Monday, September 2, 2019

Intricate harmonies in obscure films/songs – part 17/18

Our journey on uncovering intricate harmonies from obscurity continues…

Thoorigai Indri (Ajanthaa -Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam - 2007)

Though I covered Ajanthaa (Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam 2007) in this topic, one of the finest harmonies written by Raja in the 21st century is in the song 'Thoorigai Indri' from Ajanthaa, that obviously went unnoticed.

This is absolutely a modern harmony - nothing gets more modern than this. He uses synthesizers, traditional violins, flute, synthesized flute and literally freaks out.

Harmony Passage 1: Prelude between 0:01 to 0:21 - Starts off with a piano roll and is joined by the violins, cellos, double bases, synthesized flute and regular flute to knock any WCM listener's socks out. Observe the last few seconds of the prelude - though not a tremolo arrangement, intricate is an understatement. You do not hear these 20 seconds from any Indian composer - period! Worth every second as a ring tone.

Harmony passage 2 : 2:55 to 3:22  - This is one of the earliest set of interludes that made me realize the genius of this man. 2:55 to 3:00 - this is almost like a Carnatic avarohanam on the violins with the piano and the cellos taking care of the other harmony parts - I have heard these parts at least a thousand times. 3:01 to 3:10 - it is more of a Carnatic play (experts tell me what ragam this is) on top of the harmony parts played by the piano, cellos, and violins. 3:11 to 3:22 is a beautiful C&R between the violins and flute. This sometimes reminds me of the second interlude of 'Enulle Engum'.

For those who dismiss Raja's modern work as 'synth' must hear this before typing the first letter on any forum...

I would take this synth any day for Raja's 80s. The 80s fan argue about his abilities to interplay with ICM and WCM - this track is a great modern showcase of this interplay. Try replicating this and retain the beauty of it - guaranteed to fall flat.

Let’s hear Thoorigai Indri…

Sooryan background score (Malayalam 2007)

In the WCM Raja world, 2007 was a great year - Ajanthaa and Cheeni Kum made a huge difference. He also did his Carnatic based Malayalam film, of which Sooryan is an important one. This film had an average run and the songs did not get very popular.

We will focus on the title score of Sooryan (Malayalam 2007).

The title score is half Western and half ICM. We will discuss the harmony parts of the title score only here..

Harmony passage 1: 0:01 to 0:10 secs - The synthesizer plays the A part and the sustained violin note takes care of the S - you'll notice that the other two parts are filled by the bass and the synthesized violins. A nice introductory play for what follows.

Harmony passage 2: 0:11 to  0:35 secs  -  this is pure harmony with just violins and the bass parts being played on a synthesizer. 29 seconds of WCM bliss. Raja separates the WCM and the ICM that follows by a single bell note on the synthesizer.