4.11.2008

Ramesh Vinayagam - The Unsung

Listening this song which Chinmayi has posted in her blog, watching SPB’s interview in NDTV’s Super south, watching Jaya TV’s Ragamalika, and watching the video of Srinivas’s performance in last year’s finals of Raj TV’s Raajageetham made me to revisit University, Nalathamayanthi, Ye Nee Romba Azhagha Irukkae, Jerry and Azhaghiya Theeyae soundtracks. Yes, I am talking about the unsung Ramesh Vinayagam, who inspite of being more talented than most of the successful composers in Tamil Film music now, is yet to get his due. Ramesh Vinayagam apart from composing music for movies sang few songs for other composers and also did orchestration for other composer’s songs.

Srinivas never forgets to sing the ‘Kasthuri Maan inamae’ song he sung for Ramesh Vinayagam in the movie ‘Azhaghiya Theeyae’ in his concerts, S.P.Balasubramaniam when talking about young composers, put Ramesh Vinayagam along with Illayaraja, A.R.Rahman and Vidhyasagar. The strong knowledge in classical music, his technical acumen in finding faults in a singer’s performance, his interest in varied genres of music are there for everyone to see in the show Jaya TV’s ‘Raagamalika’ in which he judges the aspiring singers. In one of the episodes, P.Susheela herself was amazed by the level of depth in the details that Ramesh Vinayagam gives to singers on how better a song can be sung. And further, his latest composition for Jaya TV’s serial ‘Simran Thirai’ is a sample of Ramesh Vinayagam’s talent and superior taste in music.

Ramesh Vinayagam is one of the rare composers who established a clear identity of his own in his music right from his first soundtrack. I still remember watching the trailer of ‘University’ which had mostly visuals from the songs. What a smashing debut it was. Ramesh’s music doesn’t sound like any other composer’s. In this era of Rahmanism, it is really hard to find one such composer.

An easy way to judge a composer’s ability and talent is by listening to his soft melodies and by checking if it has got that eternal feel in it. Ramesh’s melodies for sure have that eternal quality. I still cherish listening to ‘Vizhigalin Aruginil Vaanam’, ‘Kasthuri Maan inamae’ from Azhaghiya Theeyae, ‘Yen intha nenju’ from University, ‘En Swaasathil’ from Jerry and above all the romantic waltz ‘Enna Ithu’ from Nalathamayanthi which would definitely find a place in my list of 100 best melodies of Tamil Film music.

Ramesh Vinayagam brought in some rare genres of music into Tamil film music and while doing so, he didn’t make it sound totally filmy; he sticks to the basics of the genre of music and yet makes it an interesting filmy song piece. ‘Stranded on the streets’ from Nalathamayanthi, ‘Ullalae Ullalae’ and ‘Boom Theme’ from Azhaghiya Theeyae, ‘Nenje’ and ‘Vimmavey’ from University are such rare pieces of music which fortunately made its way into a Tamil movie through Ramesh. Even the kuthu numbers or the so called rhythm based numbers are done with so much taste and an aesthetic sense by Ramesh.

Ramesh Vinayagam is a man of orchestration. Be it any song, there is a clarity and elegance in his orchestration. Ramesh has a unique way in writing Vocal harmonies. Some of vocal harmonies he introduces in the interludes of the songs and the chorus parts he puts as a parallel layer of the lead vocal melody are so deep in melody, complex and brilliantly written.

I am surprised that none of the directors who worked with Ramesh Vinayagam went back to him again. Take any successful composer in Tamil film music, they all have had a very strong bonding with some of the best directors of their era, and I sincerely hope that Ramesh Vinayagam finds one as soon as possible. I want to listen to more and more of his music.

25 comments:

Ramesh said...

Ramesh Vinayagam is one of my favorite composers too. My most favorite is the "yen intha nenju (kadhalai valarthaai)" from University followed by "enna idhu" from naladhamayanthi and many other songs. As you had noted, the orchestration in the above songs are too good. I wish he gets many more opportunities in films.

Anonymous said...

