View Full Version : Malaysian Deepavali Show - RAJANNA RAJA THAAN - From Annak..

26th December 2004, 06:28 AM
Topic started by Manisekaran (aumanis@hotmail.com) (@ on Sun Nov 7 05:23:27 EST 2004.

Last year I did a show on Ilayaraja for Deepavali. IT was so great a hit that the ASTRO Private TV Station is repeating on 9 NOvember at 4.00 pm Malaysian time. This is called RAJANNA RAJATHAAN- covering 25 years of Raja's music contribution. From Annakkili to Azhagi. A great hit. If you can, pls do catch it. You can post your comments on the show here, and I'll respond to them.

26th December 2004, 06:28 AM
Old responses (http://tfmpage.com/forum/2209.9670.05.23.27.html)

Archive: http://forumhub.lunarpages.com/hub/viewforum.php?f=13

26th February 2005, 08:59 AM
Dear Friends,

Plese do not welcome me back. I notice that there have been many hits, presumably waiting for me to come back. I happened to be free today and visited the thread. I have given a list of possible songs for you to start off the third round- this time with you taking the lead and I joining occassionally. But that has not materialised. So I am kicking off this third round, with the hope others would continue.

I dedicate this song to tvshanker from Hosur- Coimbatore and CSRamasami


The film Idhaya Kovil (1985) took Tamilnadu by storm, as all the songs were soul stirring. That was yet one more movie of Raja that further strengthened the relationship between Maniratnam and Raja. The movie was the talk of the industry and the South Indians all over the world. Raja was back to his old tricks, he made it almost impossible for music lovers to choose the best or the favourite. All songs became favourites. Just look at the list:

1. Idhayam Oru Kovil - by SPB

2. Idhayam Oru Kovil - by Ilayaraja

3. Koottathile Koyile Pura - SPB

4. Naan Padum Mouna ragam- SPB

5. Oor Orama Athupakkam –Ilayaraja and Chitra

6. Pattu Thalaivan padinaal -SPB , Janaki

7. Vanuyarntha Solaiyellaam- SPB

8. Yaar Veetu Roja -SPB

The movie had a strong storyline. It is said that behind the success of any man is a woman. The hero becomes a famous singer with the backing coming from his girl. As she is killed, he is heartbroken and drags on his life singing in her memory. He becomes a habitual drinker and that is when he becomes philosophical in life, singing many songs. He is then being rehabilitated by one more lady and the story flows. In real life too behind the success of many poets there seem to be love failure(s)....

More than the story line, we see a powerful message in the movie. We see the opening of the heart of Ilayaraja- to almost the fullest extent on music. He has mentioned in passing on music. but here, he writes the lyrics, and composes a music that would always go down in our hearts. Again Raja sings with all his heart, filling the ears of the listeners with emotions. The description "RAAJAVIN PAATENRA POTHINILE INBA THEN VANTHU PAAYUDHU KAATHINILE could well be attributed to this song. It is in this song that Raja brings out clearly what he considers music. All along he maintained that “Music is not my occupation; but my breath.” More than any other MD, Ilayaraja has spoken most of music. He is not only an MD, but worshipper of music descending from the Heavenly Father, our Creator. This is what the MAESTRO says about music. All of us have observed that Ilayaraja has taken music as his life breath itself. Those who had worked closely with Raja, such as Valee would have witnessed the full devotion and deep commitment in scoring music of quality that would live forever and ever. To Raja, music does not stop at composing alone. To him lyrics must be of value, and that had deteriorated after the unfortunate and untimely demise of the greatest of all time Kannadasan. Pronunciation too must be clear, and Raja has set example when he himself sang the songs he composed. Vairamuthu, at a time when he was almost completely dependent upon Ilayaraja for his image and future, openly said that whatever Ilayaraja breathed out was music.

Raja's press interviews, special essays, his travels to Europe to pay tribute to the immortal musicians, all build upon this strong fact that Ilayaraja considered music divine and even beyond that. He often said that good music should not merely be composed, but should compose by itself- almost spontaneously. Any forced composition would be artificial. And music must have some basic carnatic touch.

Ilayaraja is reported to have said “Music is the repetition- of seven notes, while poem is the repetition of a few words.”

1. Let us go through the lines of Idhayam oru Kovil”. To him music is not an occupation but breath. The appropriate line is:

2. Music to him originates from one’s soul, and the line is :

3. To him no one is able to create new music. God is the only creator. The MDs are merely magician-like who retune and recycle the seven swaras. The only new creation is his life. This is it:


4. Ilayaraja shows to us the level of respect and reverence he has for Saint Thiagarayar. In a world that seeks lust for the flesh, Thiagarayar used the living music as a divine path. He used that divine music to light up his own life. He and music became inseparable, as he was music itself. Thiagarayar's life was nothing but music. Likewise Raja too equates that the life for his own songs was also music, as in the case of Thiagarayar. He too, like Thiagarayar is inseparable from music. These are those thought provoking lines:


I have seen Ilayaraja singing this song at all concerts where he was present. This song was very dear to his heart. I would say that this is one of my own favorites. I see a few things in this song, rarely seen in other songs of his- excellent music, good lyrics and emotion in the song, and of course the message and heart of the MAESTRO.

The full lyrics:
idhayam oru koavil adhil udhayam oru paadal
idhil vaazhum dhaevi nee
isaiyai malaraay naanum soottuvaen (2)
(idhayam oru)
aathma raagam onrildhaan vaazhum uyirgal enrumae
uyirin jeeva naadidhaan raagam thaalam aanadhae
uyiril kalandhu paadumboadhu edhuvum paadalae
paadalgal oru koadi edhuvum pudhidhalla
raagangal koadi koadi adhuvum pudhidhalla
enadhu jeevan onrudhaan enrum pudhidhu
(idhayam oru)
kaamam thaedum ulagilae jeevan ennum geedhaththaal
raama naaman meedhilae naadhath thiyaagaraajarum
oonai urukki uyiril vilakku aetrinaarammaa
avar paadalin jeevan adhuvae avaraanaar
en paadalin jeevan edhuvoa adhu neeyae
neeyum naanum onrudhaan engae pirivadhu
(idhayam oru)
neeyum naanum poavadhu kaadhal enra paadhaiyil
saerum naeram vandhadhu meedhith thooram paadhiyil
paadhai onru aanapoadhum dhisaigal vaerammaa
enadhu paadhai vaeru unadhu paadhai vaerammaa
meeraavin kannan meeraavidamae
enadhaaruyir jeevan enai aandaayae
vaazhga enrum valamudan enrum vaazhgavae
(idhayam oru)

Listen to 'Idhaya koyil' songs: http://www.musicindiaonline.com/l/26/s/movie_name.4478/

Dear Readers, please keep the thread flowing.


Vaazhga Valamudan.

26th February 2005, 11:05 AM
nandri manisekaran avargale
ungal thodar mutru petradaal varuthangalodu :(

26th February 2005, 08:06 PM
Thanks a lot for your wonderful bottom-of-the-heart expressions about Raaja ! As you rightly said, it is difficult to pick and choose from this film album. Whether the heartfelt rendering of Idhayam Oru kovil, or the Swaraproyagam of Kootathile kovil pura, the racing violin pieces of Yaar Veettu Roja, the simplest but prickling violin + guitar strums interludes of Naan Paadum Mouna Raagam, the stunning and soulful female humming in the Vaanuyarndha Solaiyile.... ! what can we leave.. nothing! Raaja at his effortless best stroke !

I appreciate your sincere efforts to encourage everybody to contribute to this wonderful page. Readers will cetainly carry further, I strongly believe !


28th February 2005, 07:26 AM
Thanks mani sir for giving us a lead to the next chain of songs.
Idhayam Oru koil ruled when the movie was released. Every tea shop. every cassette shop and every bus had this song , so much so one felt that there were two "rajyas" at that time. One was Rajeev Gandhi's Panchayath Raj propaganda and the other was our Raaja's musical Raajya.
When I heard the song first couple of times, two things were striking:
1. The words chosen had no rhyme when the lyric was read. I used to wonder that ther must be a "sandha p pizhai" , a mistake in the sandham. But when I heard SPB's voice sweetly pushing the song into my heart, I realized that critical analysis is possible only if the song originated as a thought. Any work of art that arises as a feeling transcends thought and associated criticism! This song is a classical example. In kumudam that year (1986 I guess) there was an interview by Vairamuthu or some other Thamizh poet who lashed out at this song saying that the song had grammatical errors and it became popular only due to music. It was quite a controversy at that time and Kumudham was at its "sindu mudinjufying" best. IR kept quite but the resounding success of the music and the soul it projected was simply his answer.

2. In all film songs, the percussion like mrudangam and tabla were only 'meter' instruments, an index of the speed and the jadhi. Apart from that they had no value. But listen to this song carefully. When SPB's voice stops "Endrum Pudhidhu.." the tabla takes over from where he left and joins the interlude music, a way IR had used flute in "annak kili onnai thedudhe". It was another dimension of usage of tabla, where it provides continuity and enhances the melody. My friends used to practise this song vigorously and it was in short a tabla player's dream to play this song in a kutcheri!

28th February 2005, 07:36 AM
And moreover, at that time there was a common beilief among directors/producers that if Ilayaraja sings teh Title song, the film will become a hit.. I think this song is one good example for that..

28th February 2005, 08:32 AM
rajasaranam, csramasami,jaiganes and nkv,

Thank you for the response. There is a saying "Izhukudaya Paattukku Isai nanru" meanig, should there be grammatical errors in the lyrics composition, the melody or tune would come in to rescue the situation. Cine songs are composed for the santham. Music directors provide the tune first and lines are given by the song writers. This is called Thaththagaram. Where songs are written independantly with no presence of the MDs ths songs and the tunes come out well. Most fo Kannadasan's songs for KVM were composed without they meeting together, and KVM has that great ability to compose without changing even a single line, unless Appu-(Pugazhendhi) an ardent Tamil lover detects any mistake. That may explain why songs by KVM and Kannadasan are still ab out the best. MSV cannot compose without the presence of the song writer. He would demand for change of words to suit his tune.

Vairamuthu is one more who composes only in the presence of the MDs. I do not want to speculate anything else. When I met him in his house in December 1999, he told me that there were only 2 songs that he composed in advance and passed them over to the MDs for music.

So paadal varikalil mayakkam is always there in all lyrics.

1. Kathum Kuyilosai Satre vanthu Kathil Vizha VEndum- BHARATHY- Should be "Koovum Kuyilosai" critics say.

2. Neerodum Vaikayile Ninraadum Meene
Neiyoorum Kaanagathil Kai Kaattum maane? - good tune, but unable to grasp the meaning.

3. Kathirunthu Kaathirunthu Perumai Izhanthen(paarthu Paarthu NInrathile)
- should be PORUMAI, not Perumai. PB Seenivas tried to justify this when we met along with Vairamuthu in Woodlands Drive Inn in December 1984.

4.Madhavi Pon mayilaal Thogai Virithaal-

Thogai Viruppathu Aan mayil, not female as indicated in PON MAYILAAL.

So once again, cinema songs are composed for the santham. kavithai is different from cinema paadal.


28th February 2005, 08:37 AM
One fan emailed me to say that the song Ithayam Oru Kovil, like any other song sung by Ilayaraja has some speciality. It appears as Ilayaraja speaks directly to the listeners. I do agree with this particular song, where I feel Ilayaraja is singing and conveying his thoughts direct to us.


28th February 2005, 03:16 PM
Dear Mani Sir & Others,
Though a deviation from IR topic - just wanted to pass this info. The 'Appu' you were mentioning about, known as Pukazhenthi, expired yesterday.. He has been assistant to KVM for more than 600 movies..

M Madhanraj
28th February 2005, 03:30 PM
Dear Mr Manisekaran

Thanks for making (as usual) us more delighted with your writings and information abour IR's GOLDEN songs. WELCOME BACK to IGNITE MUSIC FIRE IN ALL IR FANS.

You have touched IR's one of fantastic song and even after 20 years it is very fresh. I have few things to mention about this song and me.

1. When it came in 1985, I was so crazy about this song and its lyrics (Even though NOT fully understanding) and I used to write this song's lyrics in my school note and in some of my friends (matching the same taste) notebook too. We used to sing this song and enjoy it.

2. I have enjoyed IR singing lively in 2 concerts. One is Pannaipuram (in his native place) and another in Madras.

3. Very appropriate lady voice (may be Janaki) has been blended so nicely to take the song to another elevated level.

4. This was the last movie for Motherland movies and IR worked together. (that time) Later they have joined after 2000 days (I still remember Daily Thanthi News paper Ad.) for their UNIFICATION in one of Parthiban / Kushboo movie and it also had music feast.
Sorry I don't remember the movie Name.

Now with your GREAT write up and it has added more and more flavour to me personally.

Thank you so much


M Madhanraj

M Madhanraj
28th February 2005, 03:37 PM
Dear Mr Manisekaran

There are so many movies like 'IDHAYA KOIL' where it did not do well in BOX OFFICE , but it's songs , still it is mesmorising and that's one of the reason IR has become UNIQUE even today. He does his BEST in all the movies.

One of the movie is 'SOLLA THUDIKKUTHU MANASU' What a variety of songs in this movie and all was class on its own. In the posters only IR and his songs were mentioned.(Hero - Karthika and directed by Nivas - if I am not wrong)


It is very difficult to choose which is best.

Sorry for the digression.

M Madhanraj

1st March 2005, 05:07 AM

Sorry that pugazhendhi has passed away. Rajaraman emailed me, and I have shared some of my thoughs with him.


You have not digressed. You are very much in tune. You hve mentioned songs which seem to be your favourite. But I am listing some songs that are unique in one way or another, making them landmark songs of Raja. We have to be careful on the selection of songs, otherwise all his songs would be listed and clogg up the thread.

Thanks for welcoming me back. But I am not going to lead any more, as mentioned earlier. Someone has to take centre stage and lead.


