Topic started by Are Yaar (@ 220.127.116.11) on Thu Oct 10 08:44:25 EDT 2002.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
For many days, I felt that I should have a thread to share some of the articles about ARR in desi and international press and website. I intend to start this thread and expect others also to post some articles about ARR here.
- Old responses
- From: Are Yaar (@ 18.104.22.168)
on: Fri Feb 21 05:29:05 EST 2003
The man called Mahesh
CHENNAI: Sottu neelam doi Regal sottu neelam doi; Enna venmaiyyo aha enna vennmaiyyo - Those of us who have heard this jingle would certainly remember its popularity.
Sorgam enbadhu namakku sutham ulla veedu thaan - as Kamal Haasan and his group sung and danced in Nammavar to the tune, one wanted to hum along.
The haunting background score of Aalavandhaan stayed with us long after we left the theatre.
The man who created all this - Mahesh Mahadevan - is no longer with us. Anyone who has met Mahesh, even briefly, will remember his smile. It was the most endearing thing about him. Apart from his infectious humour, it his engaging personality and his immense knowledge of music that made him so popular.
Mahesh was constantly striving to get the right note in his life - musically and otherwise. He was the kind of person who would never hurt a fly as the cliche goes. He had compassion and a kind heart. Even while teasing, he did so with care so as to make you feel good.
Good cheer was his weapon in the face of any difficulty including the disease that has plagued him over 14 years. He often gave us rundowns on the effects of radiation and chemotherapy in a matter-of-fact manner tinged with humour. Once, when I took him yellow carnations he joked that yellow was his favourite colour as it matched his skin colour - he was suffering an attack of jaundice at the time!
He was the quintessential gentleman - never a word or deed out of place, ever courteous and charming. A true mixture of old world charm and present day attitude to issues. He could at times exasperate one with his quips about today's woman.
His dedication to his work was amazing, particularly when he had one of his bad spells. The schedule he maintained was hectic even by normal standards. Music was his life - he lived and breathed it. He knew everything there was to know about music - be it Indian classical, Western classical, popular music or film music. He was constantly experimenting with new sounds, combinations and genres.
His attention to detail was almost an obsession. The attempt to understand the nuances of the Telugu language when he composed music for Preminchukundam Raa is an example. His insistence on period authenticity and contextual sound while he was working on the music for Janaki Visvanathan's Kanavu Meippada Vendum reflected his need for perfection in his work.
Updating himself was a passion that made him keep abreast of trends and tastes. He had a store of anecdotes about music and musical personalities that he shared with his friends and colleagues with great enthusiasm.
Mahesh had the ability to make people feel comfortable and at ease in any setting. One would be so keen listening to the nuggets of information he had to share that one would forget the passage of time. Simply being in the same room was enough reason to stay a little longer. A true friend, Mahesh would help lift your spirits when you were down with his optimism and help you put things in perspective.
His zest for life coupled with his optimism made you realise that life was not meant for cribbing about your bad luck. Just seize the moment and enjoy it for all it was worth - this was his philosophy. His good-natured grumbling about his wife Chitra's fussing over him, his medication and food restrictions only endeared him to us more. When he had to play father to his daughter Manasi he was strict as well as flexible depending on what the occasion demanded. Indulgent, funny and patient Mahesh lived his life the way he chose to - with courage and dignity.
And in the process brought happiness and sunshine to many lives. What more can one ask for in one lifetime! They say God always takes the really good ones to Him early. Mahesh was truly a good soul. Perhaps that is why he has left us at the young age of 47.
Mahesh, we miss you but you will always be with us through your music.
(After the death of Mahesh, a trust, Mahesh Memorial Trust, was formed. Music composer A R Rahman will perform live on February 21 for the Trust.)
- From: Are Yaar (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Thu Feb 27 02:07:13 EST 2003
By Taran Adarsh
This writer was the first to break the news that actor Atul Agnihotri had turned director and that his brother-in-law Salman Khan would star in the film. Titled DIL NE JISE APNA KAHA, the film was to be produced by Sohail Khan and Bunty Walia's production outfit G.S. Entertainments.
