Connection between the decades

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  app_engine on Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:55 pm

kiru wrote:IR's WCM reactor went "critical" in my opinion with NEPV. I now call IR as IR 2.0. The string section these days is almost always multi-part. IR's music is so very distinct from the work of many of these new/current MDs mainly from the WCM/contrapuntal arrangements.

NEPV is IMHO more of a peculiar fusion of WCM + Jazz which is sort of "IR-only-possible" genre Smile 

Sure enough he had used symphony orchestra to create some superb WCM arrangements but the sum total is an IR-genre with a lot of Jazz "elements" thrown in. As people listening to IR for decades, this shouldn't surprise us as this had always been his forte - of marrying different genres seamlessly and producing something of his own. 

That second interlude of sAyndhu sAyndhu is an example of "IR-only-possible" genre Smile

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  crimson king on Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:23 pm

app_engine wrote:
kiru wrote:IR's WCM reactor went "critical" in my opinion with NEPV. I now call IR as IR 2.0. The string section these days is almost always multi-part. IR's music is so very distinct from the work of many of these new/current MDs mainly from the WCM/contrapuntal arrangements.

NEPV is IMHO more of a peculiar fusion of WCM + Jazz which is sort of "IR-only-possible" genre Smile 

Sure enough he had used symphony orchestra to create some superb WCM arrangements but the sum total is an IR-genre with a lot of Jazz "elements" thrown in. As people listening to IR for decades, this shouldn't surprise us as this had always been his forte - of marrying different genres seamlessly and producing something of his own. 

That second interlude of sAyndhu sAyndhu is an example of "IR-only-possible" genre Smile

There's more jazz in Megha than NEPV, esp Kalvane.  The piano-guitar stuff on Sayndhu/Sattru Munbu is still more like rock.  Actually I think Niram Pirithu Paarthen, esp second interlude, was more advanced jazz than either NEPV or Megha.  That sounded like something Metheny or Bela Fleck might have done. Of course Mumbai Express.

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  app_engine on Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:33 pm

Mostly digression but some connection to the thread's discussion also Embarassed 

Please read if you have time - skipping this post won't let you miss much related to the thread Smile

Recently had a trip with a Punjabi-American couple in their 70's - family friends - the  white lady fell for the sardar when both did their masters in UofM in 1960's & both are living happily ever after. 

It was for a few days with a lot of drive - about 25+ hours on van - and more than half of that duration was with some kind of music playing.

While I tried to entertain them primarily with whatever music preferable to them, didn't miss the opportunity to intro our man Smile

Since they're mostly into Hindi songs, I pre-arranged to have a collection of IR's HFM on the van's hard drive. After telling them that the next will be from my personal HFM collection - but not typical "bollywood" but more south Indian. I told them these are by a composer from my state who is a maestro in WCM & ICM and entertained mainly south Indians with some 1000+ albums and did a few in Hindi too Wink

After the brief intro, played "mudhi mudhi" of pA (some superb sound quality version) and the lady got stunned! 

Please note - she had been listening to HFM from 60's, watched 100's of HF - even named one of their sons after a famous HF star! Now, after hearing that song, she made this exact remark : "I never knew that such JAZZ existed in Indian film music"
(Note - connection to this thread's discussion Laughing )

"gum sum gum" followed and the second interlude - as most of us are aware - is IR's fun time with Jazz - and it only increased her appreciation and she kept telling that "this is so different, very impressive" etc. 

BTW, she is a masterful artist herself (in painting) and her appreciation definitely made my day Smile Her Punjabi husband, OTOH, enjoyed "orE nAL unai nAn"  and such songs more (which are somewhat in line with the HFM melodic system) and was full of praises as well.

Well, after being offered with a variety of IR's HFM, TFM, TeFM and MFM for the next couple of hours, thanks to IR, their opinion about my musical taste had gone up leaps and bounds now Smile
(what an ulterior motive Laughing )

End of the trip, she wanted me to get a collection of Shreya G songs on CD - she didn't know the name before and was floored with her voice / singing. 
(punnamippoovai / jAnE do nA / AvaNiththumbi, among others)

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  ravinat on Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:13 pm

The long slog for perfect voices

 Spanning the decades, he has fine-tuned his art of using voices to a level of sophistication, that no composer before or after him, so far, have got such mastery over its usage in both the Indian, classical as well as in a western harmony formats.  However, this journey had a simple beginning in the 70s and it matured in the 80s and fine-tuned in the 90s with his current form polished in the 21st century.


While this may sound a bit negative, one has to step back and view the process over the decades. Regardless of his genius, orchestration is not something that is part of the Indian psyche. As a country, where most native music played is very individualistic, playing together is something that is very recent, given the long history of Indian music.  Playing together with voices in an organized way, is even newer. While singing together has been part of the Indian musical tradition, following strict musical rules is not.  While it is easy to mature our traditional chorus, it is extremely hard to mature singing according to strict WCM musical rules.


