Thursday, March 2, 2017

Blog trivia

If you are visiting this site for the first time, it is important to read this post. The intention of this blog is to present arguments in a pre-determined sequence. OLDER posts are actually NEWER posts within a month. As I keep adding new posts I change the time stamp to an earlier time so that you can read the posts in sequence. If you notice, all the posts within a month have the same date. Only the time stamp varies. Newer posts have earlier time to help you read in sequence.

If this site interests you and you want to read the earlier months (I would recommend starting from month 1 before reading month 2) start from the earliest month. I have ensured that within a month the posts are sequenced properly.



Tech Notes

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For those who read this blog regularly, please treat this as a little nuisance and continue reading.

Thanks

Ravi Natarajan

Synthesizer based PolyCaRe arrangements in 199x – interludes

We will continue the journey on PolyCaRe arrangements of Raja, with his compositions based on synthesizer as the background melody instrument. In this post, we will particularly focus on his interlude compositions in the 199x. As we made it very clear in the definition, the PolyCaRe arrangement not only requires a background synthesizer  melody, it also requires two call and response melodies in the foreground played according to our rules of CaRe arrangements.

Let’s begin with the song ‘Kaadhal Kavidhaigal’ from Gopura Vasalile (Tamil 1990). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Kaadhal Kavidhaigal
Gopura Vaasalile
1990
Synthesizer
Flute
Guitar


  1. In the first one second, you can clearly hear the background synthesizer tone (sounds like flute – synthesized flute) that plays as the background melody throughout this clip
  2. Between 1 and 10 seconds, there are two CaRe arrangements, where the call of the Flute is responded by the guitar while the background synthesizer tone continues

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 10 seconds.

Let’s hear the different PolyCare arrangement of the Kadhal Kavidhaigal song…




We will next move prelude of the song  ‘Maha rajanodu from ‘Sathi Leelavathi’  (Tamil 1995). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Maha rajanodu
Sathi Leelavathi
1995
Synthesizer
Guitar
Synthesizer


While the synthesizer is the background and the foreground instrument, the composer is careful with tone separation, so that one can clearly tell the difference.



  1. The first 2 seconds, you hear only the background synthesizer melody which continues throughout the clip
  2. The CaRe parts are complex parts compared to normal compositions – performed brilliantly by the late Viji Manuel. Every CaRe part has a guitar part for which the Synthesizer (flute tone) responds, for which there is one more response by the guitar. It is sort of CaReCa. Theere are two such combinations making it into 6 foreground melodies. This is outstanding creativity within PolyCaRe. All this happens, when the background synthesizer continues


It is rare to hear such complex parts in Indian film music. It requires not just a genius like Raja, but also, very able keyboard artists such as Viji.

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 6 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 13 seconds.


Let’s hear the complex, yet melodious PolyCare arrangement of the Maharajanodu song…




We will next move prelude of the song  ‘Maniye Manikuyile’  from  ’Nadodi Thendral’  (Tamil 1992). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Maniye Manikuyile
Nadodi Thendral
1992
Synthesizer
Voice
Flute

This song is unique in this section, as Raja uses Janaki’s voice as one of the instruments. It is a perfect PolyCaRe arrangement and here are some details:

  1. The first 8 seconds of the clip has three things happening, The first is the synthesizer melody which loops throughout the clip (well beyond 8 seconds) and the second is Janaki singing her melody parts. The flute responds to Janaki’s voice
  2. The next 7 seconds has a repeat of the C&R with the background melody, with both the call and response slightly varied from #1. This is a staple Raja technique not to bore the listener
  3. Finally, the last few seconds is the violins taking over the interlude after Janaki finishes her humming for the third time

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 19 seconds.

Let’s hear the unique and melodious PolyCare arrangement of the Maniye Manikuyile song…



We will next move prelude of the song  ‘Putham Pudhu Poo’  from  ‘Dhalapathi’  (Tamil 1991). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Putham Pudhu
Dhalapathi
1991
Synthesizer
Violins
Flute

  1. The first 3 seconds of this clip has the synthesizer melody which will stay as the background melody for the clip
  2. Between 3 and 8 seconds, the Violins make the call for which the flute responds. The background synthesizer melody continues
  3. Between 8 and 12 seconds, the violins make a slightly different call for which the flute responds also differently. The background synthesizer melody continues


The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 12 seconds.


Let’s hear the PolyCare arrangement of the Putham Pudhu Poo song…



We will next move prelude of the song  ‘Therke Veesum’   from  ‘Kolangal  (Tamil 1995). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Therke Veesum
Kolangal
1995
Synthesizer
Guitar
Piano

Please notice that only Raja tries out such almost impossible combinations – the string sound of all the three instruments, synthesizer, guitar and piano are very close – it is easy to suppress one when the other is playing. Raja, however is very careful about the tones he selects in this composition, that clearly helps identify he PolyCaRe arrangement.

  1. The first second has the background synthesizer melody which is repeated for the entire duration of the clip
  2. Between 1 and 5 seconds, the guitar makes a call for which the piano responds. The background synthesizer melody keeps going
  3. Between 5 and 10 seconds, the guitar makes one more call for which the piano responds


The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 11 seconds.


Let’s hear the PolyCare arrangement of the near similar instrument choice in Therke Veesum song…


Raja has done quite a bit of experimentation with PolyCaRe with synthesizer during the 90s as it should be obvious from all these clips. It is unfortunate, that the popular perception of his work has been one where he did not figure out how to use the synthesizer. Nothing can be farther from the truth.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Synthesizer based PolyCaRe arrangements in 200x - interludes

We will continue the journey on PolyCaRe arrangements of Raja, with his compositions based on synthesizer  as the background melody instrument. In this post, we will particularly focus on his interlude compositions in the 200x. As we made it very clear in the definition, the PolyCaRe arrangement not only requires a background synthesizer  melody, it also requires two call and response melodies in the foreground played according to our rules of CaRe arrangements.

