40 years of Raja: Why he is relevant even today

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

Post  ravinat on Thu May 26, 2016 3:02 pm

crimson king wrote:
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.
Yes, if you search carefully you are bound to find a few numbers as you have indicated. I will definitely give your recommendations a hear. Another aspect that made me sit up is a director like Sanjay Leela Bansali is able to grab my attention with his forays into music more than the mainstream composers. His Laal Ishq (Ram Leela) and his recent Bhajirao mastani songs rate high in my list compared to the mainstream composers. He is a guy with a good musical taste. Why would he decide to do music himself if there is abundant talent there? 

The point I was making is that during RD's times, he was required to do a qawali or a ghazal as all his competitors did that. Today, you can get away without having any knowledge of classical music in HFM, in my view. The situations for songs in most hindi films is one - 'masti'.

Anyways, this will turn out to be a HFM discussion. Let's return to Raja

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

Post  crimson king on Thu May 26, 2016 3:20 pm

That I do agree with.  It's no longer a requirement that a HFM music director should know the Hindi traditions, which was the case up to RDB.

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

Post  ravinat on Thu May 26, 2016 5:02 pm

One more aspect that makes Raja relevant is his interface with Indian classical music.

Assembling a bunch of classical musicians for a session and asking them to play parts that can be later on assembled into a track is not something I consider as a good interface. It is like 'web services' in the computing world. Do your thing and I will do my thing and together, hopefully we make sense Very Happy

With Raja, starting from Sudha Raghunathan to Pandit Ajoy, there is a huge set of classical musicians who will meaningfully collaborate with him. The project must require such a classical score - that's all there is to it with Raja.

The songs of Ivann or Pon Megalai or Uliyin Osai or Swappnam are cases in point. He does light music most of the times. When there is a need, he has no problems dipping down a few layers into our Classical music.

There is no composer in India who has his command of respect from classical musicians. He will perhaps be the last. While subjects that demand such treatment are dwindling, Raja will always stay relevant on just this one aspect.

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

Post  kamalaakarsh on Thu May 26, 2016 6:16 pm

ravinat wrote:

Another aspect that made me sit up is a director like Sanjay Leela Bansali is able to grab my attention with his forays into music more than the mainstream composers. His Laal Ishq (Ram Leela) and his recent Bhajirao mastani songs rate high in my list compared to the mainstream composers. He is a guy with a good musical taste. Why would he decide to do music himself if there is abundant talent there? 

if only SLB teams up with Raaja - perfect collaboration. SLB has ear for good music and grand arrangements and he doesn't mind any budget. Raaja can deliver something outstanding.

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

Post  app_engine on Thu May 26, 2016 8:55 pm

IR's Relevance - Emotional impact on a big group of people - Part 1

Let me start with a peculiar case of a director, whose movie song(s) I've posted in the "#IR_misrA" thread today ("indha poRappuththAn" song from un samaiyal aRaiyil and the director is Prakash Raj).

One of the people seen showing obvious fandom in the forefront during recent concerts / IR-1000 / movie release functions etc. happens to be him, the actor who does a variety of character roles (mostly recognized as villain in TN with that "chellam" word Embarassed).

During all those initial years of Prakash Raj (or late 90's of tfmpage.com, for the concerned matter Laughing ) none would have connected him to IR in any kind of way. If anything, in a way, he was -kind of - from the "villain camp". (So, one would have thought he was a villain for IR too Laughing )

Got intro'd by KB (the head of anti-IR-gumbal from early 90's), produced Duet with a lot of promotion for ARR's music - a big hit album for ARR-KB, made name of his prod house as "Duet movies", later became popular with movies where IR was not in the picture at all but only rival MDs - for e.g. mozhi / gilli / Mani Ratnam's iruvar etc). 

So, completely part of the opposite camp, in my perception.

If one looks at Prakash Raj's wiki page , there are NO indications from his background that he must have been a HCIRF. Bangalore childhood in late 60's / 70's could have only got him hooked to other composers. That way & going by his Karnataka sensibilities, it is not surprising to see that his first movie had Hamsalekha as MD, in the year 2010.

So, how come all of a sudden we see him among the biggest fans of IR - i.e. if we look beyond the year 2010? 

