NOTE: Click on the 'play' button before the song to listen to it.
Music is a part of our life. No questions about this-we switch on the TV and we listen to the same song every 2 minutes on every third channel. And it continues-everyday we are exposed to thousands of songs by various music directors, private musicians etc. They are constantly pounded on us whether we like it or not through TV and no wonder, we begin to hum few of those songs due to sheer repeated listening. Then, how do we recognize a real genuine genius work among the hay stack? This post is an attempt to bring out that genius and discuss his works in Hindi. The genius is ILAYARAJA. Stay with me as I take you through the journey of music. Keep your speakers on or your ear phones ready. Click on the ‘play’ button before the song to listen to it.
Prelude-The musical part which precedes the song at its start.
Interlude-The instrumental part which comes during the pause in singing.
Let us start with much popular movie than others-Hey Ram (2005). Composed at Hungary, using Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the whole original sound track of this movie was composed in 10 odd days. Check out this song-Janmon Ki Jawala. Mesmerizing and addictive, it is one of the most haunting score in recent times. You can literally feel every string that is being plucked here, can sense the piano being caressed and can experience the violin in it in most beautiful form.
This song-Har Koyi Samjhe- from the same movie is another masterpiece-sung by Bengali classical singer Ajoy Chakrabarty. A simple song in terms of instruments with the percussion (beats-tabla) restricted to particular rhythm throughout the song, supported by chorus in between and excellent singing by the classical singer. What’s so great about this song?-try humming the song when its playing and you will realize the adrenaline rush you get as you tap your hand on the table to glory.
Get your seat belts ready, I mean your ear phones as I delve into a different world- a world of modern music. In 2007, we all watched how Amitabh Bachan tried his hand in romance with tabu at the age of 60 in the movie Cheeni kum. Check out the song-Baatien hawa from the same movie.
The song-Baatein Hawaa - starts with Shreya Ghoshal singing the first line and immediately followed by guitar in its most admirable form along with keyboard. The first interlude starts at 1:05 mins with the customary violins and suddenly you have the flute come out of nowhere playing the same tune-pure bliss. And if you think this was too good, you will visit the Hawaiian beaches in the second interlude starting from 2:37 mins. Check out the electric guitar at its best followed by beats which you normally associate with those late night beach parties and very smoothly a saxophone joins the party and there you have-34 seconds of pure magical music.
And if you loved the saxophone in that 34 second interlude, then here is the full blown original soundtrack of the same movie using saxophone-Melody (Saxophone). Listen to it to get lost in the world of music. Such meticulous tunes can be written only by a genius. For a music layman like me, who doesn’t understand ‘notes’ in music nor the anatomy of a song, even I can clearly see the lack of randomness in this song, no trial and error method of arranging the instruments.
If you managed to be with me in this musical journey, then let me take you to the platinum era of music-1978-83. Ilayaraja had burst into the Hindi musical scene with his breath taking music for the movie-Sadma in 1983. Who can forget this heart wrenching movie by Kamal Hassan and Sridevi? The song-Aye Zindagi Gala lagaa le is considered to the mother of all songs. Check out the orchestration of the song. Arranging so many instruments meticulously was no mean task-this song had so many of them-keyboards, solo violin, group violins, flute, guitar, veena etc (there are many I don’t recognize). The prelude with soothing violins and joined by a guitar slowly (guess its classical guitar) is just a whiff of fresh air, indicating the musical storm ahead. As the singer goes-“aye zindagi gale laga le’, observe the minute musical backings to his singing with the guitar and occasional violin. The moment the first interlude starts-you will realize, this is a celebration-a celebration of music.
All the classical stuff is getting to your nerves? Follow me as I take you into the world of jazz. This Original Soundtrack is from the lesser known movie-Mumbai express, a dark comedy movie. Like a painter’s confident strokes on his canvas, this piece is an example of a composer’s grasp on music and his strokes are always masterpieces. If I try to analyze this work of a genius, I would sound as stupid as trying to understand the straight drive of Sachin Tendulkar. Listen to it and judge it yourself. Listen to this and ask yourself truthfully-Have you ever heard such music in Indian film industry?
Did you love that? Makes you ask for more? Then tune in to this lone song-Pyar Chahiye from the same movie-let me warn you, this is a very addictive song-if you listen to it three times, you will hum it for at least three days. It’s a 6:45 min long monster-romantic, lovely and very addictive. And you shall notice those confident strokes in this song too; check out the 1st interlude at 1:43-2:32. Now when he sings-‘na na na naa’, you can observe the same interlude continuing but the moment he goes-‘yeh yeh yeaaa’, notice the strokes I mentioned-confident and full of exuberance.
This list is just a tip of the iceberg and I shall bring out more such rare songs in future. We all are lucky and blessed to be living in the era of this legend-a man who composed music for 850+ movies in five different languages and also the first Asian to compose a symphony at Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London. Right now he is the busiest music composer of India with 40, yes you heard it right, forty movies on hand in five languages (Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada) and his upcoming hindi movies are ‘PA’ where Amitabh Bachan is playing the son of Abishek Bachan and ‘SRK’, a comedy parallel cinema which has the Oscar winning lyricist Gulzar and Ilayaraja teaming up after 25 years. Check out the trailor of ‘SRK’ here-Trailor
P.S-if any of you want the mp3 files of the above discussed songs, leave your mail id at the comments section. I shall send them across.