Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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

Our journey on uncovering intricate harmonies from obscurity continues…

Unnai Patri Sonnaal (Mathiya Chennai – Tamil - 2009)

There should be no debate about 'Mathiya Chennai’ (Tamil 2009) being an obscure film and there was one brilliant song by Rita that goes 'Unnai Patri Sonnal'. While the song is great, the harmonies in this song's interlude is so freaking modern, that I do not understand why people have difficulty in accepting Raja's modernity. When Raja does something really good and modern, it is dismissed as 'synth', even by Raja fans.

The interludes will stand any harmony test.

Listen to the harmony passage from 1:10  to 1:34. Three synthesizer tones play the SATB in this - a 
bass tone on the synth, a normal piano and sharp bells. I love the recording of this song as you can hear the hi-hats so clearly from the drummer. Harmony does not get any more modern.-

Next listen to the harmony passage between 3:08 and 3:20 is not very impressive as it is a repetitive melody without much ornamentation.

The passage between 3:20 and 3:30 is 10 seconds of outstanding harmony done with bass , flutes, guitar and bells. Cut this out and make it your ring tone and you can see the quality of this harmony.

Another walk in the park...

Let’s hear Unnai Patri Sonaal

Kanukkulle background score (Tamil – 2009)

Kanukkulle (Tamil 2009) was a story of a violinist which went nowhere. There were some fantastic songs by Raja in this film.

The first 38 seconds of the title score of this film is a violin harmony treat. What follows is a melodious violin based tune with percussion and bass. My focus is the first 38 seconds of this good title score:

Nandri Solla Vendum  (Chithiraiyil Nila Choru - Tamil - 2013)

Only Raja fans know about this film and its tracks. The film stands out as among the top 10 most boring films with Raja's music :-) I could not even stand this film in fast forward!

Let's discuss this song and some fantastic 
harmony parts that Raja has written for this undeserving film track.

Play the song at a high volume to enjoy some of the specific parts, which appears straight out of any Western classical concert.

Harmony passage 1
(2:42 to 2:50): It starts off with the flute and the violins sharing two of the parts (A and T). Three seconds into the part, Raja throws in the cello in the B part.  The master stroke is not that. Following this, he gets the Cello to play a melody that is very pronounced. Not many composers do this. The bass part is just an enhancer for others.

Harmony passage 2 (2:50 to 2:57): From 2:50 onward, it is another harmony arranged back to back, between the piano and the guitar now taking the flute and 
violin parts (A and T). Like the previous harmony passage, Raja throws in the cello melody on the B part.

You need to play these two back to back melodies a few times to get a sense of what Raja is doing to these two harmonies. Only the cello is the constant connection between the two.

Harmony passage 3 (2:57 to 3:08): This is a completely different arrangement. The melody lines are identical between the violins and solo violin and the piano playing three parts and the melody is repeated 4 times - sort of simple cannon

Another walk in the park for another obscure film and song.

Let’s hear Nandri Solla Vendum..