1st March 2005, 06:38 AM
Hi all!
Since Mani sir is going to be an active participant and not a driver of this thread, we can form a group of people who can receive selections for landmark songs by raaja from fellow hubbers and select the songs based on merits and then post it for analysis with write up. The names of the panelists to whom hubbers can pm their selections can be chosen by Mani sir and RR sir. what do you guys say?

1st March 2005, 09:30 AM
Dear jaiganesh,

Thank you. This is free for all thread. I am aware that there are people here who are personal friends of Raja. Raja has even written to them. So they could take the lead. Of course RR would be another qualified person. I shall chip in off and on.



1st March 2005, 09:54 AM
I'm sooo tempted... but sorry, I'm busy for couple of weeks. I'll try to post when I get time.


2nd March 2005, 01:57 AM
Puzhalenthi's death is a big loss. I remember once SPB mentioned in an interview that Puzhalenthi was the reason he got to sing all those great numbers in Shankarabharanam, which eventually got him a national award. Its truly a sad event.


2nd March 2005, 02:54 AM
Since Manisekaran has asked us to continue, let's first identify a few landmark songs (that have not been covered already)...which should be a relatively easy talk for most of us...Then, we'll request an `insider DFer' to post the story:-)

A few of my choices
-idhu oru pon mAlaippozhudhu (or one song from nizhalgaL, which is among IR's top rated albums by TFM connoisseurs, despite for an utter flop movie)
-pani vizhum malarvanam (from ninaivellAm nithya, alternatively any one song from a Sridhar movie - may be `orE nAL unai nAn nilAvil pArthadhu' /`nAnE nAnA, yArO dhAnA' /`ennadi meenAchi' /`thaNNee karuthiruchu'/`thendRal vandhu ennaiththodum'), I feel each film by IR/Sridhar was a trendsetter in TFM
-`azhagiya kaNNE, uRavugal neeyE' from udhirippookkaL or `kAtRil endhan geetham' from Johny - the former being part of a top class movie, one of the best ever movies made in Tamil, adding value and the later standing head and shoulders above many songs of the period on musical richness
-'pAda vandhadhO gAnam' or 'isai mEdaiyil' from iLamaikkAlangaL - the second film by Kovai thambi where the director probably got changed after songs were composed (from R Sundarrajan to Manivannan)...there may be an interesting story behind...or `pAda vA, un pAdalai' when RS came back to the team delivering all those gems in nAn pAdum pAdal, another landmark album by Raja
-`sOlai pushpangaLE, en sOgam sollungaLE'- a lovely song composed for a film called oomai veyyil (SLBC used to broadcast making the song immensely popular along with `vadakkuththeru vaNNakkiLi')...the film could never be released (the reasons could form the story) and Manivannan `bought' the rights for the songs and used them in his moderately successful `ingEyum oru gangai', enabling the song the be aired by AIR:-)

....there could be many more such memorable numbers with interesting stories behind

2nd March 2005, 03:28 AM
Dear Mani,
I would like to thank you for enthralling us with your series. There were also interesting tidbits and additional info/analyses from friends like Senthil, Jaiganesh, Madhanraj, eden and others. Even though I could not contribute the last few weeks, I did manage to read all your posts.
'idhayam oru koyil' is surely music soaked with emotion. IR, even gives us the reason - uyiril kalandhu paadum pOthu ethuvum paadalE' for any artistic license he might have taken with the lyrics.
Jaiganesh, I remember 'saalai Oram, sOlai onRu paadum' being danced on stage by two little girls, one dressed in boys clothes when I was in school. I guess this was a popular song too.
BTW, the music of 'my dear kuttichathan' is ground breaking. It was almost symphonic. I feel it needs a place in 'Mani's Picks' .
I think any song we would discuss here should have Mani's consent, that is why I call it 'Mani's Picks'. We just save him the research and write up time.

2nd March 2005, 08:20 AM
The lyrical controversy raised by Kumudam with Idayam Oru Koil was as follows: THe claim was porutkutram rather than sorkutram.
There is a line that goes
"Paadhai ondru aana podum disaigal veramma
Unadhu paadhai veru enahdu p[aadhai veramma"

The question ws if the paadhais are ondru as per first line, how come it becomes veru veru in second line.
My take was that the paadhai in first line means "Road" (the physical entity) and the second line means "Path" (the abstract entity) as in the Career-path etc.

I still think the same - what do tamil experts think?

2nd March 2005, 08:32 AM

Please be informed that my consent is not needed for posting the landmark songs. The only caution is- do not go for popular songs or your favourites. They must be landmark songs for some valid reasons.

Thank you.


3rd March 2005, 12:29 AM

Please be informed that my consent is not needed for posting the landmark songs. The only caution is- do not go for popular songs or your favourites. They must be landmark songs for some valid reasons.

Thank you.


Dear Mani,
Actually after posting yesterday, I had second thoughts about it sounding too definitive. It was meant only as a suggestion. Apologies to fellow posters, as I dont mean to be so heavy handed. To clarify, it would be nice, if the posted songs, pass your 'pre-requisites' for a 'landmark' song. Once you feel that it is a landmark, I think, we can call it a 'landmark' or 'Mani's Picks of Landmark Songs'. Do you think this way we posters will be able to maintain the continuity ?

3rd March 2005, 12:33 AM
The lyrical controversy raised by Kumudam with Idayam Oru Koil was as follows: THe claim was porutkutram rather than sorkutram.
There is a line that goes
"Paadhai ondru aana podum disaigal veramma
Unadhu paadhai veru enahdu p[aadhai veramma"

The question ws if the paadhais are ondru as per first line, how come it becomes veru veru in second line.
My take was that the paadhai in first line means "Road" (the physical entity) and the second line means "Path" (the abstract entity) as in the Career-path etc.

I still think the same - what do tamil experts think?

'dhisai' means east/west/north/south etc. a 'paadhai' can go in two directions. i.e even if we both are on the same highway we could be going in opposite directions.
The second line probably means the road ITSELF (stress here) is different. ie. there is too much difference.
This way, I do not see any thing illogical in the lyrics.

3rd March 2005, 12:49 AM
" 'kiru' 'kiru' kiru' kiru'ingren
Naan norru norru norru norukiren ..
"kiru" kiren .."kiru"kiren ...

- Thanks to Kadhal song ...

Pinniteenga ponga ...

3rd March 2005, 01:22 AM
On selecting more `landmark' songs of IR, question:
Are we agreeing upon one of the following:

-idhu oru pon mAlaippozhudhu (or nizhalgaL alt., connoisseur's choice:-) )
-pani vizhum malar vanam (or Sridhar movies alt., TFM trend setters, iLamai oonjalAdukiRadhu started tea shop music culture, unique to TN, for example)
-azhagiya kaNNE (or kAtril endhan geetham -etched in TF hall of fame category)
-pAda vandhadhO gAnam (or isai mEdaiyil/pAda vA/ padum vAnambAdi , film made for songs only or mike-mohan trend)
-sOlai pushpangaLE (songs bought from one movie to another, a different kind of recognition)

Why don't we go for a mini-nomination process:-) Like the IR song that gets, say, 5 aye's from the active participants of this thread...

3rd March 2005, 07:10 AM
I agree with eden! Let us put our choices for vote.

3rd March 2005, 07:20 AM
Instead of putting a bunch of songs up for the vote, let us put a film with landmark songs for vote. This will give everybody opportunity to explore all songs n that film. Let us do it chronologically, right from the earliest to the latest. My first nomination in the late 70s, early eighties period would be "ROsappoo Ravikkaikaari". Although we have discussed two Devaraj-Mohan movies with Ilayaraaja already (Annakkili & Chittukkuruvi). In this movie, Ilayaraaja used the voice of SPB to the tilt for a folk song. The song being "Uchi vagindheduthu". SPB singing a folk song for IR, this was the first time I guess. Another haunting song was "Ennullil Yaedho yaengum geedham" by Vani Jayaram. This was a melody composed for one of the most compromising situations in Thamizh screen. A reason which led to the film's ultimate failure at the BO. Nevertheless, IR gave a soulful melody. In addition there were a lot of thukkada songs which were a delight to a connoiseur of folk music. If we can discuss for this song, please respond with your opinions.

3rd March 2005, 07:28 AM

Are u sure "Rosappoo..' was an ultimate failure at BO?

This 100th movie of Sivakumar produced by Thirupoor Mani ran 100 days in Madras (I remember 100 days posters in Krishnaveni)?

However songs were ultimate and sure deserve to be discussed. "mamen oru naal ' was a wonderful duet..

SG cleverly copied the 'Uchi..' song as 'Pattvanna Rosavam' which became a big hit (both song an movie)


3rd March 2005, 09:52 AM
I am not sure abt Rosa poo's BO fate. I was told this by my uncle.
I am sure on one thing though is the impact the songs made. Also I remember seeing the remake of the movie in Telugu and kannada. Telugu one starred Chandramohan. Deepa remained the mainstay in both movies.

3rd March 2005, 02:26 PM

SG's song u were mentioning was a special movie which had IR, SG and few other music directors working on one song a piece.. IR gave a master piece "Naan Oru Ponnoviyam Kanden" in that movie starring Rajesh and Vadivikkarasi.

M Madhanraj
3rd March 2005, 04:00 PM
Small Correction Mr Renault. Song - Pattu Vanna Rosaavaam - in the Movie - 'KANNI PARUVATHILAE' - by SG.

The Song - 'NAAN ORU PONNOVIYAM KANDEN' is from different movie - 'KANNIL THERIYUM KATHIGAL' (Starring - Sarath babu)
Song From SG - was - 'NAAN UNNA NINAITCHANE, nee yenna ninatchae ...'


M Madhanraj

3rd March 2005, 06:55 PM
R Ravikkaikkari was a moderate BO hit (especially in B&C centers)...

The songs were big hits...vethala vethala vethalayO had a non-standard structure with dialogs in-between, mAmEn orunAL malligappoo koduththAn a thuLLal folk duet with novel rhythm for its time, ennuLLE engO a nice melody and the very best uchi vahundheduththu pichippoo vacha kiLi...SPB brining all those emotions of the `pAvam' hubby with a cheating wife with the udukkai kind of sounds adding to the emotions...

Good choice jaiganesh! I think, though, that the earlier `nenachathellAm nadakkappORa nEraththula vAdi' in uRavAdum nenjam (SPB/SJ) may qualify for the "first folkish SPB song with Raja" title:-)

4th March 2005, 12:04 AM
eden, I think I will go for the ninaivellAm nithya song in your list. It is a very modern sounding song. Very very stylish. Fantastic recording, whose quality is discernible even over Real Audio (one of the best recorded LP records that I have). The drums, the alternating veena/flute fills, the tabla bit for the nuanced part of the singing, etc make this an enjoyable song. I think some youngsters if passed this as a song from new movie will probably believe it.

(Mumbai Ramki :-) )

4th March 2005, 10:09 AM
kiru ji!
Chronologically ROsaap poo Rvikkaikaari is ahead. Plus reasons being the folk experiment in a tribal setting by raaja . Another reason is that the movie represented a clash of civilizations in a sophisticated manner. A husband who is a tribal and a wife who is better educated and not so innocent and from a different culture. This was reflected well by IR. Another reason why I chose was it was one of the last movies by the duo Devaraj Mohan. So even if it wouldn't qualify as landmark films in Thamizh film Industry, the music was definitely path breaking and hence a landmark. If there is no consensus, someone please suggest a song/film from that period (late 70s and early eighties) which was trendsetting work and one which already is not covered by Mani sir.

4th March 2005, 02:19 PM
We might want to discuss one "eera vizhi kAviyangaL" a non-entity starring Pratap which got lost amidst super hits like payaNangaL mudivathillai and the likes...The movie probably ran for a day/two, and the music too didn't create waves...But...when one listen to the songs, one just marvels how Raja was way ahead of his times...Each one of the songs is a gem...Only those who've listened to the numbers can understand what I mean.

4th March 2005, 02:57 PM
Shankar,as in webgate.mot*.* ?
I guess so considering the EVK connection.
Yes, I agree. EVK was one stupendous effort.

5th March 2005, 04:50 AM
Jaiganesh. Sorry, I think we should go chronologically as well. It would be a good idea to keep Mani in the loop or maybe we should request Mani to layout some criteria to define 'landmark'.

EVK is yummy.. very avant garde. Which movie is ilam pani thuli vizhum nEram ? This is a good one too. I got this is in a 1985 hits collection LP. So it would qualify for a landmark ?. My logic is it is a good representative exmple of IR's melodies orchestrated with a bassline.

5th March 2005, 07:09 AM
Ilampani thulir is another excellent choice for late 70s, its from Aradhanai(1978) in Sujatha's tender voice.

Namthana namthana thaalam varum:
Cracker of a song! Scintillating chorus and the pallavi and charanam retain the same structure throughout the song. Instrumental combo is also refreshingly fresh and evergreen.

Poonthalir aada:
Stunning chorus - bits of the la-la-la chorus followed by that out-of the-world humming is featured in several of our FM stations now and then. What a song!

Uravenum puthiya vaanil is another song that is of the Eera Vizhi Kaviyangal category - Out of the box gem from Raaja.

6th March 2005, 10:10 PM
pl read this article on one of the songs from EVK


7th March 2005, 07:47 AM
Uravenum puthiya vaanil is another song that is of the Eera Vizhi Kaviyangal category - Out of the box gem from Raaja.

It is close but not very close. EVK has a special 'moody/melancholic' feel throughout the song. Though this songs's pallavi is good, the charanams are not that great, IMHO, relatively speaking though. But you got it right, it does have that feel, just like Ilam pani song.

I think we need to pick one alaigal oyvathillai song - the movie and songs were a sensation. I suggest kaathal oviyam or putham puthu kaalai.

