40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

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40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sun May 22, 2016 5:30 am

I wrote on this subject at my blog. Ravi Natarajan and Jaiganesh had commented on my blog. I would like others to put their views here and also would love Ravi and Jai to expand on their views. 

https://onlyraja.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/raja-40-why-is-this-man-still-relevant/

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  ravinat on Sun May 22, 2016 8:53 pm

I have several random thoughts on this topic and will share them as I am able to formulate posts.

The best director that Raja ever worked with in my view is Balu Mahendra (BM).

Needless to say, BM being a cinematographer had the deepest understanding of the visual medium that cinema is. In fact, he was the cinematographer for MR's first film, and without him, Raja would have not scored Pallavi Anupallavi. 

The reason I elevate BM to this height is the fact that unlike other directors, who are mostly self serving, he created a school of cinema where he taught young minds on how to appreciate the visual medium and how to get a composer to enhance it. Part of his teaching is his experience with Raja. No wonder, a generation of directors such as Bala, Susheendran, Suka, Ram (though he worked with only YSR) and a few others have worked with Raja as a result. His flame is being carried by the next generation. Despite all his other weaknesses, BM made it very clear that there will not be a frame he records with Raja's music. He kept his world till he died. 

Fortunately, we have directors who understand the true value of a composer's work as a result. Though BR did that crudely, with his assistants branching out and doing super melodramas, BR himself is not a trained guy. In this new world, when younger talent is more exposed and educated, BM's contribution is very important to keep Raja relevant.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  app_engine on Mon May 23, 2016 5:18 pm

Wonderful article Sureshji!

nanRi for starting a thread on this highly relevant topic!

Actually the word "even" generates some pain in me, reminding of the conspiracy some biggies in TF field had run against IR with a lot of force in the early / mid 90's.

Otherwise, there would have been no question about his relevance in any way (as he had been both trending and trend setting / ever changing / making it fresh and innovative all the time).

Obviously, his genius and phenomenal music knowledge / skill / flow like an unending source is the main reason for relevance despite conspiracies.

However, as stated in your article and Ravi sir's posts, there are also external factors that continue to make IR relevant in the IFM scene. 

Let me put my thoughts together on one aspect, i.e. the "emotional impact on a big group of people" & come back with a post sometime later Smile

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  V_S on Mon May 23, 2016 7:25 pm

Brilliant article! Bang on! Brilliantly written on how his music talks always and how he totally understands cinema irrespective of various other parameters stood against him. As you pointed out, since his understanding of music is so deep and he accomplished so much, he has every right to express his concerns on the pathetic current music scenario by his next generation of music directors. Unless these questions are asked, current music scenario cannot recover out from deep pits as they are happy as ever in their comfort zone and would never want to take any challenges.

Apart from the musical aspects on why is relevant, his mental toughness right from 70s till date is phenomenal and this itself requires a deep study. Imagine the adversities/humiliation he faced right from when he entered the industry, even when he was at commercial peak, how he was totally deserted by almost all film personalities and friends in 90s, the blown out hatred by the media, now it has still turned uglier with his own brother backstabbing him and how he turned it over. With his wife no more, imagine how hard it would be for him to put everything onto himself, as there is no one he could share his feelings. He is here to show us how to be tough, how he stood all alone, how to ignore each one of these silly allegations, but how to revert back only through music is one of the main reasons for his relevance today. If he is not tough and he is not hungry enough to learn more and more, he would have gone from industry long time back.

Maestro will be relevant as long as music is relevant.


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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  app_engine on Mon May 23, 2016 8:19 pm

ravinat wrote:Needless to say, BM being a cinematographer had the deepest understanding of the visual medium that cinema is. In fact, he was the cinematographer for MR's first film, and without him, Raja would have not scored Pallavi Anupallavi. 

Interestingly, he was also the camera man for Mahendran's first movie as a director, muLLum malarum Smile
(Mahendran did a couple of great movies - MM & UP besides a couple of good movies - Johny & NK, before fading out)

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  ravinat on Mon May 23, 2016 8:25 pm

Another area of relevance and caution is the world of debut directors. Raja has made it his professional principle to encourage young talent starting from Bala to the recent Julian Karikalan. The younger directors have many distractions and have a very strong urge to establish themselves. They may use Raja as a revolving door, but he does not mind. As Gautam Menon said in a recent interview, all new directors must do at least one film with Raja.

