Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Raja We Felt in 1977-78 : Part-2

That we could notice IR’s innovations and experiments in those period itself was the boon or god-send-gift to me and Shankar.

Again it was Shankar who used to come with all such observations and I used to supplement them with my observations and interpretations !

Innovations like,
  • new form of music,
  • lengthy interludes/preludes,
  • modified pallavi charanam formats,
  • introduction of new musical sounds/effects,
  • a lot of support instruments playing their own melodies alongwith songs (it took 20 more years to understand that these are called harmony/ counter-points) etc.
The list will be never ending !

Now, you may say, what’s big about that ? IR was always like that only !

See, in those period, IR’songs were generalized and branded as the “Gramathu dappanguthu” and pundits were as usual predicting that this new comer cannot sustain more than a couple of films !

“Kettele Ange” was just compared with “Machaana Paartheengala” !

Unfortunately, following Annakili’s success, a lot of village based movies started swarming the TFM and a lot of other MD’s were also forced/adopted plagiarizing of village based instruments in the name of folk songs.

Really it was a hell !

And now you can realize, how IR could give totally different music with convictions in all the films that followed Annakili in 1976 and 77. But many old timers and hardliners of that period (fans of previous era MDs like MSV, KVM, etc) never beleived that !

We could observe his fraction of seconds harmonized music coming in between the voices and his efforts to bring out such things and make them stand-out in the absence of track recordings facility in those years.

Listen to those string and flute bits etc carefully in “Vizhiyile Malarndhadhu” coming in between the pallavi lines !

Even though he knew such things would get drowned in the chorus and voice of singers, he had taken pain and harmonized the melody and put those counterpoints !

But still what many could not digest in those period was his modulations in songs!

The sudden change in Sarod type instrument in the second interlude of “Vaanathu Meen Ena” song of Vattathukul Chaduram, the beyond comprehension chromatic interludes of “Pesaadhe Vayulla Oomai nee “ of Deepam, or the intderludes of “Then malli poove” of Thyagam etc are some examples !

Believe me, even it got me puzzled, ( as a common listener, paamaran, without much musical knowledge on technical side) that, “why at all, some talented fellow like him, could suddenly, un-conventionally change the shruthi / raagam of music like this ?

Though later on repeated hearings, we could develop our tastes and started liking those "things", it was very very dangerous experiments as far as TFM music of those period was concerned !

In nut shell, like many of the common music listener, we approached IR’s music and had a lot of observations to make and discuss with each other !

Nothing big or technical about that !

But one thing I didn’t know was, that Shankar, during 1978, (who was in his Vellore PT hostel), had time to write a very very lengthy letter on all these finer points with the intention of sending to IR !!!

And he had atlast got some address of IR from one of the film magazine and had the courage to send the letter to that address and forgot that ! This also he never told me !

Thus started the Shower of Surprises in our life !

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