Friday, January 2, 2009

Raja’s spectrum of moods with Synthesizer

Raja has been one of the earliest to embrace synthesizers into his compositions. While the synth has almost become the mainstream of today’s film music, he is peerless when it comes to creating different moods with this great electronic musical instrument.

Let’s start with the happiness mood theme. Radha AzhaikiraaL from Therkathi KaLLan (1988) is an excellent use of the synth in this mood. The title track in Punngai Mannan (1986) is another good example. Innum Ennai Enna Seiyya Pogirai from Singaravelan (1991) is also a case in point. Maharajanodu from Sathi Leelavathi (1995) is another recent example from Tamil. My top pick for this section would be Innum Ennai Enna Seiyya Pogirai...





Let’s move to the pleasant recollection mood. Minmini Paarvaigal from Julie Ganapathy (2003) is ably supported with the synthesizer though the lead melody is in guitar. Poovile Medai Naan Podava from Pagal Nilavu (1986) works the magic along with guitar. The prelude of Appadi Paakaruthinna from Ivann (2002) creates a similar mood along with violins. My top pick for this section would be Minmini Paarvaigal...



Let’s look at the romantic mood. It’s impossible to list all, but let me attempt a few. Poongatrile Kaalai Pozhuthu from Paatu Paadava (1995) is a good example. Oru NaaL Oru Kanavu from Kannukkul Nilavu (2000) is another track in this mood. Jaane Do Na from Cheeni Kum (2007) another track in a Jazz version, ably supported by violins. Thoongatha Vizhigal Rendu from Agni Natchathiram (1989) is a great example of usage of synthesizer to create this mood in an otherwise Carnatic tune. Mandarapoo Mooli from Oru Vinodha Yatra (Malayalam - 2006) is a great example of this mood. Oru NaaL Oru Kanavu would be my top pick...



The party mood is the one that you hear mostly from other composers as most of today’s film tracks are mindless dancing. Raja has done several peppy ones with the synthesizer ably supported by flutes and violins. Here are some examples from Raja’s recent work in Malayalam with synth that bring out this mood well. Two examples here. 1) Oru Chiri Kandaal from Ponmudipuzhayorathu (Malayalam - 2005) 2) Ishtakarrikku from Sooryan (Malayalam - 2007). There are hundreds that can easily fit this category. My top pick for this section would be Ishtakarrikku...





Let’s turn to pathos mood and see how Raja brings out this with synthesizer. Maalai En Vethanai from Sethu (2000) brings out this emotion aptly with the synth. Other examples include Diana Diana supported by the sax from Kadhal Kavidhai (1999) and the top example of this category is Manjolum Raathri from Oru Yaatra Mozhi (Malayalam - 1997) – the interludes transport you to another world...



You can easily make this the special Raja category – devotion mood. Some of the interludes may not be truly devotional in the film situation – however, when you separate and hear them, it is easy to see the Raja magic as he is deeply religious with everything that he does. Examples include Arumbum Thalire from Chandralekha (2000) or Enthan Nenjil from Kalaignan (1993) or Meetatha Oru Veenai from Poonthotam (1998). It must be mentioned that Raja creates this mood with the combination of synth with veena or violins. My top pick would be Arumbum Thalire...


1 comment:

Suresh said...

Lovely selection Ravi, as usual. I love Raja's synth work is Malayalam films. 'Sivamallipoove' from Friends is an all time fav of mine.

S.Suresh