Where will new directors go? Forget about approaching AR, he is way too expensive and they can't use him as a leverage to launch their careers. They can't afford a ticket to LA to meet him, let alone work with him Very Happy They have to settle for the keyboard scammers  Embarassed

Manikandan (kaaka muttai) is now working with Raja and so will several others. However, they should ensure that they do not get intimidated by Raja and try to get the best out of him. Cheran made a mess of his work (Maya kannadi) with Raja as he did not know how to push him and his respect for him was a huge deterrent. 

Raja needs to be pushed to newer boundaries and today's tamil films are very promising as the old directorial stranglehold is gone. None of the yesteryear biggies have a say, including folks like Shankar. I make it a point to watch films from new directors with actors who are unknown and they are hardy disappointing compared to the star studded garbage. The best Tamil films recently have been by newcomers. Folks like Manikandan and other new directors will have to extract new work out of Raja by new narrative platforms. Given the fact that he can easily go from Snehaveedu to SRR to NEPV to OAK to Rudramadevi to Abaiyatho Ammaiyi (all these are in 201x), he is the most relevant composer to newcomers who want to try new ideas.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  app_engine on Mon May 23, 2016 9:03 pm

Digression
For some contrasting reading material:
https://baradwajrangan.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/10874/
Since this is exclusively about IR, I read the WHOLE article Embarassed
I'm also planning to check the comments (though only out of curiosity and may be for some fun - obviously with zero emotional investment Laughing  )
End-Digression

I'm bringing the above link in this thread for one reason : to showcase how IR is "RELEVANT" today Wink

சோழியன் குடுமி சும்மா ஆடுமா? 

ரங்கர் இந்து பேப்பரில் ராசா பத்தி இப்போ எழுத என்ன காரணம்? 

இன்றும் த.நா. ஊடகங்களில் ராசா குறித்த பேச்சு / சர்ச்சைக்கு வணிக நோக்கத்தில் பங்கு இருக்கத்தான் செய்கிறது!

மட்டுமல்ல, அங்கே சில ரகுமான் ரசிகர்களின் குமுறலில் இருந்தும் Laughing 

அவர்களுக்கு இப்போதும் வயித்தெரிச்சலை உண்டாக்குமளவுக்கு ராஜா ரெலவன்ட் என்று சொல்ல விழைகிறேன் Smile 
KadaKumar wrote:
I find too much Ilayaraja circlejerking happening these days. Even the so-called younger generation guys think its cool to go retro and deify Ilayaraja.
rotfl

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  app_engine on Tue May 24, 2016 6:12 am

My guess - Commenter "rothrocks" in that BR blog is our Crimson King...

correctA?

Smile

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  jaiganesh on Tue May 24, 2016 6:56 am

To expand on my views..
I have long held the view that Raaja is a "transporter". He transports the dramatic emotion into the viewer while
transporting the viewer into the surreal drama in front of his/her eyes. IF you are listening by yourself, He will 
transport you to a place where you want to be while listening to the music. This is purely my perception, but correlated 
with many friends of mine. How does He achieve it? This was the question before me circa 1995 when I was coming back from 
Vasanthi Theatre Purasaiwalkam, Chennai after watching Nasser's Avatharam. It was a breathtaking experience to see Raaja 
 stimulate all the range of emotions in every person in the Theatre. The music itself was unputdownable in every angle. A Folk 
 album which would have warranted only standard folk numbers from any other composer. However Raaja made a tremendous waltz
(Chandiranum Sooriyanum), A new age (Thendral vandhu Theendum), A narrative, fit into drama folk (aridhaaraththai poosikkoLLa aasai),
A boisterous humor laden folk (Gundu mani kulungudhadi) and mother of all pathos songs by Malaysia (Thondru thottu indru varai).
Every piece, every note was channeled down and assembled in the intelligence of Raaja. Every piece evokes a certain mood, but also 
unfailingly quiets any external chaos that the listener might be undergoing. I was a wavering Raaja admirer - frequently led astray by the hit of the 
week. This one film made me a fanatic overnight. Here was a composer who was invading my ether and filling it with his presence.
A presence which spoke to my intuition. His presence would later become my inspiration as I struggled with all my might to shed the 
shell of mediocrity I was wrapped in. That is what Raaja is - a call to every soul to reach higher. Higher in the intellectual plane,
higher in spiritual plane and more truer in emotional plane. Like a fire that makes everything it touches into fire, Raaja is turning 
me slowly into a raaja.. albeit slowly due to my own resistance and thick headedness.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  Usha on Tue May 24, 2016 10:04 am

Sruesh,

  The Best Topic for IR....... beautifully coverd.......... Thanks for the thread......

