Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cookies and cream flavored Cleverfolk

This category has folk lyrics with mixed rhythm arrangement (Indian and Western). As we saw in the rhythm series of posts, this is a Raja specialty and he has ensured that switching Indian and Western rhythms are in every possible genre of composition.

In this section, unfortunately, we will have to repeat some of the tracks from ‘Raja’s rhythm innovation stage 8’ as some of the tracks in that post had folk lyrics.

Balegara Balegara from Bhagyadha Balegaara (2009) – this is the latest from Raja using switching rhythms in his latest Kannada venture.

Unnai Maathi from Uthamarasa (1993) is a typical Raja song that appears very folk from lyrical and arrangement. The pallavi is backed by both drums and tabla in alternate phrases. The female voice is backed by western drums and the male voice by tabla. The charanams are also set the same way – male voice backed by the tabla and the female voice by western drums.

Sandhu Pottu from Devar Magan (1992) is another track where the lyric is folkish and the rhythm arrangement is very sophisticated. The arrangement uses several patterns with the tabla and the dialogs are backed by western drums.

The clip below has two tracks (both charanams) – the first one is Sandhu Pottu followed by the charanam of Unnai Maathi. Notice the alternating rhythm arrangement between Indian and western drums in both tracks.

The cookie is perhaps the Indian rhythm and the cream is the Western or the other way around. While Raja has done several of these as discussed in the Rhythm Section, his folk application of this technique is limited. However, very pioneering and unique.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
Thanks for the ice cream lists.

Very Great Wrok is done by You.

Fp;k songs dhanae -
ipadi nenaikarvanga
unga blog ai kandipa padikanam Ravi.....

one request......

below songs ellam epo endha list la varum.....

eagerly waiting Ravi...

1. Muthama looku vida vekkama - Vasuki

2. Panju pola nenju idhu - Punniyavadhi

3. Oru ala maram athi - PUnniyathi

4. Mayee mayee - Punniyavathi

with Love,
Usha Sankar.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the typo error

Folk songs dhanae - ipadi nenaikaravanga

Unga Blog ai kandipa padikanam Ravi.

With Love,
Usha Sankar.

ravinat said...

Hi Usha

I am hearing all the four tracks for the first time and this is my initial reaction to your query. The tracks I have listed are ones that I have heard several times. There could be some slips as I have not had repeated hearings.

Firstly, all the four tracks have heavy Western percussion as these seem to be work of Raja in the late 1990s. Of the four tracks, I must admit that Mayee Mayee by Sujatha is the best tune.

Here is my quick classification:

1) Muthamma Muthamma and Panju Pola can be classified easily as Rocky Road flavored Cleverfolk as they used heavy Western drumming and also a lot of synth sound. Between the two, I prefer Panju Pola.

2)Mayee Mayee by Sujatha uses a lot of choral backing and I would classify it as Cheery Vanilla flavored CleverFolk. The interludes have some clever folk percussion that makes me think that those parts can make this track qualify as a Butter Pecan flavored CleverFolk. However, I would stick to Cherry Vanilla as that is the most prominent.

3) Oru aala maram While this can be easily classified as Rocky Road Cleverfolk but one must note the nice use of thavil and duffel in this track.

Hope that helps.


Ravi Natarajan


Anonymous said...

என்னை மதித்து, பாட்டை வகைபடுத்தியதற்கு நன்றி.
நீங்கள் சொன்ன ice cream எல்லாம் சாப்பிட்டது இல்லை என்றாலும், ராஜாவின் ice cream ஐ சாபிடு இருகிறேன். ஹி ஹி ஹி...

உஷா சங்கர்.

Suresh S said...


A nice series of posts.

I thought 'Balegara Balegara' did not get the sort of attention it deserved. The rhythm changes are superb with the tabla and drums alternating in the charanams. The tune is a very enthusiastic one as well and the rhythm arrangement perfectly supplements the energy of the tune. Even now I keep hearing people say that Raja does not experiment with rhythm and you can only wryly smile when you encounter such comments. Everyone is into 'layers' nowadays. Layers of sampled music :) If only people listen to Raja more carefully they will understand how deep and layered his music is and how difficult it is to unravel the secrets.

ravinat said...

Thanks for your views. 'Balegaara Balegaara' is a track that I covered in detail in the post titled 'Raja's rhythm innovation stage 8' and I mentioned briefly about this track in this post. Also, I provided a link in the same post to the previous one, where I described it in detail.

At least, I am not ignoring some great work done by Raja in 2009.

There is also another difficulty with folk tracks - you need to know the language. I am not very confident with other languages to the level of determining if the lyric is folk indeed. I must admit that I have tried to play it safe as I did not get much help from the Raja fans in other languages.


Ravi Natarajan