7.28.2005

Talking With Maestro


Last Sunday I got a chance to watch this program titled “Talking with Maestro” in SS Music at 12.00 noon. But I was the one who is equally blessed and cursed by the God on that day. I was cursed because I was unable to watch the first half of it due to some surprise visitors (relatives) but was blessed to catch on the second half of the program as I managed to drive them out of home in 30 minutes. It was really a great show with Maestro himself speaking about music in general and Thiruvasakam accompanied by the interviews with some of IR’s co workers. The program’s lead music, graphics, conception and direction were good.

They also showed the Budapest Orchestra playing the symphony and the choir singing the verses unplugged that backs the ending “Namachivayaya Vazhaga” part of “Polla Vinayaen”. It was a great experience watching the most electrifying part of that song. I think this part is also included in “Making of Thiruvasakam (DVD)”. Viji Manuel spoke about IR and his compositions in general and went gaga over “Thiuvasakam” by saying “I don’t think any other composer in the world can do what IR has done in Thiruvasakam album”. Also his co-musicians spoke about his background score writing abilities. One guitar player said, “IR writes a score even without using a Harmonium to play the tune, he composes in his mind and writes on the paper straight away and when we play the score with the orchestra, it will fit to T with the scene in the movie”.

The best part of the show is that they captured IR writing the score for Thiruvasakam directly on a paper without any aiding instruments. The speed with which he was writing the notes was unimaginable. I think it will also feature in Making of TIS. IR has always been a man of few words while participating in interviews. But this time, he was bold and spoke straight from the heart. He gave his usual answer for a usual question “What do you think about Today’s music?”. He elaborated a lot while answering this question and told about how he keeps loops to a minimum and gives importance to the feel and emotions in his songs. Then at the end he thanked many people whose names were not mentioned in the release function. In this part, he thanked his fans who were watching the release function from outside the auditorium. He added that he has no words to express his regards to these fans. Also he said that his music will heal the pain of all his fans, those who have been waiting for all 5 hours to watch the function. It was really touching to hear these words straight out of IR’s mouth as I was also one of them who stood outside and watched the whole function.

Another important person was the designer of Thiruvasakam CD. It was only after his explanation, I came to know about the meaning of the design. It is like the western classical music (100 musicians in the symphony orchestra in the background of the cover) reaches a commoner in Pannayapuram (a banyan tree in Pannayapuram which is placed at the left end of the front cover) through a mediator (according to Fr. Jegath Gasper) Illayaraja.

Another interesting part is IR explaining about writing a symphony with the original Thiruvasakam score sheet. He told what the stave lines are and how each and every note has to be written for various instruments in parallel. Again he took “Namachivaaya” line for explaining this.

Father (as usual) praised IR a lot and said, “If there in one man in the world who can mediate and transform carnatic keerthanas to the west, it is Illayaraja”. He compared IR to Beethoven and a many other western classical composers.

I am eagerly waiting to catch this show again to watch the first half of it. Can anybody tell me what featured in the first half?

2 comments:

Bala (Karthik) said...

Suresh,
The first half featured Lazlo Kovacks and a couple of other members who lent their voice in the chorus sections.
Kovacks and Ilayaan stressed that Thiruvasagam was not meant to be a grand orchestral score since its essentially an oratorio. Thiruvasagam's emphasis was on the hymns and the orchestra was used to back-up the singing and hence, the result is a work which is simple and can be understood by everybody. Another member said she was part of a work which was holy (or something to that effect). Viji Manuel, Purushothaman (percussionist for IR from annakkili), Napoleon (flautist) and a few more others spoke about Ilayaan's unique and professional working style and work ethics. They also showed the choir doing the chorus track of "Poovar senni mannan".....
That's about it.....

sen said...

intresting info, wish i watched that programme