Raja had a great mirudhangam player with Madurai Sreenivasan. He exploited Seenu’s talent throughout his compositions. While it is hard to detail every single mirudhangam based conversations, we will call out some top of mind examples.
Let’s explore Raja’s use of mirudhangam in C&R mode in this post. The clip has several segments drawn from several songs.
- The first 30 seconds are from the prelude of the song Manjolai Kilithano from Kizhakke Pogum Rayil (Tamil 1979). This is a percussion ensemble with the mirudhangam and the tabla in the C&R mode throughout the 30 seconds
- The second segment is a shorter 10 second mirudhangam based conversation from the song ‘Thogai Ilamayil’ from Payanangal Mudivathillai (Tamil 1981). The mirudhangam’s call is responded in short by the veena. It is rare to hear such conversations in today’s music
- The third segment is a slightly longer segment for about 18 seconds and the mirudhangam based conversation is the opposite of the previous example. For a long call from the veena, the mirudhangam response is short. This clip is from the song, ‘Poovil Vandu’ from Kadhal Oviyam (Tamil 1982).
- The fourth segment is for about 10 seconds and is from the song, Ther kondu from Ennakkul Oruvan (Tamil 1984). This is an equal call and response arrangement from a time perspective and is between the mirudhangam and the flute
- The fifth segment is from the song, ‘Megam Kottattum’ from from Ennakkul Oruvan (Tamil 1984). This is part of the postlude of the song and is a brilliant conversation in part between the drums and the mirudhangam. I did cover this part as a polyrhythm arrangement as the time signature between both these instruments are different.
Let’s hear the sample of Raja’s unusual mirudhangam based conversations …
I am sure there are other examples that readers can point out.