Saturday, September 28, 2013

Onayum Aatukuttiyum Score - Ilaiyaraaja (2)



Onayum Aatukuttiyum Score - Ilaiyaraaja (1)

I don’t know how well the Onayum Aatukuttiyum score has been absorbed and appreciated by the general music listeners. If you are one of those who find the score boring, I can understand why. There is a sense of monotony with lots of sad music, Solo Violin cues, dense string section and a slightly more pronounced western classical flavour than usual in the score. All the pieces may sound similar. But, Ilaiyaraaja’s orchestral scores, in general, are anything but monotonous, and definitely not this one.

Film score is incidental, narrative music that has to flow slavishly to the visuals, so there will be moments of long pause, a long stretched single note, a sustain, a bang, sections of no major action except strings simmering underneath, and these are not the kind of music one listens to on iPod at work every day for Joy. The pleasures are of different kind here.

Furthermore, having not seen the movie yet, there is no way one can visualize the movie while listening to the piece of music and marvel at the sync of mood and emotions between the movie and the music. Ilaiyaraaja has already primed us enough with his album The Music Messiah, where you don’t have any direct visuals to help you decipher the emotions the music plays for, you paints your own image in your mind from the music, deriving from your past experience of watching movies and listening – consciously or unconsciously to a film score. The Music Messiah is the score of a film that never got made (I know themes from Malayalam film Guru is used, but I haven’t seen Guru. But I could hear cues from Pithamagan too). Listening to Onayum Aatukuttiyum score before watching the movie is like listening to The Music Messiah.

Ilaiyaraaja has written a score that is intricately spun around many main musical motifs. It seems to be a score (I haven’t seen the movie yet) tightly knit to the visual narrative in the movie, and that has the incredibly unique quality of narrating a story, some story - though we won’t be able to connect all the dots - even without the visuals.

I don’t know how to make others hear the beauty I hear in a piece of music, but I believe if one listens intently and spots these themes in an orchestral score and follows their journey through the score – at least that is how I have been doing it, it would be a lot easier to experience the beauty of the music score in its entirety. So, here I have compiled some of the main themes that run through the score and its variations. The themes appear at different points in the different pieces. I am sure the ten clips Mysskin shared in his website for free download is not the entire score, so there could be many more occurrences and variations of these themes in the movie.

Listen to the clips and see if it helps. Listen closely to the development, subtle variations in each occurrence of the theme in the score. Also, let me know if you find any piece that doesn’t sound like the variation of the theme

Theme 1

Using a sharp half note in the start brings a dramatic suddenness – could be for an emotion or an action, that precisely marks the moment when sudden shift occurs in the mood or emotion or action. I like how the sharpness is gradually blunted out as the theme progresses in the course of the score, implying a gradual subsidy in the intensity of that which it implies.









Theme 2

This theme could easily be identifies as the main theme of the film.











Theme 3

The Redemption Theme – The piece of music for which Mysskin wanted Ilaiyaraaja. There is a Piano part and Violin Part of the theme. I didn't want to split them.











26 comments:

ashketchup said...

Happy to be the first one to comment on OA in this Blog dedicated only to the background scores.
Yesterday Watched Wolf in my native. It was a Matinee Show. Hardly 10 people were present. Before screening I felt despair and pity on the hard work that Mysskin dedicated to bring this movie alive.

ashketchup said...

The Film began with the Myskin way of portraying a deserted and lonely road at the Ungodly hours and there was an eerie silence added to that. But few moments later, The way the rescue scene of the injured wolf by the Lamb, offering the wolf a bike ride of his life was beautifully portrayed through the Rhapsodical Foreground 'THE FIREFLY'. The way I happen to feel Firefly visually for the first time offered hair standing ovation to both Ilaiyaraja and Mysskin.

ashketchup said...