Let’s begin with the song ‘Thoorigai Indri’  from Ajanthaa  (Tamil 2007). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Thoorigai Indri
Ajanthaa
2007
Synthesizer
Violins
Flute


  1. The first two seconds are filled with the synthesizer melody that is the background melody of this clip
  2. Between 2 and 11 seconds, the call is made by the Flute for which the response is from the violins. While this is going on, observe that the background synthesizer melody keeps playing. The clip has 4 CaRe arrangements 

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 8 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 11 seconds.

Let’s hear the modern PolyCare arrangement of Thoorigai Indri…




Synthesizer based PolyCaRe arrangements in 199x – background scores

We will continue the journey on PolyCaRe arrangements of Raja, with his compositions based on synthesizer as the background melody instrument. In this post, we will particularly focus on his background score compositions in the 199x. As we made it very clear in the definition, the PolyCaRe arrangement not only requires a background synthesizer  melody, it also requires two call and response melodies in the foreground played according to our rules of CaRe arrangements.

Let’s consider the background score of  ‘Kaadhal Kavidhai’ (Tamil 1998). This segment has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Background score
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Love theme
Kaadhal Kavidhai
1998
Synthesizer
Violins
Flute

  1. This is another unconventional arrangement. Between 1 and 5 seconds, there are two PolyCaRe arrangements. There is a constant synthesizer tone in the background which is just two notes being played repeatedly. The violins make the Call and the Flute responds to the call twice while the synthesizer tone continues in the background. Raja does not do his usual introductory part where he has the background tome alone playing for some time. The entire package is delivered in one shot of 5 seconds. There are two CaRe arrangements riding on the synthesizer background tune.
  2. The last 5 seconds in the clip is not PolyCaRe as it pure violin play


The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 5 seconds.


Let’s hear the different PolyCare arrangement of the Kaadhal Kavidhai background score…

Monday, January 2, 2017

Synthesizer based PolyCaRe arrangements in 201x - interludes

We will continue the journey on PolyCaRe arrangements of Raja, with his compositions based on synthesizer  as the background melody instrument. In this post, we will particularly focus on his interlude compositions in the 201x. As we made it very clear in the definition, the PolyCaRe arrangement not only requires a background synthesizer  melody, it also requires two call and response melodies in the foreground played according to our rules of CaRe arrangements.

Let’s begin with the song ‘Kaatrai Konjam’ from Neethane Enthan Pon Vasantham (Tamil 2012). This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:

Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Kaatrai Konjam
NEPV
2012
Synthesizer
Guitar
Saxaphone

  1. The 5 seconds in the clip is the synthesizer play which will continue till the end of the clip. However, Raja has composed several back to back melodies and it is not a constant melody unlike other PolyCare compositions. 
  2. Between 5 and 10 seconds, there is a call from the Sax for which the guitar responds. Note that the background synthesizer keeps going
  3. Between 11 and 15 seconds, there is another call by the Sax and the guitar now responds with a slightly different melody compared to #2. I am sure,  the orchestra would have practiced several times to get this right. Just brilliant use of the technique

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 4 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 15 seconds. 

Let’s hear the brilliant, modern PolyCare arrangement of Kaatrai Konjam…




Let’s next analyze the interlude of the song ‘Mauni Naanu’  from Sooryakanthi (Kannada 2010) . 

This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:


Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Mauni Naanu
Suryakanthi
2010
Synthesizer
Piano
Violins
  1. The first 8 second sis an unusual beginning to a PolyCare arrangement. It has the synthesizer playing on the background, a melody that continues throughout the clip. However, there is a counter melody of the piano playing a few melodies in the foreground. By itself, this segment can make it worthwhile. However, Raja wants to raise the bar and that’s how, this turns out to be a very pleasant PolyCare composition
  2. Between 8 and 14 seconds, the violins play briefly for which there is a response from the piano while the synthesizer is still going about its background melody
  3. Between 15 and 19 seconds,  the violins play briefly for which there is a response from the piano (a different one than #2) while the synthesizer is still going about its background melody
  4. Between 19 and 31 seconds, the violins and piano do a C&R 4 times over with the melodies varying in typical Raja style

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 12 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 31 seconds. 

Let’s hear the modern PolyCare arrangement of Mouni Naanu…



Lastly, in this section, let’s next analyze the interlude of the song ‘Mella Oorndhu’  from Nandalala (Tamil  2010) . This segment, has synthesizer as its background instrument. Here is how the segment is structured:


Song
Film
Year
Background instrument
CaRe - Instrument1
CaRe - Instrument2
Mella Oorndhu
Nandalala
2010
Synthesizer
Bells
Synthesizer
  1. The first 2 seconds is the basic synthesizer tone that lasts till the end of the clip. This is the background melody
  2. Between 3 and 13 seconds, there are 4 call and responses between the bells and the synthesizer. I use the term Bells to indicate simple discrete tones on the synthesizer. 

The foreground melodies can stand on their own feet as simple CaRe arrangement. The background synthesizer melody makes them polyphonic and hence PolyCaRe. There are 8 foreground melodies playing on top of the constant background synthesizer melody in these 13 seconds. 

Let’s hear the modern PolyCare arrangement of Mella Oorndhu…




In summary, the synthesizer based PolyCaRe work of Raja in the present decade is full of creative use of C&R on top of his staple strength, counterpoints.

This section must be read by detractors of Raja, who think that he has lost his creativity…