Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Nyaana Thangame - Part-6 - Audio Clips No 20 to 26

(Continued.......from Part-5)

So the Full Track is ready and Actual Voice recording to start…!

By this time, the lyrics written in beautiful hand writing in bold big letters reached the hands of IR.

He reads and reads…and absorbs the song entirely with its due emotions in his back of mind !


Pallavi :

Nyaana Thangame … …. Nyaana Thangame
En paattai kelamma …… Nyaana Thangamme

Maram Onnu Nattu Vachen Nyaana Thangame
Kanneeril Thanner vitten Nyaana Thangame
Maram Eno Pazhudhaa Pochu Nyaana Thangame
Kodi Vandhu Thunaiyaa Aacchu Nyaana Thangame
(Nyaana Thangame…)


Kizhinjaalum Saaya Chelai Vilakkukku Thiri yagum
Aruthaalum Korap pullu Azhagaana Paayaagum
Manusha Jaadhi Nyaayam mattum Veru Veru
Sumathangi dhaan Mannil Saanjaa thanguvadharu
Thanni ulla varaikkum kokku irukkum
Kulam vathi ponaa kokku parakkum
Uravellam pagal mosam
Adi podi ellaam vehsam
(Nyaana Thangame….)

Charanam-2 :

Kalangaadhe Nyaana Penne Kanneerum yEnamma
Naadaanda Mangammavum Un pola Pennamma
Annaalil thaan Kannagi pola un kadhai aachu
Karaiyeri thaan kendaigal rendum pogudhippodhu
Oorukkulle inge yaarum illaiyo
Indha Mazhai penjum eeram illaiyo
Thalaraadhe Thalumbadhe
Edhir kaalam Nee dhan Penne
(Nyaana Thangame…….)


The balance AudiClips are given below :

File-20-RA / File-20-MP3

File-21-RA / File-21-MP3

File-22-RA / File-22-MP3

File-23-RA / File-23-MP3

File-24-RA / File-24-MP3

File-25-RA / File-25-MP3

File-26-RA / File-26-MP3


Clip-20 : IR starts his Rehearsals for recording!

While Emy is getting ready with the minus-voice tracks for the actual song recording, IR is checking the Lyrics and rehearses the words with tunes and matches each other !

Also, he formulates his way of expressions and modulation of lyrical lines.

Clip-21 : IR records the Pallavi lines!

IR is checking Pallavi lines with his own way of expressions, which has a little bit of roughness and more folkish, or like some elderly old village fellow!

(IR’s expressions somehow sounded like “Oorengum Mazhaiyaachu…” viruthams in the beginning of prelude of Krishnachander-Janaki song “Poovadai Kaatru..” to me).

May be according to IR, the situation of the present film (Raaja Gopuram) demanded that kind of expressions.

But he seeks the opinion of the Director whether it is OK and later changes to smooth normal one.

See the range of difference he exhibits in his voice instantly.

He straight away get into the Take mode and instruct Emy and Pallavi got recorded.

Clip-22 : IR Rehearse and record First Charanam!

Same grueling takes and re-takes of step-by-step improvisation from Pallavi to first charanam etc.

Nobody is available in the studio except Emy and myself in console and IR in his Singer glass chamber !

It goes on and on! Nearly two hours or so passed.

Why at all IR like MD has to put himself into such strict rigorous exercises ?

Clip-23 : Pallavi+First Charanam+Second Charanam

Now hear the take of full song !

Meanwhile, all my batteries of tape recorder getting drained out, the battery level indicator becomed feeble…! I was only praying for the best and continuing my recording !

You can visualize my position !

Quality of Remaining audio clips will further bother you ! Anyway continue….!

Clip-24 : Again Fine tuning his expressions in Charanam

Never say No spirit of IR is something amazing !

In the lines of Charanams, “sumaithaangi dhaan mannnil saanjaa ….” and “Annaalil dhaan Kannagi pola…” he desires some gamakams in his expressions would be better.

He practices to himself, how it should have been!

So he will again change those two lines in the charanams and will go for another repeats!

Clip-25 : Re-Take for Fine tuning Charanams

He asks for Emy to again repeat those two lines of Charanams and synchronise his corrections.

Emy locates from the recorded take, the lines wanted by IR and just like we erase and re-write in our Word file, IR & Emy corrects the paricular written track for a few words!

Re-take done with corrections and checked.

Clip-26 : Final Okayed Version at Studio

Atlast, by night eight o’clock or so the session was completed.

This is the final version which was cleared on that day!


A song has born ! For disappearing into time & space !

Whether my blog & postings will give a re-birth ?

And will this song get its dues ?

Do the readers of this blog will have to do something ?

Am I greedy ?

Am I doing something wrong by posting this here ?

Let the time answers those queries !

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nyaana Thangame - Part-5 - Audio Clips No 11 to 19

(Continued .......from Part-4...)

