Tuesday, 13 October 2009

1-Thiruvasagam by IR - My Bird's Eye Views

"Kadalukku Naan Seyyum Thirumanjanam
Sengkadhirukku Naan Kaattum Neeranjanam"


No words than the above can express my attempt in this blog.

Neither his music nor his personal attainment in the field of music and self search..... is measurable, fathomable... by any known devices and methods.

Thiruvasagam was his dream project - the seed for which might have sown in his inner mind after his self-realisation based on the experience he was made to feel, suffer during his maiden venture of composing "The Grand Symphony".

He might have thought "Why I was wandering like that.... when I have to do so many projects like this... in my own soil showcasing my culture ? "

So nearly a decade later, around 2003, the announcement of Thriuvasagam effort was made and more than two years later the album was released in 2005.

Having selected Thiruvasagam, it could have been presented musically in many ways.

But as a focussed visionary, he had in his mind the two types of target audiences-
  1. the present day Indian youth
  2. the auidence of the West

Thus, IR, who visualise "anything and everything in this world in the form of seamless fusion with the traditional originalities in-tact", framed his own formats to deal with the situation.

And absolutely amazing Cultural and Musical Crossovers have resulted in shape as everybody is listening now!

We in the East, have our Vedic hymn spealt out in particular musical fashion, and in some kind of similarity the West have the Churches singing their Gospels!

The Thiruvasgam also used to be sung in particular fashion by "Othuvaars", in the temples of Tamilnadu.

All these have the minimalistic musical expression, but the kind of individual-cum-community group singing in praise of Lord, which reverbrates the mind and heart to unify onself with God!

Thus comes the fusion envisaged by IR, combining all these in "Poovaar Chenni", the very first song in the album.

Another enormous symphonic attempt is to present the Thiruvasagam as a fusion of Classical style/formats of both Western and our Carnatic.

The second in the album "Pollaa Vinaiyen "

Here he even adopted the novel (now patented by him) way of juxtaposing both the Tamil and transliterated English verses of Thiruvasagam.

Also, covering the various formats of WCM as well as our own Classical forms!

Modulating through more than 25 carnatic ragams and innumerable scales modulations!

As envisaged and putforth his allout efforts, this is the "essence" of Thriuvasagam he wanted to show case and undoubtedly "The Masterpiece" of the album.

Thiruvasagam has few stories or scenes enacted about the happenings in the life of Lord's disciples.

He show cased one such example in "Muthu Natramam" in a folkish dance format

An amalgamation of Choral Singing and Aria with our "Othuvar" style singing is what we get in the "Umbarkatkarase" which is a song sans rhythm with soul free singing in praise of Lord, with each paragraphs interspread with the repeated Choral format.

Can Thiruvasagam be given in very light cinematic style ? Why not ?

Take this "Putril Vazh Aravum Anjen" or the duet "Pooveru Konum"

In fact these two songs captivated more people than anything as the answer is obviously in the familiar formats which we all have been entralled by IR for decades after decades!

Thus Thiruvasagam album is an de-mystified example of how our cultural songs can be taken to the other side of the World still making sense to both of East and West.

Thus to touch upon the other specialities of this project:

  1. Thiruvasagam as such having a variety of sub-sections and he wanted to cover most of them and accordingly took a lot of pain in making the selection of all good verses from all sections.
  2. He re-wrote the order and some time even added/modified a few words here and there as per his designed formats.
  3. Then came the Composing which he took as a penance, tapasya, yagna with utmost devotion and sincereity to the purpose.
  4. Novel Method adopted - Since he wanted that all the common people shall particpate in this holy venture with noble cause, he asked for and received the contributions from everybody, similar to his effort when Srirengam Temple Gopuram was built
  5. He used the Bi-lingual Counterpoints and for the first time in his life he claimed that this format has been patented now by him.
  6. Famous personalities were roped in all deparatments of this production be it for Lyrics, Singer, Conducting, Recording etc etc.
  7. As already explained, all the musical forms tried - Vedic, Symphonic, Dance form, Oratorio, Light Folk-Classical etc

This blog is neither to write about the making and behind the scene activities in creation of this musical venture nor to write about the success measured or controversies that are generated later.

But to highlight my views and perceptions, about the few technicalities about the musical score he has adopted in unfloding and presenting this oldest Tamil epic to the World and particularly to the present generation youth.

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