IR.. oru Isai Vinyani.... Isaiyai unartha... oru vinyani.. Ivaral.. isaiyai kandu pidika mudiyum...  Isaiyai  theda mudiyum.....

Vishayam irukum oru composer.......... oru ariviyal vinyanaiyai pola........ addhai unardhavargaluku.. Ilaiyaravai puriyum. avar
isaiyai purindhu kolla mudiyum........

adhanal.. andrum indrum endrum....... Relevant even today....

40 years endru solla maten.. adharkum munbe IR irundhu irukar... Ennudaiya 13 vayadhil Annakili... anal

pattu kaeka therindha vayadhil.. anegamaga.. 4 vayasu irukalam.. apodhu irundhae.. oru padathil.. oru pattu romba pidikum...... ipodhu
ninaikiren.. adhu IR compose seidhadhaga irundhu iruka vendum.. Aanamavai thotta isai.......

adhanal Before Annakili .. IR  endru inum sila varugadangalai serthi kollalam dhan...........

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  panniapurathar on Tue May 24, 2016 6:06 pm

app_engine wrote:My guess - Commenter "rothrocks" in that BR blog is our Crimson King...

correctA?

Smile
Ayyah!  I was about to write the same.  It definitely sounds like CK!  

BTW, depressing to read some of the negativity there.  
Anyway Raja to the rescure.  I am going to put on Rudhrammadevi and meditate!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  panniapurathar on Tue May 24, 2016 6:11 pm

Usha wrote:Sruesh,

  The Best Topic for IR....... beautifully coverd.......... Thanks for the thread......

IR.. oru Isai Vinyani.... Isaiyai unartha... oru vinyani.. Ivaral.. isaiyai kandu pidika mudiyum...  Isaiyai  theda mudiyum.....

Vishayam irukum oru composer.......... oru ariviyal vinyanaiyai pola........ addhai unardhavargaluku.. Ilaiyaravai puriyum. avar
isaiyai purindhu kolla mudiyum........

adhanal.. andrum indrum endrum....... Relevant even today....

40 years endru solla maten.. adharkum munbe IR irundhu irukar... Ennudaiya 13 vayadhil Annakili... anal

pattu kaeka therindha vayadhil.. anegamaga.. 4 vayasu irukalam.. apodhu irundhae.. oru padathil.. oru pattu romba pidikum...... ipodhu
ninaikiren.. adhu IR compose seidhadhaga irundhu iruka vendum.. Aanamavai thotta isai.......

adhanal Before Annakili .. IR  endru inum sila varugadangalai serthi kollalam dhan...........
Usha avargale!  You make a valid point!  IR's work has been around even earlier than 1976.  Do you recall what that song was?

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  panniapurathar on Tue May 24, 2016 6:17 pm

jaiganesh wrote:To expand on my views..
I have long held the view that Raaja is a "transporter". He transports the dramatic emotion into the viewer while
transporting the viewer into the surreal drama in front of his/her eyes. IF you are listening by yourself, He will 
transport you to a place where you want to be while listening to the music. This is purely my perception, but correlated 
with many friends of mine. How does He achieve it? This was the question before me circa 1995 when I was coming back from 
Vasanthi Theatre Purasaiwalkam, Chennai after watching Nasser's Avatharam. It was a breathtaking experience to see Raaja 
 stimulate all the range of emotions in every person in the Theatre. The music itself was unputdownable in every angle. A Folk 
 album which would have warranted only standard folk numbers from any other composer. However Raaja made a tremendous waltz
(Chandiranum Sooriyanum), A new age (Thendral vandhu Theendum), A narrative, fit into drama folk (aridhaaraththai poosikkoLLa aasai),
A boisterous humor laden folk (Gundu mani kulungudhadi) and mother of all pathos songs by Malaysia (Thondru thottu indru varai).
Every piece, every note was channeled down and assembled in the intelligence of Raaja. Every piece evokes a certain mood, but also 
unfailingly quiets any external chaos that the listener might be undergoing. I was a wavering Raaja admirer - frequently led astray by the hit of the 
week. This one film made me a fanatic overnight. Here was a composer who was invading my ether and filling it with his presence.
A presence which spoke to my intuition. His presence would later become my inspiration as I struggled with all my might to shed the 
shell of mediocrity I was wrapped in. That is what Raaja is - a call to every soul to reach higher. Higher in the intellectual plane,
higher in spiritual plane and more truer in emotional plane. Like a fire that makes everything it touches into fire, Raaja is turning 
me slowly into a raaja.. albeit slowly due to my own resistance and thick headedness.
Jai ayya!  Beautiful post!  Avatharam sure does elevate the listener.  For me Thendral Vandhu Theendum song is an anthem that I use for key life events.  All the other songs find their place too.  

