தாள் கண்டார் தாளே கண்டார்;தடக்கை கண்டாரும் அஃதே
வாள்கொன்ட கண்ணார் யாரே வடிவினை முடியக் கண்டார்?
ஊழ்கொண்ட சமயத்து அன்னான் உருவு கண்டாரை ஒத்தார்.
When Rama goes back to Mythila for his betrothal with Sita, the women of Mythila swarm him and vie with one another to have a glimpse of his beauty.
Poet Kamban says women who looked at his shoulders kept looking at it ...
People who looked at his hands could not go beyond that...
And those who looked at his feet could not take their eyes off...
But nobody saw his beauty in its entirety.
The clincher is the last line where Kamban says ‘It is like thinking that we know everything about the Almighty just by scrupulously practising our religion.’
Rama’s beauty was thus unfathomable..
In a similar vein I feel ILaiyaraaja’s Music is unfathomable. When we listen to a particular song of his, we get attracted to the tune and do not get out of that;
or we tend to get allured to the orchestration and sink in that;
or we tend to get hypnotized by the way it has been composed and immerse ourselves in that.
The more we think we know him and his music the more enigmatic it is.
That is why I consider him as- A Musician Beyond Compare!
Today we are going to see two of his works that were composed exclusively for the Italy Show.
The first one is the Composition with Three Notes and the second one is ‘Mood Kapi’.
Let us first take up ‘Three In One’.
But before that let me briefly explain about the concept of three notes. In some of my previous posts, I had explained about the concept of Raga.
A Raga is a unique combination of notes ascending and descending. As per the grammar of Indian Music, any Raga must have at least five notes.
There have been exceptions to this rule and relatively new Ragas like 'Navarasa Kannada' and 'Kathanakuthookalam' have only four Swaras in Arohana(ascending).Dr.Balamuralikrishna invented a Raga called Mahati with just four notes both in Arohana and Avarohana and MSV sir used it in Athisaya Ragam in the Film Apoporva Ragangall.
We have also discussed about Lavangi(KangaLukkuL unnai ezhuthu..)
One of the oldest Vedas, Sama Veda (also considered to be a Musical Veda) uses Sa Ri Ga extensively and Illaiyaraja used only these Swaras in the first two lines of ‘Poovaar Senni Mannan’(Thiruvaachakam).
However, the ‘Three In One’ is unique because it is a Musical Composition running to three and half minutes and nobody has ever even made an attempt to venture into this kind of a composition.
Going back to the grammar of Carnatic Music, the minimum requirement of five Swaras is just to ensure that the there is more scope for delineation of a particular raga so that there are no repetitive phrases.
But here is the case of a composition that breaks grammar without in any way compromising on the Musical Quality. Most importantly there is never a dull moment. This is because of the way the Swaras have been used and because of the way the orchestration has been done.
There have been comments-some sardonic and some acerbic- saying it is some kind of a cheating since there is a change in the octave.But the fact of the matter is that it is well within the rules of Music. I do not want to dwell on this further.
Let us look at the composition.The Swaras used -as per Carnatic Music Parlance-are Shadjamam, Chatushruthi Rishabham, Antara Gandharam.
In fact, this is the first half(called as poorvaangam) of two very popular Ragas-Mohanam and Hamsadhwani-and the composition has shades of the former.
When the notes were given to the orchestra, none of them discovered that only three notes have been used..And if it was not publicly announced as ‘Three In One’, I am not sure how many listeners would have discovered it.
The composition starts with the Flute playing with gay abandon and we feel we are at the Foothill ready to climb the Stubbly Mountain.
As the percussion in the Chatushram beat joins, we begin to climb wending our way, go down again only to climb a little further.
As the Flute continues to play, the strings and the Bass join with a kind of unique insouciance, and we see the grassy rolling hills.
The breeze kisses us gently as the Violin plays in pure Western Classical style.
We hear the rustle of crisp spiky leaves and are surrounded by the fragrance of the flowers.We see the wild grooves of bamboo thistles and bramble as the viola traipses octaves. We see the gurgling river with a sparkling stream as the humming we hear the humming.
The Violins play with yearning tenderness and we are on nature’s lap with the Music caressing us.
Captivating beauty and splendour of Nature and Music at its best!
It is the Summit and the Acme. ..
Let us now turn our attention to the other piece-Mood Kaapi.
This tune has appeared as a song with lyrics in Films. However, this piece is very special considering the fact that in the Italy show it was played as a eight minute piece without any lyrics!
The Raga is originally from Hindustani Music though the Kaapi sung in Carnatic style is somewhat different from the Hindustani Kapi.In fact, Raag Kaapi in Hindustani Music is a ‘Thaat’(equivalent of Melakartha in Carnatic) and it is nothing but the Karaharapriya Ragam in Carnatic.
Kaapi in Carnatic style has five notes in Arohana-sa ri2 ma1 pa ni3 Sa-and all the seven notes in the Avarohana albeit in a devious form(called as vakra prayoga)-Sa ni2 dha2 ni2 pa ma1 ga2 ri2 sa.It uses both variants of the ‘ni’-the Kakali Nishadam in Arohanam and the Kaisiki Nishadam in the Avarohanam.
There are of course various versions of the Aro/Avaro.
The phrase 'ga ma ni pa ga' clearly gives the essence of the Ragam.
The first thing that strikes one in ‘Mood Kapi is the rhythmic pattern. It is set to the 8 beat Adi Tala and the two Avarthanas(2x8) are beautifully divided as ‘Ta Ka Dhi Mi Ta Ki Ta Ta Ka Ta Ki Ta Ta - - -' .
That is instead of 8 +8, it is 7+9.
Not a computer generated pattern but purely from the mind of the creative genius!
‘Mood Kaapi’ begins with the wistful Dilruba playing an incandescent Aalap.A single stroke of brush makes us visualize the whole portrait.
The Violin orchestra now plays with immaculate beauty showing us the regality of Kapi.
The feisty Tabla sparkles in the entire piece.
The Flute gives soft touches followed by the violin orchestra playing without any frills.The Dilruba appears again and shows the unfettered imagination of the composer.
It is then a Metronomic Progression.
The contours of the Raga are presented crisply by the solo violin.It is a clearly defined musical motif as the chorus renders ‘Tham Tham..’.
It delves into new depths as there is a conversation between the Dilruba and the Tabla and finally the Tabla plays the ‘Dha Thai Dhi Tha’ beats ubiquitous in a Kathak dance.
The Swara singing passages give a sensitive portrayal of the raga with a beautiful mathematical calculation -typical of Carnatic Music- and are rendered jauntily.
In the end the sounds dissolve into silence and we are in a trance.
The Composition is an excellent match between the musical vision and the delivery.
It is couched in winsome language.
It is mesmerism in the form of Music.
No poetry can match the beauty of this Music!
இந்த இசை சங்கத்தில் காணாத கவிதை!