Monday, May 10, 2021

Nearest Neighbor – Mirudhangam and tabla

Most popular Indian music of today avoid both these instruments. Mirudhangam occasionally features in songs that are based on Carnatic classical ragam. Electronic rhythm pads have almost eliminated the tabla and even if tabla is used, it gets drowned in the loud folk songs of today in films.  Raja, not only used these two instruments a lot, he has also used them in very unusual situations.  The focus here is not in the usage of these instruments separately, but how these close cousins are used in a single composition.  In this nearest neighbor, Raja, surprisingly uses just one technique, call and response.

The first 8 seconds of the clip is a call and response between the tabla and the mirudhangam in the song, 'Sanga Thamizh Kaviye' from Manadhil Urudhi Vendum (Tamil 1988). The second part of the clip is from the song, ‘Manjolai Kili thaano’ from Kizhakke Pogum Rayil (1978 Tamil). In this song too, the call is from the tabla and the response is from the mirudhangam.

Let’s hear these Nearest Neighbors – Mirudhangam and tabla ...


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