I have watched this video 100s of times as it offers a glimpse into the creation of this epic album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=563qJOreBqI

What a narratiion by Nasser!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  V_S on Tue May 24, 2016 10:09 pm

This is my pet theory (as Ravi coins). We are here in the time of kalikaalam of film music, not just in kalikaalam of the universe. By kali, I mean the amount of dishonesty, lie, cheat, betrayal and how it rules the film music world. I always map this context to one portion of my all time favorite films; The Ten Commandments directed by legendary Cecil B DeMille. The cast, plot, execution, acting, cinematography, music Elmer Bernstein) all fall into one extra-ordinary and a very rare category.

There will be a situation where Moses (Charlton Heston) returns back to Egypt to request Ramases (Yul Brynner) to free his people. As Rameses refuses, Moses creates havoc in Egypt by turning river Nile to blood, cursing for plagues. When Rameses curses and orders all first-born Hebrew to die, it serves as a self-goal (through Moses) that all first born Egyptians will die.

When Rameses gives freedom to Hebrews, Moses leaves Egypt (with Hebrews), an anti-group (with Dathan (Edward) as the rebel leader) who also follows Moses. When Rameses could not bring his son alive (through his God), he tries to take revenge against Moses and Hebrews by collecting army and follows Moses and his people. As we know, Moses creates the pillar of fire making Rameses and his army not to proceed and also parts sea for their onward journey. That moment was a breath-taking movie experience!

Once Moses and his people reach the foot of the mountain Sinai Moses aims to go to the peak of the mountain to seek God. During this period, his people lose faith in him and turns evil with the leadership of Dathan. They make a golden calf and believe it as their God to get the respect back from Rameses. While doing this, they also indulge in some worst worldly merry, sin and evil. This is exactly what's happening now in music scenario. Let's list all them.

1. Stealing others work and happily tag their name to others work.
2. Honesty in music creation does not exist anymore, as they brain dump other's efforts in the name of team work, but only tag their name as music director/composer.
3. Talent drain happening, that many talented singers come on board, but they hardly sustain in this whirlpool of talents only to feel disheartened.
4. Huge compromise made in singing; as auto-tune and software takes care of any singing disabilities.
5. Keyboard, loops and samples serving as the main trump cards for most music directors without which they could not even compose.
6. Taking huge amount of time compose, since they clearly lack skill and talent.
7. Doing very few films because of not capable of handling pressure. Result: Number of new music directors increase day by day reducing the credibility of music directors.
9. Indigenous and original tunes becoming a rarity now.
10. Instruments and orchestration taking back seat like older days. On top of ridiculing it.
11. Exorbitant prices for composing (I hate to call it composing).
12. Most music directors skip doing background scores which is vital to the film narrative, again due to severe lack of skills.
13. Most music directors does not know the film language and film context and how music nourishes a film.
14. Music listeners becoming spectators (most of the time) as they could not hum along a song/tune as there is no such thing called memorable tune. It is way awkward, but still MDs claiming it as new and different.
15. Shelf-life of music becoming a distant past.
16. Folk, classical/traditional music almost lost its place in film music (except showing its head very rarely). Many indigenous genres lost the race due to the limitations of music directors.
17. The one who introduces auto-tune to film music world accuses others for using it as if it is a sin. It is a sin either way.
18. Calling other music directors as "sadists", ridiculing their original styles and signatures.
19. Fooling audience by playing pre-recorded CDs in their concerts and making the audience believe that it is live singing and orchestration.
20. Ridiculing the efforts of live performance and orchestration as outdated.
21. Fooling people to (forcefully) listen to their works multiple times to get the hang of it and to make it chart-busters.
22. No skill to spontaneously create music as soon as the director tells the situation.
23. Not confident to demonstrate their technical skills/wizardry (if any). No authority and vision on the subject.
24. No respect and appreciation for their predecessors and their works.
25. On top of all the inabilities, the biggest sin is they project as if they are the saviors/creators of music, totally nullifying their predecessors work. They
go to the extent of lying heartlessly that orchestra and brass section were all lost by 70s and they are the ones who are reviving it.
26. kolaveri, beep song kind of songs becoming trendsetters and much gossiped about.
27. Last but not the least, making people believe that every (inability) lie they utter is today's truth but every true statement uttered is arrogance. Media conveniently supporting and backing the ones whom they like and not the ones who speak truth.