No, it cannot be business considerations (a time period when IR is not considered viable in commercial terms by even Kamal).  It cannot be any "arm twisting" "manipulation" etc. to get "market monopoly", as some people try to paint/taint "IR of 80's". Laughing 

We are talking about 2010+, when IR is relevant (may be) only with his "capabilities" - not with market value / industry influence / general BO rating etc - especially in TF field. And not many seem to care for capabilities in this time period when small boys appear to "produce" hit music at relatively low costs.

That way, one cannot have any questions about PR's true admiration of IR, in picking him for his dhOni. Moreover, even a class actor cannot hide his true feelings when it comes to music and one can see from the many clippings of events that he truly loves IR's music! அகத்தின் அழகு முகத்தில் தெரியும்!

So, leaving out any business considerations / motives / fandom doubts etc, one gets to the natural answer - the IMPACT of IR's music on the man!

One may recall how he gushed talking about the IR-music-bombardment-during-a-road-trip, in one of the shows! That (or some similar incident / positive peer pressure) was possibly a starting point in making him give a serious listening to his music with a lot more emotional impact on him. (He recently even claims that his life itself got regulated by IR Embarassed )

I wanted to start this series of posts with a "somewhat-negative-to-begin-with" example Smile  Please note, I''m not claiming he made great movies or anything like that (not even seen his directorials). Simply showing him as a celebrity "convert" post-2010, because of the magical emotional impact of rAsA music.

Will continue on how the "impact of IR's music on people's emotions" has a say in making him relevant. 
(Next part as and when I can put my thoughts together, further Embarassed )

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

Post  V_S on Thu May 26, 2016 11:04 pm

Wow! Very interesting theory App! May be you will cover this. On similar lines, Sathyan Anthikkad (even though he does not claim to be a fan) started making films with Raja only from 2001 purely from musical perspective alone, the time where almost everyone written him off. 12 long years with 10 films with all memorable songs. That is the hallmark of genius.

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

Post  jaiganesh on Fri May 27, 2016 8:12 am

ப்ரகாஷ் ராஜ் பெங்களூரூவில் ரங்க ஷங்கராவில் பயின்றவர்.அந்த நிறுவனத்தின் தூணாக விளங்கியது மறைந்த ஷங்கர் நாக்.
அவரும் ராஜாவும் சேர்ந்து கலக்கிய படங்கள் ப்ரகாஷ் ராஜின் இன்ஸ்பிரேஷனாக இருக்கலாம்.

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

Post  app_engine on Fri May 27, 2016 7:02 pm

jaiganesh wrote:ப்ரகாஷ் ராஜ் பெங்களூரூவில் ரங்க ஷங்கராவில் பயின்றவர்.அந்த நிறுவனத்தின் தூணாக விளங்கியது மறைந்த ஷங்கர் நாக்.
அவரும் ராஜாவும் சேர்ந்து கலக்கிய படங்கள் ப்ரகாஷ் ராஜின் இன்ஸ்பிரேஷனாக இருக்கலாம்.

லாம்...

என்றாலும், பொய் / மொழி / வெள்ளித்திரை / அபியும் நானும் / நானு நன்ன கனசு (மற்றும் பல படங்கள்) கழிந்தே ராசா கிட்ட வந்தார் என்பது வரலாறு அல்லவா?

Smile

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

Post  app_engine on Fri May 27, 2016 7:10 pm

V_S wrote:Wow! Very interesting theory App! May be you will cover this. On similar lines, Sathyan Anthikkad (even though he does not claim to be a fan) started making films with Raja only from 2001 purely from musical perspective alone, the time where almost everyone written him off. 12 long years with 10 films with all memorable songs. That is the hallmark of genius.

Sathyan's case of "coming to IR" may be a little different. 
(1. kAlA pAni / guru / friends kept IR's market position in MFM as always before as a specialty MD 
 2. Read somewhere that Fazil encouraged him to connect with IR, when he was looking for a change of MD)

However, reasons for his "staying with IR" is very well-known and nothing to speculate Smile What a tremendous success the albums enjoyed in those years!

I still cannot understand what pushed him to move away recently Sad  

I suspect some arm-twisting by "sanghams" (after that ONV-related-media-slander) or it could be budget issues.