But the project has now changed hands. Though Atul continues to be the director, the film will now be produced by Gordhan Tanwani, who has produced PYAAR TO HONA HI THHA, ISHQ, DULHAN HUM LE JAAYENGE and TUMKO NA BHOOL PAAYENGE in the past.
According to sources, the film is expected to star brothers Salman and Sohail Khan together for the first time. "It's true that Gordhan-ji is now producing the film. But I wouldn't like to reveal the cast at this juncture, although everything is finalised. May be in a week or two, an official announcement should be made," Atul clarifies.
Incidentally, Atul has decided to go in for a new subject altogether, as well as a new title this time around. The earlier project [DIL NE JISE APNA KAHA] revolved around two friends who fall in love with the same girl. One is an orphan, while the other is an army officer's son. The film moved on two tracks simultaneously - their friendship and the love interest.
But the storyline has been changed now. "It's not a war film. That's all I can say at the moment," Atul adds.
Meanwhile, A.R. Rahman has already recorded two songs for the film, while the rest of the songs will be recorded in March and the shooting of the film is expected to begin by March-end.
- From: Are Yaar (@ 126.96.36.199)
on: Thu Feb 27 02:07:54 EST 2003
The face of new Kollywood
The debutantes in Bharathiraja's `Kankalaal Kaithu Sei'.
YOU FEEL you have the looks. You think you can make it big in cinema. Then just take a walk into a studio in Vadapalani or just be at the right spot at the right time and luck could smile at you. There are enough stories of directors spotting their heroines by chance and you always felt that these were tales spun by the film press. But the new faces in Kollywood today are making many sit up and take notice.
Would you believe as many as 50 new faces were introduced in Kollywood during the last six months?
After Srikanth, with the boy next door looks struck it big in Rojakootam and Shaam made an impact with 12 B, there were a series of movies launching newcomers. Even seasoned actors and producers find this an appropriate time to launch their sons in tinsel world. Satyaraj's son, Sibiraj announced his arrival with `Student No 1'. R.B. Chaudhary of Supergood Films found `Aasai Aasaiai' a perfect launchpad for his grandson Jeeva. Movie buffs also had a host of new faces starring in Kaalatpadai with Jai playing the lead role.
Not to be outdone, Nasser had Shakti playing a prominent role in `Popkarn' and of course, Trisha after `Mounam Pesiathe' has already been booked for six movies though her debut film `Lesa Lesa' is yet to be released. Five Star, another of the youth series, launched Kanika.
The evergreen Bharathiraja who had made a mark in the industry during his heyday and now on a comeback trail is directing his next movie with two new faces on the lead bringing back memories of the popular hit of yesteryear `Alaigal Oyvathillai' which introduced Karthik and Radha.
Bharathiraja is attempting to bring back his midas touch by joining hands with Lakshmi Movie Makers (LMM) in this venture - `Kankalaal Kaithu Sei'. The LMM dubbed as the `three man army' - K. Muralidaran, V. Swaminathan and G. Venugopal hope Bharathiraja will regain his old magic as their high profile release `Anbe Sivam' did not do too well at the box office. A.R. Rehman is scoring the music for the movie, and most of the songs are being shot in scenic locations of Switzerland. Bharathiraja is yet to give screen names to the hero and heroine he is introducing in the movie.
Mr. Venugopal says that the movie was a love story with the familiar touch of Bharathiraja was aimed at family audiences. The group which will be completing 20 films soon is planning to have another film by Vikraman in the near future.
By Shivakumar S.
- From: Are Yaar (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Fri Feb 28 02:51:12 EST 2003
Confirmation that he is doing 1857-The Rising/Shaheed Mangal Panday
An exclusive interview with A R Rahman
By: Mayank Shekhar
February 28, 2003
IN FLESH: A R Rahman at last evening's rehearsal for today's concert at Andheri Sports Complex
Read the headline, play your ideal tune and conjure up a consonant image.
That serves us the trouble of an introduction, which in brevity is certain to be bereft of eloquence.
'The Mozart from Madras' in his black high-heeled boots and wavering hair will take to stage tonight with a magic wand in hand, in his first ever concert in Mumbai.
