22nd September 2005, 12:15 AM
[tscii:ae7f31a257]NAUSHAD ALI (doyen of hindi film music, India)- That this man has achieved is 100 times more than what any of us have achieved; only time can tell the quantum of his achievements.

HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA, (exponent of Hindustani Classical Music, India) - It is a treat watching him (Mr.Ilaiyaraja) work - he does everything, composing, arrangement of instruments, orchestration and conducting - that too without the help of any assistants and a stopwatch.

L.SUBRAMANIAM (Violin Maestro, India)- Ilaiyaraja is as good as any composer in the world.

ZUBIN MEHTA (Music Conductor, Israel Philharmonic) - I was bewildered after listening to his 'nothing but wind' and 'how to name it'. He belongs to the 21st century and perhaps beyond.

SHERYAR OOKERJEE ( a Mumbai based musicologist, India) - Bach's influence is deep and all pervasive in his music. He is adept at using conventional western harmony and standard western techniques. Uses dialogue and imitation extensively. He has a competent grasp of the orchestra. His conspicuous quality is his ability to so integrate the Indian and western idioms that the seams can hardly be noticed and the result is usually pleasant, charming and satisfying. Ilaiyaraja's music is enjoyable and worth taking very seriously. It grows on one with repeated hearings.

MASSIMO SIMONINI (Composer & Founder of ANGELICA forum, Italy) - The music of ilaiyaraaja, besides containing many forms, is a good object of reflections and meditations on the form, on its consume, for an eventual, possible expansion. It shows models & rare formulae, unthinkable for the western music song world or western cinema. His film songs feature a metrics that is strictly linked to the images, to the atmospheres of the movie, while the movie itself appears to be composed by a myriad of narrative video clips, which in turn give the song an opening towards other musical forms - A moving open form, that is strictly linked to the inspiration of the moment, ready to welcome anything in a surprising structure, enriched by a, still so strong, indian tradition, where rhythm, melody, devotion and surprise travel together. These entities are seen moving in places where style and form can be continually re-discussed, while still following a logic, a narration. Itıs almost like a kaleidoscopic song, full of rules, but also rich in expressive possibilities...keeps moving...truly vedic .

MARK LAYCOCK (Director of Orchestral Activities, Iowa State University, Iowa, United States of America) - A fascinating blend of Eastern and Western styles. The music is instantly appealing -- rhythmically, harmonically, formally. The use of traditional Indian instruments in a modern musical context makes for a rich palette of tone colors and creates a wide range of expressive possibilities.

RICHARD KING (Sound Engineer of Thiruvasagam in Symphony, Winner of 5 Grammy awards) - Even his thoughts are musical. Ilaiyaraaja is the musical face of India, which the western world is really stunned at !!!

LARY BAIN( Composer, England) - He is unbelievable, genius and fantastic.

JOSEPH EAGER (Conductor, World Symphony Orchestra, USA) - His music will be heard through the twenty-first century" [predicted during the release function of "Nothing But Wind" CD in New York in 1988].

VICTOR RANGEL RIBEIRO ( musicologist and author of Baroque Music, USA) - Your ears will hear music like they never heard before.

STEPHEN DAVIS (of New Age, USA) - He is leading us to a very special world of music appreciation and has opened doors of new horizons of new age music.

LASLOV KOVACH (Conductor, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Hungary) - He is Hollywood Kind. A very special composer. It seems he does not have to think at all to create music. Music just flows out. The feeling that you experience, while you listen to his compositions, is often quite inexplicable. It is unfortunate that the world is yet to recognize this composer. It is not a loss for Him, but it is, to the music world.

DAVID KERMAN (ReR-USA, Music Distributor, North America) - We are big fans of the Maestro, and are proud to be the exclusive North American importer of the WINGS CD. ReR USA holds no allegiance to any particular style or genre of music, rather we only care about excellence. That's why we're so thrilled to have ilaiyaraaja !!.

[More from ReRmegacorp website - What makes Ilaiyaraaja so universal is his cheerful adoption of much of the world's music and its instruments while remaining focused on the needs of song and the language of popular film; what makes him so addictive is his extraordinary sense of arrangement and instrumentation. Everything is detail with a small surprise lurking around every corner. This is work of painstaking subtlety, wrapped in simple forms - and luminous undemonstrative musicianship - the kind of work that grows with every listening and depends on its inner qualities and not on shock, dissidence or effect. These are perfectly crafted songs with mysterious arrangements and a catalogue of rhythms that are never as simple as they seem. A gem.!]

