Thursday, May 2, 2019

Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs – part 13/18

Our journey on uncovering intricate harmonies from obscurity continues…

Thai Maavin Thanalil (Oru Yaatra Mozhi - Malayalam  - 1997)

This song is very popular in Kerala but few Tamils or Telugus know about it. I would like to categorize this as still obscure.

'Thai Maavin Thanalil' from Oru Yaatra Mozhi (Malayalam 1997). The song's prelude and the pallavi are decorated with plucked strings, known as pizzicato in WCM.  There are several other songs where Raja has used Pizzicato strings (example, Maalayil Yaaro's interludes).

Hear the second interlude alone in this song to see some brilliant harmony of Raja from 2:41 to 2:58. Granted, that the picturization takes your mind off the violins, 
cellos, double basses and the violas. This is Raja at his best and you do not get to hear this type of harmony in Indian films from anyone else. This stands as tall as the work by JW, JG, HZ or EM or any other great composers of the West.

Let’s hear Thai Maavin Thanalil

Vinodayatra Background score (Malayalam - 1997)

Though not strictly an obscure movie, Vinodayatra (Malayalam 1997) never somehow makes it to the top of Raja's good work. His guitar chords on Kaiyatha needs no introduction to Raja fans. It is a usual 'feel good' film of Sathyan and the background score in this movie has some simple harmonies (on the surface) that makes you wonder about the intricacies of the 'walk in the park' - something I hope all budding composers must listen and internalize. The melodies are purely Indian and the piano and the guitar arrangements take care of the other S,A,T,B parts. Again, something, nobody would care to do, as you already have a bunch of good melodies that you can beat it to death in an Indian movie. After hearing this score, you need to go back to the songs in the movie and you will quickly realize that the melody is reused (sometimes on a different time) but the harmonies are rewritten...

Let’s hear the background score of Vinodayatra background score…