We caught up with the little genius rehearsing at the Andheri Sports Complex last midnight, for a buzzer round of questions as the songs from Lagaan buzzed in the background.
The shy genius from the south the world got to know in 1992 now seems comfortable doing music videos, massive stage shows and now commercials.
Have you as a person changed drastically in recent times?
All my life I had spent in the studio, never seen the stage part of music.
The past two years in London has changed me a lot, in terms of presenting things and setting an attitude.
People come to see me as a performer and I can't afford to hide in a corner.
You've mentioned how music demands, "Vacuum - a clutter less mind for creation." Has travelling back and forth in recent past destroyed your peaceful, cozy oyster at Kadambakkam (studio) and maybe disturbed that spiritual contact with music?
You could say so in a way. But I don't compose everyday. My film projects, which are fewer, are spaced out. And travelling is also learning.
Andrew (Lloyd Webber) for instance manages his business and music and still maintains his sanity. I won't go so far, but it's been a learning process. Currently, I am going to tour the US and UAE and then I'll be back to my shell.
Are you satisfied with the response that Bombay Dreams received as a soundtrack, though many of them were not too charitable?
I think what was ground breaking with Bombay Dreams was that in a typical British environment, our sound was echoing.
When I meet people on flights, that's what they seem excited about. Yes, first few days of the musical, the advance collections were poor.
But gradually when it picked up, it surpassed our expectations. We were shocked.
Last year, you'd spoken about a couple of Hollywood projects in the pipeline with Sony Music. Have they (or any other international offers) reached fruition yet?
I am doing a Chinese film produced by Columbia Pictures that will start May-June.
And then I am writing music for London-based pop artiste Karen David for BMG. And then there might be an orchestral album.
Are you comfortable with English lyrics in your music?
It was a revelation for me, actually. Taal Se Taal Mila turned into Love's Never Easy! I never knew it could work.
What about Mumbai film soundtracks in the pipeline?
I am doing an album for Khalid Mohammed's film, based on 18th century ghazals.
And then with Husain saab's (M F Husain) film Meenakshi. The film Mangal Pandey, Subhash Ghai's, Atul Aghnihotri and Ahmed Khan's projects.
And Rakesh Mehra's English film (laughs).
That's a lot of films, contrary to what you asserted.
Ya, but I've been working on them over a period of time.
When you have to produce too many tracks, there is a tendency to rehash your own tunes in subsequent projects. Roop Suhana Lagta Hai (Gentleman) and Dil Hua Hai Deewana (Bombay) is an example that comes to mind. Is the criticism accurate?
Anu Malik was credited for the Gentleman song (laughs). But you are right; in the beginning there was a lot of such influence in my music.
But now a lot many doors have opened for me in the past few years of exposure, working with London and Madras Philharmonic orchestra.
For instance, in Shyam Benegal's Subhash Chandra Bose, there is more of a Bengali touch in the music and at the same time the movie travels to Burma and Germany
Another constant complaint by hacks is that of Rahman's music being predictable.
It was mostly around '96. After Dil Se and Taal, very few were left to complain. Also, I did fewer films - Zubeidaa, Lagaan, Saathiya...
What about the play-list for tonight's show?
That's always the difficult part. You have to balance out with what the audiences, the singers and I want.
- From: Are Yaar (@ )
on: Wed Mar 26 01:29:19 EST 2003
Udhaya's review by Swapnil Mistry
First of all let me appologize for the delay. I was busy with some concerts & then my exams. I cudnt resist though...but then to write I wud need a concentrated hearing and patience to write.
Finally, "Udhaya" arrived at a time when we were literally craving for ARR's music. "Saathiya" released on 29th Oct'02...practically 3 months without any new release! Saathiya too had only 2 new songs. Going back to 2002, ARR didnt have a good year...though I feel TLOBS was one of the best-composed albums of his career followed by Kannathil; Baba went away with the wind & Kadhal Virus cud not sustain! Saathiya reassured ARR's position in Bollywood but the on the Tamil front, it was a disaster. Almost from 2000, there were news abt Udhaya's release. It was 2001...2002..."will Udhaya see the day-light?" Speculations abt Udhaya being shelved were at peak, just when sombody confirmed abt its release in the group. Hopes were not lost & then...Udhaya arrived! Udhaya is the surprise package from ARR; not much hype created and no great expectations. But the album has just the right blend of musical flavours and what most of us wanted...ARR's vintage style. Adding to it, its a Vijay film. ARR+Vijay combo for the first time!
