Saturday, 5 May 2012

ILaiyaraaja-Musician with a Radiance..

Awestruck by the radiance of the Lord, Nammazhvar bombards him with questions.

He asks,

‘Is the radiance of Your Face because of the radiance of Your Crown (head) ?
Has the Lotus under You blossomed out of the radiance of Your Feet?
Has the radiance from your waist blended with the radiance of Your ornaments?
Oh Lord Please tell me!’

முடிச்சோதியாய் உனது முகச்சோதி மலந்ததுவோ?

அடிச்சோதி நீ நின்ற தாமரையாய் அலர்ந்ததுவோ?

படிச்சோதி ஆடையொடும் பல்கலனாய், நின் பைம்பொன்

கடிச்சோதி கலந்ததுவோ? திருமாலே! கட்டுரையே.

Though he raises these questions the great Nammazhvar knew the answer.
Put in very simple words, the Lord himself is radiance personified. But he saw different dimensions to the Divine Radiance and the poet in him wouldn’t stop.

Don’t we all feel the radiance in each and every word?

In a similar way, we see and feel the radiance in the compositions of the Master.

We start asking, ‘Is the radiance of your music because of the tune?
Is the radiance of the songs because of the orchestration?
Is the radiance of your compositions because of the usage of ragas and
other classical techniques?’

We know the answer and we don’t know the answer.

Let us look at the composition of the day-‘Maharaajanodu RaNi Vandu Serum..’ from the film ‘Sati Lilavati’(1995).

It is based on Sarasangi, the 27th melakarata.

Its structure is: sa ri2 ga3 ma1 pa dha1 ni3 Sa/Sa ni3 dha1 pa ma1 ga3 ri2 sa.

It is the Shuddha madhyama counterpart of Latangi-that is if we substitute ‘ma1’ with ‘ma2’, we get Latangi.

It is also very closely related to some of the most popular ragas.

Change the ‘ri2’ to ‘ri1’ and we get Mayamalavagowla.

Change the ‘ga3’ to ‘ga2’ and we get KiravaNi.

Apart from this, it is also in the graham bedam group of Dharmavati and Chakravagam.
More about this soon..

ILaiyaraaja has used this raga in some of the greatest compositions-one of these being ‘Endrendrum Aanandame’. Please read my post ‘Laya Raaja’ to know more.

‘Maharaajanodu..’ has a very soft beginning. The Keys and the Bells announce the arrival of the spring season (and of course the romance). The guitar wafts fragrance and the second guitar that enjoys it. The finely textured Sax enters with the passionate percussion playing the ‘ta ka dhi mi’ in its own style.

It is a rhapsody of sorts.

The Pallavi in the voices of Unnikrishnan and Chitra is lively with the resonant Bass guitar and the sweet electric guitar following them very closely. Even as the third and the fourth lines are rendered, the strings skate on thick ice.

Icing on the cake!

The Raga flows gently in the first interlude.

The synth violins move with poise with the Sax holding their hands, warming the cockles of our hearts. The Bass Guitar starts singing as if it is in a trance. The eloquent flute sketches the raga in style in its own inimitable way.

The CharaNams are very aesthetically structured.

The first two lines are followed by the exquisite flute taking short freewheeling flights.

The next line is feisty with a gap for the guitar for a whole avartanam(cycle).

The following two lines exude the beauty of the Raga while the last line has some leisurely oscillations.

The second interlude has innovative, inspirational and intelligent splashes.

Let us now go back to what I said about the Graha Bedam group earlier in the post.

I have already discussed about the technique of Graha Bedam in some of my posts here.

If any swara-apart from the ‘sa’- is kept as the base, it yields different ragas, some valid and some not valid.

As per the theory, if the ‘pa’ of Sarasangi is made as the ‘sa’, it becomes Chakravagam.

The Master does this first.

Now, please read this carefully.

The structure of Chakravagam is sa ri1 ga3 ma1 pa dha2 ni2 Sa/Sa ni2 dha2 pa ma1 ga3 ri1 sa.

Therefore the Raga should logically be Chakravagam..But the Master Innovator goes one step further.

He uses the same six swaras- sa ri1 ma1 pa dha2 ni2- but instead of ‘ga3’, he uses the vivadi swara ‘ga1’ and the raga we get to hear is Vanaspati, the 4th melakarta.

Doing the unthinkable- Is it not the Hallmark of a Genius.

The Keys and the guitar move with finesse in Vanaspati with the Sax providing the melodic charm in Sarasangi.

It is the romance between the Emperor and The Queen(Music). Raaja yoga for us in yugas to follow..

மஹாராஜனோடு இசை ராணி கை கோர்த்தால்,பலப்பல யுகங்களிலும் ராஜ யோகம்தான்!

1 comment:

Suresh S said...

Lovely song Raj. I bought the 'Sati Leelavathi' tape mainly for this song. It was very unfortunate that this song did not become very popular when it was released.

The song has all the elements of Raja. The way the charanam starts, the nice little touches, the way the tune moves. Sad that many missed it. But not to worry. Such songs will remain alive for a long time.