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

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Sat May 28, 2016 7:31 pm

app,

From what I heard from a Malayali friend, Sathyan was upset with the failure of 'Puthiya Theeranga'. The songs also did not become hits and Sathyan felt that Raja was too busy that time and did not concentrate enough on this movie. A friend told me that this is what Sathyan said in a TV interview. Maybe that is why he moved away. 

The songs of 'Puthiya Theerangal' are not bad at all and that Hariharan song 'peeli katre' is amazing

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

Post  app_engine on Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:34 am

nanRi for the info, Sureshji!

BTW, did you see your name being called by itwofs Karthik's IR-40 article? (My regular google search on IR landed me on that boring piece, unfortunately...seeing your twitter ID in a different color, i had to read and suffer Laughing )

Since that article does not acknowledge IR's current quality (and thus not relevant to this thread), I'm not posting the link here Embarassed

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

Post  app_engine on Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:44 pm

It is funny to see that the comments section of BRangan blog is literally "pushing the envelope" and he is learning a few things related to the tool's performance (thanks to that IR article) Laughing

So, it's not just in village tea stalls and TN buses that IR is still ruling - even in such unexpected niche places, IR is pretty much relevant Laughing

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

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:26 am

app,

I did see my name there but as you said a very unfunny piece which I couldn't read completely.

Yes, BR's comment section is interesting. A person called Nithya had posted a terrific comment about the tune of Raja songs telling everyone to STFU wrt 'Raja's tunes are so so but orchestration is amazing' theory. She has articulated it very well.

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

Post  app_engine on Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:27 pm

IR's Relevance - Emotional impact on a big group of people - Part 2

I had been listening to a few youtube videos posted by "manam" magazine recently, celebrating IR. 

While some of the people featured in those have worked with IR (and even owe something to him for their film field career, like the singer of 'iLangAththu veesudhE' or the sound engineer Thennarasu of Prasad studio), there are also a good number of others who are not directly indebted to IR for their film field career.  (Like director Samudrakkani who is from KB's camp - much like Prakash Raj ; or Dharani with whom IR didn't do any movie and most of his big hits like dhill / dhool / gilli were with Vidyasagar).

We have also seen actor / producer Dhanush often making fan-boy comments / tweets. Actually, in the most recent youtube on 'ammA kaNakku', for which he is the producer and signed up IR as MD, the famous actor once again talks on the same lines. Most of us who frequent this forum must have seen his "thenRal vandhu theeNdumbOthu" singing on a super singer episode of Vijay TV. 

Once again, if we do "roovA-nayA-paisA" analysis on Dhanush, his film field career has almost nothing to do with IR. Especially his biggest successes or his popularity. (If anything, he became world famous with his 'kola veRi', MD-ed by Anirudh who is his relative. Or his NA winning movies - that often had GVP as MD. His HF entry was powered by ARR. In a way, his HF career is kind of "set back" by one IRF called Balki Embarassed  Likewise, the one film he acted for BM / IR combo in Thamizh was a terrible flop too).

So, why should Dhanush - a very popular hero in TFF today - owing nothing to IR for his successes & also from the "opposite camp" in a way (i.e. s-i-l of Rajinikanth who has no business connection with IR anymore and may be heavily favoring Shankar-ARR kinds / his elder brother & IR's son parted ways / the family promoted Anirudh in a big way until the beep controversy kicked him out of reckoning) - keep heaping praises on IR at every opportunity, even signing him for a 2016 project?

Moving on to others who in recent years have worked with IR for their "later projects" - i.e. after huge initial success without any connection to IR. 

We need to take note that not all of them came from Balu Mahendra school or of Bharathiraja genealogy!  (e.g. Mysskin, Gautam, Manikandan). Why did they want to work with IR, for one project at least?

The answer can be only one thing - the emotional impact of IR's music on these film field personnel, on an individual basis! (Please note, not all of them are in their 40's to have "grown up with IR's 80's music and so nostology Laughing " nonsense). 

Well, in a competitive field where high amounts of money is also at stake, one cannot simply say "emotionally bonded to his music, so they picked IR". It's not that simple. As discussed before, IR's relevance is not MAINLY due to this. The obvious main reason is "வற்றாத இசை ஊற்று" but since my focus is on "external factors" alone, this is a significant aspect that moves people into some kind of psychological bonding / mental indebtedness.

