Topic started by Isai Rasigai (@ columbo.wfd.com) on Fri Aug 13 11:03:38 EDT 1999.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
I find that Malayalam movies use pure carnatic ragas more than any other South Indian language movies and it seems to have a very good reception in the Mallu land.. When you hear some of those songs, like the ones in His Highness Abdullah, Bharatham etc, you feel like listening to them over and over again! Why is it that we do find those many songs in Tamil movies? I dont mean to say we do not have any. Is it that the Tamil audience are not receptive to such kind of music or is it that they are not trying it out in the right movies? In movies like Sindhu Bhairavi, a music based subject, IR had used a lot of classical ragas... but mari mari ninne song is originally in Kambodhi and was tuned in Saramathi for this movie? Why is this? Why do we have to change the form and shape of songs in Tamil movies? I am pretty sure a movie like His Highness Abdullah would have been a mojor hit even in the Tamil film industry with the kind of music it had in it... Comments please....
- Old responses
- From: Raja Fan (@ spider-tr083.proxy.aol.com)
on: Sun Aug 15 12:54:47 EDT 1999
I recommend various film songs of the 60s and 70s. There is definitely a difference in the sound of mallu and tamil film songs. Look at MSV, when he is composing for tamil films it is entirely different from the sounds he employs for mallu films. MSV is the best example to compare the sounds and the ragas in tamil and mallu films.
Greet movies of MSV in mallu: Pani theeratha veedu, Jeevikan Marunnu Poya Sthree, Babumon and many others. You won't believe that MSV goes really more classical than he does in Tamil films.
IR has never attempted to be classical the way mallu composers have been, but has tried to sound bring newer sounds to mallu films.
- From: Raja Fan (@ spider-wg071.proxy.aol.com)
on: Mon Aug 16 00:26:33 EDT 1999
I may withdraw the last statement to some extent. If you see two songs of IR in GAYATHRI and in PONNU URUKKU PUDUSU typically in the genre of Malayalam film songs brought in by IR not in mal films but in Tamil films. Kaalai Paniyil by Sujatha and Solai Kkuyile by SPS. Really outstanding melodies. Also, in Kalyanaraman I remember the song Malargalil Aaadum by SPS, there is some closeness to the compositions of Devarajan or Dakshinamoorthy. Also, the instruments are clearly Kerala material.
- From: eden (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Mon Aug 16 01:39:01 EDT 1999
I feel you are again refering to `exceptions' in MFM, like Panjagni, Nagakshadhangal, Vaishali & Vadakkan veeragatha (all by Bombay Ravi, an external talent - may be Malayali, I don't know- like Salil & IR, which is what I said earlier!)
Routine MF's do not have great songs, at least in the late 80's and 90's when I'm at Kerala and watching these movies (save 97-99 when my visits to theatres are rare, but the case is only worse)
May be TFM is getting worse nowadays, I'm not sure, but I can't compare the floodstream of great music in TFM during MSV/IR periods with MFM at all (i.e 60's to early 90's)! An average listner to AIR here will give testimony to the small no. of the `total quantity of great songs' available, as well as the severe lack of variety!
- From: MS (@ 220.127.116.11)
on: Mon Aug 16 13:48:06 EDT 1999
My view is that the regular mallu songs are not great, but definitely not despicable. When you compare the relative achievements in the respective eras (tfm and mfm), you come to a conclusion that MSV and IR and have done a great job. But what you have missed is the fact that MDs like , dhakshinaamoorthy, Jhonson who had been in mallu for years together, had produced lilting numbers from their part too. It is only that the mallu songs do not go out of mallu filmdom and get famous. I admit that only with the advent of Bombay Ravi and Raveendran they had attained popularity outside. But this DOES not mean that the old songs weren't worthy enough. It is just that they did not become famous.
It is just like discussing why IR is not popular in HFM. The reasons given for it are applicable in a lesser degree to the mallu songs too.
Your observation regarding MSV and IR are very much true. For IR mallu films are more like a playground for experimentation (Guru, YM etc..). His songs in MFM have stood alone. The reason is probably his stubbornness for distinstion.
