Wednesday, 10 September 2008

ILaiyaraaja-Connoisseur's Delight!

Whenever we read something beautiful, we say it is poetic.
Whenever we hear something great, we say it is musical.

But we also use these expressions whenever we undergo a great experience…
We say ‘The journey was Musical’ or ‘The valley is poetic’.

At times we also say that the Music is so poetic or that the Poem is so Musical..

This is because there is a Connoisseur in all of us!

Now look at this poem by Subramania Bharathiyar:

‘’It is the Sun Light all around;
On the Mountains, On the Sea,
On the Earth, On the Trees,
On the Forests, On River Banks;
Why is there Darkness in Man’s Mind?’’

வானமெங்கும் பரிதியின் ஜோதி;
மலைகள் மீதும் பரிதியின் ஜோதி;
தானை நீற்கடல் மீதிலும் ஆங்கே
தரையின் மீதும் தருக்களின் மீதும்
கானகத்திலும் பற்பல ஆற்றின்
கரைகள் மீதும் பரிதியின் ஜோதி;
மானவன்றன் உளத்தினில் மட்டும்
வந்து நிற்கும் இருளிது வென்னே!

This is what is called as Music in poetry. is beautiful.

At the same time there are lot of hidden meanings and the more we explore, the more we discover..

And that is why Bharathi is called as the Mahakavi. .
He is indeed a Connoisseur’s delight!

If Bharathi’s verses are Music in Poetry, ILaiyaraaja’s compositions are Poetry in Music.

Human Mind is in deed intriguing.

It is a mix of simple as well as complex things.Otherwise, how can we explain our childlike behaviour at times.

The simplicity in a Composition appeals to the Layman in all of us.

The Complexity appeals to the Connoisseur in all of us.

It does need some training to wake up the Connoisseur within us.

But not for a moment am I saying that to enjoy Music, one needs to be a Connoisseur.
However, if we get to understand the finer elements, we enjoy it more.

Today we are going to see a composition that is based on a very interesting Raga.It is a very rare Raga as well.

The Raga is VarNa DhariNi!

As far as I know, there is no Carnatic Composition in this Raga and Raja was the first one to use this in Films.

The Hindustani equivalent is called as Vibhaas(though there are three variations of this Raag) and it is a Morning Raga.

As per the Carnatic System, it is derived from the 16th Melakartha Chakravagam and the Arohana/Avarohana pattern is Sa Ri1 Ga3 Pa Dha2 Sa/Sa Dha2 Pa Ga3 Ri1 Sa.

Only the variant of ‘Ri’ separates this and Mohanam but both the Ragas sound so different.That is the beauty of Music(remember my post on Shivaranjani)!

Raja used it in ‘Amuthe Tamizhe’(Kovil Pura) for the first time and followed it up with ‘Neelakuyile’(Magudi).

The composition we are going to discuss today is ‘Ethilum Ingu’ from ‘Bharathi’(the song is not a Bharathiyar song).

The composition has an inherent beauty and an unimpeachable Musical Value!

Again it is the wonderful blend of the Raga with the Tala structure that makes it unique.

The Tala is both Adi and Roopaka.It is Adi, if it is in the Tisra(3) beat and Roopakam if it is in the 4 beat Chatushram.


This is because Caranatic Music involves lot of Mathematics and the calculations are done in such a way that it meets the criteria of both the Talas.
The Rhythmic pattern is divided beautifully and it is

Ta Ka Ta Ka Dhi Mi Ta- Ki- Ta-..

Here while the first part –Ta Ka Ta Ka Dhi Mi- is in the fast tempo (called as Mel Kaalam), the second part -Ta Ki Ta – is slow (called as Keezh Kaalam) giving a ‘Wavy ‘ feeling to the entire Composition.

The Raga also follow a ‘Wavy Pattern’ like the Tala .

The Composition starts with the Gentle and Powerful voice of Madhu Balakrishnan invoking Repose.It seems like we are in for a sober trail.

But what follows is a pulsating experience!

The Pallavi is an emotive flow with Blazing Intensity.Every Facet sparkles as one hears ‘Adiyum Mudiyum Ariya Mudiyaan, Eliya Adiyaar Othum Veda Nathamagi’.

The Craft Skills of the Master is amazing in the first Interlude.

If the Flute flows Dulcetly, the Strings radiate Serenity.It is uniformly Graceful!
The Charanam is full of Silken passages.

The Frist Two Lines starting with ‘Varippuli Athai Thariththavan Ezhil’ is redolent with the Flavour of Beauty while the Second Two Lines ‘Tamizh Kavi Tharum’ is pregnant with exceptional Literary Quality.

The Gentle Movement in ‘Aaalankuiyil’ is followed by a Sweeping Movement in ‘Patruthalaikku Neruppvan’.

And this is where we see the stamp of the Genius yet again.

The Rhythmic pattern (in the way it is rendered) changes here and it is
Ta Ka Dhi Mi repeated 4 times and in 3 cycles.What is interesting is the stress given in the second count - Ka - in each of the cycle.

In English Language, there is a relatively new word called ‘Fantabulous’ which is the melding of the two words ‘Fantastic’ and ‘Fabulous’.

I would say this is the best word to describe the improvisation done here!

It also goes to prove how rich our Classical Music is and how it can do wonders in the hands of a Genius at a time when Computers and Technology give us ‘new’ rhythmic patterns!

In the Second Interlude, the Percussion Instruments echo evocatively and one plunges into the River swimming with the Tala and Floating with the Raga.The Rhythmic Burble of the Stream is enchanting as the Soughing Wind Rustles, Bustles and Tickles.

It is gentle and at the same time pulsing!

We feel we are caught in the middle of nothingness.

It is a Wellspring of Joy.
It is a Celebration of Life!

His Music is here and everywhere…

எதிலும் இங்கு இருப்பது அவரது இசை.

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