SUDHA RAGUNATHAN (Eminent Carnatic Vocalist, India )-Yesterday, today or tommorrow, ilaiyaraja will remain the unquestionable emperor of music.

SRI JAYENDRA SARASWATHI SWAMIGAL (Spiritual Guru, India) - Ilaiyaraja has plans to bring about good changes in the society, through his music. His music is capable of putting the mind at peace and serenity.

SEMANGUDI SRINIVASA AYYAR (Eminent Carnatic Vocalist, India) - Raja has that unique gift to please common man and carnatic experts alike.Until recently, I knew that Shri Ilaiyaraja is a great film music director - his expertise in diluting Carnatic Ragas without diluting their native merits, is well known to me - but recently I had the oppurtunity to listen to him sing a few kirthanas. He sang a kirthana in Raag Abhogi - very well rendered - in Carnatic Sangeet, one needs to know the Sahityam - without knowing it, one should not sing it making it sound absurd - Isai gyani Shri.Ilayaraaja sang it very beautifully and his grasp of the Sahityam is commendable. After today, I realise that Shri.Ilayaraaja is a thorough expert in Carnatic music. May the God Almighty bless Isai Gyani with a long life so that he can render a long service to music.

LALGUDI JAYARAMAN (Eminent Musician, India) - His talent is not the fruit of one single birth's efforts. This level of achievement is only possible to one who has lived with music for countless births. The speed with which he writes notations have always baffled me.

Dr.BALAMURALIKRISHNA (Eminent Carnatic Vocalist, India)- As far as i am concerned, i would say Ilaiyaraja is the composer of the century. If there is one single authority on 'orchestration', it can only be ilaiyaraja.

KAMALHAASAN (Noted Actor, Film Maker, India) - Ilaiyaraja should be honored as Isai Vigyani (musical scientist) rather than Isai gyani.He has explored and analyzed virtually every type of music.I have worked with several composers. But this man is on his own trip - he is a colossal talent. We have worked together in around 70 films and we know each other's requirements and expectations very well. He saw the rushes of the film (Hey Ram!) just once and immediately decided the music to be scored for the song sequences that have already been picturised. I told my film crew to give me a week's time and that I will come back with one song in that time - instead I came back with seven songs.

HARIHARAN ( Playback Singer, India) - "Poongaatre konjam" from the film "Friends", is my favourite, of all the tamil film songs. Ilaiyaraja's style is very different, though he has been heavily influenced by the classical compositions of Mozart and Bach.

CHANDRAHASAN ( Film Producer, India) - His music is precious. Mere dishing out of money wont get you such quality music.

MALAYSIA VASUDEVAN (Veteran Playback Singer, South India) - I would say I consider it a real privilege to have lived in this era of ilaiyaraja. I am grateful to almighty to have received the opportunity to sing for him.

A.R.REHMAN ( Music Composer, India) - He is a genius by himself and is completely self-contained. He disproved me of the commonly held wrong notion that a music maker has to drink, smoke & have other bad habits in order to create inspirational music. If i am religious today, the credit goes to ilaiyaraja. I learnt it from him.

KARTHIK RAJA ( Music Composer, India) - He has composed in so many idioms, his work spans such a wide spectrum that there will always some resemblance to something he has already done.

YUVAN SHANKAR RAJA ( Music Composer, India) - I consider it a honour to be living in the shadow of a living legend like him. I am proud to say he is my father. No wonder people expect a lot from me too.

UTTAM SINGH (Music Composer, India) - Ilaiyaraaja is perhaps the only complete music composer in India.

SUHASINI MANIRATNAM (Eminent Actress, India) - Show me a composition matching legendary compositions like 'shenbagame shenbagame' & 'panivizhum malar vanam' by ilaiyaraja. Only then can you talk of someone overtaking him.

THANGAR BACHAAN (Cinematographer, Film Maker, India) - Once I finish shooting my film, i just place it before ilaiyaraja, and from there on whatever he delivers is music. I dont need to worry about it anymore. I shudder to even think about Indian film music without ilaiyaraaja. We are just feeding food for merely 5% of his total capacity. To be frank, it is a sin to restrict this talent inside the parameters of film music. He does everything. He has the ability to correct your mistakes that you did in direction, dialogue delivery, emoting, lighting, continuity etc through his background music.

R.V.UDAIYAKUMAR (Noted Film Maker, India) - He can even correct your directorial flaws, with his background score music.

