On twitter, M.Ghibran, while he was composing the Vaagai Sooda Vaa score, asked his followers to suggest the instruments that they would like to hear in the background score of the film that is set in 1960s. I thought about it for a day or two. I wanted to suggest M.Ghibran to use a one-string bow instrument - the one we hear in the second interlude of A.R.Rahman’s Pachchakili Paadum Ooru (I gather that the name of this traditional Tamil instrument is Sirattai Kinnari). And Gab Gubbi, which M.Ghibran already used, in Thanjavooru Maadaththi song. But, I had totally forgotten to send him my suggestion.
Accordion, which M.Ghibran has used amply throughout the score of the film, never came to my mind. Composers did use accordion quite a lot in Tamil films in 1960s, but I am not sure if they used it in films set in a rural milieu. I vividly remember the presence of an accordion player in the Avalukkena Song video from Server Sundaram. When A.R.Rahman wanted to invoke the sound of classic old world, in Ay Hairathey song in Guru, and Pookodiyin Punnagai in Iruvar, he took to Accordion. But, these are songs.
To me, especially after having heard few world movie soundtracks, sound of accordion is purely European. The accordion piece played for introduction of Madhu would easily go with, say, an Amelie. The Vaagai Sooda Vaa score has plenty of Celtic violins too. However, I did not mind the usage of Accordion or Celtic violins in this film. They do not sound odd. They never seek my attention. They do not disturb the authenticity of the film’s universe.
M.Ghibran applies every rule in Tamil Film background music scoring book authored by Ilaiyaraaja. The instrumental versions of the songs, the somber versions of the happy tunes, the recurring motifs (Goat Chase theme), and jaunty music pieces for the male and female lead’s entry into the narrative, swelling orchestral pieces for the emotional moments and the details in the character motifs (Kuruvikaarar Theme) are all there. Kuruvikaarar theme is my favorite. M.Ghibran uses a haunting phrase of melody from the song of revolution Aana Aavanna for the key character Kuruvikaarar, who has been waiting forever to witness that revolution to happen. The most intriguing aspect of M.Ghibran’s score for Vaagai Sooda Vaa is the minimal usage of flute, which, if were used, could have diminished the harshness of the deserted and dry, barren lands of Kandeduththaankaadu that Sargunan intended to depict.
From Vaagai Sooda Vaa score, it is evident that M.Ghibran is a composer who can do much more than just arrange a background cue. He could spot or compose a malleable phrase of melody, and orchestrate the melody in varied shapes and forms to suit any given situation in the film, which is a key quality required for a background score composer. Listen to the piece he plays whenever Madhu hangs her face down in disappointment; it is that sweet and shy Violin motif from Sara Sara Sarakaaththu song, which M.Ghibran skillfully bends and orchestrates into a somber piece. In the orchestral version of Senga Soola Kaara that plays when innocent villagers happily bid adieu to Velu, Ghibran adds beautiful supporting and counter melodies to the main melody. That, he could have pitched the orchestral pieces less loud (too much of brass) for Aandai (Ponvannan) is my only grouse.
For the first time in Tamil film music history, the complete background score of a film was released on the internet by the composer for free. M.Ghibran released the entire background score of the film (28 cues) in CD quality on soundcloud.com. Thank You M.Ghibran!
Vaagai Sooda Vaa Film OST Unmix by MGhibran