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Braving it up with MSV's melody...an exploration - I
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sriramp
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Joined: 19 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vatsan,
Great analysis on Yaar antha nilavu. As always, it is a delight to read your postings. On this particular song however I strongly feel that seemless voilin (that is ahead of those days by at least 15 years) that continues through out the song deserves a rich credit to violin genious TKR. In my opinion, these violin backdrop music immensly enhanced the softness in the song tremendously without which the song would not have been that big a hit. However my opinion should not be misunderstood as a bias towards TKR by highlighting him seperately. My opinion is an addition to what you already said, I just thought violin(TKR) is missed out in your analysis.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: kn Reply with quote

sriramp, thanks for your comments. I was focusing more on how the melody was taken along, though I do sometimes take the liberty of deviating Smile Another one, I certainly did enjoy re-living this song experience. Trust the enjoyment would rub off on the readers. Here goes....


Try thinking of a “timeless” song, timeless in the sense, a song that seems to start and end at the same time, such is the flow. Or take up a favourite simile, music like a continuous stream of oil that can emanate only from a system where musical theory has given way to the heart. A song like “nALAm nALAm thirunALAm” can happen only when the composer steps aside and allows the “process” to happen , allowing the art to take over one’s faculties, thereby losing sense of one’s own existence, forgets himself thoroughly.

A “tune first” product again. Raga specialists may term this song as Ragesri based splashed against the reggae beat. But we know that it is a typical MSV Ragesri, that goes out of bounds and shows us the world outside of Arohanams and Avarohanams Smile Sometimes I wonder how conservative music analysts could have this song as their all time favorite Smile Guess, their sense of wonderment overrode their otherwise sectarian attitude towards music. Mr. Editor Raman Smile may choose to leave this remark out if he so wishes Smile

As we have all discovered, when the tune is set for pre-written lyrics, the discernment/ enjoyment of nuances in the composition come out as a result of reviewing how the words were musically interpreted. When the situation is the reverse, as it is now, the study of the flow of the tuneful feel through the various crevices and ridges the tune runs through, becomes the object of discussion. Taking a peek into the composer’s intent while crafting out each piece of phrase may also help here, in deeper appreciation.


“kAthalikka nEramillai” , a light-hearted gig would obviously have a romantic duet which is peppy, foot-tapping and with MSV….tuneful as well. The varied sangathis and birkas and the tabla in the charanams would indicate that the composer preferred a dash of sentimentalism as well ,a slight heaviness which does not burden the heart. Enjoyable as well !!!


Did we say sentimentalism ? Did we say peppy and light-hearted ? Enjoy the seamless and viable existence of both in the pallavi. Dissecting it and laying it threadbare, “nALAm nALAm thirunALAm” is a traditional, sentimental Indian melody and melodious too. Now experience a seamless introduction of playfulness into what already lingers, at “nangaikkum nambikkum” at those very words. If you are reminded of the pointed swaying meters at “sathhiya muthhirai kattaLai kEttathu…”, please be happy with yourself, that was also intended to convey playfulness, being sung out to kids. While we still gloat at the realization, the phrase around “maNa nALAm” ushers in an elegant melody reconciliation of sorts that sets the stage / opportunity for the composer to build on the melody further, the phrase here does not have the “ring” of finality yet, therefore….more to come. As yet another realization hits home, that the phrase is another step taken into the musical mass, an unpredictable flow towards closing out the melody that has commenced. The song flows into “lighter” territories, “iLaya kannikai” and “mEgangaL…” lead into the melody negotiating phrase at “indiran thEril varuvALAm”. For a quick moment, banishing the words from our musical psyches, imbibing the aura of the tune only and its feel, the first two lines have made a statement, have commenced strongly, the following two lines allowed the song to cascade to the phrase that resolves all questions, probes issued until then. Does not the tune around “indiran…..varuvALAm” sound like a final answer, a final resolution, the final choice that strongly emerges from amidst a myriad of conjecturing pokes ? What do you call it ? Tuneful decorum ? A heightened sense of placement of tonality/ phrases ? Whatever be it, applauses to the origin of it all.