I felt that hearing all the foregrounds prior to the movie release as a direct Blessing from Mastero Ilaiyaraja, we received only because of Mysskin’s effort. The way we happen to experience the rhapsodies like be it The Threshold Guardian (played when the lamb performs self-surgery to save the wolf), Compassion (the scene with Edwards Mother), Grim reaper (Calvary Cemetery scene), I killed an Angel (played when that transgender got killed), Growl (during the stunt scenes and chasing scenes) and atlast Somebody loves us all during the touching scenes and at the climax were purely A Bliss from Ilaiyaraja. Finally OA is a Gripping movie, woven perfectly with the precious thread of Ilaiyaraja’s heavenly score.

Ramesh Sripathy said...

Wow, very nice observation and demonstration. For example, I didn't realize that the 3rd and 4th pieces in Theme 1 are related to the first 2 pieces from Theme 1.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

ashketchup - I will read your comments after watching the movie. Read just the first and last lines.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Ramesh - Thanks :-) I am sure there will be a lot more to Observe when the score is heard with the movie.

kumaran sundaram said...

Suresh. OA is peppered with symphonic score everywhere. Character emotions + situation + particular action. There is so much to observer grasp before bgm ends which prompts me to watch again :) Action scenes have heavy orchestration and hollow sounds just creating another dimension of the scene. one scene where the HOD walks from house to green field backyard the camera pans in curvy nature and can see the violins move up and down for the curve :) mesmerizing to watch the bgm matching every frame.. Gotta watch again. Looking forward for writeup after watching the movie. Hope full bgm of movie is released as chases/action/thrill sections have drums as well.. which is not in in sample bgms..BTW i was lone wolf watching in theatre locally here :) no one except me sunday night

kumaran sundaram said...

Also another one..violin bgm abrupty ends when a character dies . very apt frame by frame bgm is stiched.

Anonymous said...

It is really very sad to note that there are not much audience for such movies. What will the director feel? What is that the people are looking for in movies? Why are they not seeing such movies? How to answer these questions? Feel worried and sad with this trend. So there has to be heroines and songs and dance sequences. I still do not know what is the conclusion to be derived from such response from the people

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Kumaran - Can't wait to watch the film. It hasn't released yet in Bangalore. Have been reading insights on specific cues from Ilaiyaraaja's score on online forums.

I hope I will have something to say after watching the movie. Lets see..

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Yes. This is unfortunate. But, has the movie been declared flop already?

kumaran sundaram said...

waiting for your detailed cues on the full score
on second watch today..
1. there is small jazz guitar note, to introduce a bribed police character who meets karadi
2. high pitch rock guitar note just to suit a thug character in bike
3. chasing scenes especially train theme and same setup in parking lot climax are amazing.

on another note not sure if myskin kind of movie making style or i felt it has been taken something like "art" movie but a crime thriller. especially the character mannerisms or movements

ashketchup said...

@Suresh. Don't miss this once in a time thriller film in Tamil brother. And kindly observe the Bgm and its scenes. If any of the scenes BGM I mentioned in ur blogs comment section proved to be wrong kindly correct me, because it will be helpful when I watch the movie the second time.

ashketchup said...

As from the anonymous comment,
When I watch OA on the second day (i.e saturday only ten people were present out of which three of them were canteen suppliers)..,
On the other hand People by default avoids themselves for the movies like OA and often prefers commercial pot boilers GRIEF!
Movies like OA shouldn't RIP like Aaranya Kandam.

Anonymous said...

cult movies always have best camera angles, visuals and BGM and yet fail to attract audience, unless mixed with some female element or something realistic for general audience..compare tik tik tik, gayatri, enakaka kaathiru, moodupani, kurthipunal, yaavarum nalam, pizza and then ones like anbulla rajinikanth,anbe sivam, naan kadavul, nandalala..this goes irrespecive of actor or director..,same goes with english movies..anyone seen "the road"..may be its taken only select section of audience who appreciate art rather than time pass

Anonymous said...

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369339/ contentwise "probably" inspired from collateral. One night, two contrasting characters, piercing gun shots in a style

Anonymous said...

