Thursday, June 17, 2021

Nearest Neighbor – Mirudhangam-Tabla and drums

 Before Raja’s arrival, mirudhangam was delegated to film music that is heavily Carnatic centric in South Indian films. It was never considered as a mainstream instrument. Raja changed that and gave both mirudhangam and the bass guitar its right place in film music. Raja goes the additional step of using the ‘never’ neighbors mirudhangam and drums as near neighbors. That’s a lot of ‘out of the box’ thinking in arranging music.

The first 25 seconds of the clip is the postlude of the song , ‘Megham Kottattum’ from ‘EnakkuL Oruvan (Tamil 1984). It starts off as a simple call and response and Raja transforms this into a complete polyrhythym between both these unlikely neighbors. That is a master’s touch in bringing two cultures together in 25 seconds and let them coalesce giving a pleasant musical experience. Between 28 and 40 seconds the second clip is the prelude of the song, ‘Ooru Vittu Ooru Vandhu’ from Karakaatakaaran (Tamil 1991). Raja arranges the thavil and the drums in a call and response arrangement. Another very strange marriage of South Indian folk and western paradigms. Such experiments are like playing with fire in a commercial situation and Raja creates a commercially hit tune, along with his unique experiment. The last part of the clip is a beautiful colony that Raja creates for several homes for, mirudhangam, tabla, drums, guitar, flute all collaborating to create bharathanatyam music. This is from the background score of ‘Japanil Kalyanaraman’ (Tamil 1984).

Let’s hear these Nearest Neighbors – Mirudhangam-Tabla and drums …