MSV enjoys the freedom, the freedom that lies beyond the shackles of words. But yet, he has chosen to infuse the pallavi aroma into the charanams as well. The peppiness should be sustained, so should the tunefulness be, so definitely should the life force be intact all through the song. “maNamagan intha oonjalil” depicts those very values, clearly announces that it is not going to let the pallavi down…it is going continue the good “life force” work through its existence as well. The ocean will never behave like the tributary, remains its colossal self. “maNamagaL mannan mArbinil” PBS joins in the celeberation, concurs in the third person, as if the two lovers are musing over projections of themselves against the canvas of their fantasies, imagination. The composer’s intent has been to let the two singers alternate between lines as if in a tuneful conversation. “angu Adum nAdagam Ayiram” , P Susheela pressingly continues, you know the womanly persistence Smile But let’s spare a thought here for the imaginative class of the composer, out of a bazillion ways to take the tune along, he has pitchforked in, a sense of insistence or a process of excited observation and simply musically expressed it, aesthetically garnished ofcourse. Ever the patient, loving man next to the ebullient, high energy “counter part”… “athu kAthal dEvanin kAviyam” adds to the woman’s gleeful, high octane observations, but with a calming re-assurance. Certainly the tune indicates so. Melodically speaking, the aroma of the distant pallavi makes its presence felt…yet distant, the phrase does not still have that sense of conclusiveness. How is the composer going to bridge the gap ? The swaram around “kAviyam” indicates an impending negotiating phrase for the pallavi to eventually re-enter. Lets feel through what we have traversed in the charanam, various melodic expressions of the woman excitedly making her point, the man agreeing, adding to the energy and then calmly making a point “ithu kAthal dEvanin kAviyam”, always in concurrence with his partner. The woman with added glee, added owing to the fact that her man is absolutely on the same page as she is, belts out..sorry the composer living through the feelings, belts out a “full stop” of a phrase beyond which a melody wouldn’t want to “flow”, a powerful negotiating phrase. Let us live through the phrasing for which Kannadasan had to conjure up words to lodge into. The reference is being made to the line

“ithil oruvar rAgamAm oruvar thALamAm iruvar oodalE pAdalAm”

Feeling sustained, the feeling put forth in the charanam is sustained, the composer wanted to explore various dimensions of the same feeling. Throughout the charanam, there has not been a single instance of “question-answer”, no nudging seeking a response. There have been lovers’ exchanges…exchanges deeply entrenched in harmony, not a whimper of a protest, no rough edges, expressions of being in tune with one another . The tune around the above phrase explores yet another paradigm of lovers exploring the “thing” between them, but this time to “settle” the story only to commence yet another piece in the next charanam. As the preceding lines expressed merry making observations, the current phrase in question gets more personal, intimate, gets besotted with romance, gets lovingly tender. The phrase, the womanly phrase, becomes complaintive, puts up an act of pulling a long face, giggles and intensely climaxes…”oodalE pAdalAm” , all within the realms of romance Smile Musically speaking, humming through this phrasing, the wavy start, the subsequent wave creeping up a wee bit, and the third…. sounded the like the start of the third wave but its end has been dragged upwards to linger, wavy nature demolished and the melody made to sound “suspended” and funnily enough, made to sound “complete”, negotiated. In your mind, the mind that is all yours, please feel free to start “nALAm nALAm” again now, is there even a hint of dissonance, a hint of a complaining charanam forced to join the hands with the pallavi ? If the answer is in the negative, thanks, I am glad to have found yet another kindred soul. Let our musical bonds grow stronger, become more robust. Then, why the humming ?a piece which, the “ideas deprived” composers would have stocked for future use. The answer could oscillate between, “MSV was in the mood to do so” and “for the sheer joy of creating”. What else could explain the chromatic climb (the process of touching a white note and the next black note or vice versa) in the humming, the note that made PB Sreenivos drop his note book when the humming was being sung out to him ? Let us only enjoy this aural treat but with a deep awareness of certain facts….complete absence of formula, no repeating meters or anything predictable and yet not sounding “consciously put together by thought”.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Articles &Writings by Fans Reply with quote