Link for the Audio Clips 11 to 19 given here:

MP3 files / Real Audio Files :

File-11-MP3 / File-11-RA

File-12-MP3 / File-12-RA

File-13-MP3 / File-13-RA

File-14-MP3 / File-14-RA

File-15-MP3 / File-15-RA

File-16-MP3 / File-16-RA

File-17-MP3 / File-17-RA

File-18-MP3 / File-18-RA

File-19-MP3 / File-19-RA

Comments/Notes for the above clips :

Clip-11 : Re-Take from Prelude – Full Song tried as Track

Some more progresss…!

Having listened to so many times the individual rehearsals, now you can easily comprehend the whole song by yourself. Which you may find very satisfactory! Not for IR..!

Clip-12 : Suggestion for Change in Thaala nadai in Pallavi also

Discussion on the change in Thaala Nadai in the Pallavi lines after third line as well as before repetition of Pallavi lines!

Also, somebody on his own tries some beautiful rhythmic addition with his guitar in the Pallavi … just like that..!

IR notes that and comes to know that is by none other than Sadhaanand..(Son of famous erstwhile music director Sudarshanam) He asks Sadhaa to continue that…! Ni Sa Sa…ting-tong-tong… in the Pallavi!

Clip-13 : Change in Thaala nadai in Pallavi Rehearsed

Now the thaala nadai and Guitar improvisation suggestion (tha-thak-thaaa…) is added with percussion rhythm also and rehearsed.

Clip-14 : Full Song Take

Changed thaala nadai and Guitar improvisation effected.

Full song Take is done

(Note the dilrooba improvisation in the second interlude done earlier, is missing now somehow)

Clip-15 : Complete Song Re-take

The complete track song is now ready..! Almost Ready…! ??????

Clip-16 : One More Improvisation-Triangle

Most of the players have left the hall, as take is almost over…! After hearing the recorded track fully, IR feels the 2nd interlude Guitar-Dilrooba duet needs some fillings.. Triangle sound in between the Guitar phrases will be nice. So he asks for the triangle and its player.
But some unexpected problems start….!

Clip-17 : Complete Song Minus Voice Track checked by Emy & IR

Now your Master set is ready without Voice track…(like Karaoke..) ! Sundarrajan has done h is job!

Thank you Sundararajan….!

You can hear the 2nd interlude very clearly without the percussion!

Clip-18 : Guitar-Triangle-Dilrooba Re-take !

Triangle player rehearses after checking the Shruthi of Triangle….!

While recording takes for triangle it was realised by Emy and IR that Dilrooba track got erased erroneously!

So when IR wanted to add the triangle, Dilrooba portion was not able to be retrieved in the minus-track situations. Controlling his emotions, IR asks for the dilrooba to be played and recorded again.

So Dilrooba player was again called inside the hall and one more time got recorded alongwith Guitar-Triangle combination.

Such critical situations do happen! But without compromising IR again demands patiently and gets what he wants!

Clip-19 : Dilrooba-Triangle recorded and Checked

Atlast the 2nd interlude in entirety is over…!

So the Full Track is ready and Actual Voice recording to start…!

Nyaana Thangame - Part-4 - Audio Clips No 6 to 10

Nyaana Thangame (Continued from Part-3.....)

The links for the Audio Clips 6 to 10 are below:

MP3 Versions






Real Audio Versions






My notes/comments for the above given below:

Clip-6 : Getting Ready for Take

IR gives instruction to Viji regarding keyboard fill-up…!

Then some clarifications from guitarists regarding chords whether E & F or E-minor & F, which he approves and say "very good..!"

IR decides to start the Takes…!

Orders for traditional ritual, Coconut breaking… Getting reply that somebody has gone for procuring Coconut…!

So everybody to wait..!

In the mean time, IR again tries to improvise and orders Sundararajan to change the Charanam ending with cut in the flow and to continue….!

And tabla also follows this cut-start technique! Sample format played by the players are approved with IR saying to start with cut at first "Samam" (first beat of a bar) itself….!

Meanwhile, more than Director and Producer IR starts worrying about an important situation with Mimicry, for which some specialist is required which is not arranged by the concerned…!

He reminds the Director about the status, and get reply that it will be arranged next day…!

IR instruct Sundararajan not to sing last one line before the Pallavi ends and interlude starts..!

[This is essential for actual voice recording (to be sung by IR later) for which track of Sundara rajan needs to be erased or superimposed… so that no leftover/overlap of the track singer portion happens, in case actual singer cut shorts or adjust his portion…

You can follow this modification in the track of Sundararajan singing hereafterwards

Again the Producer and his Son (teen aged boy!) arrives and introduced to IR .

Again they were also reminded by IR about the seriousness of the mimicry situations..!

IR is more than a Composer / MD. He goes to the extent of fulfilling any Director/Producer would have wanted or should have taken care off!

It was again proved to me later in another re-recording (Paasap Paravaigal) witnessed by me 4 years later!

Clip-7 : Actual Take Starts

All instruments openings checked…

Special effects at Start got into rigorous take and re-takes….!

All the thunders, wind etc created in the keyboards by Viji, Also, he fills up in between in another key board..!

With two hands he handles arrays of keyboards at a time… which are pre-set for specific Tones! A treat to watch..!

As the Track having this special effects is concentrated at the recording console now, it appears that all other instruments like Shenoy etc are suppressed..!