7th March 2005, 03:08 PM
yep...this is the same shankar...but i don't get you rajdes...people keep changing their identities...I know this person with the 'new' name 'appengine' as someone else...I see some posts with his name..but not sure if he's the one...I don't get ur identity rajdes. May be you can mail me...
Sorry for the digression folks...

9th March 2005, 05:24 AM
expecting some replies. As this is the appropriate place.javascript:emoticon(':)')

I have seen the discussions here and it's been very stimulating. I have been collecting songs and I am looking to have MP3s of the following:

-- Ilam pani thulir vizhum neram -- Aarathanai
-- IlamaiKalangal songs
-- Pagal Nilavu song

Can anybody help..

9th March 2005, 06:53 AM
Dear Friends,

I see much enthusiasm here. However, I do not see anyone mentioning any landmark song of Raja. All the songs quoted here are either your favourites of popular hits. As mentioned several times, the songs must be outstanding for some reason, or at least have an interesting story attached to it. In fact I had given a list for possible discussion.

You may want to discuss a very popular song that was composed using computer. It was after this song that other MDs too started to use computer. I am sure you all know the song. Please identify it and discuss.


11th March 2005, 07:26 AM

I am giving one more push, as there seem to be some re-starting problem in the thread.

Music has evolved in many ways and grown in many forms. In the olden days songs were composed with complete care and devotion. The MDs would gather the singers and accommodate in studio for a few days. They would be fed with selected food and given carefully prepared drinks. The singers would be made to wake up well before dawn and sent for bathing in the cold waters. After prescribing oil for their throat, rehearsals would take place. Following days of rehearsal, songs would be recorded. That was the first period. This is very time consuming and involved much pain. Yet, we had some of the best gems through this method. Such was the situation in the 1940s and 1950s.

Then came the 1960s when such restrictions were removed. But singers had to come and sit down in the presence of producers, directors and song writers to understand the situation and create music suiting the situation and the mood. Composing would take place in the presence of all of them. This system was also fairly good as the emotions would come out well, reflecting the exact expectations of the producers and directors. During this time, all of them had almost equals say in the production of any song. This was also the time when many singers were readily available.

In the late 1970s, more and more films came to be produced and so MDs were pressed for time. Even Ilayaraja could not devote time to sit down and discuss songs with the big banner producers. Yet he moved on organising his time. But the 1980s became a period of immense challenge not only for MDs but also for singers. There were far too many movies produced every year. There were far too many MDs as well coring for these movies. It was in the 1980s that computer music started to show up. The advent of this technology has been an asset, at the same time a liability. It was at this time that music came to be composed with the assistance of new technology- keyboard and computers. It became an asset when handled by competent music directors. But it saw decline of quality when handled by incompetent MDs. It is a great consolation that music scored by Ilayaraja not only became good hits, it never compromised with the quality expected of the genius.

Alongside computer music, came track recording.With this, in any duet, the male and female singers need not meet in person or team up to produce any song. The tunes are composed and recorded on cassettes and sent to the homes of the singers, whom would practise singing at home. The male may come in the morning and sing in his track while the female may come and sing in her track. In the same note, the tape may be sent to Mumbai where the singer from the north would listen and sing on the track allocated for her. So this saves much of the time and cost alright, but the true feelings are much depressed, and the sound of music takes the upper hand. Though this is a sad situation, unfortunately this is something that could never be avoided in the wake of the advent of new technology. With computers generating songs by the tons, Ilayaraja was careful in not mechanising music. Some of the songs that Ilayaraja has programmed in computer did come out well, soothing to the ears. While it is said that Vikram (En Jodi Manja Kuruvie) was the movie that introduced computer music, it was widely held that Punnagai Mannan bloomed it well, with the song Enna Saththam Intha Neram. That song was well received by all.

At this time A.R. Rahman was assisting Ilayaraja (and a playing mate of Karthik Raja). The Hindu had an interview with A. R. Rahman. The Hindu had an interview with AR Rahman.

Q: Can you tell something about your contribution for Ilaiyaraja's score in “Punnagai Mannan.''

ARR: I was only an operator and not a composer. When I first bought the computer, Ilaiyaraja called me and we had lots of work sessions. He composed the song and I programmed it.

In another interview, at a time when ARR had grown tall, he mentioned that the song Enna Satham intha Neram was his favourite from Ilayaraja.

ARR was never interested in music, but had gone for a degree in electronics engineering. Owing to financial difficulties he abandoned his plans and switched to playing keyboard in various film orchestras, and that included working as an arranger in Ilaiyaraja's orchestra. ARR openly acknowledges that it was his association with Ilayaraja that had changed his outlook in music. ARR’s religious life, according to him has been well inspired by Ilaiyaraja. Mutual feelings and respects aside, the truth is that Alla Rakha Rehman has emerged as Ilaiyaraja's only rival in the Tamil film music world.

(KIND APPEAL: Please do not compare in any way ARR with Ilayaraja. That is never the intention. I am just talking of the environment in which computer music emerged.)

Ilayaraja has shown his creativity once again. The prelude is simply unbelievably great, and mesmerises the listeners. Listeners are sure to be awe struck! A song is normally filled with music- vocal or instrumental. Some MDs had interspersed songs with pause, and yet maintained the beauty. IR has very skilfully created pause before the two interludes. Could silence be part of music? Not to an average ear. But Ilayaraja had made silence into a song. He has introduced no music at all in a song and yet got all of us to enjoy it. Punnagai Mannan may boast of good casting, great direction and screenplay. But songs seem to dominate the movie. When talking of songs, it is this song that comes shines out.







This is a very rare song where both IR and ARR had worked together. A simple case where combination of great minds create great song! How nice had they been allowed to continue.

This is yet another song that cannot be sidestepped in the musical career of Ilayaraja. There may be some other songs, but the song most spoken of was, is and would always be Enna Satham Intha Neram, a song that comes as a crowning glory for Punnagai Mannan.

Listen to Punnagai Mannan songs: http://www.musicindiaonline.com/l/26/s/movie_name.5073/


11th March 2005, 08:21 AM
Dear Mr.Manisekaran,

IMHO songs Viz., Vaanmegam, kavidhai kelungal, Computer theme & english song were the ones programmed thro computer and not enna satham .

You can hardly feel any mechanical stuff in this song due the aweful manual playing of sax , bass guitar, drums, congo keyflute and a synthesiser...

Moreover ARR was never an arranger to IR.(IR doesnt require an arranger as like other composers) He was only the second keyboard player while Viji Manuel was the key player.The main parts were actually played by Vijimanuel.(Eg The banjo toned wonderful playing in mamavukku kuduma from Punnagai mannan"
ARR was only used for programming stuff.

11th March 2005, 08:31 AM
Neverthless ..this is a great song !!!!!

Mani sir ,the silence in the interludes before the charanam is absolutely great !!!

Somebody said 'silence is deafening ' ...Nobody has used silence better than Raaja ,esp in BGM .......

Another important point is taht this is asolo song ....don't u think it is surprising ??Should not it been a duet ? Some thought shoudl have been there - probably they want to show the feelings of teh hero in that song ..

11th March 2005, 08:49 AM

Thank you for your opinion and enthusiasm. The songs that you have listed are relevant. That the song "Enna Satham intha Neram" too was the product of computer work was taken from an interview by ARR. I am not knowledgeable in detecting computer effects. I admire your indepth knowledge. You seem to have names of individual musicians under Ilayaraja within your palm.

We all knew that ARR was a keyboard player. But I too was suprised when I read from a publised source some time ago mentioning ARR was an arranger under Ilayaraja. If your statement is correct then the published article is misleading.

Thank you for the enthusiasm.


11th March 2005, 07:57 PM
`enna saththam indha nEram' is absolutely the pick of punnagai mannan! A song that brings the mood of quite surroundings at night...soft and soothing...

However, it's difficult to judge whether any `programming' went into this song as most instruments appear to be either `real instruments' or 'ready made synthesisers / keyboards with fixed sounds'...The synthesisers typically use customized microcontroller chips with embedded code and hence arguably can be called as `computerised (in an embedded sense)' but then they existed even in the days of `madai thiRandhu' or `vAlibamE vA, vA, thEnisaiyE vA,vA':-)

The percussion too appears to have been `played' and not `program generated'...and so are the other sounds...However, I can be wrong as my knowledge on these music machines is very low - limited to yamaha/casio keyboards...just trying to apply the GK on computers and embedded systems:-)

I remember reading about `first time use of computers in punnagai mannan', though, at the time of making...dismissed that as `hype' (what computer programming was required for the `kavidhai kELungaL' song anyways, as claimed in the report? Though a good song, it definitely didn't warrant any `programming' as Raja's team could have played it with real instruments just like that...just listen to the songs of nizhalgal, enakkul oruvan etc. as proof). If that was related to digitized recording or other techniques, then it's a different story...or if it was using `loops' for percussion, I didn't see a great deal of difference in any of the PM songs in this area in comparison with, say, endRendRum AnandhamE of kadal meengaL either...

yappA, yArAvadhu konjam vivaramA indha `computerization' pathi viLakka mudiyumA?

14th March 2005, 04:32 AM
Dear Fans,
Two doubts have been raised in the song Enna Saththam Intha Neram:

1) The song has no computer effect.

Kiru, one of our constant readers sent me an email and permitted me to post some contents here for the benefit of all of us. This is it:

"I could only feel that enna saththam does not have synth elements in it.

I dont know why people keep talking about computers in
this context. I guess it is just MIDI programming.
This you can do with just a keyboard or a keyboard
connected to a computer. Once the MIDI file has been
created, it can be played back by a synthesizer
keyboard or to be precise a 'sequencer'. The
advantages of MIDI is that one can get better playback
and coordination, because of the opportunity to try
many times and record only particular tracks.
MIDI and Synthesizers are a boon to a less financially
able person, who cannot afford a whole orchestra. ARR
used it effectively to neutralise IRs' usage of an
orchestra, without the producers having to take the
risk of spending money on a costlier recording."

This clarifies. Perhaps what experts refer to as MIDI is what the layman, like my own self calls computer programing.

2) That ARR was never an arranger in IR's orchestra.
Another friend has given a site that confirms that ARR was an arranger:


Thank you.


14th March 2005, 08:54 AM
advantages of MIDI is that one can get better playback
and coordination, because of the opportunity to try
many times and record only particular tracks.
MIDI and Synthesizers are a boon to a less financially
able person, who cannot afford a whole orchestra

There are two reasons ..one either they want to create a new sounds with better sound engineering as ARR wanted ..or there are some other third rate music directors who don't know how to read,write musical notes ,how to use a orchestra ..:(

14th March 2005, 10:46 AM
Dear Mr.Manisekaran.,

Thanks for the info provided by your friend with a link to a site confirming ARR as arranger to IR.

Though i cannot comment on the authenticity of such articles, MHO about an arranger is a person who arranges various forms of music to a melody.He is more or less incharge for orchestration of a song eg : the Violin section,brass section , Voices ( Chorus)etc.

Few eg of arrangers : Mr. Henry Daniel / Sri. Goverdhanam to MSV, Mr. Dass Daniel to SG & the ever popular Sri Pugazhendi for KVM.

IR is most versatile and known for writing the entire score of the song including arrangement and hence the need for a seperate arrangers does not arrange.

Arrangers are more common in Hindi film Music

I would be grateful if anybody can throw morelight on this subject.

14th March 2005, 12:24 PM
Dear Brother Jagann,

Thank you for the well informed input on the arangers for the various MDs. As much as you are not able to comment on the authenticty of the article provided by a friend of mine, I am eaqually not able to refute that article, as the said article has not been contested.

ARR could have been a mere musician under Ilayaraja's orchestra, and you may be right in your own way. All I want to say is the cinema field is so vast and wide that none of us have all that comprehensive information on the minute details. There are far too many gaps in the cine field, yet to be ironed out. Sometimes even published sources, as you had indicated, I agree, may not be revealing the exact truth. I have quoted before and may want to refresh again. Just look at these published sources:

1. Irukkum Idathai Vittu Illatha Idam Thedi- there is an argument as to who had written this song. Some say it was by Kannadasan, while others say it was by Ka Mu Sherriff. It was the well informed writer Jayakanthan who raised this issue in his book Oru Ilakkiyavaathiyin kalaithurai Anubavangal. In fact both of them have written this song in different forms- Kannadasan in Thiruvarutchelvar and Ka Mu Sheriff in Panam Panthilyie.

2. For a very long time there was a confusion as to who wrote the song Ethanai Kaalamthan Ematruvar intha Naattile-Some argued that it was by Tanjai Ramiah Dass, while others said it was by Namakkal Kavingar. The credit in the film talks of both of them ahving writen songs for the film. Then comes Muthulingam who said that he was the one who wrote it. What was the age of Muthulingam when the film Malaikkallan was produced and what was his profession- asked KUMDAM weekly. Finally it dawned that the song was written by Tanjai Ramaiah Dass.

3. Vizhiye Kathai Ezhuthu- Urimaikkural- Record says Vaali, but actually by Kannadasan.

4. Kan mai Enthum Vizhi Aada- Poojaikku vantha Malar- Record says it was by Vaali, but was written by Kannadasan for Pachai Vilakku. Could not be used there, and MSV used it here.

5. Mayakkum Maalai Pozhuthe Nee Po Po- record says MSV/TKR but was composed by KVM for Koondukkili.

6. Putham Puthu Meni-Balamurali and P. Suseela- Subathinam- record says by KVM, but originally composed by TG Lingappa

7. Kunguma Poove- Maragatham- record says by SM Subbiah Naidu, but composed by TG Lingappa.

8. Vaana Meethil Neenthi Odum Vennilaave and Kongu naattu Chengarumbe Thangachilaye- the version of Sergazhi Govindarajan was composed by G Ramanathan, but GRamanathan was not to be involved when Trichy Loganathan sang and recorded the same songs at Gemini Studios.

