Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Nearest Neighbor -Pizzicato strings and Bass guitar

 Many of Raja’s compositions use the strings in pizzicato mode (plucked violin strokes).  Pizzicato strings are high in bass and so are the notes of bass guitar. Placing the bass guitar next to the pizzicato strings requires some serious music vision as it is very easy to backfire.

The clip of 14 seconds is pure NN gold with the whole arrangement designed as a PolyCaRe arrangement. This is the interlude of the song, ‘Neelakuyile Unnodudhan’ from 'Magudi' (Tamil 1985). The first 4 seconds is the NN alone with the Pizzicatto strings and the bass guitar in a dialog in a C&R arrangement. Even during these 4 seconds, the violins play short strokes along. This is the well established background arrangement. Let’s look at the foreground next. The solo violin plays a melody with a response from the synthesizer. Remember that the background arrangement continues to make this a PolyCare all along. Following this is the second solo violin melody for which the synthesizer responds. This is a masterstroke of an arrangement and one longs that it lasted for a little more time.

Let’s hear the nearest neighbors – Pizzicatto Strings and bass guitar….

Nearest Neighbor – Sitar and bass guitar

 As we all know, Sitar is a North Indian instrument that was used widely in Hindi film music till the late 70s. RD Burman used it extensively in the 70s. Unfortunately, it went out of use in the HFI. Bass guitar is another instrument that was used off and on in the Indian film music for predominantly club songs and fast numbers. Raja made it as a staple part of his music. While all this is just evolution, Raja placing the North Indian Sitar next to the Western Bass guitar was unthinkable for anyone before his time.  He comes out with flying colors with his nearest neighbor placement.

The clip is from the interlude of the song, ‘Laali Laali’ from 'Swathimudhyam' (Telugu 1985) or 'Sippikkul Muthu' (Tamil 1985) and you will hear the Sitar and bass guitar in a beautiful C&R mode.

Let’s hear these Nearest neighbors – Sitar and bass guitar…