But others are also equally getting recorded well in other tracks..!

Whole Prelude is getting recorded as take!

Clip-8 : Journey from Prelude to Pallavi to Part of First Interlude

Now, to proceed step-by-step from prelude and onwards…!

IR gives instruction to Viji regarding special effects adjustment…!

Note that Sundarajan does not sing the last line of Pallavi before the interlude starts as instructed by IR earlier.

IR instructs the improvisation (trill kind of effect) in interlude humming “Araari ro oh oh oh….”

Clip-9 : Re-take from beginning to Complete First Interlude

Re-take continues.

Note now in the present version of Pallavi lines getting tried, there is no cut-and-continue technique in tabla rhythm (as was instructed for the Charanam endings by IR).

Later this portion also IR will change for the Pallavi tabla rhythm like he did for the Charanams.

Clip-10 : Re-take from beginning to Complete First Interlude

As worried by some distortions, instructions was given to Viji by IR regarding the tonal effect of keyboard tone that comes in the end of First interlude….!

Adjustment of Volume and Echo effects to the pre-set tones…!

Checking with Emy, the Sound engineer !

Adjustments at both Keyboard level (by Viji) and Console level (by Emy) checked & re-checked!

Everything electronics! Perfection matters and demanded and got by IR!

Nyaana Thangame - Part-3 - Audio Clips No 1 to 5

Here we go ! ( Continued from Part-2.....)
But with a word of utmost Caution ! Rather my sincere request to all !

This exercise is basically to demonstrate the hardwork and sincerity involved by IR and his team-members (the real jewels) in creating a song, which many of you might have not got the opportunity to know!

All the Copyrights and related ownerships rights etc etc rests with the concerned owner of the songs and creator, composer etc etc as the case may be!

This is only provided for the individual listening pleasure only and not for making any copies or propagating with commercial purposes! I sincerely request all the readers to obey the related law of the lands!

Click Below for the audio clips (in RA or MP3 as per your requirement):

Clip-1: Rehearsal of First Interlude
Click Here for File-01-Mp3


Click Here for File-01-RA

As Sundararajan, usually the Master Teacher of the voice portions to Solo singers and Chorus singers, teaches and rehearse the humming by the lady voice in the first interlude.

Flute piece follows

Clip-2: Second Interlude Rehearsal
Click Here for File-02-Mp3


Click Here for File-02-RA
IR requests Dilrooba rehearsal. Sundararajan teaches from the hall in front of Dilrooba inst, and IR from console requests the gamakam improvisation! Da-Dada-Dan….. Da-Dada-Dan… …..
(please note this wonderful improvisation done by IR in Dilrooba which was followed in rehearsal, but by the time, final take was completed after some 3 hours, this was lost…..!!!)
Again IR checks with Sadhaa of Guitar portion of the fill-up and the Guitar portion that covers the Shadjam to Upper Octave shadjam… Sa-SA’ SA’ SA’ da da daaaaaa….. and improvises that !

Clip-3: Second Interlude Rehearsal Continues …!

Click Here for File-03-Mp3


Click Here for File-03-RA

Here Dilrooba+Sadhaa’s Guitar Rehearsal Continues…. Lead Guitar melody is repeated by Flute also. Then Guitar ends its Melody line..

But please watch carefully, the guitar ending is plain initially and IR finds something can be filled up, and so he will ask Viji, the key board player to fill up, which he instantly adds…!

And IR asks Sundarajan to continue the outline track and also tell him that between charanam 8 bars Pallavi…. Also remind him of “Ga Ma Paaa….”

Clip-4: Getting Ready for Track recording

Click Here for File-04-MP3


Click Here for File-04-RA

Every player tries their instruments openings…Special effects also getting ready etc…

Clip-5: Track Recording – overall rehearsal

Click Here for File-05-Mp3


Click Here for File-05-RA
Here for the first time you hear the glimpse of whole song in its track form!

Sundararajan starts his Thaanae Thandhaane rehearsals….!

My sincere tributes this beautiful person, who was following IR like a shadow; He expired recently!
Listen to the excellent bass guitar and xylophones, which you cannot hear in the actual released song to this level of clarity!

Also, follow the tabla rhythm, which is plain and simple throughout…. including the Pallavi to first interlude interface as well as Charanam-Pallavi interfaces.

IR later changes the tabla-dafla rhythms in these interfaces with specific instructions…..!

So Listen carefully….!

Raaja Gopuram - Nyaana Thangame - Part-2

(Continued from Part-1.....)

Data of Song:

Period : September (?) 1984, Afternoon Session
Studio : Prasad

Song Recorded: Nyaana Thangame
: Raaja Gopuram

Sung by : Ilaiyaraaja
Lyrics by
: Not known

Situation in film : Not known

Raagam : Maayaa Maalava Gowla

Instruments used : Keyboards (Viji), Lead Guitar (Sadhaa), Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitars, Shenoy (Subaan), Dilrooba, Mandolins, Flute (Sudhaakar), other Rhythms like Xylophones, triangles, etc and group of Percussions-mainly tabla, and folkish dafla etc.

