song 'Nilavondru Kandaen' from 'Kai Raasi Kaaraen' (Tamil 198x), which was a different experiment by Raja. In my view, he achieves far more in these 30 seconds than he did with the 198x number.

I would take a bow before the maestro for just these 30 seconds.

I rate this as one of the finest by the maestro for an undeserving and obscure film. As I could not find a good source, I posted it on sound cloud.

https://soundcloud.com/ravinat14/kadhal-kavidhai-exhilaration

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:50 pm

I am relaxing the criteria to include the song of this post, as the film was hardly obscure. Friends (Malayalam 1999) was a popular film and the songs in the film were a big hit. However, the song I will discuss in this post does not make rounds even among Raja fans. The harmonies weaved by Raja in this song are very special.


While emotional, melodramatic scenes are quite common in Indian films, harmonies do not pack such emotions normally. Most Indian composers use it for its traditional intent - melody, beauty, aesthetics etc. They are just very pleasant to hear and at best make you appreciate the beauty of the composer’s work. This song has some arrangement that are very Indian, though the composition is very western. It is hard to draw a parallel from the Western world, though I will try to compare it with one of the very emotional scores of John Williams.


The track we will discuss today is Kadal Kaattin from Friends (Malayalam 1999). There is a Yesudas version and also a Sujatha version. The interludes are identical.


Harmony passage 01: 06 to 24 secs. (prelude) All the four parts are beautifully arranged with repetition as a tool to drive home the emotion – The violins always take the S part and play its melody with the basslines taking care of the B and the guitar and cellos taking care of the remaining parts. The use of cellos and double bases in this song is very special. With the right audio (I will post the instrument clip alone) you can easily feel swept away by the arrangement.


Harmony passage 02: 1:19 to 1:29 secs. (interlude 1) The violins play initially only a single part along with the bass. The strumming of the guitar along with the violins is almost like an artist painting a scene – this technique alone drives tension and remorse more than anything else. This is an outstanding arrangement with just two parts where it almost gives you an impression of an opposing emotion of love and hatred simultaneously.


Harmony passage 03: 1:30 to 1:40 secs (interlude 1). The violins play their part with a different melody, but the strumming takes a completely different meaning now along with the bass lines as it now almost takes all the opposing emotion out of the composition and drives the listener to the days of togetherness or harmony (pun intended). Same instrumentation, but a different effect – this is what a master does with harmony.


Harmony passage 04: 1:50 to 2:00 secs (interlude 1). Raja uses the synthesizer along with the violins to now  to portray almost a little walk back into the past – this is typically the arrangement that western composers like JW use for broad landscape shoots. Raja has a very simple melody that keeps repeating with the violins but beautifully punctuated by the synthesizers with single notes. Imagine this part of the score without those synthesizer single tones – it will be quite boring. Two simple things together make the whole harmony so exotic.


Harmony passage 05: 3:00 to 3:15 secs (interlude 2). How to arrange melancholy with harmony? Use a nice melodic line with both the flute and a violin playing together and use the synthesizer to punctuate it along with the bass lines. If these parts do not move a listener, then I am not sure, what else will.


Harmony passage 06: 3:15 to 3:29 secs (interlude 2). The melody is different from passage 05, but Raja does something very unusual, he uses slapping bass to accentuate his rhythm. Now, a slapping bass is used to the best of my knowledge only with happy songs with a very fast time to let the listeners go crazy. He uses this technique in this emotional song and does not throw away any of the mood that he built, but uses it to enhance the mood. This has always been my conclusion when you analyze Raja’s instrumentation. It negates all common perceptions about any arrangement. He can bend anything to fit his need.


Harmony passage 07: 3:30 to 3:39 secs (interlude 2). Like the prelude, what is striking about this part of the use of the double bass with the violin melody as it turns over to the charanam. You can hear it very clearly between 3:35 and 3:36. The harmony is punctuated by synthesizer throughout these 9 seconds.


Raja single handedly dramatizes the song with his harmonies that is hard to ignore. I have not heard such an emotional harmony arrangement, even with other Raja songs. The Tamil equivalent Poongatre Konjam by Hari has much simpler orchestration than its Malayalam counterpart. 


This is harmony that moves you. Salute the maestro.






The above is the most decent quality I could get on youtube. I have posted the instrument parts alone in soundcloud , which definitely has better sound quality.


https://soundcloud.com/ravinat14/kadal-kaattin

Now, back to John Williams and his score of Angela’s Ashes. This is one of the best scores of JW from an emotional content PoV. However, the AA parts are full of solo parts though enriched by great harmony.





And here is an interview with JW who says things very similar to Raja, to CNN after Angela’s Ashes. I only wish Raja is this articulate.



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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:55 pm

This post has nothing to do with Raja. 

Look at the way a neighborhood in Canada has street names:

https://i35.servimg.com/u/f35/19/49/70/09/harmon10.jpg

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Re: Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs

Post  ravinat on Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:32 am

Though I have heard this song several times, I did not pay enough attention to some fantastic orchestration in the interludes. I want to highlight a few wonderful harmony touches in the song, Thathi Thathi Thaavidum from the film Periya Kudumbam (Tamil 1995).






Harmony passage 1 (interlude 1)  1:09 to 1:29   :  Initially the orchestration starts off with a sax and a synthesizer (you need to get a good pair of headphones to hear the synthesizer sharing the harmony part with the sax) adds another harmony part and the violins join the fray till 1:15. The fun has still not begun as Raja has already taken care of two parts to this harmony.  Raja throws a scat (sang by his female chorus singers)  into the mix along with the saxophone from 1:15 to 1:22 or so and the next 7 seconds is a harmony between the scat singers and the flute. And you think that he has covered it all, till you realize the masterstroke is waiting to happen.


Harmony passage 2 (interlude 1) 1:29 to 1:39 : This is harmony in gold. Raja plays with the Flute and saxophone, violins  when the scat singers return – brilliant creative rework of the previous 20 seconds. Show me one composer who can do such an arrangement – salute the maestro! These 10 seconds shows that he is the true master of orchestral brilliance.


Harmony passage 3 (interlude 2): 3:30 to   3:42 : What appears like simple saxophone play for the first 6 seconds changes suddenly to add the other harmony layers rapidly. Raja intersperses his scat singers again to take the harmony parts while the saxophone is on its frenzy.   


Overall, passage 2 is no walk in the park for any composer, though Raja would claim that. Such passages must remind you what the standard of orchestration is. Sadly, the current generation can’t tell a good one from a rotten one. I am sure future generations will wonder why Indians were living under the rock, when they had such an orchestral genius writing such music in 1995.

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