In the film when Moses returns back from Mount Sinai with Ten Commandments only to see his people's bad behavior, he throws the tablet out of anger and it breaks the Golden Calf idol and kills several people. I still see the above (25 and more) sins as the sins of film music world. Imagine Maestro's frustration. Still he is patient enough to answer everything musically. He is the only (and last) savior of true music. If music directors with so much dishonesty, inability, lie and cheat can be relevant today, there is absolutely no doubt that the one with truth, purity, originality, authority and vision will be much more relevant permanently, even in this bad music society as ultimately truth prevails.


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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  ravinat on Wed May 25, 2016 12:19 am

I think there is no need for such negative thinking V_S. Every field of human activity has politics , back biting , stealing , unprofessional behavior and music is no exception. The world of Carnatic music is not any greater than film music world. 

If you recall my posts on 'will there ever be another Ilayaraja' , it traces the positive aspect of what it takes to get to his level of achievement. 

I have been always an enthusiast of technology and have been tracking its influence in the world of music.  While there are conveniences, technology always comes with some hidden agenda and there always comes a stage where you have to chose between the technology's agenda and yours. Leaders in any field do not get dictated by the agenda of the technology they use. As an example, in the world of retail in NA, Walmart tries to give in to the dictates of technology and put their employees as below technology. Walmart believes in their data warehouse more than their employees welfare. In the same world of retail, Costco uses the same technology but treats its people better than Walmart. It also stays clear of complete retail as the competition is cut throat. Walmart tried to replicate the Costco model with their Sams Club, but did not succeed, as their focus is always 'technology first'. Raja is very clear about the technology agenda and does not want to compromise on his artistic agenda. His recent comment on how technology can be a temptation is a case in point.

Akin to English language being introduced in India to kill the natives' pride by McCauley , my fear is the loss of native arts. Technology is a tool like English a few centuries ago. Just like English makes all of us with different native languages to communicate, the Electronic musical technology (I call it EMT) will drive some standards such as MIDI, VST Plug Ins, digital sound factory, sound fonts and programming will push Indian (and other non-western) composers towards using western methods as opposed to the laborious (that's the catchphrase for the clueless - it's all about automation) Indian methods of song composition. With a plethora of tools, it is easy to pass off as somebody who's truly knowledgeable, when you are not. Play something on a AWS and you can easily generate the score sheet for it and claim you wrote that piece of music. 

Unlike Raja, most of today's composers simply go with the agenda of technology. ICM will be the victim of this carefully orchestrated agenda. If you listen to Bollywood music , they have lost everything that was native art form of North India.  When did you last hear a Qawali in HFM or a ghazal or a classical number? It died with RD. Today, all of HFM is just dance music which can be fulfilled with technology.  Hindustani music will be the early victim ( it is already a victim in my view ) and CCM will follow.

Popular music may have shorter shelf life but it is a true mirror of trends culturally. Artists like Raja show the world how diverse cultures can coexist. But they are rare and will never be appreciated. Like everything globalized, this is another non linear system that will find its own stable state. Unfortunately I think there will be nothing Indian left in the stable state. That's the tidal wave that I do not see any new composer capable of handling. My fear is most of today's composers have already succumbed to it and I do not have much hope. 

Everything else you see is just a reaction to this technology onslaught. My only hope is that as a musical system that has survived a thousand invasions, Indian Classical Music will still survive this complete top layer erosion (I consider Popular music as a top layer which is now bottomless). Raja's legacy has been one that spanned several musical layers where he amalgamated seamlessly both the classical music and foreign systems and on many occasions used to demonstrate several classical layers in a single composition, thus enriching the listener's experience. 