Voices : Sundararajan for track and a lady is humming in interlude! Then IR sings the actual song

(Initial approx 20 audio clips, explains the track recording that went on, and later IR starts singing the actual song!)

At Recording Console : Emy, the sound engineer and IR.

(myself standing all the time in the corner of that console room where one of two tall big speakers was standing, and I was inches away from the speaker, the sound of which was mind, heart and body blowing !

After that listening, no music systems in this world will give you that quality of listenings!

Of course, my poor tape-recorder could not absorb that much sound, like famous Salangai Oli Kamal’s camera, as he says! That' may be another reason for the poor audio quality)

Scheme of the Song

Just small brief about the Scheme of the Song :

The Prelude starts with the stormy, windy, thundering special effects, then the shenoy straight away plunges you with a deep gloomy mood, the ending of which is supported by the folkish mandolins-uklee type instruments

The Pallavi is the catchy and effective tune and tabla-dafla duo rhythms supported by beautiful bass guitar & echoing xylophone rhythms.

The first interlude starts with melodic humming of “Aarari Aari Aaro” by a lady, followed by melancholic flute pieces and ended with flute-mandolin duet.

Charanam continues the theme of the song effectively covering all the ranges of the raagam, again supported by the bass guitar, xylophone combination faithfully following the entire charanam in the background

The shortened pallavi is repeated

The 2nd interlude starts with Guitar-Dilrooba duet, which will unnerve you with its melancholic melody, followed by Lead Guitar melody with Keyboard fill-ups.

The Charanam again repeated followed by the full Pallavi recitation.

Scheme of Recording :

The Scheme of Recording is as follows:

Initial rehearsals of Preludes, Pallavi, Interludes, charanam,Voice parts etc

Then the track recording starts with individual instruments checking, special effects checking, again prelude, interludes etc

Then the actual Take starts.

Improvisation in each steps tirelessly, effortlessly continue as per the instantaneous instructions from IR.

Takes after takes to consolidate each of the section continues, and finally track recording is over.

By this time the Lyrics arrive and IR starts rehearsing for the lyrics part matching his tune.

Some confusion, mix-ups of voice track plus instrument is realized and again corrections done.

Then IR starts his takes of the actual songs, Pallavi, Charanam-1 and 2 etc.

Again Improvistaion in his own expressions of songs, Modulations of voice etc.

And the recording ends !

The approximately 70 minutes of the tape recording represents the actual 6 hours plus time spent on this song including the various breaks, tapes synchs and replays etc.

Finally the film and song both went unnoticed.

But not anymore with you people who listen this 70 minutes of 70 MB audio files now, and will
remember the same for another 70 years !

Since, initially I was in the recording hall as usual, I COULD NOT RECORD SOME OF THE INITIAL PORTIONS. In fact I never had the faintest idea that I will record that.

But fortunately on that day I had the recording set. And I made that Instant Decision !

Later I derived the courage and entered the console room and asked the permission of IR to be there, which he nodded with his approval.

Again after spending some more minutes, I asked permission to record the proceedings there which he approved with hesitation.

(Like the story of Camel which asked for the space for its tail in the tent...and then occupied entire tent!)

So, the first clip starts with rehearsal of humming in the first interlude ! Though some portion was lost initially, Better Late than Never !

All other trivia, I will write later then and there, as listening to the recordings is more important now !

Here we go !

( To be Continued.... in Part-3 )

Raaja Gopuram - Nyaana Thangame - Part-1

Raja Gopuram……!

Just the name itself, brings the majestic Srirangam Raja Gopuram in our mind.

Whenever I had the opportunity to visit the Srirangam Temple, I used to stand near that Gopura Vaasal and read the names written who donated wherein name of IR is written as the one who donated for the 7th floor.

And with pride I used to recollect, that my donation of Rs 20, (the very first note of from my very first salary) is also part of that donation!

When I joined PWD in 1983, there were a lot of news items that IR conducts a lot of live musical shows in various towns for collection of the donation towards that temple. So I decided to donate from my very first salary I earned in my life!

I sent an Indian Postal Money Order for Rs 20, which was signed by Mrs Jeevaa Ilaiyaraaja and I got that receipt with me. In fact that was starting point for my collection of IR address and the subsequent visits to IR later !

But Raaja Gopuram has another special meaning to me!

After the title song of Nalla Naal, the next real Nalla Naal of life happened when I had the opportunity to witness the song recording of “Nyaana Thangame” from the film "Raaja Gopuram" ….!

That was an amazing experience which I could not forget through out my life !

That’s so because, I could record the most of the proceedings of that five to six hours of wonderful moments (of course with the permission of IR)!

That cassettes I never shared with anybody earlier for the past 20 years, (except that some two years back, I presented a copy of that to Dr Vijay, founder president of IR-Yahoo group).

Now, I am going to share that with all of you now through this blog !

After a long logistics related struggle, the present arrangement is made with the help of valuable help of CRV and Siva to whom I always remain grateful!

With myself remaining at West Bengal, the cassette traveled from Hosur (Shankar-Usha) to Arcot (Ramkumar) to Muscat (Venky) and then MP3 conversion at amazing speed and excellent parsing into small files and titling by Venky and again to USA (Siva) and now hosted in RA and MP3 forms by Siva in his site for your listening pleasure!

