Friday, March 14, 2014

Ilaiyaraaja Live in Concert - 04



Ilaiyaraaja Live in Concert - 03


Now that the two of the most wanted, mandatory musical pieces of the concert have been performed — that is considering it is a concert of Ilaiyaraaja’s film scores and not songs, I had a sense of relief. Contrary to the general assumption, I think it is a wise to perform the insanely popular pieces, the pieces that the audience come to the concert for, and those that they know would e definitely performed, in the very beginning instead of at the end. Getting it done in the beginning is a relief both for the performer and the audience, it takes the anticipation and anxiety out of everyone’s mind. A listener’s mind and body shouldn't be thinking or reacting anything lowly and earthly during this concert. I shouldn’t be thinking if the next piece would be Mouna Raagam Theme or Punnagai Mannan Theme, instead of paying utmost attention to the piece being performed now. The climactic high should come from the inherent ability of a piece to invoke that high in a listener and not from the very fact that it is being performed finally.

Moving on from the mellow and mellifluous flute, violins, piano and guitars, it was now time to put the power of the brass section of the orchestra to test, and here comes the Captain Prabhakaran theme. Time for Ilaiyaraaja to flaunt the power and punch of his brass writings, and especially in this piece, it is easily up there on par with the bombast of any of John Williams’ epic scores. I always get astounded by the orchestration of the teaser Ilaiyaraaja has written as a build-up to the main theme, cascading layers of strings section — a section of strings whirring the phrase in lowest register the phrase can be taken to, soon another part of the strings section join in whirring the same phrase in a slightly higher octave, and the third and then the fourth, and finally brass joins in steps just the way strings did and all the layers burst out and release the signature bars of the main motif — not the entire motif, not yet — with the bangs of percussions perfectly in tandem with the staccato motif, and surprisingly after that, all the power built so far suddenly subsides when strings begin to play what I call the secondary melody of the main motif and everything comes to a brief unsettling pause. Now begins the pulpy part of the piece, Tan- da-da-dan - Pum-Pum-Pa-Pum-Pum, and the moment I heard it live, I had goosebumps, tears, orgasm, and went through everything that one’s body and mind could go through when it senses its highest pleasure point. Indescribable experience it was. I always wondered the instrument or combination of the instruments that creates a unique sound in that Tan-da-da-dan part of the theme, I couldn’t figure even during the performance of the piece, because I was busy orgasming. Maybe, it was entirely played on electronic Keyboard.

I thought they would chop off the flute solo of the Aattama Therottama song that punctuates the action piece in the middle in the original title music, but they didn’t. That was the first time, audience interrupted and erupted in between the piece, when the piece suddenly shifted to Aattamaa Therottamaa. It was intriguing to witness a flute and Tabla take over and steal the thunder from a full throttling orchestra bursting the action cue from all its seams. For all its greatness, Ilaiyaraaja’s background score can never touch the heights of the popularity of Ilaiyaraaja’s songs. However, I don’t think the applause was just for the Aattama song, it was for the frisson the sudden switch invokes in a listener. I am sure that if they had started the piece directly with the flute version of Aattama Therottama, it wouldn’t have triggered the same response.

Captain Prabhakaran Theme



Ilaiyaraaja Live in Concert - 05

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Raja is in Top 25 composers.

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-25-greatest-film-composers-in-cinema-history/2/