Dear Mr.Vatsan,
Another piece of crowning glory from you matching the elegance of the magnum opus- 'nALAm nALAm; Last night Mr. SRS drew my attention to this piece to verify if it has been accommodated. I am always quite accommodative if sensible. As I went about editing this piece, I encountered a Java emotion inviting the editor to 'axe it if he wishes',
YES, EDITORS ARE MERCILESS WITH WORDS BUT NOT SO ON WRITERS' EMOTIONS.
Though convinced of the innate sense, at times editing is invited more to simplify and make the reach WIDER. Certainly, I have edited the spot rather amplifying what you said of sectarian critics. The essence has been retained to serve all ends. Only last Sunday MSV was referring to responses of critics to this number.
The piece is now added to the English section which is on the verge of completion with only content and index pages remaining.
Hope, I emerge unscathed as Editor.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Resp Reply with quote

Thanks SRS for suggesting and thanks to Prof for accommodating after patiently going through it. "sectarian" has negative connotations and hence the request/ offer.

MSV , in the programme, indicated that the lyrics came first but Sridhar's autobiography states the opposite. I tend to go against MSV's recollections of memories knowing what they tend to be Smile.....not very accurate Smile There was another instance where Kannadasan (santhithhEn sinthithhEn) clearly states that "AgAya panthathilE.." had its tune composed first. But upon checking with MSV on this song, the answer was not in the affirmative, to him it was yet another case of "matter first". Even here, I would go with Kannadasan Smile At worst / best, "nALAm...nALAm" could be a mix of the two, Kannadasan accommodating MSV and vice versa as well, as it was often the case those days. But yet, simply living tune's path of traversal gave me another paradigm to live through. Quite astonishing and enjoyable!!! But for a moment assume that the lyrics came first, the astonishment only grows exponentially.

The lessons that flow out of this composition need to be encapsulated and flung into the future for lessons to be imbibed by novice composers.....and experienced composers Smile
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Articles &Writings by Fans - Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Vatsan,
Your offer on 'sectartian spots' would have been certainly attended to, even if npthing was said. As regards MSV's version on matter -meter priorities on any somg, the information needs being cross-checked, as he temds to be quite casual on his recollections. There are several such instances though all are innocuous in spirit. Your observation on 'nALAm nALAm' is certainly a matter for posterity and it appears relevant to have a song library of at least all such grand pieces. Again, problem would be in choosing to stop where. Living through MSV's songs is a poerful rejuvenator and not a piece looks stale by familiarity. Certainly, he is a master on all domains of film music. Thanks for the opprtunity.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai
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N Y MURALI
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DEAR Mr. VATSAN,

YOU WRITTEN ABOUT THE SONGS AND SANGADHIS ETC WHICH ARE ALL ENJOYED BY ME. I HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT I AM NOT GOOD AT PRESENTATION IN ENGLISH. BUT AFTER READING YOU ARTICE I FEEL AS IF YOU HAVE WRITTEN FOR ME. TO ADD MORE INFO ABOUT THE SONG 'HELLO MY DEAR' THE BGM FOR THE SONG WAS BRILLIANT. IN THE FIRST BGM THE SITAR IS JUST PLAYING AROUND EFFORTLESSLY. IG YOU NOTIVE THE 2ND BGM WHEN THE SAXAPHONE IS PLAYED KAMAL WOULD BE LOOKING THRO A DOOR KEY HOLE. THAT SAX BIT SEEMS TO BE FITTING PERFECTLY FOR PICTURE.