9. There are three lyricists for the song Sirippu- Raajaraani, but only the name of Maruthakazi appears.

10. There are two lyricists for the song Kan Vazhi Pugunthu in Thookku Thookki, but only the name of Udumalaiyaar appears.

The matter deepens as you dicsuss. I shall be glad to continue on another thread if TFM Team could open a new thread. The whole problem is this:

1. Statements by the cinema personalities keep on changing over time, especially when they age and become senile. Mukta Senivasan(Thamizh Thiraippada varalaaru) and Vaamanan (Thirai Isai Alaikal) too have made mistakes in their publications. But their greatness is that they have admitted their mistakes when readers pointed out.

2. Living personalities are telling lies once the newsmakers have pased away. This is being overly done by one great MD, either to deliberatley blow own trumpet and claim credit or their own memory is fading.

3. Current publications tend to quote earlier articles and the same mistake is perpetuated.

On many occassions I have been caught by the contradicting statements by these titans themselves. I am no authority on cinema news. As we go to cinema for passing our time, I too post here to pass my time and to make new friends. I post mostly from memory. I have made mistakes, and may continue to make mistakes. I count on readers such as you to correct me and I have accepted them.

This is the first time I am coming across you. You are most welcome to this healthy thread. I note that you are quite a well informed person. I am sure you can contribute towards enriching this series further through your valuable and well informed inputs.

To recapitulate, you are right, based on your own satement, and substantiated by the cases I pointed out, that published sources may not be the gospel truth after all - in so far as the celluloid world is concerned.

The botttom line:

Seithikal Pala Kodi- athellam Unmai Alla
Thagaval Pala Kodi Athuvum Mei Alla

I have to say that this should not become a comparison of ARR and IR. Conciously or unconcscioulsy that seems to be taking place.

So let us put this matter to rest and move on. I hope you would cooperate with me.

Thank you.

14th March 2005, 12:55 PM
Dear Mr. Manisekaran,

Thanks for the detailed info.

I just wanted to share some clarification on the arrangers since i myself was fortunate to see lot of Recordings & BGsores of various MD's and in particular ARR working as a K>B player under IR (it was for film Sippikil Muthu) and i spent around 3-4 hrs in the RR theatre..



14th March 2005, 01:23 PM
Dear Jagann,

Thank you so much for your kind response. You have been most fortunate to have witnessed what most of us have been deprived of. I was there at Prasad studio on two occasions- 1984 and 1986. I was with IR and met Vaali, Pandiyarajan and Gangai Amaran. Saw a few recordings.

With your experience, I am sure you could throw more light in some of the future postings others or I may make. I am sure many of us are hungry for detailed and first hand information that you may provide.

If I may request, could you say something of your observation of how songs were made at the studio, so that some of those who had never stepped into any recording studio may benefit. You can quote what you saw at the making of the songs for Sitpikkul Muthu. In fact I am more keen than others.

With warm regards,


14th March 2005, 03:52 PM
Dear Mr.Manisekaran,

I had actually been to the BG sore for that particular film and watched around 2-3 reels of Re.Recording . The theme music where Kamal helps radhika in doing the pooja for the steps of the temple, and scenes highlighting innocent charcter of kamal. As usual this wonderful theme was composed in "Chakravakam" the main melody was played by Mr.Viji manuel and the supporting chord backing was played by ARR. These were supported by saarangi ,dicky,and tabla tarang ( to the best of my knowledge this instrument has disappeared in todays trend. Rather the effect is being used on keyboeards)

The moment i entered the theatre, the above scene was being rehearsed and after some minor corrections the music was performed during the final take. I lit'lly do not have words to express the experience and i was little emoted hearing the theme music which went deep in to my heart.

The same piece was later used as a song in the telugu film "Sri Kanaka mahalakshmi recording dance " directed by ardent fan of IR Viz., Vamsi. Vamsi was so fascinated with this theme that he requested IR to do Charanam for this bit.

You may see the film once again and hope you would also appreciate the same.

Similarly during Vamsi's first film with IR in Telugu Viz., Sitara a complete song was composed for "Kineerasani " which was initially composed for saagara sangamam alias Salangai Oli ( Kaverimangai vandhalamma)

14th March 2005, 11:41 PM
Mani et al,
I too doubt ARR would have been an arranger with IR.
Here is what I know about arranging -
The terms comes from the western classical music world. When you buy the sheet music for say, Vivaldi's Four Seasons, you will not see what lines in the score should be played by what instruments. It only mentions it is for violin (ie. it is a violin concerto) . Each line starts with a 'clef' bass, treble etc. It is the job of the conductor to decide how many violas, violins, violin cellos etc he will use to orchestrate it. i.e he/she provides/defines the texture of the music. The conductor also selects a tempo and orchestrates it. This is the reason if you buy 'Four Seasons' from two different conductors, the sound will be little different.

In the case of the indian film music world, arrangers choose instruments for the rhythm section and add chords/fills and interlude music. For eg. Ranjit Barot does the rhythm arrangements for Anu Malik. Even our own T Rajendar only composes the tune, the arrangers take care of the exact notes for the various instruments. Rahman lets somebody else 'arrange' just the string sections in some instances.
With IR, since he uses a full-fledged orchestra (woodwind, brass, string and rhythm) he has a conductor. Uttam Singh was the conductor for almost 10 years with IR. Sometimes, MSV and GKV have done this job too, I think. If at all there was any 'arranging' done it would have been by these people.

(Mumbai Ramki, technology is a double-edged sword, you can use it to create new, challenging compositions or you can create mediocrity by being lazy using the technology as cructches :-))

15th March 2005, 04:36 AM
Thank you for sharing the experience. That was great. Nothing like getting first hand information.

It appears that ARR was not an arranger under IR. So, sometimes even published sources do not convey the real truth. At this point of time both ARR and IR may reserve comments on the matter, in view of the current cinema political climate.

Let us move on to the next song. Anyone wants to post another landmark song?

Thank you.


15th March 2005, 06:49 AM
I dedicate this great song to Jagannn and KIRU

Ilayaraja’s magical music has worked in many ways. His music was in many ways instrumental in filling the box office and the coffers of the producers. His music had entertained the fans. In many ways his songs had given identity to many cine stars, such as Ramarajan. No one would doubt that it was the music of Ilayaraja that boosted the image of many actors and actresses. Music is a very powerful weapon, able to penetrate even the impregnable strongholds. Remember how adequately Pattukkottai Kalyana Sundram has written in Kalyana Parisu:

Thunbak Kadalai thaandumbotu
Thoniyaavathu Geetham
Anbu Kuralil Amudham kalanthe
Aruntha Tharuvathum Geetham
Engum Sitharum Ennangalayum
Izhuthu varuvathu Geetham
Inaithu magizvathu Geetham
Thuyar Irulai Maraippathum Geetham

Again there is a thanippadal song by PB Sreenivas:

Isayaal Etyhuvum Athisayamaagum
Isaye Ulagin Athisayamaagum

In Thavapputhalvan we hear this song by TMS:

Isai Kettaal Puvi Asainthaadum
Isai Iraivan Arulaagum

Suffice to say that music, that has no language barrier is one medium that has a powerful influence in our lives.

Film songs have also been well utilised for the building of image, and MGR was a skilful artist who used it to the maximum. It is said that MGR will be well remembered for his films. True, but more than the film, he is always kept alive by his songs. Right from Malaikkallan Days MGR was an able craftsman in turing film songs into image booster. When MGR was lying at the Brooklyn Hospital in the USA, Tamilnaadu was going for state elections. The ADMK party was counting on the popularity and charisma of MGR. Throughout Tamilnadu selected songs of MGR was played- right from the cities to the most remote villages. I was very amusingly following the elections in January 1984. The entire country was carpeted and drenched by songs of MGR. It turned out to be a landslide victory for the party.

The paradox is this: Whenever songs meant for MGR are played, the face of MGR would appear. The MDs, lyricists, singers would become secondary. That is the power of MGR’s charisma. Just take this song:

Naan Aanayittal
Athu Nadanthuvittaal
Ingu Ezhaigal Vethanai Padmaattar
Uyirullavarai Oru thunbamillai
Avar Kanneer Kadalile Vizhamaattar
Avar Kanneer Kadalile Vizhamaattar

At first instance the image of MGR in white pants and black shirt, with a whip in his hand appear before us. Valee, TMS, MSV-TKR all cease to exist!

Similarly, another actor who was well boosted by cine songs was our Super Star Rajnikanth. He started as a negative character in his early days and carried on the same role under movies where Ilayaraja scored music. In stages he was transformed into a character playing positive role, and winning the hearts of millions across Tamilnaadu. There were some good films to boost his image. However, as he was rising to stardom, there is one song which shall always be associated with the rise of Rajnikanth. And that song comes from the creativity of Ilayaraja. The film is MURATTUKKALAI(1980). And the song is “Pothuvaaga En Manasu Thangam.” AVM is one institution that does very careful planning. The production company makes sure that its movies do have a value and message for the society. They go for powerful storyline, and do concentrate on artfilm, though commercial success is not to be sidestepped. For a long time AVM was not making movies. When they ventured, they went for Rajnikanth as a hero. And AVM had no regrets.

In later days many songs could have come and gone, but the fact remains that at a time when Rajni was shooting into fame, this song had played an important part in his rise. The lyrics were carefully written with proper selection of the most appropriate words. When one listens to this song, the charismatic figure of Rajnikanth appears. That is the extent to which the song is associated with Rajni. Though other songs have appeared, including from other MDs in the recent past, I am of the opinion that they have not dwarfed the Murattukaalai song. In this scene Rajni dances, clad in red coloured singlet. In 1999 there was a powerful force exerted by his fans to woo Rajni into politics. All the fan clubs, fans and supporters played this song, as the lyrics seem to portray the ideology ( in political terms manifesto) of Rajni. Hence the song was well suited for election campaigns.

This was one of the most popular songs in the Deepavali Raajanna Rajathaan Show. During rehearsal the singer just sang. But on the actual day, he was so moved that he started to dance. As he danced, the audience danced. I was observing how hysteric the crowd had turned. As I was resting, my wife, who was with me drew my attention to a dark corner. An elderly couple, wife wearing Jasmine flower on her head, and the husband with grey hair, were quietly dancing to the tune. The band players- they were smiling away, and went full swing playing the instruments with full life and feelings. An unbelievably rare sight to behold! I explained to her quoting an earlier song from Kannan En Kaathalan, by TMS:


She shot back “Aattuvithaal Yaroruvar aadathare Kanna” It was Ilayaraja who was the MD turned dance master as well with his lifting song I became a silent observer, witnessing the unbelievable. A powerful song where, the singers, musicians, producer, director, cameramen, lights man, sound engineer, audience, and the host were all moved! Again a rare happening! I am not able to adequately describe the flabbergasting and thunder-striking mood inside the studio. In one word, I was simply dumbfounded at the impact of this powerful song by Malaysia Vasudevan!

As the song was over, there were cheers, demanding for once more. But how could the song be performed once more in a TV recording show?

Ilayaraja had commented on this evergreen song. He was asked what sort of songs were his favourite. He said that he did not differentiate between any kind of song- be it carnatic, semi classical or folk tune. On further pressing, he said that folk tunes are his fastest products. He was asked, some time later, on the efforts he takes in composing songs. He said that on many cases songs that are carefully planned and composed do not hit the audience. But sometimes songs that are composed fast and with ease do become instant hits. This is applicable to all MDs. In the case of Ilayaraja, he quotes this song that was composed with least effort and how it took Tamilnaadu by storm. This was a song that was played in ALL radio stations over and over. Can we say that the song is still maintaining the same impact?

I have selected this song as a landmark song as it shall always be associated with the most charismatic star of our day- a song that will ever be part and parcel of the making of Rajnikanth. Again going by the statement of Raja, a song that was composed with much ease came to be one of the best folk hits of the MAESTRO. Punch songs came first, followed by punch dialogues. Here is that punch song for Superstar Rajnikanth


Male Group: Jay..
Annanukku... jay..
annanukku... jay..
kalayanukku jay
kalaiyanukku jay... jaaay...

MV :Podhuvaaga Em manasu thangam
oru pottiyinu vandhuvittaa singam
podhuvaaga em manasu thangam
oru pottinnu vandhuvittaa singam
unmaiye solven... nalladhae seiven
Group: thannaanaa thaanaa
thana thannaanaa... thaanaa
MV: Vetri mel vetri varum
aaduvom paaduvom kondaaduvom haa...
aanandham kaanuvom ennaalume
Male Group: Aaduvom paaduvom kondaaduvom
aanandham kaanuvom ennaalume
MV: Podhuvaaga em manasu thangam
oru pottiyinu vandhuvittaa singam

MV: Munnaala seerudhu mayila kaala
Pinnaala paayudhu machchakkaala
munnaala seerudhu mayila kaala
pinnaala paayudhu machchakkaala
adakki aaludhu murattu kaala
Male Group: murattukkaala... murattukkaala
MV: nenjukkul achchamilla
yaarukkum payamummilla
Vaaraadho vetri ennidam
vilayaadunga... udal palamaagunga
Male Group:Aadalaam paadalaam kondaadalaam

Male Group: Aanandham kaanauvom ennaalume

MV: podhuvaaga em manasu thangam
oru pottinnu vandhuvittaa singam
unmaiye solven... haa
nalladhae seeiven
vetri mel vetri varum
Male Group: Aaduvom paaduvom kondaaduvom
MV: haa... haa.. aanandham kaanuvom ennaalume

Male Group: vaangadi vaangadi pondugalaa
Vaasam ulla sendugalaa
vaangadi vaangadi pondugalaa
vaasam ulla sendugalaa
kummi adichci... Kolavaiya porthti
annana vaazhthti paadungalaa

Female Group: kaalaiyana paathtupputtaa
Jalli kattu kaalaiyellaam... thullikkittu odumadi
pullukatta thedikittu... pullukatta thedikittu
pullukatta thedikittu
kombirukkum kaalaikellam thembirukkaadhu
indha kombu illaa kaalayidam vambirukkaadhu
kulava pottu paadungadi... kummiadichci aadungadi
maariyamman koilukku pongalu vaippom vaarungadi
pongalu vaippom vaarungadi
pongalu vaippom vaarungadi

MV: Porandha oorukku pugazha cheru
valandhu naattukku peruma thedu
porandha oorukku pugazha cheru
valandha naattukku peruma thedu
naalu perukku nanma seidhaa
Male Group:Kondaaduvaar... panpaaduvaar
ennaalum uzhachchadhukku
ponnaaga palamirukku
oorodu serndhu vaazhunga
ammanarul serum...
Dhinam namma thunaiyaagum
aadalaam paadalaam kondaadalaam
hey... aanandham kaanuvom ennaalume

MV: Pothuvaga Em Manasu Thangam
Oru Pottiyinnu vanthuvitta Singam
Unmaiye Sollven NallathE Seiven- Ha!
Group: Thanana Thana Thana Thananaa Thaana

MV: Vetri Mel Vetri Varum
Group: Aaduvuom Paaduvom Kondaduvom
MV: Hei!
Group: Aanandham kaanuvom Ennalume
MV: Ha
Group:Aaduvom Paaduvom Kondaaduvom
MV: Haha!
Group:Aanandham kaanuvom Ennalume

Listen to 'murattukkaalai' songs: http://www.musicindiaonline.com/l/26/s/movie_name.4774/

Will the MAESTRO continue to give us more of such punch songs?