While the financials / industry compulsions may not allow them to partner with IR in the beginning, they all keep dreaming about that "one-day-when-I-will-sit-with-IR" Smile and when it becomes a possibility, they latch on to it!

There's another dimension to this "emotional connection" business and that is related not to industry personnel but to the audience. 

That will be talked about in the next (and possibly concluding) part of my series of posts on this subject.

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

Post  ravinat on Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:48 pm

App

  I do not think I agree with your theory fully.

  Firstly, these cinema guys have two choices: a) Use some of IR's remaining fame and say things that are politically correct or b) Stay out of such videos.

  Most of the guys interviewed by Manam magazine fall into the category a) There are the usual exceptions such as Myskins, Viveks, the recording engineer or other genuine fans. However, the rest of them think, it is an opportunity to be part of something that IR is part of. That's all there is to it.

  There are several others that have worked with him in the past and have remained silent as they have taken stance b)

  It is fashionable to say, that they have to do at least one movie with Raja. Talk is cheap. However, they make it clear that you have to go through commercial hoops to engage with IR as he is not very relevant commercially in TFM.

  At the end of the day, nobody is talking about Ramana Geetham - everybody is talking about his background and foreground music in films. That too in commercial films, not some documentary.

  Relevance of Raja cannot be in any way derived from these double standard cinema guys. Unfortunately, Raja is also a cinema guy and he has to work with them (he knows how to meditate on Mint Street). I do not consider any of these guys as very relevant to Raja's relevance. The guys/gals who truly matter are the ones that have a serious challenge for Raja and who can work through the clichés of Tamil cinema and engage him.  Let's hope that there are a few film makers who can truly challenge him.

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

Post  app_engine on Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:36 pm

Ravi Sir,

Agree that we don't have to take all the things told in manam interviews as such. 

The point is specifically relevant to people who ACTUALLY ENDED up working with / signing up IR Smile Such people ensure that IR's name continues to be on "current projects" and industry news Smile

Like Dhanush / Gautham / Mysskin / Manikandan / Prakash Raj / Samudhrakkani...

IMO, the fandom of such people does not appear dubious  Smile

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

Post  app_engine on Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:40 pm

The link below should actually go to the "sabAsh nAidu" thread but I'm placing it here for the specific comment by the dir of photography :

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/cinematographer-jayakrishna-gummadi-is-reaping-the-rewards-of-taking-charge-of-his-craft/article8714339.ece

JK wrote:
JK terms Sabhash Naidu as a miracle as it was his life long dream to work in a film that had Ilayaraja's music. He remembers telling his friends that he would work for free if it is an Ilayaraja film and a Kamal film with the maestro's music can only be a cherry on the cake. The film with a Hollywood crew had Akshara Hassan as one of the assistant directors. “I was shooting in Kerala when I got this offer. The director saw my show reel, it had two short films and one feature film which I did in FTII and three or four days later, I was couriering my passport.”

About the film, he elaborates, Sabash Naidu (Balaram Naidu) is a character from Kamal Hassan'sDasavataram.
They made it as a full length character. Brahmanandam has a full length role, almost equal to that of Kamal Hassan. They are like Laurel and Hardy in the movie. We are shooting in LA for 40 days and then we move to Andhra Pradesh in August.”

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

Post  app_engine on Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:19 am

674 ஆம் திருக்குறளின் அடிப்படையில் இந்த இழையில் என் பதிப்பு "தீயெச்சம்" ஆக இருக்கிறது... Embarassed

இந்தக்கிழமை முடியுமா தெரியலை - கண்டிப்பாக அடுத்த கிழமைக்குள் மூன்றாம் பாகம் செய்யப்படும் Smile

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

Post  app_engine on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:43 pm

IR's Relevance - Emotional impact on a big group of people - Part 3

I've shared a comical article on the "anything about IR" thread today, that talks about movie sequences that use IR-songs for comedy. Typically by contextual references. 

One gets reminded of a comical mid-age-man character in the film 'mozhi' who watches 'poongAtRu thirumbumA' song on TV and wondering if the young girl in his apartment complex is flirting with him Laughing .