(I have justified my long gaps in between postings!!!)

For many of you, the poor audio quality will be causing concern, but please bear with me and we have to be content with that as the 20 year old treasure on a few ten rupees cassettes recorded with a mono handy tape recorder, and the subsequent copy makings to keep preserving the contents etc cannot promise you more than this !

But still I can promise that the contents are real treasures in educating many of us who have not got the opportunity of witnessing such recordings and the grueling efforts involved in a song creation!

Kindly use the headphones to listen to many of the in-audible things and try to listen as many times as possible !

You wont believe me, even after 20 years and repeated hearings, when I hear this even now, I could get something new in each time listening!

On my part, I try to provide the explanations in the form of hints for each of this audio clips to the extent possible, which will keep the interest in you growing!

There are 27 audio files totaling to about 70 MB (in MP3 formats).

In order to make it a smooth happenings I prefer to publish these audio clips in installments on each day by limiting each postings with 3 to 4 audio clips with my hints.

Please bear with me for this installment releases !

(continued.... in next Part-2)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Song Recording ! Nalla Naal Title Song !

(Those who are fed up with the long gap in between my writing, and want to beat me, has to read the last sentence of this postng and shall be able to forgive me, I hope !)

Last week I was fortunate enough to accidentally "discover" the safely kept single page which was torn and separated from the office diary of 1984 which shows me the particulars something like this:

Date : 26-June-1984
Time : 3:00 PM
Venue : Prasad Studio
Occasion : “Nalla Naalsong recording

This page contained the autograph of Mr Sudhakar, the flute expert in IR’s group.

Mostly, to remember the details of this autograph, I might have entered the above particulars and that incidentally helped me now to recall the above particulars.

Otherwise I am struggling to recollect the other associated details. Because, the song recorded on that day had left in me a strong impression in my memory rather than other trivial things, which were by this time appeared to me a repetitive of what I witnessed previously.

If I remember correct, this time when I met IR in his residence in the early morning, I made a shaashtaanga namaskaram and handed over a ‘big’ packet of “kungumam” which I received on the previous day as a prasaadam from the temple at Palacode.

My prayer to God on the previous day to meet him was ‘sanctioned’ and made into a reality.

I could not remember what went wrong with me in the morning session and how & why I entered the wrong recording hall!

But when I entered, I witnessed the re-recording of MSV for the film “Sirai”.

(I hope this happened during this visit only, I have to check up whether Nalla Naal and Sirai released on the same day!

Still I continued inside that hall and during break time I tried to find out the details of IR recordings).

Anyhow, I could see a “huge’ difference between both the re-recordings of IR and MSV. Those details are out of scope of the present topic of the blog and for obvious reasons I am not discussing them here!

But what was so impressive to me till to date was that happened outside the studio on the corridor where both MSV and IR meet each other.

The “veshti madicha kattiya, gambeeramaana” senior King, MSV, and the “baya bakthi” IR exchanging pleasantries!

They were the two utterly simple people with utmost mutual respects for each others! A wonderful scene to witness!

So, whenever I used to hear the mud-slinging in the forums etc about MSV vs IR, I used to remember this scene.

Somehow, around lunch time, I got the right hall, and when I entered the studio lounge, and had to wait for the existing recording works were over, I could hear the “powerful” re-recording music which already going on inside the hall.

At the same time, in another nearby room, I could hear the songs “Othayile Pen kudhirai” and “Hoon Hoon, Venaam Venaam” both repeatedly getting played as if some editing and checking works were going on.

As usual I never had any idea of the film of these songs for quite a couple of weeks, till I heard that in some other shop and came to know that these were from “Nalla Naal”.

But to my disappointment when the recording session was over and when I wanted to enter the hall, I came to know that it was already lunch break.

So I had to wait till 3 PM.

When the afternoon session started, again this time also I could remain in the main hall only (not in the console room).

I could see Vaali and IR sitting together there in the console room.

This time it was the song recording, and I felt I was lucky since last time I saw the re-recording of a film and this time a song recording.

The song was “Nalla naalai nambi iru” and IR himself sang that.

But what I witnessed for the first time was the track recording. Earlier, I never had the idea that music tracks and the voice tracks are being done separately.

The entire song was first recorded with the Violin playing the voice track portion (played by Narasimhan) and then IR replacing them later with his voice.

I could guess, that should be the title song. It was a very nice and soothing song which will make you melt away!

It was in minor scale/Abheri and in 7/8 taalam, just like the counter part “kaalidaasan kannadaasan” song.

With a beautiful opening of Shenoy in prelude and in the interludes excellent keyboard phrases and fast paced arpeggios, beautiful flute pieces by Sudhaakar,

And if I am correct, some “asareeri” type humming was there in the interlude which was sung by Mr Saibaba (son of legendary actor Baalaiyya), who was the regular, rhythm-guitar player with IR!

Yet it was so simple and captivating. What to say, it just swayed me !

This time I saw Mr Purushottaman, the drummer, fondly called as “Puru” was conducting the rehearsal and takes after the initial composing by IR.