As Suresh said in his article, the 'roots' are very important for any composer. Raja's roots run so deep that the tree will survive for very long. Most of the others will just need a simple strong breeze to get uprooted.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  crimson king on Wed May 25, 2016 5:06 am

app_engine wrote:My guess - Commenter "rothrocks" in that BR blog is our Crimson King...

correctA?

Smile

Guilty as charged!  So the latest wrinkle is that subjectivity in music is for Luddites.  Having conceded that Rahmaniacs never lose the ability to amaze (that is NOT a ringing endorsement to be clear), this still takes the case for ultra-rarefied levels of condescension.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  ravinat on Wed May 25, 2016 4:41 pm

crimson king wrote:
app_engine wrote:My guess - Commenter "rothrocks" in that BR blog is our Crimson King...

correctA?

Smile

Guilty as charged!  So the latest wrinkle is that subjectivity in music is for Luddites.  Having conceded that Rahmaniacs never lose the ability to amaze (that is NOT a ringing endorsement to be clear), this still takes the case for ultra-rarefied levels of condescension.

CK

 A hyena rarely hunts but when it does, it tastes success by working in a group. A tiger fails in many of it chases but single handedly brings down bigger prey than a hyena. It would be deluded to suggest either IR or Rahman should have worked more like the way the other did. They chose the approach that worked/works best for them.

Great writing!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  Wizzy on Wed May 25, 2016 7:39 pm

It is not just music which keeps Raja relevant. It is music coupled with his understanding of cinema which keeps pulling many an important director towards him. Some of the best creators of modern Tamil cinema have come to him for music because they know that only he can realize their vision through music. 

this part of him hardly gets any traction even if he hadn't chosen music as a career he could well be darn good film maker.

 He is relevant because he still gives outstanding music. He gives music which no other music director can. Yes, they may not be major hits like his songs were in 80s but musically they are no less. The keen rasika knows this. The directors for whom Raja gives music know this and it is this knowledge that makes many come to him even now.

going by Brangan's comment section even by the time of Raja @ 50 peeps would still harp on Mouna Raagam bgm/Raaja is bestest wrt rural movies/kannada'na Pallavi Anupallavi, edhu Kalabhras'que irutadippu  Mad
KadaKumar wrote:
I find too much Ilayaraja circlejerking happening these days. Even the so-called younger generation guys think its cool to go retro and deify Ilayaraja.


this still takes the case for ultra-rarefied levels of condescension

he is WUM'ing, 

sample
The “Mettu Podu” that introduced you to an instrument called saxophone.

but just the thought of AR fan taking a nostalgic drive on Pettai rap/chikku bukku/Mustafa makes me  lol!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  jaiganesh on Wed May 25, 2016 9:38 pm

Continuing my train of thought from where I left..
Raaja is a phenomenon - much like any phenomenon, He cannot be slotted into any one circle in a venn diagram (Apologies to Hillary clinton).
He is different from his predecessors in a radical way.Yet he is building on what they nurtured and professed giving it a new color, new direction.
Only few entities can claim that in the flow of time that we call 'History'. A Gandhi would be one - he did build on what Tilak built on, yet he gave the 
resistance a new movement - a movement that took all elements from the predecessors, but a bold new direction. It was pacifist, humble, yet a radical move.
Has there been a follow up to Gandhi? Yes, lot of Gandhians. Has there been any other Gandhi? No.. will there be another Gandhi? chances are slim.
Can we call Gandhi outdated, anachronistic? you can - at your own peril. Raaja is similar. He took the ethos and sensibilities from MSV, GRamanadhan and Co.
However he introduced a new philosophy, a new way, a new ethic in music making that is so radical - yet it is the same when looked at 
from the angle of 'continuing tradition'. Yes there will be many more Raajians who try to follow the lessons of Raaja - yet no one will be able to be a full Raaja as 
Raaja poured his everything into his philosophy without reserving anything for himself, just like How Gandhiji poured all of his 'Self' into his principles. 
That is why Raaja is relevant. Not just for the music world, for our personal selves too. To remind us that our achievements can always be surpassed by us
 if we can pour a little more of ourselves into it. If we can look back at all the patterns our predecessors did in our fields and think how we can continue 
the tradition with a possibility of a bold new departure. This is the tip of creativity - that keeps our history and future in balance, but tilting it ever so slightly towards 
the future. Making that flow of tradition to the future possible, being the pivot. Even if I reach a point when I lose all my hearing ability, I would still smile at my Raaja
 who made me internalise his quest and teach me to move on forwards, be myself no matter what I face. If our society has to reach the pinnacle, it has to remember Raaja for not just the sound, but for what HE stands for and as. The very fact that we have to write in depth demonstrating His relevance denotes our confusion, our disillusionment. That is sad indeed, but I will go on for I have Raaja in me.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  V_S on Wed May 25, 2016 9:56 pm

Wonderfully written Jai! Heart-felt thanks. Yes, it is indeed sad that we need to write this aspect in depth.