Well, even IR's BGM is that way made fun of - while happily being made use of , by the 'kutty chutties' show whenever aNNAchchi is made fun of by a kid (appu theme from aboorva sagOdharargaL gets played). 

References like these (and a thousand others) are simple evidences that multiple generations of TN-ers have got "emotional connect" with not just IR's "old songs" but even "old BGMs". 

So, besides the insiders (movie industry people like producers / directors whom we talked about in the last two parts), there is a big gang of "outsiders" who can still be sold with IR-stuff in one form or another. 

Means, even now it makes commercial sense to make use of IR-stuff that connects with public and eventually helps make money! As shrewd business fellows, cine makers who may not want to spend a lot of money paying a big IR orchestra but want to make use of such kind of music to connect with audience, had even resorted to such cheap ways of playing older songs for a few seconds (long enough to make an impact but short enough not to get into copyright / royalty kind of issues). So much of abuse of such nature has happened that IR had to even take legal steps to curb such looting. (Even a biggie director like Shankar was allegedly involved in such a court case w.r.t. to his "kappal" movie.)

While IR's managers may be upset about such thiruttu (and rightly so), people like me have the opposite feeling (நமக்கென்ன காசா பணமா)  - that such "abuse" keeps reminding people of the validity of IR among public (and thus won't mind more of such occurences Laughing ).

I don't think I need to provide 100's of blogs and such references here to otherwise prove the "emotional impact" that IR's music has on TN-ers (and worldwide ThamizhargaL / thelungargaL) about how it makes them handle a stress, become happy or emotional, get goose bumps, enjoy a ride, get kids to sleep etc etc. That is simply public knowledge that IR is a household name even for current generations. 

Like the young programmer in Chennai who had 'vaLaiyOsai' as ringtone in his phone that sounded just a couple of seconds when he was on the conf call. Grabbing the opportunity, I told him the name of the song - bragging. 'hey, how I caught the song with just a couple of seconds'.

Instead of showing some appreciation / amazement, that fellow told in a matter of fact tone "என்னங்க இதைக்கண்டு பிடிக்கிறது என்ன பெரிய விஷயமா - இது அவ்வளவு பாப்புலர்".

I thought - அடப்பாவி, 1986ல் வந்த ஒரு பழைய பாட்டை, ஓரிரு நொடிகளின் இசை மட்டும் வைத்து 2011-ல் கண்டுபிடிக்கிறேன்  அவனோ, 1986-ல் பால் குடி மறக்காத பய, என்கிட்டே சொல்றான், "இது என்ன பிரமாதம்"னு. 

What more proof should I get for continued relevance of IR's music into the second decade of the new millennium! 

It doesn't matter if it's 40 or 50 yrs, the magic in IR's music will continue to be relevant to ordinary public. And thus he will continue to be in the reckoning - in one form or another!

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

Post  Raaga_Suresh on Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:55 am

Super post app.

The other day I had put up a list of songs singer Minmini had sung for Raja. Those songs were not overly popular in Chennai those days and those were days of Rahman. After I posted the list, my friend Sridhar (@maya_twit) tweeted that these songs were often heard in his home town even now and he often hears them in buses and public places. So he asked, 'who decides what is a hit?'. Corollary to this he says is that except for a few Rahman songs most of his 90s hits don't get played. I am sure slowly the 2000s Raja will also seep into everyones memory

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

Post  app_engine on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:18 pm

nanRi Sureshji!

Likewise, whatever may be the background reasons, all these reality shows (super singer / sun singer kinds) cannot help but "deal with" IR songs.,

Even when some of the key team members / judges are in the payroll of Panchathan Inn or having personal "feuds" with IR Wink

The interesting part for me is to "carelessly listen to" 100's of such auditions (while other family members watch them), simply to reassure myself the continued relevance of IR Smile

May be the HCIRF parents force the kids sometimes, but it's amazing to hear even five year olds sing IR songs - songs from any era, from machchAna to thAra thappatta Smile

Look at this fan-made-video of a small child who got shortlisted for Sun Singer in the current season (and see how she says 'thAra thappatta' Laughing ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNn4RGJUDtE

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