Threshold Guardian and Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum:::
Who is a Threshold guardian?or why does the Fourth track of Onaiyum aatukuttiyum is a threshold guardian..In Mythology,A threshold guardian is a gatekeeper..e.g Charon the boatman for the river styx....he has no part in the story,he is neither good or evil but he simply safeguards the gate ,which is a obstacle, a hero must pass to Fulfill his quest..The threshold is the Gate through which the Journey of hero continues,its an entry into a lair where the Hero's true nature will be put to test and will be proved whether he is worthy of the Quest.The gatekeeper will ask questions to the hero(usually three) to see whether he is really a Hero,The hero answers and enters the lair.After entering this New lair the changes that occur in him ,the way he learns and grows is what the quest about.The essence of a hero is not braveness or nobility But self sacrifice..Only through self sacrifice a hero kills his own demons and attains redemption..

Now in Onaiyum aatukutiyum,The thresholdguardian is the gatekeeper of the shopping mall,he looks at edward(Hero) and then allows him inside after he gets convinced...and hence the theme Threshold guardian...The Basement of the shopping mall is the New lair in which the hero attains redemption by self sacrficeNow you may ask how its musically done by Raja even before mysskin named it ...Listen to the theme below..the beginning short phrase (first question) for which the answer is the violin melody...again a short phrase(2nd question) for which the answer is the violin melody and then again a short phrase(3rd question)for which the hero gives an anwswer...the extended violin melody..Can u believe this???i was Dumbstuck after i figured this out.Illayaraja is the Greatest..if a single sequence has this much of research ,can u imagine the whole movie...
With all this in Mind ,Now if you listen to the theme threshold guardian by the Maestro,it wil give you the Q&A between threshold guradian and the hero..
.https://soundcloud.com/onaaiyumaattukkuttiyum/thethresholdguardian

Anonymous said...

Firefly and Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum...::The second Track of Onaiyum atukutiyum is named as Firefly...what does Firefly represent...Fire flies are strange insects.....they are normal during the day and in the Night it glows...In human beings we can equate this quality of glowing from inside as the inner beauty....It also represents hope...When there is complete darkness ,this tiny flash of light gives Hope or an idea to get out of that situation...Anyone who looks at the fire flies are mesmerized to follow them...so it also can represent Guidance when one is lost or that curiousity to follow them....In this movie this theme is played for shri in the beginning when Shri saves mysskin by taking him in the Bike,,,,you can see Shri's face glowing in the Darkness when he is riding the bike,you can also see this scene in the trailor..He shows his inner true self or beauty and he also represents hope.....the same theme is played when Shri decides to take him to his home(here firefly theme represents idea) and does the operation himself after he believes that he can save the wolf...why did he believe?simple...he already saved the Wolf to restore the heartbeat and that Passer by(metally disabled) tells him that you are a doctor repeatedly...Now firefly theme is next heard for the Doctor who refuses to help him first becuase its an offence to harbour a criminal but rings him back to show his inner beauty of a compassioante doctor and human being...Here the Doctor is the Firefly....Oh you can kiss mysskin and fall flat before Raja...

Kasinarayanan Ramasubramanian said...

many people including me who watched the movie after reading the reviews were disappointed as the movie lacks acceptability.
police and rival group are gunned down in each of the encounters. this movie is not realistic and is more of heroism.

most of the audiences next to me were in age group of 25 to 40 and none of them had any satisfaction after watching the movie.

so as per me anjathe is still myskin best movie so far

Anonymous said...

lol. dancing under trees, fights with graphics, punch dialogues, peepa vai jokes..go watch those movies and accept the reality !

Anonymous said...

rajaaaa rajadhi raaja...he just keeps rocking even today....

Sharma Ji said...

I follow for best movies.

https://www.facebook.com/bestindianmoviescollection

Anonymous said...

The movie didn't release in Bangalore. I watched it in Vijay TV. The movie started off well but the screenplay in the later part of the movie costed the movie. There is no strong reason for Myskin to save the family, except that he killed the goat in the family by mistake. Also his effort is not justified when all in the family dies except the girl. The movie would have been a great flop but for the music of Ilayaraja. It completely sets the mood of the film and elevates the scene while watching. As rightly put in Arasu Padhilgal in Kumudham, we can only typically hear music and we can clearly see the music in this movie.

ashketchup said...