15th March 2005, 08:27 AM
Dear M.Sir:

In continuation with your "Seithikal Pala Kodi- athellam Unmai Alla
Thagaval Pala Kodi Athuvum Mei Alla", I like to share with you a most recent "pEthal or uLaral". In Jaya TV's ragamaliga program of yesterday (13-mar-05), a girl sang singara velane deva song. It was great. But the conductor called Vijay adiraj came out with a "pEthal or uLaral". That too, he conveyed this to the judges. Vijayadiraj says that SJanaki received National award for best female playback singer. I am very sure that at that time there was no such award at NATIONAL level.

People should know the facts before they say or try to correct their mistakes. yAr ivangaLukku puthimadhi solradhu.

Adhu pogattum, sir, neenga please open some interesting thread and share your information bank. We, at least me, will be committed to read, acknowledge and share whatever we know without any digression. Please..!

15th March 2005, 08:48 AM

I told you there are many such statements. I always laugh to myself when I hear statements like "Magathaana Saathanai." But they never describe what the Saathanai was! Sweeping statements indeed.

Watch carefully, you would even be shocked when new claims are made, when they ought to go to the actual key players.

You want me to open a new thread? AIYAIO! I really do not have the time for opening a new thread. As it is I am tring hard to even maintain this IR thread. IR being our contemporary, I thought some of our peers would continue from where I had stopped. But they still seem to be relying on me. Some have emailed me. Thank God I happened to be free over the last few days.

The cinema information in this site has become much clearer and consolidated over the years. I remember a few of us struggled to create data base in the early days. I played my own small part from 1997. Now I am happy to learn that many of the readers are quoting those early postings. They have benefitted. Ultimately TFM Page would become the world's number one data base for Tamil film music if only we remain united and layoff from mischief making. So far excellent, and all of us have to congratulate ourselves for the good show.

Back to Murattukkalai please.

15th March 2005, 09:59 AM
Dear Mr.Manisekaran,

Thanks once again for the landmark song from Murattu kalai.

This song in particular was the foundation for creating a trend with respect to the masala movies. You can definitely find one such number in almost all rajini films including the recent films. IR should be definitely credited for this trend.

This did not stop with Rajini but also to other heros Viz., Vijaykant etc.

But my only concern was /is that IR has been thoroughly branded as a folk music director. Belive me ,when ever i come across any mention on IR songs on the tv channels the first thing anchors would say " avara madhiri grammathu padalgal yaaralayum pannamudiyadhu" " . The moment i see this i really get irritated as why people do not understand or rather fail to understand his contribution to tfm.

Any way this is out of the subject, i thought i would share with you and this forum.

15th March 2005, 06:01 PM
Dear jagann,
I too used to feel get irritated when people say IR is too
good for folk tunes as if he is not good in other forms of music.

Otherwise you have mentioned about IR songs for Vijayakant. Even though 'ChinnaKounder' is not one of his earlier film,
he has got few such songs from that film like 'vAnatha pola ...' . With this I am not saying that Vijayakant got this
kind of songs only from this film, but to mention the rise of the Director R.V.Udhayakumar who praised his characters rising the actors to a higher level. He himself is a lyricist and his combination with IR gave us many memorable films (atleast for songs) like 'EjamAn', 'Ponnumani', 'RAjakumAran' etc.

Here Manisekaran will consider the songs of EjamAn also in the same category as 'Pothuvaga en manasu ...'. The Hero is again Rajni, produced by AVM and music by IR. The song particularly is 'Oru naalum unai maravaatha ...' which is also very popular. This song is in the later stages of Rajnikanth(RK), but the other was in the rising stage of RK.

15th March 2005, 10:58 PM
`podhuvAga emmanasu' very sensational song when released...has typical `uRumi mELam' beats for a festive village song...with additional effects as group singing in the interludes (`vAngadi vAngadi cheNdukaLA...') followed by `kolavai' sound...all stamps of TFM village songs of post-IR era...different percussion patterns for the pallavi, saraNam and interludes for such songs is another delicious Raja feature which keeps up the varying tempo...

My personal fav from this movie is `mamEn machAn'...an unique song, in a different format from all prior-Raja songs IMHO (though I cannot define what is the difference, I feel there's some musical difference - uniqueness to that song...may be the percussion style...)...with excellent flute accompaniments...I especially love the ending of the saraNam when the `aaaA-hA-hA!' smoothly transforms to the `mamEn machchAn' of pallavi...Another song in almost similar format is `idhu oru pon mAlaippozhudhu' of nizhaLgaL...but I think mAmEn machan came before nizhalgaL...

Sure, Raja came up with a superior number in similar format for the film `thanikkAttu rAjA'(rAsAvE onna nAn eNNiththAn is way better), but mAmEn mAchchAn was first (if before nizhalgaL)...from there Raja could always improvise...

Unlike jagannn & kalnayak, I'm always happy when someone crowns Raja with the folk-king title...there are ofcourse personal reasons (of being brought up in a hamlet and hence more emotionally attached to his village songs), but there are other objective observations too:

-by and large, the cine-music genres / formats followed by Raja were already popularised by previous MD's in small or large scale, but folk couldn't be explored much by them because of their backgrounds...Raja broke the barrier and took it to heights still unsurpassed!

-though Raja has handled carnatic, WCM, fusion, various other genres like disco/pop/rock/hindustani etc efficiently and competent in each of them, you can always find another composer who did equally well or at least rarely better...but never anyone in folk! With folk music essentially of non-evolving type like classical (once it evolves into another form, the identity is mostly lost), it will be almost impossible to beat him in future, considering the quantity, variety and quality of his achievement...very little left to be uncovered, IMHO...
-there is and will be unanimity in accepting Raja as folk-king and may be BGM-king (across the groups of all TFM lovers regardless of their loyalty to any fav artiste) while there'll always be arguements over other areas...Hence he is an `undisputed' king over this territories...even staunch opponents should admit:-)
-I only get irritated when even this `due credit' is not given sometimes (like when pushpavanam gave a bombastic interview in thendRal as if he were the one who popularized folk music in TN)...

18th March 2005, 12:34 PM

I shall be away on leave. Please proceed with posting of landmark songs. I shall join you later.


18th March 2005, 01:23 PM
With Manisekaran's permission, I'm posting the following article. Some of you may have read it, but it's worth a read again.


Making music-The ilaiyaraja way! - by Ravi ananthanarayanan

In Western classical world there are two distinct classifications of music. One is ‘program music’ and the other is ‘absolute music’.

The first one is the idea that music should describe stories and concepts. The other one is making music as it comes to your mind without any preset ideas. That is the belief that music should exist solely to express musical thoughts.

What Ilaiyaraaja does in films is basically ‘program music’ as he does them for a given situation or scene or emotions.

In films there are two classifications. Creating song music and creating background score for the completed feature film. In the industry parlance scoring for the background music is also called as Re-Recording (RR).

Song music

Tune Composing

Ilaiyaraaja has a sitting with the Director/Producer when the entire script is narrated to him. Then they explain the significant cues in the story where a song may fit in. Some times when they are confused and cannot decide a cue for a song, Ilaiyaraaja with his experience suggests appropriate slots in the story where a song can be used. Some times they may have two sessions-one to narrate the story and another session to compose tunes for the songs.

Now assume that they have identified five song situations in this film. Now they start the process of finalising a tune for each song.

Ilaiyaraaja sings aloud with his Harmonium various tunes for a given situation. Every thing is recorded on tape. Some times this session will go on with endless tunes from Ilaiyaraaja and finally the director/producer deciding on one. Some times the session will be over in less than 45 minutes as happened with Director P Vasu for Chinnathambi. Vasu says, "One by one as we went through the situations, Ilaiyaraaja started churning out tunes and then and there we decided very fast and every thing was over so soon".

When they agree on a particular tune for that song then that tune is recorded in a separate tape. A copy of which will go to the lyric writer. During this session itself they will decide the lyric writer for this song. During this composing session, Ilaiyaraaja will have only his assistant in-charge of vocal section Mr. Sundararajan. This old man is in-charge of maintaining the tune tapes library.

Once the tune is finalised then Sundararajan will write down the tune in the swara notation form. This will come in handy to him when he sits with the singers during the voice recording and also during the song recording with the orchestra.

As I said, the day of actual recording of this tune may be on the same day or quite some time from the time they had the composing session.

Composing the full score

On the day of recording when Ilaiyaraaja arrives at the studio at 7 am, Sundararajan is ready with the particular tune tape in Ilaiyaraaja’s room. The director is on hand to give him a gist of the situation again and also his idea of the song and the way in which he plans to picturise it.

For example, if the director says that while the heroine sings this song he is going to intercut the scene and going to show some approaching tragedy, then Ilaiyaraaja has to take care of this fact in his interlude music in the song.

Example is Paadava Un Paadalai song in Naan Paadum Paadal. When Ambika sings this beautiful melodic song at the studio, the director intercuts and shows the scene where Mohan rushing in his car which would eventually get into an accident and kill him. The interlude music will be appropriate to the scene.

There is another similar song involving Mohan and Ambika; in the song Yaar Veettu Roja Poo Poothatho in the film Idhaya Koil where Mohan sings the song in the studio while Ambika is shown in trouble. Of course, this song also has some memorable string passages.

Similarly, another good example is the beautiful song Vaanil Vedivelli…sung by Janaki/Mano in Honest Raj. The wife is singing the song, in a flash back sequence, and when Vijayakanth sings in the present, after the death of his wife, the rhythm changes totally. The whole song scenes will go back and forth from the present to the past. In the same way if the director says that he plans to use a big group of dancers for this duet, then Ilaiyaraaja has to use chorus voices positively and then he has to structure his orchestration in such a way.

With all this inputs in mind he listens to the tune once again (he has to, as in between the time of composing this tune and the day of recording, he must have composed many any other tunes and also heard many other stories and seen many other films for re-recording).

Normally the string players- Violin, Viola, Cellos, Double Bass, Brass section, etc. are not part of the regular orchestra for songs. So if he is going to use strings and any other special instruments like Sitar, Veena, Sarangi, Shehnai, etc. then he informs his Programme assistants Kalyanam and Subbiah. It is their responsibility to get the players in time for the rehearsals and recording.

Now he starts writing the entire song with orchestration in his bound pad.

(to be continued..)

18th March 2005, 10:32 PM
I am new to this forum, i am a ardent fan of maestro.

Recently i heard the song from Vanaja Girija - Munnam seidha thavam. Got the song from coolgoose....
Man in this song raja taken me somewhere with the flute interlude and with the voice of SPB and Janaki...

Raja you are always the best...........

21st March 2005, 06:24 AM
Dear Mani,
ungaL manasu thaan thangam. You dont have to credit us for small and simple things. We are already honored to have you share your experiences and views with us. Many of us here are contributing our small mite to your series. ungaL samayalil naan oRE oru kadugu mattumE..
RR is doing a good job with this series. This is a must read for anybody who loves the music of IR.

21st March 2005, 07:01 AM
Hi Kiru, I was wrong in answering your query about Ilam pani thulir vidum song - The singer is Radhika not Sujatha.

21st March 2005, 08:49 AM
Thanks, kiru.

Here's Part II of the article:


Ilaiyaraaja’s musicality is more than a talent. The ideas that come to him are, in reality, completed in his mind and only have to be written down on paper. This is composing at the highest possible level. This is the gift that has won him honours as he has time and again demonstrated that he could provide embellishments or variations for a piece without prior notice or preparation. This is always evident when he makes on the spot corrections or modifications to the score for a song or background music as he takes the orchestra through the score for the final take. Contrary to popular belief that because he writes music and hence he is too theoretical in his music making, he is capable of making and does make mind boggling changes to the score at the last minute with out it affecting the over all control of the composition.

He says that once he sits with all these inputs in mind, the entire song comes to him as a flash at three distinct levels.

On one level the complete rhythm pattern of the entire song. The second is the entire orchestration. And the third is the entire vocal patterns needed.

His problem is the usual one-the mind is faster than his hand. So he says, "As I start writing, the entire pattern keeps changing dynamically. So what is finally turned out is not the one I got at the first instance. I don’t know whether the final one is better or the first one would have been the best combination." He used to ask jokingly, "Is there any equipment available that would get the entire score from my mind at one go when it strikes my mind at the first instance?”

As is his practice, the score sheet will contain the session time on the top-right hand corner-whether it is a 7 AM session or an afternoon 2 PM session.