There's a rant I would concur with. I dont know what more he needs to do to get recognition.
Jerry had the amazing Kanava Kaanala as well as the raucous Naan Pudicha muyaluuku. Despite atrocious lyrics, I just cant resist that one inspite of my aversion to kuthu songs

Vidhya Rajan said...

i have seen SPB praising RV many times. i always wonder as in why SPB praises a MD who hasnt established himself well in TFM. i often think that SPB overrates him. but since SPB is god of music and songs i convinced myself that he should be right in what he said.

his work in Azagiya theeye, Nalathamayandhi etc are truly awesome. this guy has got some talent.

but only thing why i hate him is, he sings the song in his pathetic nasal voice which spoils his work completely.

why does he allow himself to render voice????? jus cant tolerate the fact that wonderful pieces are mercilessly killed by his voice.

kanna said...

Personally, I have no qualms with his voice. I think he knows his limits and strengths and chooses songs based on that, so i find it okay. I do think it's very sad that he has yet to become a mainstream composer who regularly gets projects, as I'm sure he still has a lot of things to show off but has yet to get a chance to. Surprised by the variety of songs he can effectively pull off, such as Hollywood from Jerry (despite the terrible lyrics). The one song I have had qualms with is the Naan Pudicha Muyal song; I love the song, but I can't forgive the atrocious filters he uses on the female vocal.

BCCI Backwas said...

I still cherish listening to ‘Vizhigalin Aruginil Vaanam’, ‘Kasthuri Maan inamae’ from Ayutha Ezhuthu?

Prakash Srinivasan said...

Nice post! I have been praying for this guy so that he gets more chances. Tamil dirs have gone bonkers, they give more chances to Srikanth Deva who gives only noise! So sad!

vv said...

True. Ramesh Vinayagam is one very promising composer, and I hope he gets due recognition.

We have already lost a few due to non-recognition - like Balabharathi who used to work in th earlier movies of Director Selva.

Anonymous said...

I completely concur with you. I am wondering why directors have not backed him... some of the songs like "jeevan enge" from university and songs from "Azhagiya theyie" are my all time favorites. I hope he gets his due...

sudarsun

Vivek said...

THere is nothing pathetic in his ( RV`s) voice and naturally nothing nasal about it.The voice is unique in its own way.By saying `that wonderful pieces are mercilessly killed by his voice`you accept that the pieces are all wonderful on its own inspite of your unfounded hatred known only for your own.While giving his ( SPB) comments on one of the participants who sang `vizigalil aruginil` SPB recently in a channel..SPB describes the depth of RV`s voice and goes even further about the unique style in RV`s inimitable way.
This is from SPB himself..as you say god of songs..
Your preconceived notions and strange hatred has coloured your mind.
Better be open and hear it with an open mind.
I dont know what you will say about illaiya raja`s voice and his pieces..Mr or MRs vidya rajan or miss Vidya rajan or whoever. very funny..
From VP

Raja said...

Sure ! Now people start realising good talent. Thanks to media.

Pray for R.V to get more chances so that we can hear more of his music. I Have heard one of his devotional albums sung by SPB. Really devind semi classical album.

Raja

saoodh76 said...

ilayaraja ,ar rahman ,ramesh vinayagam i think this is the correct oder. but how come still he not get good chances iam waiting for his music he can take the music into another extent and voice well pray for him

ajay the perfectionist said...

Ramesh Vinayagam is a really talented music director.

He surely deserves the place next to a.r.rahman and harris jeyaraj in tamil film music.

Useless Annoying music directors like, Devi Sri Prasad and Mani sharma should be kicked out and bever given a chance her.... Let them get lost to their telugu film indutry and not ruin our place with their rotten stuffs.

Anonymous said...

Exactly.
Listen to Devi Sri Prasad's music. he repeats and copies a lot. and his music is best for telugu ppl, who produce useless flicks in which, th hero can break a rock with his fists if he gets angry. this is tamil industry.

compare ramesh vinayagam's nala dhamayanthi with any of devi sri prasad's or mani sharma's music(esp. sura). ramesh is the best.