THIS IS THE SAME RAAGA AS "KADAL KADAL ENDRU PESA" IN UTHRAVINDRI ULLE VAA' AND ANOTHER SONG IN THE SAME RAAGA IS 'AMMANAI AZHAGU MIGUM KANMANAI'. INFACT 'KADAL KAL CAME FIRST IN THIS SERIES. ILLAYARAJACIULD NOT RESIST HIS TEMPATION IN THE BEAUTY OF THIS RAAGA SO HE TUNED 'EN ULLIL ENGO YENGUM GEETHAM' IN ROSAPOO RAVIKKAIKARI. A R RAHMAN ALSO COULD NOT LEAVE THIS RAAGA WHEN HE COMPOSED THE SONG 'OTTAGATHA KATTIKO'.

BY THE WAY IS THIS RAAGA 'DHARMAVATI' OR 'MADHUVANTHI' AS DISCUSSED BY US OVER PHONE. WE SHALL ASK SOME BODY WHO KNOWS HINDUSTANI RAAGA. TILL SUCH LET IT BE A MELODY AS IT IS HANDLED BY OUR GREAT GURU SRI MSV.

REGARDS,

MURALI
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Braving it up with MSV's melodies Reply with quote

A post after a long time. Please let me know if you resonated with it.

What do you feel when the sky is overcast, you are flanked on either side by breathtaking valleys, mountains with a gentle gurgle of the small stream to add color to it ? Or better still, how would you musically express your feelings then ? Ask MSV, he would help you out. “oho ho Odum eNNangaLE” , encompasses all the above and adds a dash of romance. Of that of a woman besotted, prancing around with the childlike gay abandon only women are capable of. Add to all this, the sensitivity of the composer to usher in a sense of intrigue to the whole thing, apt for those valleys, majesty of mountains and quiet sense of mystery that seems to pervade the entire spectacle. Those mountains seem to have something to divulge to mankind, only cryptically so Smile MSV has this unique quality of creating the spectacle and moving it from our mind’s eyes to our hearts, for the real, consummate experience. A person who feels best, experiences best. The song seems to emanate from the echoes of the valleys, in the wordly sense, expressed with the expansive stretch at the first line of the Pallavi itself. What else would the musical leap at “ohoho Odum eNNangaLE” convey ? What an ice-breaker of a pallavi, and so apt and please let all that sink in, for the composer has given you sufficient time to imbibe the effect of the piercing pallavi. The extended pause after the first line of the Pallavi, can be concluded, as ONLY to let its effect linger in the hearts of the listeners. Shake it up first and let it linger… Smile MSV builds on the effect, ornamenting it with a spate of violins with an affirmative gesture. Now what else, the bongos have come to halt, waiting with bated breath for the next musical surprise to be served Smile
“OdOdi chendru kAthal peNNin uravai chollungaLEn….
nIrAdum enthan Asai nenjin
nilaiyai sollunggaLEn”
continues Kannadasan ….aaahh!!! The realization sinks in now, yes, the woman addresses the clouds and slaps a request on top of it all as well, a request to express the inexpressible , something her joyous self is unable to, she is thoroughly choked with joy. The MSV-esque pause after the first line , the pregnant pause, has been placed, indeed to hold the Cloud’s attention:) and then to rattle off the requests Smile Talk about tuning etiquette for pre-written lyrics !!! When most composers pray for a sustained presence of mind to pitchfork in such characteristics, the eternally sensitive composer, belonging to a different league, musically pervades the entire lyrical piece. Even pauses and gaps are actually laden with subtle pouches brimming with musical meaning !!!
Little has the woman in love realized that the very deed of expressing is already done in the act of placing those requests Smile The clouds do not have to intervene Smile Her sheer helplessness in trying to convey the inexpressible is already portrayed Smile Our Poet Laureate is no slouch either Smile . Replace this with banal phrases such as “en thAi mozhi maranthathu” and some such, and realize the “universe of a difference” between the mundane and the sublime. Kudos to MSV’s twin soul Smile



The pallavi with such tremendous dynamics is followed by a mysterious pause with only the strum of the rhythm guitar, a couple of strums, then the flute passage, the violin passage and then…. does the mandolin here seem to be a warning listeners of a “turn” of events, unpredictable turn of tune ?!!! ? The violin phrasing that follows it confirms exactly that and acts as a prompt for the tune to undergo a most unpredictable metamorphosis in the charanam and yet remaining within the stipulates of the mood being conveyed. Tablas and Dholaks roll in, adding only to the allure of the song.

varushanthORum vasantham thEdi varuvOm ingE
vAdaik kARRil mUdum paniyil magizvOm ingE
onRu sErum antha nEram piLLai pOlE AdalAm
Adi Adi kAlam mARi annai thanthai AgalAm
reads the first charanam.