Till 1989 Ilaiyaraaja used to record two songs per day. One in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Some times, he has even recorded four songs a day with two orchestras in adjoining studios. The top left-hand corner will have the singer name for this song. He also writes the production company name and the song name if it has been finalised already with the lyric writer.

Now it is 7.45-8 AM. The score is ready.

What Ilaiyaraaja writes is called Short-Score format in music parlance. That means it is not a full score yet; still there are a few things that he takes care during the rehearsals/recording. More over, because most of the players have been with him for many years and the chemistry is very strong, he can take the liberty of leaving certain things unsaid on the score, which the orchestra players will make out on their own or Ilaiyaraaja can verbally fill those missing pieces during the rehearsals.

The score will contain every thing. Including the chorus portions, the words or phrases for the chorus parts, male/female, solo/group, and every thing will be there. If he wants a double or treble flute or some other things like mixing of a solo violin in multiple tracks, every thing will be clearly written there.

Though he writes in western staff notation format, he marks some of the parts in swara notation form also in Tamil for the benefit of the players; this is in addition to the western notation

On the other hand what he wrote for his work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) was in full-score format. It was concert hall music. Once the score is published then any orchestra in the world could play that music in their programmes. Hence that score would contain every thing. What the conductors normally change is the tempi and other minor things in the score.

In a studio recording short-score format, for example, if a flute joins the violins in the middle of a passage and goes out, Ilaiyaraaja need not bother about writing every thing there. If he has written the melody that the flute player has to play, then the tempo and scale and pitch etc. he can verbally instruct during the take. And from his mixing console he can adjust the flute channel volume with reference to the volume of the violins so that he can decide which should be in the foreground and which should be in the background.

But in concert music full-score format, this balancing of various instruments has to be on the score-on paper. Added to this, writing for live instruments is not an easy task, as it requires deep knowledge about the range of each and every instrument and also the capability of the players available with you. You cannot write some thing for the violin and ask the sax player to play it (there is no electronics in a classical Symphony Orchestra, you remember).

On top of this, writing for concert hall music requires a very strong imagination. What do I mean?

Imagine, when the full brass section is playing a passage along with the string section and if I want to write this flute melody interlude, I should know the level at which to write the flute portion so that the flute will be heard amongst other instruments in that particular passage.

Do you understand the complexity of writing concert music for a classical symphony orchestra?

Rehearsal and Recording
The orchestra players have started arriving at the studio. They all wait to see the score as students wait outside the examination hall. Now, senior violinist Judi goes inside Ilaiyaraaja‘s room and comes out with the score. Judi’s is in-charge of copying and distribution of score sheets to everybody. He is also responsible to follow the on-the-spot corrections and adjustments that Ilaiyaraaja may make during the course of the rehearsal and recording and make sure that these corrections are made on the individual copies of the players. He has a look at the score and other members of the orchestra cuddle around him. If the score is a simple one then the players heave a sigh of relief. If it is a tough one, then they straight away start their practice to be ready before Ilaiyaraaja arrives for rehearsals. Now the score goes for xeroxing. Some 20 to 30 copies are made depending upon the number of players.

Ilaiyaraaja has his breakfast in the mean while and by 9 am he comes out of his room and proceeds to the studio hall. The full orchestra has assembled there and every one is seriously practicing their portions.

His first stop is with Puru (R Purushothaman), the man in-charge of the complete rhythm section.

Ilaiyaraaja explains to him the general rhythm scale of the song with the clapping of his hands. He explains the rhythm changes during the course of the whole song and the multiple rhythm patterns that he wants for this song. He also explains to Puru the kind of sounds he wants for each and every rhythm patterns. Puru plays some sections on his Octopad and gets himself clarified. He also plays sample rhythm sounds from his Samplers for Ilaiyaraaja to select. Once Puru is clear as to what Ilaiyaraaja wants then Ilaiyaraaja moves to the Indian rhythm section players (comprising Tabala, Dolak, etc.) if they are available and goes through the motions for their portions in their language as Nadai, Thala kattai, etc. Apart from his Rhythm areas, Puru will make himself clear about the whole song in general including the portions of all other groups.

Then he stops with his keyboard and electric guitar group comprising Viji Manuel (son of legendary Handel Manuel) and Bharani on the keyboards, Guitarist Sada (son of late music director Sudarsanam) and others.

Of course, the score contains every thing including the chords they have to play. The Keyboard/Synthesizer players will have their portions marked on the score sheet as SS, SS1, SS2, QX Prog, and SSVoice or in the name of some unavailable instruments like BagPipe, Santoor, Oboe, etc.

In some of the string and flute portions the keyboards would join the live instruments. And also whenever brass section is playing then also Viji and other keyboard players will join the live brass players to give a much richer and bigger sound. This is more so due to the non-availability of that many brass players in the field. Many a time the keyboard gang will be required to join the live chorus group with their synthesizer voices.

You must have noticed that in many of his songs the string portion is almost a mix of live strings with keyboard strings. In the same way the flute passages are mostly double or treble flutes with Neapolean (Arunmozhi, the singer) playing the live flute and Viji providing the support with his keyboards. Some times Neapolean will play it twice in different tracks so that the final output will look like as if three flute players were there.

One good example is the song Kaadal ….. by SPB/Chitra from the film Gopura Vaasalile. Or even the Povoma Oorkolam song from Chinnathambi has a beautiful double flute passage in the second background. Of course, the Gopura Vaasalile song has a beautiful orchestration with subtle things like SPB will start the Pallavi and Chitra will repeat it; but when SPB completes the pallavi, Chitra will join him for the last sentence and from then on start the pallavi all over again while SPB will withdraw; that is, the last word alone they will sing together. It was a beautiful little touch. In the same way the song Poo Malaye from Pagal Nilavu sung by Ilaiyaraaja and Janaki. It is a research material. Both of them will be singing different saranams in different octaves simultaneously.

Now he goes to the centre of the hall where a score stand with his original score pad is ready for him.

He first goes through the portions of the string players.

He puts them through their portions one by one from the various passages he has written in this song (he refers them as Backgrounds-1st, 2nd, 3rd, like that; if the song opens with music then it is 1st BGM, the music that comes after the Pallavi is 2nd BGM, like that it is classified). Corrects them in their dialogue play as well as group play as First Violin group and Second Violin group and also with the Cello group. He also makes sure that they understand clearly, in particular, the rests and pauses in their parts. Of course, abrupt rests and pauses in his scores are his hallmarks. So are the little things like interludes between the lines in the pallavi or saranam or some times even in between words.

Once the section wise rehearsals are through, Ilaiyaraaja puts the orchestra through the full song.

Now Sundararajan hums the vocal part of the song with the orchestra playing the full song. During this full song rehearsal, which is a sketchy one, Puru’s drum machine will just give a measured beat to accompany the orchestra because he has not programmed his sections yet.

During this phase, Ilaiyaraaja corrects the orchestra if there is any problem in exactly understanding his phrasing demands and also the portions involved in song-follow; that is the players including the string section who will have portions to be played during the song also. In many of his songs you can find that the orchestra is having a continuous dialogue play with the singers. An excellent example that immediately comes to my mind is the song Adho Andha Nadhiyoram…from the film Ezhai Jaathi sung by Janaki, in this song you can find the strings in constant and vibrant dialogue with the singer in both the saranams.

Some times, if he finds that the orchestra finds it difficult to play a particular phrase or passage, then he will either ask them to practice again and again and be ready for the take. Of course, during the take if he still finds them struggling with it, then he would make amendments to the score. After all, work has to go on.

When I talk about Ilaiyaraaja giving instructions, it is all very precise and to the point. For an on-looker, it will all look meaningless. In mono syllables or just some gestures. But there is an invisible communication channel between Ilaiyaraaja and his players.

Once this rehearsal session is over, Ilaiyaraaja retires to his room.

(to be contd)

21st March 2005, 08:31 PM
I am more interested in knowing how IR communicates semi-classicals (like the ones he did with Sudha Raghunathan in Ponmeghalai) to the singer. Does he sing out the entire alapana with all the subtle nuances/brighas/sangathis? Or does he give just the basic skeleteon of the tune? How much input do the singers add on their own in such songs(in terms of sangathis etc.)? Lighter tunes can be easily sung, recorded on a tape and notated. Many of MSV's songs with their blistering sangathis and glides are difficult to notate. I guess he is capable of singing out the entire song effortlessly( as told by PS and others. MSV even sings out the arrangements sometimes!). And singers like SPB/LRE just pick up the tune by ear without bothering to write down the notations.

I dont know how IR does it. If someone had witnessed composing sessions of Ivan/Ponmegalai/SindhuBhairavai/Thai Mookambikai or other movies where semi-classicals were done, pl share it here.
I find it difficult to imagine IR or Sundarajan singing the complete song "isai arasi ennalum naane". It would have taken several rehearsals just to get the song across to the singer. Or they perhaps notate the skeleton and then fill in the "blanks" part-by-part during the recording sessions.

25th March 2005, 07:44 AM
vijay, I have no idea. Hopefully more knowledgeables will respond.

Here's Part III (last one):


During this period Puru will be busy programming his sequencers and Viji, Sada and other electronics people with their programming work. Rest of the orchestra will be busy practicing their portions. This will take quite an amount of time.

During this period the Lyric writer arrives with the song and Ilaiyaraaja goes through the written song and checks whether it goes with the tune with out any hitch. At the end of this session the final song copy okayed by Ilaiyaraaja is ready for voice mixing. This is also the break period for Ilaiyaraaja to spend some time meeting visitors, reading or writing. In fact most of the pieces in his two albums How To Name It? and Nothing But Wind was written casually during such breaks.

At around 12.30 when his Rhythm section programming is complete and all others are ready with their parts, Puru gets into the Mixer Console Room and takes on the role of a Music Producer. (In the music parlance the one who sits on the Mixer Console and listens to the various channels and balances them to produce the desired results is called the Music Producer).

Now Puru goes through each and every section (key-boards, guitars, rhythms, strings-violins, cellos, double-bass, flute….) asking them to play their parts and balances their volume levels on the mixer. This becomes more complex with the electronic instruments as they are directly connected to the mixer and getting the right volume at the console in relation to their own individual volume settings becomes a little bit complex.

Once done, Judi or another senior violinist Prabakar take on the role of a conductor and puts the orchestra through the full song. The individual groups like live rhythm players, brass section, flute and others will be in their respective booths. Only the string section and the electronic gang will be in the main hall. And Sundararajan will be in the voice booth to hum the song or some times instead of this a violinist will play the song along with the orchestra to keep the cue for them.

With the orchestra playing the full song and listening from the Console, Puru tries to adjust the levels of various tracks and channels and arrives at a level, which he knows Ilaiyaraaja would accept.

Having been with Ilaiyaraaja from his college days, for almost two decades now, Puru should know better. Once this done, word is sent to Ilaiyaraaja that every thing is ready for the final take (that means, for the actual recording!).

Ilaiyaraaja listens to the full song from the Mixer Console and gives some finer corrections and adjustments. Some times, this last minute embellishments would tax the orchestra so much that they may require a few more practice runs before the take. Once Ilaiyaraaja is satisfied, they start the "take" process. Again and again this process continues till finally Ilaiyaraaja says it is through.

Some times, he may listen to the full song play from the console and leave instructions for corrections and adjustments if any and then leave the rest of the work of actually completing the take to Puru and others and retire for lunch. He has to write the score for the afternoon song, you see!

If the song is a complex one then they record a basic track first with the rhythm section and the vocal cue. Later on they will mix the strings, flute and other portions one by one in separate sessions.

All these works including the voice mixing sessions with the singers, Ilaiyaraaja used to do earlier. His able assistants have taken over those run of the mill tasks from Ilaiyaraaja. The team works like a well-oiled machine leaving Ilaiyaraaja to concentrate on the creative side.

Occasionally Ilaiyaraaja himself will be singing the voice track for the song instead of Sundararajan humming it or some other violinist playing it along with the orchestra during the take. For example the famous song Vaa Vaa Anbe from Eeramana Rojave. This is a two-voice song sung by Yesudas and Janaki. During the take Ilaiyaraaja sang both the parts effortlessly. Later Yesudas and Janaki mixed their tracks listening to Ilaiyaraaja’s track.

Some times the track version he sings becomes so good that it is retained in the CDs/tapes while another version by a regular singer is recorded for use in the film.

For example the famous song Idhayam Oru Koil from IdhayaKoil. Ilaiyaraaja originally had a version by himself and Janaki sung during the take. Later he had another version mixed by Balu and that was the one used in the film. In the same way he sang the voice track for the song Ennai Thaalatta Varuvalo from Kadulukku Mariyadhai. Later Hariharan listened to Ilaiyaraaja’s track and sung his version, which was used in the film. Fortunately they retained Ilaiyaraaja’s track also without overwriting it.

Later, depending upon their availability the singers will come and mix their voices. At that time Sundarrajan will be in-charge of the sessions to train them with the help of the tune tape, the swara notations he has made of the tune and also with the help of the score sheet which precisely tells you the entry and exit points. If Ilaiyaraaja is available or if he feels the song is a difficult one, then he will be there to personally mix the voices. In the same way, the chorus voices are mixed later in separate sessions.

Background Music (Re-recording)

Once the edited rough-cut version of the film is ready after the dubbing, a screening is arranged for Ilaiyaraaja. This print is called "double-positive" film in industry parlance. Because there are two positive films that will be run simultaneously. One will contain the visuals and the other will contain the dialogues. And during the re-recording sessions, the music will be recorded on another positive sound film. Of course, now days, if it is done in DTS/Dolby formats, then it is recorded on tapes/CDs. This projection will not contain the special effects sounds like opening of door or moving of a car or train or even the dishum dishum sounds of the fight sequences. Just visuals with dialogue.