Hi Mr. Kasinarayanan Ramasubramanian..
When we were young, Our kinder Garden teachers used to teach the tales and fables filled with Morals in order to let us visualize the theme through those fictional characters. Wolf and the Lamb is one such Kinder Garden Moral crafted beautifully and portrayed visually & musically through the big screen by Myskin & Ilayaraja.

When the Prince kissed the Frog, the frog turned into a beautiful Princess! How often we heard such stories in our childhood! Instead of admiring, have we ever complained that,"hoooof its really hard to accept" then? Wake up brother in this movie the antagonist is Wolf, so whenever the wolf encounters with Police, he overcomes them for sure by killing them. At-last the director himself will reveal that this movie itself is like a life in a jungle and equated each of his characters to the respective animals. Now tell me if a wolf meets its enemy in a Jungle will it show Humanity???

ashketchup said...

And as stated by anonymous...
There is no strong reason for Myskin to save the family, except that he killed the goat in the family by mistake.

YOV.. The whole family of Edward karthik was supposed to be BLIND. when the wolf killed that 14 year old boy, he came to realise their family's blind nature, he laments for his cannot be undone costly mistake and he wanted to repay his life to look after them as a repentance for his SIN, Isn't it Strong enough?

Equate this..
Even in a normal persons life, If he ever missed his chance to help the blind people to cross the road or whatever, during the busy hours in morning or some other time., his heart would sure yearns and laments for them whenever he thinks about his inability to help them. IF YOU DINT FEEL LIKE THAT THEN YOU ARE BOTH MORALLY AND VIRTUALLY IMPERFECT!! Idhuku mela strong reason venum nu if u expect the fault lies within yourself!

chandran said...

Thanks for the blog for the appreciation of Raaja's music...I have to write this...intentionally spontaneously...nothing is truthful if it is not spontaneous..

As a long time lister of Ilayaraaja since I was young (I am over 50 now, a PhD professional in US, if you care what cents are worth in my comments) I was thrilled to here the music of this film. Simply outstanding!!! I could reach to the soul of Raaja beyond that I have reached in hearing to his songs. We are blessed to have this humble, self-learned, driven musician that can touch upon every genre of music (not in this BGM, but throughout his career), be it folk, carnatic, devotional, western, baroque, gazal, jazz, pop, rock and funk. Wow!

Many seem to lament that how many would or had appreciated the music/movie. To really appreciate music, people should should know it, not to play it, but listen, analyze and research. It does take lot of listening to really know what made MSV/Raaja.. It took me over 20 years!

It would take another generation to widely appreciate the musical depth/taste/ of the 70s-80s. They are classics. I do not see this generation has the upbringing/life experiences of the 60s-70s to really feel/connect with the greats of MSV/Raaja. I am not putting down the younger generation, but I do not know how else to say it. Please do not get offended, it is not you, it is the generation of kindergarten, cell phone, TV, texting and internet. Too bad that this generation have to grow up with shallowness of the times...

I liken to link MSV/Raja as Beethoven/Bach of our culture. I can write a book describing their accomplishments. This blog would not be sufficient.

Our people should listen to Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi to get a teaching about what is music. Music is composition, harmony, counterpoint, fugue and subtleties of notes. Then the rest of western hidden gems like Heinichen, Dallabaca, Veracini, Telemann and Torelli, Tchaikovsi etc. Do not get narrow minded comparison/argument about what is a superior music. Any music that touches your soul is a great music. You should listen widely all international music and go from there. I have a policy of not listening to MP3s (only when other formats are not available), but only 24 bit digital recordings in high end music systems (they are not expensive if you care to out together). Surely I do not listen them in cars amid traffic. But only in private solitude and quietness..

MSV/Raaja have given mixtures of these genres fitting well the moods of the movies of their time. That is why they have been hits. I can only now admire how sincere they were even when they were no competition. Geniuses do not need competition, they are themselves, actually competition, politics and money would kill them...

Growing up in Village, I have been blessed to listen and enjoy raja from high school days ( from Machanai Patheengala to this BGM in OA). God bless Raaja's music soul, a very rare bird indeed..

Just my one cent...