I am sure, the lyrics came first for this song, such is the poetic construct of the charanam. The tune construct around the first two lines is interesting to observe, those are only droplets from the waterfall that sprayed happiness, peals of joy in the pallavi. MSV has perceived “thEdi varuvOm ingE” as the pivot, the nucleus of the lyric in the first line as the tune around words “varusham thOrum” gently undulates and “waves” its way through to a decisive statement made “varuvOm ingE”. A similar treatment meted out to the second line as well, as in effect, the first two lines have the same aura enveloping them. Good !!! Has MSV closed out the melody commenced in the first line ? No !!! “magizhvOm ingE” does not have the simplistic sense of finality most composers would be tempted to incorporate with a view to closing out the lyrical construct. MSV allows it to remain suspended ……because there is more to come Smile Change in rhythm, as the poetic intent in the succeeding two lines change from futuristic joy laden proclamations to something more intimate . The last line is noteworthy here, as Devika, the protagonist , cannot mother a child in the movie, something that her partner in the song, Sivaji Ganesan knows fully well, but she doesn’t . A seed placed for the impending doom of sorts !!! The master tune composer instructs P Susheela to imbue with a sense of longing, those very words “annai thanthai AgalAm”. Was that the reason MSV, why light-hearted joy in the tune gave way to a tinge of seriousness, why the tonality / vibrational frequency of of the tune around these lines , got lowered a wee bit ? I will answer for MSV, for sure “YES”, a hundred times !!! You naturally expect MS V to measure up to any nuanced expression incorporated within a piece of lyric !!! Lets reflect on the entire charanam again, lets just be with the charanam and feel its aura !!!! The conspicuous change in flavor in the charanam, the first two lines sounding ONLY like joy-offshoots of the pallavi not entirely joyful, more serious, the pace, the force of happiness downplayed a tad at the closure of the charanam. Joy expressed but with dark undercurrent of fear of the joy being short lived, a permanent sense of insecurity, will this joy be everlasting ? Am I dreaming too much ? Is there doomsday around the corner ? They say hot and cold are two ends of the same piece of life, they are essentially the same, so are sorrow and happiness. But “sorrow can exist within happiness and vice versa” states this song, demonstrably so !!! As I write this, I ruminate over the first line of the charanam that seemingly conceals the sense of imminent disaster amidst exuberance and quickly put up a poker face to combat the tears that threaten to fall off !!! Such consummate mastery in tune composing !!! Despite all the glow the tune is endowed with, if there is a silent tear I may shed on the sly upon hearing this song again, I would now know why, its that !@#$$% tune, it has those two states of being, interwoven, intertwined, co-existing. When the pallavi starts after the charanam, you really realize how seamlessly you were made to traverse through the dynamics we were discussing. The charanam end actually seamlessly blended in with the pallavi as well. Please listen to the song and experience feelings bringing the seemingly different pallavi and charanam together and what do we call this ?Feeling based melody negotiation ?
“Heavenly” is generally used to describe by-products of unison of two hearts and souls, in this case, those of the poet and the composer. The poet himself agrees with that, with literal references to the nebulous embellishments of the sky Smile …in the first line itself !!!!
Hey budding composers listen to this song , attend this class room training session on how to treat a song as a stroke of the paint brush against the vast canvas of the story line.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Articles &Writings by Fans Reply with quote

