As with all other analysis topics, this will be a catch all bucket for unusual conversations that involves instruments that we have not discussed so far. They are more unusual than the other unusual categories!
We will explore this with a single clip consisting of six segments separated by the usual 2 second silent segment.
- The first segment is from the song ‘Malargalile Aradhanai’ from Karumbu Vil (Tamil 1980). The call is from the voices (chorus) singing jathis and the response is from the veena. Set to Keeravani (courtesy Vel Ramanan), Raja arranges this C&R segment to transition to a guitar
- The second segment is one of my Raja C&R favorites. It is from the song ‘Mannavane Mannavane’ from the film Thandhu Vittaen Ennai (Tamil 1991). Set to Aarabhi, (courtesy Vel Ramanan) this arrangement, is a bewitching killer! The call is from the female voice – the response is not one, but three responses. The first response is from the flute and the second response is from the violins followed by another response from the flute. This whole package is repeated twice (one call and three responses) – it clearly shows that the composer enjoys this thoroughly
- The third segment is from the song Uruginaen Uruginaen from the film Anne Anne (Tamil 1983). The call is from the female voice and the response is from the trumpet. Very unusual!
- The fourth segment is from the popular song 'Indraikku Enindha' from Vaidehi Kaathirundhaal (Tamil 1984). The call is from the female voice singing Carnatic swarams (set to Abhogi – courtesy Vel Ramanan) and the response is from the veena. This is the familiar Carnatic format
- The fifth segment is from the song 'Suvvi Suvvi' from the film Swathi Muthyam (Telugu 1985). The call is from the sound of water and the response is from percussion that simulates a stick hitting a metal pot
- The sixth segment is from the song 'Neelakuyilae' from the film Magudi (Tamil 1984). The call is from the veena and the response is from the solo violin. Set to Raskiranjani (courtesy Vel Ramanan), the entire arrangement and the song is just a bliss!
Let’s hear the sample of Raja’s unusual unusual conversations …
There are no composers who have explored the call and response arrangement like Raja in Indian films. While his volume of work is very large for someone to navigate and uncover these arrangements, we saw quite a few of his unusual conversations. He is perhaps the only composer who qualifies for a topic such as unusual unusual conversations!