_________________
Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth - Pablo Picasso

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  ank on Thu May 26, 2016 1:57 am

V_S wrote:This is my pet theory (as Ravi coins). We are here in the time of kalikaalam of film music, not just in kalikaalam of the universe. By kali, I mean the amount of dishonesty, lie, cheat, betrayal and how it rules the film music world. I always map this context to one portion of my all time favorite films; The Ten Commandments directed by legendary Cecil B DeMille. The cast, plot, execution, acting, cinematography, music Elmer Bernstein) all fall into one extra-ordinary and a very rare category.

There will be a situation where Moses (Charlton Heston) returns back to Egypt to request Ramases (Yul Brynner) to free his people. As Rameses refuses, Moses creates havoc in Egypt by turning river Nile to blood, cursing for plagues. When Rameses curses and orders all first-born Hebrew to die, it serves as a self-goal (through Moses) that all first born Egyptians will die.

When Rameses gives freedom to Hebrews, Moses leaves Egypt (with Hebrews), an anti-group (with Dathan (Edward) as the rebel leader) who also follows Moses. When Rameses could not bring his son alive (through his God), he tries to take revenge against Moses and Hebrews by collecting army and follows Moses and his people. As we know, Moses creates the pillar of fire making Rameses and his army not to proceed and also parts sea for their onward journey. That moment was a breath-taking movie experience!

Once Moses and his people reach the foot of the mountain Sinai Moses aims to go to the peak of the mountain to seek God. During this period, his people lose faith in him and turns evil with the leadership of Dathan. They make a golden calf and believe it as their God to get the respect back from Rameses. While doing this, they also indulge in some worst worldly merry, sin and evil. This is exactly what's happening now in music scenario. Let's list all them.

1. Stealing others work and happily tag their name to others work.
2. Honesty in music creation does not exist anymore, as they brain dump other's efforts in the name of team work, but only tag their name as music director/composer.
3. Talent drain happening, that many talented singers come on board, but they hardly sustain in this whirlpool of talents only to feel disheartened.
4. Huge compromise made in singing; as auto-tune and software takes care of any singing disabilities.
5. Keyboard, loops and samples serving as the main trump cards for most music directors without which they could not even compose.
6. Taking huge amount of time compose, since they clearly lack skill and talent.
7. Doing very few films because of not capable of handling pressure. Result: Number of new music directors increase day by day reducing the credibility of music directors.
9. Indigenous and original tunes becoming a rarity now.
10. Instruments and orchestration taking back seat like older days. On top of ridiculing it.
11. Exorbitant prices for composing (I hate to call it composing).
12. Most music directors skip doing background scores which is vital to the film narrative, again due to severe lack of skills.
13. Most music directors does not know the film language and film context and how music nourishes a film.
14. Music listeners becoming spectators (most of the time) as they could not hum along a song/tune as there is no such thing called memorable tune. It is way awkward, but still MDs claiming it as new and different.
15. Shelf-life of music becoming a distant past.
16. Folk, classical/traditional music almost lost its place in film music (except showing its head very rarely). Many indigenous genres lost the race due to the limitations of music directors.
17. The one who introduces auto-tune to film music world accuses others for using it as if it is a sin. It is a sin either way.
18. Calling other music directors as "sadists", ridiculing their original styles and signatures.
19. Fooling audience by playing pre-recorded CDs in their concerts and making the audience believe that it is live singing and orchestration.
20. Ridiculing the efforts of live performance and orchestration as outdated.
21. Fooling people to (forcefully) listen to their works multiple times to get the hang of it and to make it chart-busters.
22. No skill to spontaneously create music as soon as the director tells the situation.
23. Not confident to demonstrate their technical skills/wizardry (if any). No authority and vision on the subject.
24. No respect and appreciation for their predecessors and their works.
25. On top of all the inabilities, the biggest sin is they project as if they are the saviors/creators of music, totally nullifying their predecessors work. They
go to the extent of lying heartlessly that orchestra and brass section were all lost by 70s and they are the ones who are reviving it.
26. kolaveri, beep song kind of songs becoming trendsetters and much gossiped about.
27. Last but not the least, making people believe that every (inability) lie they utter is today's truth but every true statement uttered is arrogance. Media conveniently supporting and backing the ones whom they like and not the ones who speak truth.