Again, it was a wonderful divine experience, to see a “creation” going on in an utterly silence & disciplined environment.

The way Viji was playing the two keyboards simultaneously and the flow was amazing!

First time, I saw the instrument “Santoor”, which was played in the interludes !

I may be slightly wrong in the lyrics, but the pallavi of the song was something like this :

Nalla Naalai Nambi Iru
Nenje nee dhan konjam Poru
Neram Kaalam maari vidum
Thenral unnai thedi varum
Soorai-kaatril Paadhai maarum Odam
Thendral vandhaal karai vandhu sErum…….

In those period of struggling and worries to get a good job and various happenings in my personal life, somehow this lyrics was so mesmerizing and left a lasting impression in me and I felt that song was just written for me for that moment.

Anybody who listens to this song will feel that vibrations!

Unfortunately I could never listen to this song after that! Till now!

Hope somebody will get me that some day!

After a few months of that song recording, I once again got the opportunity of hearing to IR’s song recording….!

This time you will also "hear" that…..! Thanks to CRV !

Yet, one more time, wait please !

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Recording of Re-recordings!

After that life-time-happening of witnessing re-recording, that also of IR, for a few weeks I was in different state of mind!

Of course, I was a sort of “possessed” by the “re-recording devils" for quite some time.

Then onwards, whatever film I saw, I could imagine what would have happened in such re-recordings. I could, to some reasonable extent, anticipate when a BGM can start or end !

Of course, IR always deceives your expectations, real master thinker he is!
In fact, for obvious reasons, I could not share those experiences with others in my surroundings. Also, that was not the age of internet, blogs and Yahoo Clubs!

My only fellow soul-mate for such matters, ie Shankar was also at some distance and as usual busy with his TVS works!

The way many such things got buried within me, all are coming now only out in his blog! More than two decades after!

One related things happened after that was my efforts on IR-BGM recordings !

Though a digression, I wanted to share that with all of you!

During that period, I could lay my hand on a second-hand Sanyo mono-record player handset! This I started using extensively on my experimental re-recording capturing from Cinema theatres!

Those were thrilling, frustrating, yet rewarding experiences!

At that period of time, in 1984, at least myself, could not have believed that, future will be of Video Cassettes, VCD, DVD etc etc!

So with the enthusiasm of protecting and capturing IR’s BGM, I resorted to recording of BGMs from cine theatres itself.

I was an Engineer, salary earning, respectable fellow! But, whatever the high class ticket I purchased, I went to the front bench of the theatre and occupied the first few rows, with the handy tape recorder whcihc I concelaed in my pant pocket!

Another consideration was “investment” in purchasing of cassettes; after realising the limitations of such recordings, and the bulk cassettes requirements, I decided to purchase the ordinary (ten rupee) cassettes only.

Many a time, I saw the same film more than a couple of times, to gain some insight about the re-recordings, and then during 3rd or 4th visit, I used to record.

A couple of films like Mella Pesungal, Komberi Mookkan, Neruppukkul Eeram, Thambikku Endha Ooru etc. I recorded in that way, in the cine theatres of my native Tharamangalam.

Changing tapes, batteries etc. in between, pressing pause buttons on and off at appropriate time (all in the dark), viewing a giant sized image on the screen few yards away, hushing away with folded hands the cigerette & soft drink selling boys (who look curiously what I was doing, and purposely would raise his tone of selling knowing that it is getting recorded)…!

All those wonderful experiences I had, during those primitive way of capturing IR BGMs, one may not get now while recording BGMs using Computers and softwares!

Later, at Delhi, between 1985 to 1990s, during the “video cassettes” era also, whenever such screening of IR films arranged amongst our bachelor friends, I used to borrow some body’s tape recorder, and sat in the “front row” near the speakers of the TV (to the discomfort of friends and myself), and used to record for films like Punnagai Mannan, Mella Thirandhadhu kadhavu, Mouna Raagam, Mudhal Mariyadhai, etc.

Again the qualities of audio part of such videos were ranging from poor to average ! But still I continued my efforts!

Slowly, it occurred to me that, films and technology have reached the common man in his house itself, and anything is possible in future!

With that I gradually stopped the practice of (poor quality) recording of BGMs.

At those period, most of the time, as a lone pursuer, I was considered a ‘mad’ fellow by many of my friends. (In fact that was justified because, many thought I was sincerely recording the dialogues of films, but when they heard, it was other way around, all dialogues cut and only music was on the tape!)

Now, when I see the craze and the big gang of followers for even BGMs of IR, and the methodical, acquisitions and archiving of such wealth of IR in many forums and clubs, like MaestroMagic, I feel really happy! I express my sincere gratitude to all of them!

Anyway, my “Soorakkottai Singakutty” inspirations have traveled a lot of distance in space and time, along with me!

Then, it was the experiences of song recordings I witnessed in 1984s, which I must share with you!

Hope, you don’t mind waiting! Worth waiting!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Recording of Title Music of Soorakkottai Singakutty - Part-3

The afternoon session continued with the re-recordings of the same film.

Before new screening started, clips of the re-recordings of morning session was screened just to have re-look what the final product is!

