Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Raja - the institution

  • Today, Chennai is the best place in India to do any string section recording. It has the best string artists – several Hindi/other languages film string sections are recorded in Chennai.
  • Some of the best voice conductors in India are out of Chennai. They are trained Western voice conductors. (Note, not music conductors).
  • Some of the best recording studios for sound are Chennai based. While there is a lot of shortage for traditional instrumentalists, it still has the best players supply to instrument ratio. Bollywood is very Punjab influenced and the instruments are very limited. Most Western influenced music is based purely on keyboard and violin. LP used a lot of violins in their compositions, and lots of people mistook it to be Western!
  • While there are still keyboard scammers (sorry about the strong words) and recyclers in the music business, suddenly, a conservative city such as Chennai speaks about score sheets, strings, base, voice training, concertos, as though it is Vienna or Budapest. Why should Chennai worry about shortage of cellists (one who plays cello)? Why does AR Rahman want to start a music conservatory in Chennai?

Once upon a time, Tamil/Telugu film music directors used to take pride in going to Bombay and getting their music recorded. Today, the tale has reversed. How did all this sudden explosion of Western musical talent and discipline come up in the last 30 odd years? The answer, Ilayaraja!