Composing the Score
Once this screening is over, Ilaiyaraaja will start his sessions immediately. If he sees the film in evening then his sessions will start from 7 AM the next day. And normally the re-recording sessions are called 7 to 9 sessions; that is from 7 AM to 9 PM sessions with breaks for break-fast at 9 AM, lunch at 1 PM and evening snacks at 6 PM.

For this re-recording session, unlike a song recording, all members of the orchestra will be present. Because in a song he knows exactly the kind of instruments that will be needed. But in a re-recording session, you don’t know when you will require which instrument. Hence every one will be there. That is, apart from the regulars like the electronics group comprising key-boards, guitars, the rhythm players, flute, all the others like the violins, cellos, double-basses, the brass section comprising sax, trumpets, trombones and sitar will also be present during this re-recording sessions. Some times, special players for Brass, Saarangi, etc. will be called for these sessions from Bombay to add strength to the regular local players.

These RR sessions may take anywhere from 2.5 days to 6 days depending upon the complexity and load. If the film has more number of songs then Ilaiyaraaja’s load comes down that much. Instead, if it has more visuals than dialogues like in a Mani Ratnam or Bharathi Raaja film then his load goes up.

If the first reel has the credits running and it requires music, then it is kept aside as the last work of the project after finishing all other reels. Some times if it has a song, then he need not bother about this.

Now the projections at the studio will be reel by reel, each reel running for approximately 10 minutes. In some reels, if there is a song, then the rest of the reel should be seen for potential music inclusion.

The reel is projected. The whole orchestra, some 70 players, and the director, and all others in studio watch the film in the hall with Ilaiyaraaja. Ilaiyaraaja sits in the centre of the hall with his harmonium in front of him and resting his score pad on that. He is a picture of sphinx like concentration watching the reel and the happenings there. As I said, this version of the film does not contain special effects sounds. So Ilaiyaraaja has to take that also into consideration and there may be some shots where he may leave them blank without music to be filled up later with special effect sounds.

During the screening one can see Ilaiyaraaja making some short notes on his pad. Once the reel is over, the lights come on. Ilaiyaraaja waits for a few seconds, I think more to adjust his eyes to the light, than for any thing else.

He starts writing on his score pad. He does not hum any phrase or use his harmonium. When you see this scene, you may think that this man has seen this film many times to decide the cues for music and the compositions needed. But he is seeing the film only for the second time.

The whole theatre goes into silence mode and what you can hear is only the rustle of the paper and the scratch of pen.

Judi and Sada pull up a chair and sit on either side of Ilaiyaraaja with their notepads ready. Behind Ilaiyaraaja, other players start assembling with their notepads in hand. Oblivious of all these hustle and bustle, Ilaiyaraaja is seriously writing the score. And the players from different groups start copying their individual parts then there, if there is any thing for them in that reel. You see, there is no time to waste; to wait for him to complete the full score and then take xerox copies for every one and all other luxuries that you enjoy in a song recording.

You can notice one group calling the others who are chatting outside with their tea and smoke, "Brass is there, go in". You can see the brass players rushing inside to copy their parts. The sitar player who is sparingly used normally, and usually spends most of his time in rest during the entire re-recording session will get a call when he least expects it. He would have seen the reel with Ilaiyaraaja like all others and might have thought that this reel contains nothing that may demand a sitar and might have gone out again to relax till the next reel is projected. But then, with Ilaiyaraaja, you can never predict what he will do next. Suddenly the sitar man gets a call to come in and take his score.

Now Ilaiyaraaja has finished his writing. Players are settling in their seats. And Judi gets his clarifications and makes sure that all those who have copied their parts have done it right by checking the score of each and every group. Every one is ready on their seats. (Now days, some times, Ilaiyaraaja uses a key-board and he directly feeds some of the portions into it from his mind and the rest he writes down as usual. For Hey Ram the re-recording for which he plans to record in India and also in the Europe with a classical orchestra, he directly composed on the key-board and the attached computer with the score management software printed out the entire score. Once you input the score to this software then it becomes easy to separate the parts of the score instrument wise and print them separately and also a combined score for the conductor.)

Now the orchestra knows that there are six musical pieces in this reel and the instruments involved in each of these pieces and the length of the pieces. But nobody knows where this music pieces are to be fit in. Where they are going to begin, where to end.

Of course, they are not bothered about the ending. Because Ilaiyaraaja writes exactly for the time required for the sequence. With out using a stop watch or music editor, he normally writes music that exactly fits the required timing. May be, he has a mental clock that while deciding the start cue and end cue for a music bit, is also capable of calculating the exact footage and the required timing for that footage!

For example, I am taking a reel from the Mani Ratnam film Mouna Raagam, which I consider one of the best study materials on background scoring in film music.

The reel starts mid-way after the song Oho, Megam Vanthatho.

Revathi comes home thinking the boy who was to come and see her for marriage would have gone back. No, he was still waiting to talk with her. Her mother and others scold and get her ready. She is pushed into the room where Mohan is waiting.
This meeting with the boy is some thing she wanted to avoid but couldn’t. Now she enters the room with a lot of reservations and confusions. She starts talking to him hesitatingly to begin with. First she says she won't say sorry for keeping him waiting. Then she talks about herself, her character, her concept of marriage, etc, and why she feels she could not be a good wife to him, etc.
Finally when she asks Mohan to talk some thing, he says "I like you very much" and pushes off.
Every one is happily talking that the boy has agreed for the marriage and about the preparations to be done.
Nobody asks Revathi her opinion. Her sister-in-law reminds every one about this. Her father asks her opinion. She says no. Every one was very unhappy and asks her to give reasons. She says no again and again.
Her father stands up and talks about his middle class background and his responsibility of getting her other sisters married, etc.
Now Revathi asks her father whether he wants to sell her to some one to clear his responsibility.
Her father slaps her.
She walks out of the house, goes and sits on a roadside stone talking to herself, it is a moon lit night.
When Ilaiyaraaja completes the score for this reel, the orchestra has the following:

A short piece with Guitar and Keyboard
A single stroke bang on the mridangam
A small piece by Keyboard, sitar and Guitar
Guitar, Keyboard and Strings.
A flute piece starting with Guitar and later keyboards join to repeat what they did in # 4.
A piece beginning with violins and answered by the cellos. At the end the key-boards join giving some kind of night effect.
Ilaiyaraaja gets up and without even looking around to see whether all of them are ready (they are), starts putting them through the score for a short rehearsal. Piece by piece. Once he has put them through all the pieces in this reel, he signals the operator to start the reel screening again.

The reel starts running again. Now Ilaiyaraaja watches the movie in silence. And the orchestra is in a constant alert waiting for his signal. He looks like a man possessed, with total concentration on the screen. His hands ever ready to conduct the score.

When Revathi enters the house asking her mother whether they have left any thing for her to eat, she stops dumbstruck seeing Mohan and all others. When Revathi sees them, Ilaiyaraaja's hand signals the Keyboard and Guitar.
While getting dressed, Revathi hears that the boy is still waiting because he wants to talk to her some thing; his hand signals the rhythm man-for the single stroke bang on the mridangam. This player was waiting for this because he knew that his piece was the next one in this reel.
Revathi enters the room and sees Mohan. Now his hand signals the sitar player (he is sitting behind him and Ilaiyaraaja does not bother to see any body, his concentration totally on the screen only. Any way, the sitar man knew that it was his turn next). This piece is some kind of a broken piece with silence or as he calls in music parlance, with rests in between. This is to go with the emotions of the character that enters the room with a lot of reluctance and reservations.
Just before Revathi completes her initial intro saying "I am not going to say sorry for keeping you all waiting" this piece ends giving a bit of silence.
When she completes this sentence, Ilaiyaraaja signals the next piece by Guitar, Keyboards and strings.
The music on its own ends just a few seconds before Revathi completes her monologue and tells Mohan that she won’t be a good wife and asks his opinion. What was written fits exactly only that much that Ilaiyaraaja has planned. More over, the silence created before Revathi completes her monologue and waits for Mohan’s answer is intentional in creating a tension.
When Mohan says that he likes her very much, Ilaiyaraaja signals the Rhythm man again and then the Sitar man. This is some kind of a short dialogue between Rhythm and Sitar
The next piece starts when Revathi’s father starts talking about his middle class state, etc. Ilaiyaraaja signals the Guitar, flute and Keyboard. After the initial flute bit, the Keyboards repeat what they played in the earlier piece, that is, when Revathi was talking with Mohan.
Revathi starts replying her father…
Now Ilaiyaraaja signals the string section to be ready; once her father slaps Revathi, his hand moves like a flash, the Keyboards withdraw and a new piece starts with violins and they are answered vigorously by the cellos. This dialogue continues till Revathi comes out of the house and sits on a road side stone, talking to herself; when the moon is shown, Ilaiyaraaja signals the night effect key-boards to join.
This process is called "Synchronizing the music with the visuals".

When Ilaiyaraaja does this process, that is conducting the score while seeing the movie, Puru is busy marking the beginning cues of each and every piece and also where exactly it ends. The starting cues he also marks in the form of the reel counter that is running above the screen. Of course, Ilaiyaraaja also in between, when he is waiting for the next cue, gives Puru and other members involved in this reel some finer instructions about the other aspects. And if there are any pieces for chorus voices they are also ready with the orchestra. Normally when he sees the full film, he gets an idea about the reels in which he would be needing chorus voices, and accordingly they will be called. They won’t be present all the time like other members of the orchestra.

Once the reel is over, Ilaiyaraaja gets into the Mixer Console room and Puru takes on the role of the Conductor for the session. The reel is screened again with the speakers in the hall switched off and Puru with his headphone listens to the dialogue and watches the screen and conducts the orchestra for the different cues. Again individual groups play from the different mikes and booths.

They play once when Ilaiyaraaja listens from the console and balances the tracks. And the next time it is take. They record the pieces one by one. The whole process normally takes anywhere between 1 hour to 6 hours, depending up on the complexity.

Ilaiyaraaja says that the most important instrument in his armory is ‘silence’. All other things are just instruments to create that ‘silence’. He just uses other instruments to leave at the ‘silence’ point to create tension, excitement or melancholy. If you have keenly watched his background scores, you can notice, just at that moment when you feel tension, then you can notice that he has stopped his music, which is why you are feeling the tension or concentration. This he uses effectively even in fight sequences, when suddenly he stops the music and leaves only the effects to go on and that makes you attentive suddenly without your realising it.

Some times, the director may not have finalised his version of some of the scenes. In such cases, Ilaiyaraaja would record two or three version of music for that reel, one for a version with the particular scene and one with out that scene. He is always particular that if the director removes that scene later then the music should not appear to be stopping abruptly. Hence in such cases Ilaiyaraaja will give two or three versions for the director to choose later.

While seeing the full film, he gets an idea whether he is going to compose new theme music for this story or going to use one of the song tunes as the theme. And many times he has many themes for many characters or situations that get repeated throughout the movie in different variations to create different moods. When he takes up the music writing for credits (first reel or some times partly first reel and partly last reel) he weaves these themes in to that or uses the song themes. It all depends on what mood he wants to create.

In Thalapathi when he found out that the final film had more on mother-son sentiment than friendship sentiment as originally narrated to him during the composing sessions, he decided to use the Chinnathai song as the theme. He used that in different variations to build the emotional colour of the story as a mother-son story.

In Idhayathai Thirudathe, the credits come on only after some time when Nagarjuna gets into an accident and rushed to the hospital. If you notice, the music is nothing but the theme music of the film, which you will hear later many times, in many variations, throughout the film but now here it is like a slow movement, depicting tragedy.

In Mouna Raagam he has theme music with two variations. A fast paced one is for Karthik and a gentle, slow paced one for Mohan. And the first reel when the credits are on, you can hear both in that. In the same film when Karthik leaves his house for marriage, the police take him away. When he is traveling in the jeep, mid way through, the music starts. First a gentle beginning with keyboards and when he jumps from the jeep, drum strokes come on. When he starts running, a solo violin starts a tremolo, which is answered by other violins and cellos. Now this dialogue reaches its crescendo and suddenly when Karthik sees Revathi who is sitting on top of the steps on the other side of the road, the first violins burst out the theme music and they are answered by the second violins and cellos; it continues through the process of Karthik getting shot at and ends with Revathi completing her flash back story.

In Gopura Vaasalile, the first reel when the credits come on after the initial scene when the friends board the train to go to Ooty, the entire sequence is the train and the scenic hill track to Ooty. The music is a beautiful Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. With the solo flute taking on the theme of the film and later joined by the strings and other players and later the flute taking on the song themes from the film.

To quote from Thalapathy again, it has many interesting examples to show how a correct musical score can add a lot of depth and colour to a scene.

The scene where Mammooty suddenly asks Rajani to marry Bhanupriya and both of them are shocked. Very effective use of Strings and keyboards add weight to this scene. And when they are shown entering the Colony, he uses the melody of the unused song Putham Puthu Poo Poothatho… first as a solo humming and then with Shehnai/Saarangi to portray the true feelings of the characters and situation.
The scene where Jaishankar tells Rajani that he has a mother and Rajani refusing to believe that at first and then requesting Jai not to tell her that he is alive as she should not come to know that her son is such a bad element. See how effectively he has used chorus voices with keyboards and strings.
Again the scene where Bhanupria and her kid come to the clinic and leave the shawl of Rajani in which Srividhya had thrown him away many years back. Srividhya calls out the girl and gives the shawl. The girl narrates the story of the shawl. While Srividhya realises the enormity of the statement, the kid takes the shawl away and Srividhya helplessly looks at the shawl slipping away from her hands, as if it is her kid that is slipping away from her hands. The music here is marvelous with santoor effects from the keyboards.
The scene where Srividhya visits Rajani. Chorus voices with keyboards effectively create the build-up for this reunion scene.
When Rajani comes to meet Aravindswamy to request him to go out of that town on transfer- Rajani sees Shobana on the top of the steps. The moment they see each other, a solo violin in slow tempo, takes on from the Sundari song pallavi "Naan Unai Theendamatten.." and other strings give minimal support. The music stops just giving a few seconds of silence before Rajani starts talking, asking Shobana "Nalla erukkia".
Some times he has to do the filling up before or after a song. For example, in Chinnathambi, when Prabu and Kushboo come out of the house the song Povoma Oorkolam does not start immediately. There is a length of shots when Kushboo is seen enjoying the beauty of the nature, the green fields, the birds, the wind, etc. Now Ilaiyaraaja has to fill up this portion with a music which should effortlessly continue with the song that is to follow. If you watch again, please notice, how beautifully the strings and flute are used to create that.

