Thursday, June 4, 2009

Raja’s rhythm innovation stage 1

This requires structuring a song where one pallavi is set to Western and another is set to Indian rhythm.

Raja has done several of these in his career. Please note that in this classification, only one rhythm instrument is used at a point in time, regardless. . Siriya Paravai Siragai Virikka from Antha Oru Nimidam (1985) is an unusual composition consisting of three pallavis, three charanams and three interludes. Raja uses the Western rhythm for all the pallavis, charanam 1 and 3 and interlude 1 and 3. He uses Indian rhythm for interlude 2 and charanam 2. Unless you pay attention to it, it is easy not to catch it – Raja’s transitions are so smooth between different rhythms and are typical of his compositions.

Let's hear Siriya Paravai charanam 1, set to Western rhythm...


 Let's next hear Siriya Paravai charanam 2, set to Indian rhythm.

 Let's lastly hear Siriya Paravai charanam 3, set to Western rhythm again...


The flow of melody and the rhythm is so pleasing in this track and the experimentation is so elegantly done...

Shiva Kara Damaruka from Kochu Kochu Sandhoshangal (2001 Malayalam) is an amazing track from both melody and rhythm viewpoints. This track will feature in another section also. If you observe the pallavi of this song, it is played with the tabla the first and the second time. The third time around, the composer decides to have the singer sing it twice, but change the rhythm instrument to mirudhangam for the last time in the composition.

Let's hear Shiva Kara Damaruka pallavi 1...


 Let's hear Shiva Kara Damaruka pallavi 3...


 Possessing great talent is one thing. Presenting it elegantly is another. With Raja, even the most complex things somehow fit so simply in their respective places...

Let’s explore some more examples with other stages of Raja’s innovation with rhythms. Rhythm is more than just loud beats!

1 comment:

Narasimhan said...

Dear Ravi,

I stumbled upon this blog today and I can't tell you how happy I am to have discovered you today.

I don't know any music except listening to film music.

My understanding of Raaja's music is completely emotional and when i read your music theory and listen to them it takes me to a transcendental state of mind.

On this Rhythm innovation, i was just thinking about the song "Pazhamudhi Cholai" from Varusham 16 where he sort of correlates first interlude with 2nd charanam.

As you say, the flow is so good, it is such a treat to your ears.

With regards