I hope he brings more music. God bless this talented person...

rajamani said...

i listened to yenna idhu, from nala dhamyanthi for the first time just an hour ago, and i have repeated half a dozen times.

what a haunting song, about fallling in love and growing in it.

based on your suggestion, i am going to look for mahesh vinayagam music. may he prosper!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of RV right from his first album 'Prathidhawani' . Execellent composer who can produce great melodies.

Coming to his voice,he is infinitely better than Yuvan's lifeless and sometime off-note voice and no one seems to complain about that.

IMHO, he lacks PR skills or needs someone who can manage PR for him.

Cheers,
Ganesh

Anonymous said...

I have also listened to his songs and felt that he will surely get a break but I am not sure why it is taking time. Like many who pointed out, there are tons of MDs who are not qualified to be MDs and here is one with tremendous music sense and knowledge. The directors ought to give chances to such MDS rather than MDs who do not know what they are scoring or MDs who are copy cats.

Anonymous said...

I know many of you guys have great knowledge in music etc but for me i have a great experience of travelling with RV to sabarimalai every year..music comes to him naturally...i still remember one time he just composed a tune sitting at the side of thw sabarimalai sannidhaanam...just listen to Aha Oho Ayyappa album...it rocks...he is a great guy...but knowing him i guess he is not ready to compromise on the quality of music just becUse of the stars...he wants to do music in his own terms and not budge to the demands of the producers directors and stars...his time will come for sureeat knowledge in music etc but for me i have a great experience of travelling with RV to sabarimalai every year..music comes to him naturally...i still remember one time he just composed a tune sitting at the side of thw sabarimalai sannidhaanam...just listen to Aha Oho Ayyappa album...it rocks...he is a great guy...but knowing him i guess he is not ready to compromise on the quality of music just becUse of the stars...he wants to do music in his own terms and not budge to the demands of the producers directors and stars...his time will come for sure

Kripa said...

Dear Suresh Kumar,

Mr. Suresh Kumar, I guess that the title of this blog, "Ramesh Vinayagam - The Unsung" is not providing any positive vibrations. Please remove or change the words, "The Unsung" from the title.

Ramesh Vinayakam Sir is one of the great music creators of our times. "Azhagiya Theeye", really created the "Fire of Melody" all over. Infact, i believe that the music of Radhamohan Sir's other films are not upto the mark, when compared to that of "Azagiya Theeye".

I hope that Ramesh Vinayakam Sir will work with lot of good directors, who really gives importance to Music. It will be very good for Tamil Cinema Music.

Thanks & Regards,
Kripa. Saravanan

Anonymous said...

Yes.. One of my favourite composer & still i'm waiting to hear his music..especially in his voice... i love all the songs in his voice. Thottu Thottu Thottu sellum, Vizhigalin Aruginil Vaanam, Ullaaley Ullaaley, Kadhalai Valarthaai & Enna Idhu Enna Idhu... are my favourite.. wat a voice range.. recently he compose a new movie. He is better than Harris & Yuvan.. He is unique

Anonymous said...

RV is a great friend over years. His finest moment will come with Ramanujan. I told him that he will win the National award for this upcoming movie.

VN said...

Just wait for his bilingual English-Tamil film on one of the most prolific mathematicians of the world "RAMANUJAN",it will be treat!

Life coach Suren said...

Hi anybody please help, this album of Mr.Ramesh Vinayakam by name Radha Madhavam has beautiful songs sung by SP Balasubramaniam and Chitra. However this album is not available in the market or could be listed or downloaded from the net. If any of you have idea about it please do let me know or great if you could share it.

Thanks
lifecoachsuren@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

R u sure
....that his voice sounds nasal ....better check ur ears.... If there s no problem then listen it again..... Fr example simply jus d line "vendum vasantham vasal Varalam" Frm naladhamayanthi (Enna ithu enna).....
Thn wht about Ilayaraja, yuvan,..... Voices???? Actually they ruined their original products....

Anonymous said...

RV is a great Musician. Great knowledge, great music he has produced over the years. Ramanujan is his best work yet. Thuli thuliyai..what a song..beautifully sung by himself. His singing and voice is also very good. He will be making it big, hopefuly

muhammad ardhi said...

nice nice nice just wait for hiss hehe


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