In the film when Moses returns back from Mount Sinai with Ten Commandments only to see his people's bad behavior, he throws the tablet out of anger and it breaks the Golden Calf idol and kills several people. I still see the above (25 and more) sins as the sins of film music world. Imagine Maestro's frustration. Still he is patient enough to answer everything musically. He is the only (and last) savior of true music. If music directors with so much dishonesty, inability, lie and cheat can be relevant today, there is absolutely no doubt that the one with truth, purity, originality, authority and vision will be much more relevant permanently, even in this bad music society as ultimately truth prevails.

Agree with you VS.  I listen to the Anirudh songs when I see some of the movies and most of it are "narasam" type.  But the guy acts as if and he is promoted as if he is the master musician.  Similar feeling when we listen to songs from Theri with GV Prakash and the hype and the show these guys are putting on - the only thing you could explain it as is Kalikalam.

How do you explain that people celebrate the people who have done 10, 25, 50 movies and their antics while there is a guy with lack of awareness and knowledge, ardently arguing in one of the websites that only 5% of the songs that IR was good.  There is no integrity anymore.

Whatelse, Kalikalam!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  jaiganesh on Thu May 26, 2016 9:06 am

yov plum... what an avatar you are taking in BR blog... wah re wah..

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  crimson king on Thu May 26, 2016 1:33 pm

ravinat wrote:When did you last hear a Qawali in HFM or a ghazal or a classical number? It died with RD. Today, all of HFM is just dance music which can be fulfilled with technology.  

Afraid I have to disagree with both statements.  The title track of Sarfarosh for eg (Zindagi maut na ban jaye) is in the qawali vein though it doesn't entirely follow the format.  As for ghazals, I mentioned Phir Le Aaya Dil-e-majboor, which was from Barfi so a lot more recent.  Yes, there is a surfeit of dance music but if you keep paying attention, there is still at least the occasional melodic number.  Amit Trivedi does interesting things like taking a very rooted melody and marrying it to stylish, even funky arrangements (Looni Hasi, Sawar Loon).  Culturally, the difference is there is less English snobbery in the North and in fact they don't mind being really bad at English.  So they still consume culture in Hindi compared to the Peter-ing aspect of Chennai culture.  I would say compared to the 90s things are even a bit better in HFM. More than dance music, what worries me is the trend of actors who are total non singers 'recording' songs using autotune.  THEY may make the art of singing redundant.

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  crimson king on Thu May 26, 2016 1:33 pm

ravinat wrote:
crimson king wrote:
app_engine wrote:My guess - Commenter "rothrocks" in that BR blog is our Crimson King...

correctA?

Smile

Guilty as charged!  So the latest wrinkle is that subjectivity in music is for Luddites.  Having conceded that Rahmaniacs never lose the ability to amaze (that is NOT a ringing endorsement to be clear), this still takes the case for ultra-rarefied levels of condescension.

CK

 A hyena rarely hunts but when it does, it tastes success by working in a group. A tiger fails in many of it chases but single handedly brings down bigger prey than a hyena. It would be deluded to suggest either IR or Rahman should have worked more like the way the other did. They chose the approach that worked/works best for them.

Great writing!
 Thanks!

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Re: 40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

Post  crimson king on Thu May 26, 2016 1:37 pm

Wizzy wrote:
he is WUM'ing, 

sample
The “Mettu Podu” that introduced you to an instrument called saxophone.

but just the thought of AR fan taking a nostalgic drive on Pettai rap/chikku bukku/Mustafa makes me  lol!

Nice catch @ Mettu Podu!  OMG the ignorance! 

Yeah, for someone who accuses twenty somethings who listen to IR of trying to be retro cool, it almost seems as if he only listens to music to feel cool and to associate it with a certain social setting, not for the music itself.  Which is what I do, music for music itself, and, um, IR was not retro in the 90s when I was growing up.

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