Met with an accident.. will be back in 2 or 3 weeks..


Vaaji Vaaji Sivaji

Sivaji audio is expected to release on April 4th. I still remember how rumours came up about Rajini fans throwing stones on Rahman's house after listening to 'Muthu' songs before the release of the movie. Rahman took many risks in that movie like using Udit Narayan' voice for Rajini and the songs were completely different from what we were hearing in Rajini movies. Personally, i think after 'Pothuvaaga En Manasu' song, Rajini got his best intro song in Muthu, especially the grand prelude of the intro song was out of the world.

Then in Padayappa, we had very formula Rajini soundtrack and Rahman didn't take much of risk in this soundtrack. Minsara Kaanna, a beautiful semi-classical compositions of Rahman happened because of Padayappa and also we have philosophical Vetrikodi kattu rendered powerfully by Sriram. It is better not to talk about Baba. It is the worst soundtrack for a Rajini movie in the last decade.

But after listening to short audio clips of 'Sivaji', it seems Rahman, with Shankar's help is taking a much bigger risk than Muthu. Songs are western and too sophisticated for a common Rajini fan, the words are hardly audible. Of course, we may have a totally different opinion after listening to the full length tracks and especially after the release of the movie. Already the complete lyrics of two songs have come out. There is also a rumour in rahmanfans group that three songs (full) have leaked out among which two songs are melodies (good). Anyway, let us wait and see...


Comment on Marudhanayagam Music

Here is a comment on my music for 'Marudhanayagam Trailer' that made my day.

Hi Suresh,
Apologies for the delayed comments. I wanted to be able to hear it more than once, to say something substantial. First of all, I’d like to say, great job!
Composing music for trailers is one of the most difficult things to do, because there are such abrupt changes in mood, unlike a song or an advertisement. This one is pretty long too, and so there’s that added problem.
In fact, I thought the trailer should have been cut better, to suit your music ;)
I like the fact that it starts off strong, then goes a bit soft, and then comes back strong. Working at home with a computer and samples is quite difficult, actually. I think just the fact that you are working on a computer makes it more difficult to imagine how it will all sound together. Without vocals to back you up, it’s even more difficult, because you are creating something out of just a mood, I suppose.

Any case, just a few comments I had - hope they are not too long!
1. I like the way it starts, but then there is no suspense/big hit for the first time we see Kamal’s face. That was one of the places I wanted the visual to stay for at least a second more on Kamal’s face, so that you could have perhaps hit a good, high/strong note for that. Perhaps not really your fault, but the editor’s!
2. I loved the way the music went when Kamal “rebels” and bites the guy’s neck. Bravo!
3. The percussion begins well, and when I’m getting used to it, it stops abruptly. You have mentioned you had to do that to change the mood, but I would still transition from that, and build up a bit more before letting go of that strong element. It pretty much dominates the first minute or so, and then you transition nicely when Kamal is on the bull(?), the aerial shot, and after he throws the rock down the waterfall, it becomes dominant again. So, letting it go after that abruptly is a bit surprising.
4. I like the repeated theme in different instruments that you use after “Lost his roots,” “lost his loved ones,” and “found a new religion.”
For the “lost his loved ones” scene, I thought the music might have been a bit stronger (perhaps more depth?) — he sems to have lost his wife who hanged herself or something.
5. For the Kathi sandai, maybe go a bit higher, or use the (cliched?) cymbals? Therla… it feels a metallic sound is waiting somewhere (the one you use at 0:52 before the end)?
6. I like the music during the quick cuts too (after “A rebel all his life”), great job with that. Perhaps can be made a bit faster?
7. For the cannon, I suppose you didn’t want to use the usual sound of a cannon!
8. After “Mohammad Yusuf Khan,” I think it is really great the way you make the cymbals sound — seemingly out of sync, but I think it’s one of the greatest things about your piece (at around 0:22 before the end).
8. Great ending too!
Hope I haven’t bored you too much with this long, long comments essay. Cannot wait for the next one. I am sure you have a great future ahead of you in music.



Water Music

Some of the regular readers of this blog often ask me about why I skip writing reviews for some of the soundtracks and this has been my constant reply to them. As a policy, I write review for a soundtrack only if and after I buy the original copy of the soundtrack. Of course, I do listen to songs on the net but I think I have no rights to write a review on a soundtrack without even owning it. It is like stealing the food and yelling that it was tasty or not tasty to who cooked it and to others who are waiting to buy the food. And that is why I haven’t posted my opinion on A.R.Rahman’s ‘Water’ though I heard the songs long back on the net. Now the soundtrack has been officially released in India and I have bought it.

Not often we can attach the words like Masterpiece, Magnum opus, Path breaking to music albums especially the film soundtracks. It has become a rarity these days. Though we had some good albums from Rahman like ‘Rang De Basanti’, and ‘Guru’ last year, I may not use these superlatives for these soundtracks. Of course they had great music by any standards, but a soundtrack like ‘Water’ extends and opens up new horizons for A.R.Rahman. The serenity and purity of the music takes the listeners on a new emotional journey.