Rating Scale: *****(Mind-blowing), ****(Very good), ***(average), **(cud be better), *(worst)
1. Pookum malarai (Hariharan, kids chorus):
The opening song of the album assures that much more is instored for us. The freshness of the tune & arrangements make this number appealing to masses. Hariharan returns to pair up with ARR after a long time. He sounds just perfect. The style of composing is very identical to songs like "Kannai katti" & "Ayirathil"- Iruvar. The song starts with hard beats (sounds like claps) followed by whistling. Not many of ARR's songs had whistles. The whistling with the guitars & bass guitrs sounds cool. Especially the chord-change between 0.30 to 0.38 is awesome. The basic melody is based on raga Pahadi . The rhythm cud have been better as its very monotonous. The song gathers pace with the chorus entering "Chinna chirippu..." with lots of chords changing (many sad notes, what Vijay likes). The 1st interlude has kids singing the harmony "la la la..." followed by a pan-fluteish sound which was used in "Maya maya" from Baba in the 2nd interlude "kaatre poo...". The charanams are kept simple maintaining the mood of the song. The 2nd interlude does not have meat...only some light strings & pianos. The song ends very fast with Hari just improvising the lines like in "Bolo kaun ho..." from Kabhi na Kabhi. If the picturisation is good, its sure to catch up. The tune is very hummable & simple. Beautifully handled & arranged with minimal instrumentation. Rating:-***1/2
2. Udhaya udhaya (Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam):
(pls. excuse me if its too long...cudnt resisit to write!)
Now...here comes the winner! My God...what a compostiton! ARR tries a 'Madan Mohan' act by attempting to compose one of the most complicated tunes. If u have heard Madan Mohan's "Bainyan na dharo...", u wud agree with me. Listen to the numerous intricacies in the song. The song is based on the Carnatic Raga Charukeshi (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa dha ni Sa; small caps denote komal/ flat swaras). This raga was not heard since a long time. It was a favourite of Kalyanji-Anandji ("Aur is dil mein.." or "Jab jab teri soorat dekhoon...") & Laxmikant-Pyarelal ("Megha re megha re..."). After a long time Hari & Sadhana team up to create the 'Vennilave' magic. Sadhana starts the song just singing the mukhda with santoor & chords in the background. Hari follows her towards the end with an alaap like what was attempted in "Manmadha masam" (Shankar Mahadevan's entry) from PP. The momentum gathers pace when the beats start. The sound of the best is very unusual (like a clock ticking), but the metre is very common (like "Nenje nenje" from Ratchakan). The song has shades of raga Nattai (Raga Jog- using the komal Gandhar) in the returning lines "kaadhal...kaadhal...". Its interesting to hear the difficult taans (singing fast notes) in lines "kaadhal teendave...". Hari enters with "un paadhi..." and again goes for a beautiful harqat encompassing a full octave of notes. The complication rises when both sing "Unnaale...ennaalum...) singing variations. When they return to the mukhda the percussions like daburka are used which gives it an Arabic feel. The strings slowly set the mood of the 1st interlude with tympany as the main percussion. Kalyan bows his violin to Charukeshi, par excellence. Male harmony enters to make it sound like an opera. The effect is very hard-hitting, the overall effect is serious, amy be the feeling of separation. The strings & harmony build up a crescendo ending with a solo violin playing the notes of the pallavi. The charanams are equally challenging. Again, fast taans are used. It makes it difficult for an ordinary singer to sing. Only trained ones can attempt to render it. In the background there is beautiful accomaniment by the guitars. I love the lines "Eno eneno..." sung by Sadhana. The last portion towards 3.33 to 3.40 is unexpectable. Suddenly the frame shifts from the basic melody to emoploy a different note (teevra madhyam) in the lines "un koondhal irutthil yen..." & again returns to Charukeshi. Truly, ARR excels in the composing front! The 2nd interlude has guitars palyed by Rashid Ali. The fast strumming is what I like. The strings take the charge to build up a climax and end to a complete silence for 2 beats. The 2nd charanam has the same structure except piano creating beautiful moods . Towards the end, when Hari is singing "kaadhal teendave" the piano also swifts along with the vocals. This is just mesmerising! Sadhana ends the song with heavy cymbals in the background. What a composition! Full marks for the treatment, vocals & arrangements. For me, its the pick of the album. Very rare to hear such songs these days.