At this time, I had the pinch!

Because, I could sense, what appeared and remained a terrific stand-alone music in the morning, now got merged with the dialogues also, and I felt that, music is taking slightly a back seat! The majestic mind-and-ear-blowing sound of brass and percussions looked somewhat throttled now!

As a hard-core musical fan of IR, that was not acceptable to me! Just now, I heard the best part of it, and now itself, even in the primary Source theatre itself, it looks/hears somewhat subdued !

If so, what will happen when the another tracks of special effects (like dishyum–dishyum, ah- ooh , aah etc) are added, and again further distortion during Master print to Copies and finally when it lands in our theatre, what we are hearing will not even be 60% !

Really, a crushing depression set inside me at that moment!

Anyway, that’s part of the game! I wondered, even as a layman, I could feel like this, what would be the thinking of IR-like creator- experts!

For how many years he is sustaining all these non-senses and still keeping his spirit of creativity at its highest !

After that, a few more small clippings were screened and re-recordings completed in fast paced manner.

Then came the screening of titles of the film.

Again as a collage of some scenes, some title cards, some blank-fill-ups (which is to adjust the timing or some other titles to be written later etc), the basic canvas was ready and screened.

It was really lifeless to see such visuals without any sound and music, as we witnessed there!

But the Master had other things running inside his mind.

Within few minutes after the screen went blank and lights were on, he went on his writing mode! All the people started copying in their notebook.
This time the rehearsal and screening went side by side!

When the music joined the title being projected, I was simply awe-struck !

What I saw few minutes ago as just mere titles or some visuals, now with music, it conveyed some meaning, some emotions, some pre-determined sections etc within those titles also!

The parts, he made now me to feel were:

  • Initially, a few introductory slides like the Name of Productions, Presenters etc first in English and then in Tamil, form the first section of the title cards.
    Secondly, the impact of the Name of the Hero, heroines and then other main actors are indicated. Here naturally, it needed the punch in the form of music also!
  • Then came all the other titles of actors, assistants etc.
  • Then next level of title cards show the Main technicians like, Cinematographer, Editor, Music Director etc etc.
  • Then finally came the climax titles of Producer and the Director!
Kindly believe me, the music he created in minutes, just like that, had all these sections and punches and rhythm changes etc etc all were exactly fitting the in and out of these title cards!

Many of these, were directly or indirectly related to the various re-recordings he was doing in the fore noon session as well as some of the songs that were part of that film!

Particularly, all of a sudden, for a specific portion of the titles, he changed the previously composed music and told the key board player and the drummer “Viji & Puru play that Tempo”. (I have to write a separate posting on all these wonderful people there !)

I didn’t know what these code languages were, but they immediately switched over to a fantastic speedy mode of music, which would have made anybody to dance automatically anything.

The sound and clarity in a recording hall, you will never never ever get it anywhere outside at any time, whatever sound system you may have !

Later, I realized that this piece of tempo was part of the song “Onnum Theriyaadha Paappa” from the same film !

It was an instant decision and change but fit the titles like anything!

Then started the rigorous process of takes and re-takes. The whole title music process started around 4-30 PM or so in the evening and went on till 7 PM in the night !

Thus, it took around more than 2 to 3 hours to finish a 5 to 7 minutes piece of film titles!

There were other things were also rolling in that hall in between which made me also to roll and jolt!

Being the final stage of any film making, by the time of title music re-recording started, many VIPs started coming and occupying the recording theatre in the console room!

Actor Prabhu was one main VIP whom I remember now. Then another gentleman, who started moving here and there in the recording hall itself was Shri Gangai Amaran.

In fact he took up a guitar and started playing along with the rhythm guitar section also for some time!

The GA , known to me are through the journals, and also the jovial comperer of any IR live orchestra, who was famous for his “kadi-jokes” etc.

So when he saw a stranger like me inside the hall with a surprised look, I just smiled and kept quite. But after some time, during the break, I saw him talking to some security/ assistant type of people and enquiring about me in sign language.

Now I got trembled ! So, the ultimate has come!

It was a pity, that if I could be allowed for a few more minutes, I could see that title music recording also full.

That inevitable thing anyway happened !

When, after the break, the next level rehearsal/take started, and IR was inside the hall, I saw somebody was just approaching me. In a quite hushing tone he asked me to vacate the hall.

From where I got the strength I didn’t know ! Since I had to lose nothing further, I just told him that I was admitted by IR, and on his permission only I am continuing there !

Now that fellow got into some dilemma and went back. Again I saw him approaching IR itself this time !

My blood started flowing in such pressure and I could hear my heart’s beat myself ! Not only that the fear of humiliation of getting evacuated, but the guilty feeling that I have became another distraction in IR’s concentrated working, both haunted me!

When the security assistant whispered something in IR’s ears, even without seeing me, IR waved his head and said something to that fellow!

So, now I have to know the IR’s reaction through the action of this fellow! But God’s grace, or its IR’s grace, that fellow just disappeared from the scene.

In the next moment of break, he just approached and asked to take some chair provided there in another corner, and be seated there rather standing there which may distract others !

