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IR Creativeness in Composing Tunes and Handling Ragas IR Creativeness in Composing Tunes and Handling Ragas

Topic started by Solo (@ on Sat Jun 28 03:57:00 EDT 2003.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

An abstract from classic article of IR.

"One of the greatest achievement of Illayaraja is that he appropriately used the best of the western and eastern classicism. To wield a huge orchestra is no joke. In many of his carnatic songs he has shown an uncanny skill in organising the orchestral music with a classical splendour. Handling of Carnatic Ragas is a childs play for him.

For instance,Vasantha is a fantastic ragam. Its arohanam and avarohanam are Sa Ma1 Ga3 Ma1 Da2 Ni3 Sa; Sa Ni3 Da2 Ma1 Ga3 Ri1 Sa. While traditionally it is believed that Boopalam is the ragam suitable for the dawn, Vasantha is the ragam suitable for the dusk. So, no wonder Illayaraja used this ragam for a duet which talks about the rain pouring during the dusk! "Andhi mazhai pozhigi- radhu" is a great song in the movie rajapaarvai. It is one of those early songs that showed the full fervency of Illayaraja's mind for creativity. The classical orchestral grandeur of this song was unbelievable.

Illayaraja starts the song with a prelude of "pop pop pop poboppo" by the chorus. The sudhdha madhyamam in Vasantha has served as the starting point for many classical krithis. Illayaraja too starts his "pop pop" in the madyamam like "Ma Ma Ma Ma Ga Ma Da". Classically, the transition from Ma to Da is not a straight one. There is a subtle Ni in between. That is, when the musicians say Da they go all the way to Ni and then drop down to the daivatham. Illayaraja starts the pallavi "andhi mazhai" like Ma Ma Ma, Ga Ma Da Ma Ga, Ga Ma Da Ma Ga Ma Ga Ri, Ma Ga Ga Ri Ri Sa. It is a beautiful start. All the hidden melody in the swaras of Vasantha are extracted in the pallavi itself. Even in the charanam his mind seems to be bent upon extracting all the melody in the Ga Ma Da transition. He starts the charanam like Ga Ma Da Ma, Ga Ma Da Ma, and the tune lingers there for a while!

Illayaraja has given many more Vasantha songs Recently he has tried Vasantha in a partial way in Paatu paadava. The song starts like "nil nil nil". It is a very different tune.

Nowadays Illayaraja makes a tune for Songs / BGMs in just a matter of few minutes. He writes the tune not only for the song, but for the entire orchestra in just a matter of few minutes! He doesn't seem to follow the primitive way of playing his tunes in the harmonium and seeing how it sounds. He seems to hear the tune in his "mind". It is amazing how these minds in the creative industry could be used in such an intelligent and time efficient manner."
Let us discuss some of his numbers


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