3. Thiruvallikeni rani (Sukhvinder, Karthik):
This is what a Vijay film wud have...a dance-gaana number. This is a sure-shot winner. Its got the perfect elements of becoming a hit. The song starts with a sufiana-type of rendition by Sukhvinder "Rehnuma..."(meaning Care-taker/ protector in Urdu) with sarangi accompanying. This truly sets the mood for the rest of the song. The rhythm is very innovative- typically speaking, a Scottish kind of rhythm with live claps. The main song starts with Karthik doing the lead vocals. Karthik is the lucky mascot for ARR- every song of his has creatied a mark! Sukhvinder repeats the mukhda in his usual style (something like what he did in "Lucky lucky" from Ratchakan). The punch line "rehnuma..." has been used thru out the song & its got a very catchy feel. There are a number of rhythmic variations in the song, credit goes to Sivamani. The 1st interlude is rhythm-based (like the interludes of "Baba kichchu taa..." from Baba). Finally it ends with a trumpet blowing. The charnams are woven arund the same tune, just that they are sung in a fast manner. What is interesting is when they return to sing the sign line, there are beautiful glides on Sarangi from the lower Sa to the upper one. The 2nd interlude is hardcore sarangi recital, totally classical with ghungroo as the side rhythm. I dont know how cud they forget to mention Sultan Khan's name in the credits. Anyways, a masterpiece rendition. Both the antras belong to Karhik, Sukhvinder just singing "rehnuma...". The rhythm is very cool & that is what makes this song so catchy & lively. It wud be interesting to watch Vijay performing this song. The song ends with impromptu trumpets. One of the best item numbers recently.
4. Enna enna (Shankar Mahadevan, Gopika Poornima):
ARR returns to his folk elements after a long time. This is another favourite of mine. What is disappointing is the start. No prelude. The song starts abruptly with the female harmony without creatin any impact. There is some marvellous guitar work here. The main percussion used here is the traditional thavil. The mukhda is primarily based on a Question-answer situation. The female harmony asks something & Shankar answers (Sorry if I m mistaken, I dont understand the language...just guessed it). The mukhda is very catchy "kitti mela kitti mela...enna enna..." & Shankar singing "oye...oye...". It has a "Nenthukitten" (Star) hangover though. The chords enter when the melody changes 'poovoadu azhagellam...'. The 1st interlude is awesome. I just love it. Its totally strings-oriented. Its based on Raga Peelu. Its gives you a Naushad-feel ("Jhule mein pavan ki aayi bahar" from Baiju Bawra or "Dukh bhare din beete" from Mother India). Why I am saying this is because Naushad was a master in composing folk tunes. The interlude is quite similar to the one of "Jhula bahon ka.." from Doli sajaake Rakhna. The rhythm doubles as the strings progress adding the dholak, chenda & the duff (from 1.40 onwards). When the rhythm slowers down, the percussion shifts to duffs with mandolin-kind of instrument. This whole piece resembles like the interludes of "Yenna solla pogirai" from Kandukondain or "Ghanan ghanan" from Lagaan. The charnams are worth mentioning. If you hear carefully, the lines "natchaththira poovayellam udalilae soodikitta", the lines consist of all shuddha swaras the 1st time. The 2nd time there is use of komal gandhar & finally "nandavana thaenai aLLi udhattukkuL oLichchikitta" contains komal gandhar, komal dhaivat & komal nishadh (Sa Re, Re ga, ga Ma, Ma Pa, Pa dha, dha ni, ni Sa, Sa Re Sa). These small technicalities make the song special. The female harmony takes over to return to the pallavi. The lines "kaNgaL maela vandhaaada" have some chromatic notes too. The 2nd interlude starts with a santoor-ish sound with kanjiras being added to the percussions. Shankar sings some creative harmony with the bass. The 2nd charanam is a bit different, the first 2 lines are different. Dholak also adds to the percussion section. The 2nd antra is more melodious because of some beautiful string instruments providing melody & harmony to the song. Gopika Poornima takes the lead to sing the last 2 lines. She's one of the principal harmony singers (First solo in "Poorkalam" from Thenali with Srinivas). The song ends with the whole mukhda being repeated with duffs & dholak being doubled. The last portion from 5.00 onwards sounds like the end of "Nilame poru nilame" from Rhythm. Overall the song has turned out excellent.