The music of ‘Water’ is like as natural, spontaneous and pure as the sound and rhythm of natural river flowing. It feels like the music has just happened, and doesn’t sound like someone has used so many gadgets to make these music pieces. Such divinity, purity and serenity can come only through simplicity. We are used to listen to heavy orchestration, rhythms and multiple layers (too many at times) in Rahman’s songs. I think even Rahman couldn’t resist it. But in this album he has restricted himself to a selected set of sounds, rhythms and vocals which actually adds to the beauty of the songs, even when he is tempted to use layers, he does it so carefully that it doesn’t sound deliberate and forced in the song. He just wants to stir our soul with the tune and swing our body with a simple yet catchy rhythm.

If you have seen any Rahman’s concerts, you can very easily notice that many layers and instrumental fillers in the actual song in not being played and yet for us it doesn’t make much difference. These layers are like ornamentation or beautification of something which is beautiful by itself. But when you take any song in this soundtrack the minimal ornamentation adds to the beauty of the songs and they are integral part of the song. The difference is that the songs in ‘Water’ will miss something without those layers but others (like those performed in concerts) doesn’t. That is the difference between a great song and a greatest song.

Sukhwinder Singh and Sadhana Sargam give their career best performance in the songs of this soundtrack. After the magnificent ‘Meenaxi’ and ‘Bose: The forgotten Hero’, ‘Water’ also enters into that list of stunners from A.R.Rahman. What are you waiting for? Buy it now. Listen to the music from the original CD in its best sound quality. If possible, switch of the lights, put the songs in your handy player or an ipod and listen to it alone, you are sure to be transported to a different world. I saw the song clippings from the movie, from what little I have seen; I think the song enhances the mood and feel of the visuals for which they are used.

Finally, a word about ‘Pray For me brother’. The song is just brilliant, especially no one would have ever thought of layering of a silky female chorale singing a prayer as the guys rap in the fore.



When I saw Cheran’s Autograph and Thavamai Thavamirundhu, I thought how great the movie would have become in Illayaraja’s music. Especially the kind of scenes Cheran conceives is perfect ones for Illayaraja to come up with soul stirring background scores. These two movies had some good variety of songs and different situations which I thought Illayaraja would have done justice in his way. So, when I heard the news that Illayaraja is the composer for Cheran’s next, I was eagerly waiting and expectations were sky high. But after listening to ‘Mayakkannadi’, I felt Cheran has got Illayaraja for a wrong movie. We cannot blame Cheran, because Illayaraja came into the project because of the producers of the movie.

In present scenario, the directors who have no guts to reject a tune of Illayaraja could better stay away from him. Even for Balumahendra, Illayaraja gave just above average tunes recently. I think as of now, if there is someone in the Tamil films who can get the best out of IR; it is Kamal or may be Bala. Illayaraja is not taking film music seriously these days. IR said he initially took 15 days to write music for Thiruvasakam and after finished writing it, he was not satisfied with the music and then started writing again from scratch. Why can’t he follow the same in film music? Why can’t he give the same importance to film music? Frankly speaking, he himself won’t remember the song he has composed for this movie a few months down the line. I am not saying that the songs are bad, it is good but it is repetitive and boring. I feel IR should stick to his own style, I mean the synth, e-beats and jarring sound loops doesn’t really gel well with his typical melodies.

Yet, the sweetness in ‘Konjam Konjam’, IR’s singing in ‘Yele Enga Vanthey’, interesting rhythm pattern in ‘Kaasu Kaiyil’ and ‘Kadhal Indru’, the orchestration of ‘Maya Logam’ and especially ‘Ulagilae Azhaghi’, and interludes in all the songs are some likeable aspects of this soundtrack. And of course, I still have hopes on the background score of the movie. Let us wait and watch.


Sivaji - Maayakannadi

There is a rumour that telugu soundtrack of Sivaji will be released on March 15. But there is no official confirmation and there is not even a tentative date rumoured for the release of Tamil soundtrack. I think it is a nice idea to sell more Telugu CD's and Cassettes in Tamilnadu. Because, hard core Rahman fans are gonna buy it for sure as it is getting released first. And definitely everyone will buy the original Tamil version also. From what little I heard in making of Sivaji videos, music seems to be highly techno and too sophisticated for normal people. But let us not jump into any final conclusions before listening to the complete soundtrack.

Did you visit A.R.Rahman's official website. Doors are not yet open but you can watch a short exclusive interview of A.R.Rahman there.

Illayaraja's Maayakaanadi audio is releasing today. Can't wait to grab my copy.


Marudhanayagam Trailer

In kirukkal subbudu had asked to add 'Karka Karka' song from Vettaiyadu Vilayadu for the mute 'Marudhanayagam' trailer. But it seems many people interpret the trailer video in many different ways. You would have heard my music for the trailer. And now, we have two more entries. One with Ennio Morricone's music and another originally composed by Mr.Ram Shanker, which has typical Vangelis sound to it. Do watch these videos.