Dear Mr Vatsan,
Glad that you are back with a trademark bang of yours. The number you have chosen from "Neela vAnam" is quite familiar to all fans of the legend. Till the recent posting of yours, I never realized the volume of lyrical beauty enshrined.Read it that MSV has swallowed it in letter and spirit. At least, I have been swept off by the sheer undulations of the tune from the word go. Honestly, unlike my usual self, for this song, I never bothered of the lyric phrases that embedded the critical knot of the story. Needless to reiterate that I saw only MSV and not the twin soul of the ensemble. YOUR POSTING is always a melody negotiation though in suspended animation , much like the musical skills or rather the musically interpretative skills of Shri MSV himself. With your phraseology, neat and adept what else do you expect from readers except a grand nod signifying that 'I concur with you every syllable'. Glad that your new post comes at a time when I was starved of soulful writing. Now I enjoy the lyric as much as the tune and the soulful rendition by PS, nicely balanced by the orchestral pep throughout the song. Please keep your powder dry to fire on all cylinders.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:06 pm    Post subject: Resp Reply with quote

Thanks Prof for your comments.
Thanks for roping in Sweetheart Susheela. tour de force performance/ singing from her. Such depth of voice without sounding masculine and without losing out on sweetness....there can be only one Susheela. Greatness personified.

Prof saab...coming to Kannadasan...according to me a true poet realizes the utter limitations of words and realized the total inadequacy of a language to cover the inexpressible. Kannadasan therefore used metaphors and words as only pointers to the "actual thing" , leaving it to the sensitivity of the listener to experience based on his/ her faculties. MSV's music imbibes the spirit and brings home the experience that mere words cannot. MSV's conscious choice of ushering in a total change of color to the tune at the charanam based on the character, lyrics, situation is a piece of "Gandharvic" delight. I am sure no listener of this song ever felt totally "lodged" in the light hearted feeling expressed in the pallavi. To me it was like intending to perch myself comfortably on a moist chair, with the wetness reminding me time and again of its presence Smile

Thanks for your comments once again.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: REsp... Reply with quote

Please read "realized" in the previous post as "realizes"
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msvramki
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,

Great writing !

I don't think anybody can express 'feelings' in words like you, as MSV does it in His tunes !!

I am tempted to listen to this number immediately, but, oh, I am in office amidst hundred things to do, but nothing of these is going to be as refreshing as listening to MSV's musical expression of feelings, 'Oho ho, odum eNNangaLe', in particular now !

The forum which was a bit dull for sometime now, is now lit up by your writing !

Pl continue . It gives a lot of comfort to my (our members) soul !

Ramki

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s.r.sankaranarayanan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DEAR VATSAN,

YOU ARE AN ALCHEMIST.YOU POSSESS THE SECRET RASAVAADAM.HENCE ON BEHALF OF THE MEMBERS I CONFER ON YOU THE TITLE " ISAI EZHUTHU CHITHTHAR".KINDLY ACCEPT IT.

S.R.SANKARANARAYANAN
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Resp... Reply with quote

Thanks Ramki and SRS...high praises man !!! Thanks once again.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Articles &Writings by Fans - Reply with quote

Dear Mr Vatsan and Mr SRS,
The title 'Alchemist' sounds less fitting than
"ISAI EZHUTHTHU SIDDHAR" for his 'Rasa vAdham'.His vadham [argument ] is rich in rasam [alluring taste]. Kudos to the excellent suggestion.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman madurai.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Duets Reply with quote

Hi All,
A short posting, but I longed to write more today. Hinderances galore at the work place. Could come up with the following only.

