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Karnan songs -embellishments a treasure by MSV -TKR
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Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 1226
Location: navimumbai

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Articles &Writings by Fans Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Murali, Mr.Vatsan and other friends,

Mr. Murali was right in a way when he said 'people would have expected "KarNan" to have a South Indian flavour of compositions and it was all Hindustani. Well in those days quite a few earnestly believed that songs of classical nature were the forte of KVM alone and that VR WOULD NOT VENTURE into the territory. Well it was a contention of those who had no [music] sense. The ease with which VR dished out prolific orchestral scores backed up by western instruments, tempted those people to believe that classical compositions were not VR's cup of tea. Honestly it was the otherway round. Every other MD who had some reputation for some style of composition had only that much and could not afford the luxury of using lighter styles as MSV, nor could appropriately embellish the songs the way MSV did. If any one seeks evidence, my suggestion is "listen to the non-MSV songs of 1960- 1980 and learn that MSV was ahead by decades". That way "KarNan" work of VR , emphatically and eternally sealed all lose talks about classical pieces and VR. Another point was , on and off MSV gave classic pieces like 'thanga radham. 'muthukkaLo kangaL' etc, the likes which have no competitors from any acclaimed composer. That is MSV!
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
Prof. K. Raman
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The Fervent

Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Resp Reply with quote

The Hindustani flavour would have bemused one and all for sure. But I doubt if there would have been any doubts about MSV "Classical" capabilities. Come the sixties, MSV had already delivered several Classical hits like "varugirAr unnai thEdi" in atana, "AdAtha manamum uNdO" in Lathangi, "mugathhil mugam pArkkalAm" in Kalyani, "kalayOdu kalanthathu peNmai" (all the 50s). And before Karnan in the 60s , "neeyE unakku endrum nigarAnavan", "vetkkamAi irukkuthadi".

Karnan is far from being only steeped in classicism. Each song is a spiritual experience touching the kind of grandeur never before and after witnessed/ experienced. The mix of instruments, electronic and native, electronic to present the reverberating effect and new sounds and the native instruments, the "heart", the bhava, the soul force. Anybody who can decode the instrument mix in "pOi vA magaLE" and the pallavi in "kaNgaL engE" (am restricting myself here) has to be deified. Another instance comes to mind "iravum nilavum..."...you know..the double Shehnai piece the interludes, when one of the Shehnai decides to chart its own course, emerges like the snake raising its hood and eventually winds itself around the first, then the first around the second, a veritable DNA Helix Shehnai phrasings. Who has done all this prior to MSV and most importantly, after MSV ? That was only a rhetorical question....we would all know how to respond if that were a legitimate question Smile
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Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 920
Location: CHENNAI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan and All,
Since you have raised the subject of carnatic classical style of MSV I am unable to resist my temptation about the song ‘yezhu swarangalukkul’. While the songs in ‘karnan’ which is Hindustani style and other carnatic style songs like ‘aadadha manum’ or ‘maadhavi pon mayilaal’ etc there are lot of things to be discussed about the orchestration apart from the raga and its composition.

But this song ‘yezhu swarangalukkul’ does not have any orchestration. In fact the supporting instruments for this song are only thambura, violin, a mirthangam and a gadam. This is because of the reason that the song is sung by a carnatic musician and he performs a kutcheri. So he adopted the same style as that of kutcheri. The violin is only doing the supportive role for the singer all through the song. It also helps the singer to move from one raga to another since it is composed in the ‘raga maliga’ style which is very unique. This style of using the supporting violin for changing the raga is not normally rendered in the typical carnatic kutcheri and it could be an eye opener to all the carnatic musicians. There is nothing wrong in that as it only strengthens the song expression. This is one part of the subject.

But the other important part is his way of expressing the musical phrases in the ragas ‘bandhuvarali’, ‘ranchani’, ‘sindhu bhairavi’ and ‘kambhodi’. How brilliantly he shows the various colours of the ragas mentioned in that song all in the typical carnatic style unlike cinematic style.

I have to quote here about the final ‘aalaabanaa’ rendered by VJ when the song ends. It shows how the entire body of the raga ‘bhanduvarali’ can be shown in just 30 seconds. He started that ‘aalaabanaa’ from the top, showed the top, middle and bottom of the raga scale and moving from the bottom to top and finally settled in the middle. It reminds me of the ‘karpoora deeba aaradhanai’ typically rendered for the idols in the temple.


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