5. Anjanam (S.P.B, S.Janaki):
With almost everyone reiterating that its the worst ever song composed by ARR, I go to say thats its one of the best attempts to compose something truly different. I dont think, anyone else cud do justice to do such a song. its very unconventional & experimental. Same goes with the singers. May be Janaki's voice has given hope, but she's got this voice quality which no other singer has. Closest to her it cud be Swarnalatha or Minmini. The expressions she gives is amazing. This reminds you of the golden old "Gopala" days.SPB's the right choice too. The song starts with heavy percussions (mainly duff) & then SPB enters with a force. Its a bit different from the regular "Dhapangutha" songs, though he's attempted it on those lines. If the same song wud have been composed by any other MD, I bet the result wud have been worse. You dont figure out the tune when SPB's singing. Suddenly, the rhythm paater changes & you feel you are listening to a traditional Malyalam folk song. The percussions used are iddikku, kanjiras, moorsings, manjiras. Janaki sings the song in her patent style. If you recall the starting Malyalam lines in "Jiya jale", you wud find a resemblance. The mukhda is very catchy. When SPB comes to his front, the rhythm again changes with dholaks creating the tempo. I think he's used the same dholak sample from "Sainyaa pakad bainyaa..."(Nayak). Again when Janaki returns, the rhythm returns to the original. So many minute changes in the initial stages! The 1st interlude reminds me of "Madrasa sutthi paarkkum" from May Madham. The same pan-flutes, bangla khol, kartals are used. It gives you Bengali-folk touch. In the middle of this, you hear a typical whistle & the pattern changes again. Janaki attempts to say it with music. This time its in Telugu "Rangu poosi koyale...". The lines pass thru half notes touching all chromatic notes which keep us thinking "what is going on?" The metre doubles as they return to sing tamil. Listen to Janaki's vocals carefully towards the end. The throw she gives in her voice is amazing (in the lines 'ippoa parichchai yezhudha vandhean uN munnadi...uN munnadi').This is the main charanam. The rhythm shifts to duffs again and the song returns to the pallavi. The 2nd interlude mainly consists of traditional rhythm- the marathi/ konkani dholki (which was used in "Gopala"). Its mainly on percussions & live vocals (bols of the rhythm) which end with a tihaai (3 times). Janaki now sings in Kannada (Antara gange....). The charanam is same. The same pattern is used here, ie., when SPB sings 'uN vetkkam panju mittai poala inikkiradhae...', first he starts to use komal gandhar & after 2 lines, he uses the shuddha gandhar. Listen to it carefully. The songs end with the rhythms fading out & Janaki singing with lots of chord progressions. The song has turned out very well infact. I keep on humming the song. There are so many folk elements in one song. After a long time, we get to hear a true folk number from ARR. Just recall, Uzhavan, Kizhakku Cheemaiyile, Pudhiya Mannargal, Karuthamma, May Madham. Those were the days!!!
Overall Rating: ****
Udhaya comes as a refreshing experience. Though the songs may be less in number, but the amount of variations that have gone in the making are worth it. Waiting for Boys, Meenaxi, E18U20, etc. Long way to go guys!!!
Hope u like it...pls send in ur feedback...
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