Monday, April 2, 2012

Use of Bhajan format for the chorus - Black Tulips

This could be set in North or South Indian style. This normally has both male and female voices though on occasions, only one of the gender is used. This comes pretty easy for Raja who is very spiritual in his lifestyle.

Raja has done quite a few compositions as he is spiritual as well. First, let’s take the North Indian style. The track  Maa Ganga from Naan KadavuL (Tamil 2009) is a brilliant bhajan chorus backed track. Kunal’s voice is nicely backed by the male chorus singing in the North Indian bhajan style complete with the laid back tabla rhythm that is steady and also has the jalra.

Let's hear Maa Ganga...

Tharai Varamal from the film Chandralekha (Tamil 2000) is actually a redo of the song Arumbum Thalire from the same film, which is orchestrated with all the techno sounds you can imagine for a duet. Raja re-composes the same track with a different arrangement – bhajan arrangement with Unni Krishnan singing Tharai Varamal with the male/female chorus backing him in typical South Indian bhajan style that reminds you of the annual thiruvaiyaru festival. That’s the handiwork of a genius!

Let's hear Tharai Varamal...

Guru Charanam from Guru (Malayalam 1997). This song is performed mostly by the mixed chorus singers.  The pallavi is done in an innovative way – partly by the female chorus and the rest my the male chorus. The charanam1 and charanam2 has the female leading with the male chorus backing the female chorus. The interlude 2 has some parts for the female chorus. The male voices are used at times to create a surrealistic atmosphere. Though the arrangement is very different from a typical South Indian bhajan, Raja uses several elements of it. The slow pace, the male choir creating the background tone.

Let's hear the mesmerizing Guru Charanam...

I am sure there are few other tracks from Raja's devotional albums. Readers may list them.

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