To some composers, writing music for filmy situations can be the most engaging, inspiring and creativity stimulating process. You could have a love duet against the backdrop of a rural and urban origin or somewhere exactly on the median, the chief protagonist pining for the lost love, a comedian flipping his lid and so on. A lithesome musical personality, a sensitive composer like the pocket sized dynamite composer in focus, undergoes a process of transmutation, merges with the persona on screen….except now, the persona now seems to possess an additional armoury….music. Now, when the situation is that of a duet, the process becomes more engaging, the entire composition needs to blessed with a conversational hue, a disposition that is reflective of wordy exchanges, all musical. Now, who has surpassed MSV in imparting a personality to a composition, making it a living, breathing entity that squirms when it’s hot, runs for protective covering when it’s cold, enjoys a morning walk, in short, has its own likes and dislikes ?!!? Let me cast a cursory glance , mind you only a cursory glance at the romantic duets that one’s romantic side drools over, a necessary embellishment to any romantic gallivanting Smile. The ones that set my heart aflutter, “kAthhiruntha kaNgaLE”, “nAn unnai chErntha selvam”, “poyyilE piranthu poyyile vaLarntha”, “kAthal viLaiyAda”, , “Odam kadalOram” one by one as they pop up, the familiar aura, the familiar scent of romance, the same tinge of pleasant excitement, change in atmosphere becomes more palpable as the songs tug at my heart strings, I willingly….goodness, where did that willingness come from ?!!!? Well, I willingly surrender….as each song reveals its musical contents, the dynamics that contributed to the collective aura and the musically adorned, here we go again…….conversational exchanges.

For starters, a set of metered lines….

kAthhiruntha kaNNgaLE
kathaiyaLantha nenjamE
Asai ennum veLLamE
pongi perugum uLLamE


The overall import of the lyrical lines, no sentimental load or baggage, allows for a free tour of the country side with the perfunctory respects paid to the trees Smile. The lines yearn for musical, tuneful peppiness, chirpiness and sunny joy, but get bestowed upon by the benevolent genius, something more, dexterous “meter play” as well. MSV obviously viewed each line as a path to progression, towards culmination at the unabated deluge of feelings at “pongi perugum uLLamE”. The tune therefore makes a statement, a gentle accentuation next followed by mild influx of serious intent and momentum at “Asai ennum veLLamE” and the final joyful realization and declaration of the obvious. The first time around, the tune curves and coils in order for P Susheela to restart the Pallavi and then happens…the declaration.

Guess, the poet was in no mood for granting a reprieve to the music composer, “metered” responses follow…

kaNNiraNdil veNNilA
kathaigaL sollum peNNilA
nAnirunthum neeyillA
vAzhvil Ethu thEn nilA


Rest of the famed composers of our Tamil film fraternity would gladly wrap a tune similar to that ornamenting the first lyrical piece to the above words as well and be “done with it”. The musically blessed however, discover new opportunities for creative outlet, while the impoverished, discover new outlets as opportunities for escape. A free mind, a mind free of theoretical entanglements is capable of measuring up to words of all possible texture, words with crevices, unmetered and unyielding. But the yielding, the ever ready musical psyche of MSV unfurls the backdrop of a “Response” to the above lyrical construct and makes the tune sound like one, for that is what the piece of lyric is, a response. It is PBS this time, starts off on a scale a notch higher than that of P Susheela, starts “responding” to eventually the tune to glide and swirl down into a common meeting ground, the ground originally stepped into, by the head piece of the Pallavi. Yet another facet , a characteristic of a response, is to flow into the premises of reconciliation. A masterly stroke, atleast to me, the realization sinks in further as I hum the last lines of both lyrical pieces, thoroughly bemused at the tune construct that make them birds of a feather, offshoots from the same stem, flowers strung together by the same soul thread, the true begotten offsprings of the true Father of light music. But is that all, there is more to follow, as the tune for “vAzhvil Ethu thEn nilA” winds down through gentle jerks, MSV rips off the “response” tag and belts out the original tune strapped against the lyrical block just musically treated. Now, what do we have here ?!!? P Susheela sings out the Pallavi, PBS responds with a different tune as a response and then, sings out the same lines in the tune sung by P Susheela. From the dynamics, stand point, a gentle re-accentuation of the response offered and bringing curtains down on the Pallavi, a most musical full stop in the minds of the listeners, as the listeners gear up to hear out the first interlude Smile.

Please wind back into your memories and cull out similar compositional attendance accorded to lyrics . “poyyilE piranthu”, “Odam kadalOram” spring to mind immediately, as I need to close this posting down, humming the lines “pongi perugum uLLamE” and “vAzhvil Ethu thEn nilA”, oh, they are effectively one and the same Smile, the common meeting ground !!!!
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