PARTHIBAN (Noted Film Maker, Actor, India) - Music alias ilaiyaraja, ilaiyaraja alias Music.

MIRCHI SHIVA (RJ, Radio Mirchi, India) - It is pure bliss to just listen to his songs. But even better than that, as a lucky RJ, i also get to play his songs for everyone to listen. That gives immense satisfaction to me. So stay tuned !!

VAMSY (Noted Film Maker, India) - While picturizing a song, iIaiyaraja's tunes inspire me more than the characters of the film themselves.

BHARATHIRAAJA (Noted Film Maker, India) - I shoot scenes with a particular impact in mind. And even before i discuss about what i have in mind, he is already ready with mind boggling BGM bits.

MANIRATNAM (Noted Film Maker, India) - Ilaiyaraja is absolutely prolific. He is an amazing talent who believes that the music written down by him should be stuck to totally. And then it is recorded which is just a matter of execution. I wish I could be like Ilaiyaraja and work out everything on paper.

VENKATESH (Noted Actor, South India) - Ilaiyaraja is forever !!!...According to me he is the personification of evergreen music .

SADHANA SARGAM (Eminent Singer, India) - Its purely a learning experience to work with this legendary composer. Talking with him, you can learn so much. While i work with him, i just have to merely follow his instructions, and everything else is taken care of.

BHARANI (Music Composer, South India) - When you listen to his songs, you feel as if you were in a trance. Especially, the song," Kaatril Endhan Geedham" from film Johny. Listening to his music is by itself a meditation to me.

MANI SHARMA (Music Composer, South India) - He is my idol & my personal guru. It is his music that created the urge in me to take up music as my career. I especially was enchanted by songs like "Ennadi Meenakshi" when i was young.

CHITRA (Eminent Singer, India) - I owe a lot to maestro ilaiyaraja and I will ever remain grateful to him. He is the main reason for whatever i have achieved as a singer thus far in my career.

KARTHIK ( Budding Singer, India) - Working with him, you are introduced to a totally different plane of music making. His style is a very unique. I consider myself very lucky to have worked with him.

BALUMAHENDRA (Eminent Film Director, India) - If a situation arised wherein ilaiyaraaja decides to quit film music, i would as well quit making films. We both have worked so long with each other now that i dont need to explain him in great details abt my expectations. He knows what music i would want, and i create situations which he will love to make music for.

ANURADHA KRISHNAMURTHY (Carnatic Vocalist / TV star, South India) - Ilaiyaraaja is my favourite musician. He has that unmatched talent to maintain a particular raga till the very end of the song. The essence & soul of the raga is well maintained throughout

GUITAR PRASANNA (Eminent Guitarist, India) - While many music creators today are busy looking for new music softwares, ilaiyaraja is the only one who dealt with the length & breadth of classical music (carnatic & western). I have virtually grown up with his music

A.V.RAMANAN (SInger, South India) - He has the potential to compose songs that convey even the subtlest of subtle feelings ...Chinna thaayaval from Thalabadhi is one such song

VAIRAMUTHU (Eminent Lyricist, South India) - His music has made me laugh, his music has made me cry. It has made me very sad one moment & made me as happy a child other moment. In summary, his music is special to me, like it is to million others.

MAHALAKSHMI IYER (Playback Singer, India) - Given the genius that this man is, there is so much worth in what he says & what he does.

MEERA JASMIN (Actress, South India)- He is my favourite music director. His music is soulful & touches you instantly. I remember most of his songs by heart. Give me ilaiyaraja's compositions anytime

BHARADHWAJ (Music Composer, India) - He is the master of background music. I watch films that has ilaiyaraja as the music director, just for his background scores. "Thalapathi" is one such movie, which i have watched umpteen times just for his BGMs.

SARATH KUMAR (Actor, South India) - If there is a music director who can make even an ordinary movie into a blockbuster, it has to be ilaiyaraja. His score can lift the plane of even mediocre films several notches up.

K.S. RAVIKUMAR (Director, South India) - ilaiyaraja, the person is 60 years old, but his music is not bound by time.

MAHATHI (Budding Singer, India) - I have been a crazy fan of ilaiyaraaja right from my childhood days. I was delighted beyond words, when i got the opportunity to sing my very first song in his music. It was a dream come true for me.

