Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Nearest Neighbor - Veena and sitar

 In most situations, we are left to choose either the North Indian sitar or the South Indian Veena. Why should we be limited? Raja places them next to each other – this is a suicidal mission from traditional thinking. They are beautiful cousins as Raja demonstrates them with his work!

The clip below has two tracks, both from Telugu films. The first track is from the interlude of the song ‘EE Chaitra veena’ from the film 'Preminchu Pelladu' (Telugu 1985). It begins with a simple veena melody which is responded by the sitar. The flute joins the arrangement and it is a beautiful Carnatic harmony of these three instruments. The unlikely neighbors veena and sitar are indeed great neighbors as Raja demonstrates here. The second clip is from the song, 'Rangulalo Kalavo' from the film 'Abhinandana' (Telugu 1989). The arrangement is a call and response between these two unlikely string instruments of the North and the South. 

Let’s hear the nearest neighbors – Sitar and Veena…

Nearest Neighbor - Veena and Synthesizer

 A synthesizer tone that is close to a veena is placed next to the veena itself and the melodic arrangement is just bewitching, Raja style. This style of near neighbor placement shows the musical rebel that Raja is. The veena plays its Sriranjani notes and the synthesizer plays its western notes and it is hard to separate one from the other. 

The clip of 18 seconds is pure bliss in the Near neighbor world. It is the interlude from the song, ‘Vasanthe Nilavin’ from 'Sooriyan' (Malayalam 2007). The synthesizer and violin are in a C&R dialog as though they were just designed for this.  I wish the other composers take this lesson and provide more interludes such as this. Real killer!

Let’s hear the nearest neighbors – Veena and synthesizer…