So after nearly 10 hours of inside the studio I got regularised and watched the remaining title recordings peacefully!

Finally, IR asked the team to play Sa-Pa-Sa and thus came the ending! IR as usual vanished !

And I am slowly picking my bags and other things and started walking out of hall !

The hungry stomach started pinching me, but I was just humming the title tempo music and started walking out of the studio on the Vada Palani road!

The Day ended ! Not those Memories !

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Birthday Wishes!


Ilaiyaraaja !

Whose Music Is Beyond Anything One Can Imagine Under This Universe!

Many Many Happy Returns Of The Day!
Happy Birthday!

on behalf of all his fans!


Re-recording of Soorakkottai Singakutty - Part-2

It was a pleasant shock to me !

For any first timer it will look like a magic!

They call it rehearsals, but you can see that as more than prefect for a final take !

You see, none of them talked with each other. Yet the communication was full and perfection to the core!

Whom shall I praise ?

The hands that waved magic or the brain that created ?

Or the artists who understand the brain-wave of IR even without talking?

Or the skills of the artists who gave that complicated output to the utmost perfection in single go?

Entharo Mahaanu Baavulu ! Antharikku Vandhanamu!

It's pity, they call it rehearsals! And further go on trying to improvise that ! It was an amazing attempt to attain perfection!

Within few minutes I understood that, what is going on is a section-wise checking.

First violin, then the brass, then the rhythm etc individually tried for the composed piece! Though it looks nice individually, you can not understand what is there in store as a whole.

While doing that, IR individually pointed out to the concerned, wherever he wanted, some changes, corrections, improvements etc. Again these are some few words/terminology which I cannot understand, sometime even some hand signs, that’s all, the communication is over! Keyboard, guitar, flute section etc, were not even checked initially !

Then the screening started ! Now, came the shock of my life !

When IR waved his hands to the orchestral team, at appropriate time, each of the individual/group of instruments came in, joined the others and went silence whenever required as per the communication of the Master Conductor, IR!

Synchronous to the Core!

And thus formed the re-recording which fit into the screened film,
with their due emotions,

  • matching the dialogues,
  • matching each movement of the fighting scenes,
  • the sudden silence [as IR cleverly anticipates that any of his music in this section of film will be a waste (like rolling of heavy vessels, sounds of heavy vehicles chasing etc. as usually happens in typical film sets of typical fighting scenes!)],
  • extend the flute alaapanai, or extend the violin notes at same level etc, when the change of scenes and shots taking place !
Everything fit to the perfection and the recording is over and the screen goes blank !

This is what the so called rehearsal!

Again there is a controlled break and artists disappear from the hall for some time. And IR got into the Console room and sat in front of it with the Sound Engineer!

When the team re-assembles, this time the Conductor is somebody different!

Initially, all the sound levels of individual instruments track by track checked.

Then the same screening starts and everything flows as usual.

But when you are seeing everything going perfectly, suddenly, the whole thing is coming to screeching halt!

I realised later that, since I was inside the hall, some the instructions which are flowing from console room I was not able to listen but it was reaching the Conductor through his headphone and so, as per the instructions of IR, he cuts short the conducting and halt is made.

Again it started, and this time the progress was a little bit more and again it was halted forcibly!

Later I realized, these were the processes of what they call as “Takes”, and each time some improvisation is made as per the requirement of the recording engineer as well as the music director and the perfection is built step-by-step!

Many of us are in professional career and we also follow a lot of quality assurance plan! But I will tell you, the things that are going in any field of film technologies, in no way inferior in the efforts of assuring that quality one can dream of! We the film viewers are not aware/ conscious of such efforts and whatever we see as the final product make our harsh comments on that!

IR in that way has disciplined the music field a lot and introduced utmost professionalism to the core!

Once upon a time, one has to demand and get that, and now it’s a part of the package and what you do is further improvising !

In that regard, the whole lot of TFM and for that matter, the whole Indian film industry including Hindi, who are professionally engaging all our technical facilities, are indebted for ever to IR!

Some of you, who might have seen the climax of “Soorakkottai Singakkutty” may not agree with my above views and these may look like I am hyping or glorifying IR.

But the fact is, the efforts went on are real and absolutely truthful, and what is to be seen is, irrespective of the film, IR gives his best!

During that forenoon session, two more portions of films also completed with re-recording, which are again the fighting sequence.

You wont believe me, IR amazingly fit the re-recordings of two different portions of the Climax fighting scenes to these two portions and they were excellently fitting!

Many of us watching the movie may not be realising that the pieces are same unless, you record the audio separately and listen to that ! This trend I saw later in many of the other BGMs !

Then the whole group dispersed for lunch break.

And I stuck to the same hall ! Till the crew returned by 3PM or so!

When IR took his usual central hall position, he surveyed around the hall with his eyes. When his sight fall on me, it stopped with some kind of surprise!

He asked in a controlled tone and with sign language “Sappitaacha??” With utter emotions bursting inside me, without distrurbing the silence of that hall, with sign language, I told my first lie to IR, “Yes!”

In that few seconds exchange of unspoken words, all my disappointments of that day early morning vanished away in moments!

IR the Man, never changes!