MIRCHI SUCHITRA (RJ, Radio Mirchi & Budding Singer, India) - I think it would be shallow to call Ilayaraja a 'music director'. if there is a word to describe someone who can mould your mind with his music - that word would describe him. With most kinds of music, you listen to it, enjoy it and then forget about it. Ilayaraja's music makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you think, calms you down, picks you up...personally, there are so many songs of Raja's that have changed me, calmed me down when i've been in the worst of moods and given me the energy to face the day when i've not wanted to. I cannot imagine life without his music.

DEVI SRI PRASAD (Film Music Director, South India) - He is my God. I have grown up listening to his music. Whatever i am able to compose today, i owe it to this maestro.

SARAN (Film Director, South India) - I would quarrel and fight and turn violent in my college days with my friends who pull my leg by comparing ilaiyaraja with other composers. I love and adore him as my favourite composer.

SUJATHA (Eminent Writer, India) - There are over 50 kalyani raga songs in tamil film music. But still, when you hear "Nirpadhuve Nadapadhuve" from film Bharathi, you cant help feeling that raga Kalyani has taken a new birth once again. With the songs of film Bharathi, he once again proves that a song can be tuned without electronic noise, can be kept very simple and still be a mesmerizing experience to the listener.

L.BALAJI (Budding Cricket Star/Bowler, India) - I love all the melodious compositions of ilaiyaraja sung by S.P.Balasubramaniam and Yesudoss. My all time favourite is 'raja raja chozhan' from 'Rettai Vaal Kuruvi' that i hum frequently.

USHA (Budding Singer, South India) - For any aspiring singer, singing in his music would be a cherished dream and not many get that chance. He is very jovial, a simpleton and unassuming as a person. If you enter his special room in Prasad Labs, and you will be able to feel the current of tranquility pass through your body. He composes without even having to touch the harmonium and is adept in tuning a good carnatic based tune in folk and western formats. He can re-record for a movie in one single day, in one go. He is lightening fast in judging if the singer has indeed sung the song up to his optimal capacity or if there could be any improvements.

JASSIE GIFT (Composer, South India) - For melodious numbers that i compose, maestro ilaiyaraja is the prime inspiration.

HARISH RAGHAVENDRA (Budding Playback Singer, South India) - I am the luckiest of them all (singers). My very first song was written by a genius lyricist (Bharathiyar) and a genius composer (ilaiyaraaja). When ilaiyaraaja sir finally OK'd my song, it made me feel as if i had received a great award. Later when the song became a hit, Raja was caring enough to caution me not to be lethargic, and stressed on the need to work hard.

PAZHANI BHARATHI (Lyricist, South India) - I have special regards for him, amongst all film music composers that i have worked with. His outlook and perspective is entirely different. He always stresses to lyricists that words that we use for songs need to be kept simple and that the song should reach out down to the common man. He emphasizes that even the uneducated man should instantly understand what is being conveyed (in the lyrics & music) and he should be made to think too much. He stresses upon keeping it simple.

USHA UTHUP (Singer, India) - ilaiyaraja is a complete music director who has mastered classical and Western music, and also has a strong base in folk. He provides an unique fusion of all three systems, and is therefore amazing to me.

MADHAN (Noted Cartoonist, Writer, film critic, India ) - As far as i am concerened, Ilaiyaraja is the best bet when it comes to background music. He seems to fully understand as to what the film's situation demands and what impact should his music create in viewer's mind. More often, the usage of silent passages in his background music is more stunning than the music itself, and he creates the right mood every time.

S.P.BALASUBRAHMANYAM (Eminent Singer, Music Director, India) - There wont be another ilaiyaraja. He is par excellence, self taught and a complete composer. Improvising on original compositions of someone like ilaiyaraja has always been a dicey proposition for me. Some of my improvisations / touches get his nod, while in other instances when i go overboard, he would step in with a figurative spank in the ear.

K.J.YESUDASS (Eminent Singer, Carnatic Vocalist, India) - There are infinite music forms hidden in his heart. All that should flow-out for the good of mankind.

VAALI (South Indian Lyricist/Poet, India) - Reethigowlai, Hamsanatham, Bilahari etc are some of the tough carnatic ragas that he has deftly handled for film music. He is not isaignani, he is swaragnani.

RAJKUMAR SANTOSHI (Noted Film Maker, India ) - (on Background music by Maestro Ilaiyaraja for his film Lajja) - The discipline of the 90 musicians, the conductor and the recording engineers of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra in Hungary was overwhelming. The musicians gave a standing ovation after recording the scores written by Ilaiyaraja. [/tscii:ae7f31a257]