Live music performance needs a sense of drama, a slow beginning, a mid-tempo middle, a faster end. It has to fit in a tempo graph that could excite and engage an audience, and this graph ought to be maintained both within a piece and in between pieces in the setlist of a concert. This swing in energy keeps the audience awake. I am someone who believes even slowest of Ilaiyaraaja’s compositions has a degree of virility that could keep a listener engaged. But, let us face it, however great the music is, the orchestral music concerts can become little monotonous if slow and soft love and sober themes are played continuously. So, the next piece.Netrikann Title Music
The brass section of the orchestra marched on to a piece comparatively milder in force (than Captain Prabhakaran) but boisterous nonetheless - The Netrikkan title score and father Rajini’s theme. With drums rolling and brass blaring there was a sudden gush of energy in the auditorium when they started playing Netrikann titles. Ilaiyaraaja, in some films, joins a melody of one of the popular songs of the film with one of the main motifs from the background score of the film as one single piece for the opening credits. In the opening credits of Netrikkan, the piece shifts to the melody of Raamanin Mohanam song when the spotlight is on the character of the Son-Rajini. Only when I heard it live I realised how brilliantly gradual the transition from brass to softer strings happen for the shift from Father to Son in the visuals. Those funky 80s guitars, we don’t get to hear those sounds in any form of contemporary music anymore.
Who can forget the jaunty western violin theme of Netrikkan? Ilaiyaraaja alternates between western trumpets, guitars and violins for Father Rajini, who is a womanizer and flute and Veena for ‘Obedient’ son Rajini to sound the contrast between the characters as they and their daily routines are introduced to us in the visuals. The feel of the western melody played on Violin used in the opening credits is same as that of the main theme with a dominant violin solo, and it plays out like one long prelude to the main theme. It even sounds as if the main theme may break out from it anytime. And it did, in the concert, after preluding the title credits music, without any pause, strings started playing that signature riff pam-pa-ba-bam pam-pa-ba-bam and from it sprung up like a lightning the very popular Netrikann theme. The immense zing of a solo violin springing up from silence hitting a quaver as the first note of melody has to be heard live to be believed. Ilaiyaraaja is what he is because he knows precisely when to stop, the piece ended just after two iterations of the theme and left us wanting more.