- From: hari (@ hud04a01.ml.com)
on: Mon Aug 16 14:11:16 EDT 1999
MS and others
I heard that Johnson interludes are great, and he has lot of IR hangover in his interludes. I dont know, whether that is true. Overall, malayalam songs still retain classical base, with out much
experimentation, and to me there are lot of reasons behind that. I think the language malayalam is more suited to those kind of songs, and also over all the movies, which needs that kind of music. I really dont know, how else you can create a song, when hero walking along the fields slowly, wearing dhotis. But malayalam MDS did not carry the same flavour when they scored for tamil movies. Dakshinamurthy, devarajan, shyam, or ravindran songs in tamil have more tamil touch than mallu touches.
The fact is, tamil music has great impact in south, as does hindi music overall in india, and only malayalam music withstood that impact and still kept their own niche, but that may be changing in 90s.
Do you know any song IR or MSV recycled from tamil to malayalam?. Recently I listened the songs from summer of bethlam, the vidya sagar movie, he used few of his tamil songs there. I can instantly recognize ' boomiye boomiye' being used in that movie. Except the tune, the song was very different and sounded great in malayalam.
- From: aruLarasan (@ psiphi.umsl.edu)
on: Mon Aug 16 14:50:25 EDT 1999
MS, you wrote "My point is simple: IMO, a regular mallu song is definitely a lot better in structure and composition than tamil/hindi/telegu (applied to the present music era)". can you explain what you mean by structure and composition? music is not just unidimensional (monophonic is the technical term for it; meaning, a single melody line). western music is multidimensional (not just the melody; it includes harmony, to put it simply). in TFM people experimented with all these way back during the days of maNALame mangaiyin bhAgyam. listen to the opening of the adhO andha paRavai pOla. very beautiful "marriage" of the brass and strings. try harmonizing for a rAgam like chalanAttai. the structure and composition of these are far more difficult than many we hear regularly. if you mean by structure and composition, just the structure and composition of the melody, i will not argue because modern music composition is more than this. true, melody is the AthmA of composition. but...
- From: MS (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Mon Aug 16 18:14:09 EDT 1999
I just wanted to convey that the melody structure is more like a keerthanai (which do not have harmony either). The mallu songs resemble the krithis or ghazals more. This is what I intended to convey. The stress is more on the expression of the melody through vocal renditions. I agree there is not much of orchestration. But that is just balanced by the vocal part ( we have KJY to do it :-)).
I meant by present music era, the distatsteful mushroom composers. There had been a spate of songs (eg MEM) all worth being trashed twice!
Yes, Jhonson's orchestration is good. Infact he was probably the first to try on a line similar to IR's. But Raveendran is just too good (Gopika vasantham is an excellent eg). Vidya saagar is another Md who gives very good tunes in mallu and trash in tamil ("achchachho paththikichchu".. a horrible song)
I do not know much about MSV. As far as I know IR has not recycled much from mallu except:
(1) olangal - the songs were used in Auto raaja
(2) Ulladakkam - one song - andhi veyyil (amazing song) has a bass score and tune very similar to "chinna chinna vannak kuyil"
(3) karpoora mullai - Again a dubbed film.
As fas I my knowledge goes his compositions in mallu have been extremely original and innovative. They are very different from both the mainstream mallu and his own tamil songs.
- From: rameshb (@ spider-tj061.proxy.aol.com)
on: Mon Aug 16 19:53:21 EDT 1999
IMO,it is not a qualitative analysis to say that "orchestration" can be equalled by means of melodic alaps or other types of vocal renditions . I agree that the mood of the song can be expressed through vocal acrobatics to some extent, but there are limitations that human being should live with and that not all types of moods can be best expressed by vocalists ( there may be ragas for every type of mood) . This is where orchestration comes to play an important role in bridging the gap between vocalists and the intended timbre and texture for the mood. I wonder how much of a reverie can be generated by means of vocal alaps for which violins are employed together to create a mood.
Listen to the following "dream" song and make your own judgement as to whether orchestration is needed or not
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