Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Thiruvasagam in Symphony

Just as I write this, Ilayaraja is singing "Puttril Vaazh Aravum Anjaen" around me (Surround, heh !). Thiruvasagam in Symphony from Ilayaraja, is really a treasure to keep. A Collectors edition you could say. This release has created a stir, and I find a great sale of this.. Proof - most of the people in my bay have their personal copy of this. Only that they dont like it. (whaw !)

Before you read this, understand that Im a great devotional guy. I belong to the group of friends who visit temples quite often, around the city on weekends. I have a good taste for Carnatic / Classical music. But Im not educated on that, i dont know which ragam or thaalam the song belongs to. But I have the flair to admire.. that will suffice. So, I was thrilled to hear "Hey Ram's Vaishnava Janatho" song, as it had the "Vaaranam Aayiram Soozha Vadham Seithu" piece classically sung the Iyengar way, with the Nadhaswaram and Thavil background. (this piece also appears in Keladi Kanmani, in a different way).

So, I was confident that Ilayaraja would have glorified Thiruvaasagam just as he did for Thiruvempaavai. However, I have no clear idea of Thiruvaasagam.

Has he glorified ? Well, Yes and No. People who have sung Thiruvaasagam would definitely hate it (Hate is a hard word to use, but I know it is apt). But first timers like me, will adore it like a classical song in a movie. I know, many of us like the "Alaipayuthe Kanna" song for the fast beats of AR Rahman,. This is quite similar, only we do not know the lyrics.

Polla Vinayaen - Sung by Ilayaraja is a 20 minute stand-still song. Ilayaraja accumulates all his brilliance and sings this song, and as Balaji had said, you will show no sign of life, when you listen.

Few of the songs resemble his old musics, but nothing wrong. Only one song, strongly resembles the Pithamagan - "Poovar Senni Mannan". But the song really deserves that music. AR Rahman reused his songs in Bombay Dreams, so Ilayaraja is excused. :)

"Pooerukanum Purantharunam" is my personal favourite sung by Bhavatharini and Ilayaraja. I would even plead you to listen to this song. You might get a hint of 'Mayil Pola Ponnu Onnu" from Bharathi.. Ilayaraja's music is so vast, that all his songs start resembling one of his own.

My suggestion - Buy it soon and listen to all the songs.
WARNING : Just like any Raja song listen it twice or thrice, only then you get inclined and get to like it. Let me know, if you do like it.


Jacky said...

You said "AR Rahman reused his songs in Bombay Dreams, so Ilayaraja is excused. :)"

Can't agree with this Logic. As long as the target audience is different there's no sin in recycling songs. If IR wants to recycle Shenbagamey Shenbagamey to the Brits … it's ok with me.
I have mixed feelings about this album. Except Poovar senni manna which is experimental as well as path breaking, rest of the songs mostly leaves a feeling of deja vu.
Muthu Natranam's preludes – vocal chorus reminded me so much of a Siraichalai song, and even the tune is similar to an old Tamil satire song "Nandhavanathil vor aandi, avan nal aru mathamai kuyavanai vendi" goes something like that.
Anyways, this album is for the keeps, and am starting to relish it more despite its shades of redundancy.

keerthi said...

Jack ! Target audience for Bombay Dreams was not just UK and the US, though it was staged only at those places. The album sold good here too. Even though the songs were redundant, they were a pleasure to hear. Same with IR. He has reused his tunes (As you said, Sempoove from Chiraichaalai is very obvious)..and they are really really impressive.

But, there is one beautiful song, "Putril Vazh Aravum Anjaen" which Raja has spoiled by saying "Adede ! Idhu thaan Symphonyaaa ".. He should have avaoided it.

Im glad you liked it.. Im getting familiar with the lyrics too..

Jacky said...

He should've avoided it. My little grudge with this album is due to usage folk themes to sing thiruvasagam, while this project by its nature permits experimentation with Mystical sounds. After all it depicts Lord Shiva. Is Folk which has been beat to death by Raja and others in TFM the only medium? I'm not sure. And in some songs the orchestra goes little off track from Raja's incantation – taking a symphonic style. Don't know much about the nuances of symphony but have listened to a few Mozart and Beethoven pieces. Am not too happy if he wants to showcase his symphonic notes to the world. Thiruvasagam is not the right product then, it must've been Raja in Symphony. I expected something like Desh ki Mitti theme (Bose) where instruments beautifully conveyed the lyrics. I must be blamed for setting high (unrealistic) expectations but the hype created by TIS team made me think so.
And i think, i referred a wrong dictionary for the word Oratorio.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

I got the CD today. The first song just mesmerized me, I am at the 3rd one now ( Raja / B.tharini) Tunes so far resemble some of his old numbers...but quite interesting mix of west/east.

keerthi said...

Bang on, Jacky. Wish Ilayaraja reads this.

Venkittu Sir, The 3rd one is the best.. Absolutely brilliant. I have that alone in a playlist.