In the 70s, Raja mostly tried to advance the traditional chorus singing as the group singers hardly had any formal voice training.  However, in the 80s and later, he was able to get better group singers, and the situation improved in the 90s and the 200s. Raja took advantage of this talent availability as this can be observed in his compositions in various categories over the decades. Today, everybody who sings in the background in film music call themselves, ‘harmony singers’, whether they understand the term harmony or not.
Let’s first analyze the Western choir arrangement from the 70s. By today’s standards, this arrangement may sound very basic, but, when you listen to the song ‘Thaamtha theemtha’ from ‘Pagalil Oru Iravu (Tamil 1977), you will notice the unfinished vocal experiment using both the folk and the western genres. In my view, this song uses the female voices as part of the 4-part harmony with one part (Tenor) in Western. The effect has not been great due to all the reasons mentioned already.



Let’s listen to the early 70s experiment on western choir…







In 1980, Raja took the choir arrangement up by a few major notches, with his song,  ‘Kelade Nema Geega’ from Geetha (Kannada 1980). Please refer to the detailed description of this song in the choir analysis post done several months ago.


http://geniusraja.blogspot.ca/2012/06/malefemale-western-choir-singing-black.html








In 1981, Raja did one of his earliest masterpieces where he took ideas from Carnatic, folk and western genres and weaved a fantastic song.  Eriyile Elantha Maram from Karayellam Shenbagapoo (Tamil 1981) is another great advancement that he did in the 80s that has been described at great length in the choir analysis post done several months ago.


http://geniusraja.blogspot.ca/2012/10/usage-of-folk-and-western-choir-in.html








In 1984, Megam Karukkaiyile from Vaidegi Kaathitunthaal (Tamil 1984) used ideas from both the folk and western genres with nice C&R arrangements between the two genres.







Another 80s song that deserves mention is the song, Manidha Manidha from Kan Sivandhaal Man Sivakkum (Tamil 198x), where Raja used predominantly male voices in both the Indian and Western format. This is a significant departure from Tamil cinema music traditions. Using western choir for brothers in arms - that is very creative for that time. However, there is still lack of polish in male choir execution.






Pudhu Maapillaikku from Aboorva Sagaodarargal (Tamil 1989) is one where Raja finally succeeded big time using male voices in a scat format in the 80s. In my view, it took almost 13 years of experimentation to get to where he got with this song. Prior to this, Raja tried scat in several songs with partial success.



Let’s listen to the 80s experiment on western choir… In general, the arrangement of choir in 1980s was far better than the 1970s though the composer and the orchestrator had not changed.






In the next post, we will continue this journey for the next 2 decades..

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  ravinat on Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:33 pm

The long slog for perfect voices (contd.)


In the 90s, Raja started his collaboration with foreign orchestras who had much better trained choir singers.


Prior to the collaboration, one of his finest female choir arrangement that was set to a trance like arrangement was the song, ‘Ennulle Enulle’ from Valli (Tamil 1990). An outstanding harmony arrangement that is hard to beat even today.







Another experimental idea in this film was the way Raja used Indian (that chants Om) and male Western harmony in the second interlude of the song Enna Enna Kanavu kandayo. (Tamil 1990). As with most Raja situations, Enulle Enulle took the limelight out of Enna Enna.







The refinement of trained voices was distinct with the song, ‘Kottum Kuzhalvizhi’ from Kaala Paani (Malayalam 1996), which was one of his earliest BSO collaboration. You can see a marked improvement in the delivery (not in the composition) of female choir in this song.


 



The song Halli Lavaniyalli Laali from Namoora Mandara Hoove (Kannada 1997) is another song where Raja experimented with a variety of techniques – Western, Indian, folk and scat all in one song. While he has tried some of these combinations before, it landed beautifully with this track in 1997. Some of his earlier experiments were less dexterous and this one was so smooth in its execution.


 



In the same year, Raja tried another Tamil song, Oru Naal Andha Oru Naal from Devadhai (Tamil 1997), where his female choir backing to the song was outstanding. However, this song has more western arrangement than a mixed choir. While the choir is far better than the 70s and 80s, it was nowhere near the BSO type choir – the issue of execution still needs perfection when he uses local talent.







Around this time, he was able to convince his mentor Panchu to have a complete song without any orchestra  in the film Maaya Bazaar (Tamil 1997). This was a risky execution by a team that was predominantly Indian, doing an acapella.  Naan Porandhu Vandhadhu was the first acapella in Indian films, though it had a few rough edges.






In the 21st century, Raja has used the BSO on several occasions to improve further his delivery in the 1990s. A good example is the title score of the Hindi film Lajja (Hindi 2004).







Around the same time, in 2005, Raja delivered Thiruvasagam - Polla Vinayaen.  He had to refine his Maaya Bazaar further and the execution of acapella was perfect with this song compared to all his previous attempts.






Listen to the acapela between 13:02 and 14:51 for its execution. You can see that he has reached his summit of slogging for perfect voices.

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Re: Connection between the decades

Post  jaiganesh on Thu May 11, 2017 9:03 pm

Beautiful Thread..was listening to the songs in Maestro's music app . My daughter insists that I play some music before dozing off.
I played Pudhiya vaarpugaL.. I see the same ideas still present  - but the focus of the music is different. Maybe the narration of those days had
more stuff compared to rather stale commonplace situations these days for songs.

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