In the same way, the stick fight and the song Santhu Pottu that follows that in Thevar Magan. Ilaiyaraaja is aware that this is not a serious fight scene, just a play kind of thing. So he decides to treat this differently. At first when the fight starts, the rhythm bangs are used to create tension. And as the fight slowly progresses, the individual rhythm play has become a full-fledged song kind of thing, some kind of dance music. You may even wonder whether the fight was picturised for the music or the other way round. It is so perfect. But it is some thing done during the re-recording. Finally when the song begins, it looks like the extension of the stick fight dance music.

In Apoorva Sakotharargal, during the initial scenes when Nagesh and gang poison Srividhya the violent music with strings and brass begin. And it is followed by a varied rhythm play when they try to escape through the fields and the gang chasing them. And the credits start after the killing of Kamal and suddenly the music changes to an eerie, mystery kind of thing with flutes, brass and rhythms. And when the scene changes to the river with the boat in which Srividhya tries to escape, a solo flute takes over with the theme of the story and strings answer it. And this theme we will hear many times in the story to follow.

Some times during the re-recording sessions, he may decide to fill-up a scene with a bit song or even a full song. Bit songs have happened many a time. But the most notable and popular full song done during the re-recording sessions was the famous Das, Das,Chinnappa Das song in Kadalora Kavithaigal.

When Ilaiyaraaja saw that reel he did not write any thing and took the next reels after that. Every one including the director was wondering why. And in the afternoon after lunch, when Ilaiyaraaja came to the session he was ready for a song recording, with the full score written during the lunch break. In the film, it appears as if the picturisation was done for a song, but in fact it was the other way round. The song will start with a Veda like hymn rendition Oru Kaalai Thookki… from the scene Satyaraj standing on one leg and goes on from there.

In the same way there was an incident during the re-recording of the Rajni film Panakkaran.

There was a scene of Rajni and his sister. They have an argument about how long can Rajni go inside the swimming pool water. Rajni goes inside and his sister starts counting. During this period the villain Charanraj comes and forcibly takes her away to a jungle. There is a length of scene where she was chased by Charanraj. The score here is a melancholic flute trills accompanied by tabla. You know who was the flutist for this piece? None other than the great Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

When Raja was doing the music for this reel during the morning pre-lunch session he stopped the work midway and took the next reel. The players did not know why he took the next reel without completing the earlier reel.

During the post lunch session Hari Prasad Chaurasia came to see Raja. After spending some time talking to him while doing the take of other reels, Raja asked the earlier incomplete to be taken up. Then he asked Chaurasia whether he is ready to do a small piece. Chaurasia said “Oh, that was a pleasant surprise Raja, would love to play your music any time”. Then Raja said “I kept this piece aside when I heard you are in town and coming to see me in the afternoon”.

Most of the directors feel that after his re-recording the whole film looks so different from what they conceived or expected it to be. It is much more than their imagination. And Ilaiyaraaja's main trait is that he does not do any thing to force himself-either in songs or in background scoring. He does just what is required for the scene, how to add value to that or how to support that or how to cover some flaws that can not be corrected now. And his concentration and sincerity is the same for all whether it is a Ramarajan film or a MR or BR film. Even in a third rate film, if you notice, his work would be of the highest order. Of course, if the film is so bad then even his music can not do much to revive that. Some times, if the director is around during the sessions, Ilaiyaraaja checks with them whether what he has composed is fine. But he has established such a great reputation to correctly gauge the mood of a film and write the appropriate musical treatment required enhancing it, most of the directors just leave every thing to him; that is the complete editorial freedom to decide the cues, the type instruments and the score.

Some times the directors kill his songs with their own ideas. A good example is the famous Sundari song from Thalapathy. It is a song depicting war. It has a powerful orchestration with a lot of strings and brass and chorus voices. But in the film the director killed the song with excessive use of horse running effects, did you notice?

There are many a time when Ilaiyaraaja has done RR for two films simultaneously. Thevar Magan was one such film. It was a typical Diwali release and it was one of those times when Ilaiyaraaja used to have at least half a dozen movies for simultaneous release. And every director will be working on the final edit version till the last minute and every one will be forcing to complete the RR some how to give them time to do the balance work and release the picture for Diwali.

In such a situation, Ilaiyaraaja will have two orchestras. In studio-A he will see a reel, write the score, sync the score with the film and give instructions to one of his assistants like Puru or somebody and they will record the pieces one by one.

While they do this, he will go to Studio-B and see a reel from the second film and do the same thing there-see that reel from where he left in the last session in that film, write the score, sync it with the film and record the pieces himself or leave that to the boys to complete the take while he goes back to Studio-A, where by now the recording of earlier reel would have been completed and he takes up the next reel for scoring.

Imagine the magnitude of mental pressure. Different stories, different situations demanding different kind of score, different threads and themes to follow, and our man effortlessly shuttling between the studios.

And he changes the schedule (seeing the film reel by reel, writing the music, synchronizing it with the visuals and recording the pieces) when he does work for a film that is to be recorded in DTS or DOLBY.

In such cases what he does is this. Sees the full film once as usual in a preview theatre. And starts seeing the reels one by one in the preview theatre (instead of his recording theatre). Writes the score for each and every reel. During these sessions he has his main assistants like Puru, Viji, Judi and some more people. Then and there his score will be copied section wise and extra copies made for the orchestra.

And when this is over for all the reels, the scene shifts to the recording theatre. He starts seeing reel by reel. Conducts the score with the orchestra, syncs it with the visuals and goes for recording.

He does this because the recording in DTS or other modern formats are directly done in CD or tapes in multiple tracks. The balancing and mixing becomes complex like a multi-track song recording and takes a long time than his normal recording sessions when the recording is actually done in sound films. Also, these special sessions will have a lot of new musicians who are new to his style. Hence it would be better if the full score is ready on hand for the sessions. That would save a lot of time.

His BGM tracks done in such latest formats can be easily converted into individual albums-for example Mahanadhi, Kaalapani, MyDearKuttichathan, Kaadhal Kavithai, etc.

But his other BGM works can not be done that way. Because normally the re-recording music is recorded directly on sound films. Hence they may have to be re-recorded again from the old scores if you want to get them to album quality.

You would be able to appreciate the amount of work he does with just a single viewing of the rough cut film when he is able to give such a good quality musical support to them. Without the aid of lists of music cues, a music editor or even a stopwatch, Ilaiyaraaja is able to compose accurately a piece for a particular film cue which fits exactly not only the required timing but also the mood and pace of the action on the screen, heightening the tension if it was a fight scene, or enhancing with beautiful lyrical melodies the romantic mood of a love scene, or just adding spontaneously joyous excitement rhythmically to a dance scene.

John Williams is another composer whom I admire very much. Like Ilaiyaraaja, he also writes every thing himself, without depending on arrangers/orchestrators like most of the MDs in Hollywood. But do you know the time he took for writing the score for Phantom Menace-Episode I? The rough cut version was given to him some time in October 1998. And he was ready to record the score with the London Symphony Orchestra in February 1999. And he himself admits he would have seen the film at least 50 times in the course of composing the score.

What kind of output will Ilaiyaraaja produce, if he gets that kind of time and resources?

-- END

25th March 2005, 01:29 PM

Excellent! Great!

25th March 2005, 03:29 PM

GR8 one...

Keep Writing


26th March 2005, 10:20 AM
Dedicated to newcomers buggle, Vijayr and svaisn, with deep apprecation to RR for throwing much light on lesser known aspects of Raja's contribution.


I am now giving a song of a rare and different kind- a song that was (and is still) the favourite of Raja. He had made this choice in the 1980s.

By now Ilayaraja must have come close to his 1000th movie or must have scaled that figure. Throughut his career he was interviewed on several aspects of his composistion. The one sure range of questions centred around IR’s favourite movies, singers, songs, music, etc. Such questions always created difficult situations for all MDs. It is quite a tricky situation to answer these questions for several reasons. Fear for offence was one main reason. Should he praise on singer, then the other singers would take offence. Some of these questions were answered in privacy. yet we have seen Raja answering some openly. He did mention that 16 Vayathinile was one of his early favourites as it was in that movie that he was able to stretch farthest his imaginations in composing folk tunes, using a wide range of instruments- some already going into oblivion. A question was also asked as to which song among those he sang that he liked best. he chose "Chiru Ponmani Asayum" from Kallukkul Eeram. There was one question that he avoided for some time and finally mentioned it. He was asked which among his "compositions" he liked best. He pointed out his best choice from his early days. On different occasions he had mentioned three different songs. From what was publsied, I am able to quote three songs. One was “Mayile Mayile Un Thogai Inge” from Trisool Films Kadavul Amaitha Medai (1979). Raja did give two reasons for that. Firstly it was the pure Hamsadvaani raga that ave life to the song. Secondly the reason he had composed in that tune was to enable the ordinary man on the road to enjoy even the purest form of Carnatic Raga. However, from what we understand, that Raaga was not a choice of Raaja. The fans had lovingly challenged Raja to compose on that raaga and so Raja did abide by their request.

The lyrics:
Mayilae Mayilae Un Thoogai Inkaee
Oyilae Oyilae Un Unjal Inkae
Kulir Kalam Allavoo thanimaiyil vidalamoo thalir udal thodalamo

Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae

Mayilae Mayilae Un Thoogai Inkaee
Oyilae Oyilae Un Unjal Inkae
Oru Sontham Illaiyae Uravugal Valarathoo Ninaivugal Malarathoo

Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae

Thendral Thaalataa Thennai irukaa athu thannai marakka
Thendral Thaalataa Thennai irukaa athu thannai marakka

nee aanaika nan iruka nal mooluka thean azlaka..
Kani vai malaraae pala nal ninaiva varava tharava perava thoodava

Mayilae Mayilae Un Thoogai Inkaee
Oyilae Oyilae Un Unjal Inkae
Oru Sontham Illaiyae Uravugal Valarathoo Ninaivugal Malarathoo

Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae

Manjal Magkalyam Mannan vazhlagka ketti melam muzhlanga..
Manjal Magkalyam Mannan vazhlagka ketti melam muzhlanga..

Poo Kuzhlalil thean aruvi
Thozl erandum nan thazhuvi

Oru naal Oru naal athu than thirunal
Uraval Uyiraee Nizhlalai nan varuvean...

Mayilae Mayilae Un Thoogai Inkaee
Oyilae Oyilae Un Unjal Inkae
Kulir Kalam Allavoo thanimaiyil vidalamoo thalir udal thodalamo

Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae Mayilae

Listen to it: http://www.musicindiaonline.com/l/26/s/movie_name.4745/

There may be some reason as to why Ilayaraja had special affection for this song. Perhaps the song is like for the beautiful Raaga and the tune itself. The instruments used are simply the right ones. Violin, flute and guitar seem to be blending, and at the same time competing with each other. S.P. Bala and Jency again seem to be the right choice for giving life to the song, singing with full feelings.

It is my personal opinion that the Raaga of the song must have been instrumental for stealing away the heart of the Maestro. So could Raaga experts say something of this much liked Raaga.

28th March 2005, 03:19 PM
Hamsadhwani is a pentatonic raga: S R2 G3 P N3. This song is yet another example of how IR can weave so many beautiful patterns with just 5 notes. In carnatic, I've often found hamsadhwani songs sound monotonous. But IR songs have been so different and bring out different facets of this raga (IMO). Apart from 'mayile mayile', other songs I like are 'kaalam maaalaam','vaa vaa vaa kanna vaa','iru vizhiyin vazhiye', 'therkondu vandhavan'.

29th March 2005, 08:14 PM
Lovely, soft, melodious song...`mayilE, mayilE' had excellent contribution by SPB as well...the childish voice of Jency was interesting, though her singing wasn't that great in this song (listen to her 'un oonjal engE' in the second line, funny)...

In the eve of the release of his 100th film moodupani, I read an Q/A interview in cinema express where Raja told this as his fav song...'sudhdhamAna Hamsadwani rAgaththil amaindha mayilE, mayilE' endRu solli irundhAr...

31st March 2005, 01:53 PM
>>listen to her 'un oonjal engE' in the second line, funny<<
yep...i remember those lines..."unu oonjal enghE" :-))

31st March 2005, 01:54 PM
i guess she says "enkhE"...right ?

31st March 2005, 01:55 PM
oops...there's a link...I just listened to the song...funny pronunciation

31st March 2005, 07:46 PM
Shankar :-)

I didn't listen from the link...neither otherwise, for a very long time...may be years since I've listened to this song...but still all the details are etched in mind:-))

6th April 2005, 08:47 AM
With everyone's permission, im going to write on a landmark movie of IR, a Telugu one..

When Manirathnam was making Geethanjali, his first direct venture in Telugu, he wanted to make that movie as a landmark in the history of Telugu movies. It was a perfect love theme, with a good mix of commercial ingrediants. It had only few characters.. Mani carefully selected his characters.. The hero was Nagarajuna, who had just arrived and was waiting for a big blockbuster. It was Girija's first movie and only movie other than the Malayalam film Vandanam.

Needless to say, those days if a Manirathnam movie is announced then music is going to be definitely IR. There were 7 songs in this movie and each of them were a class of its own.. The superhit from the lot was the meloncholy 'Oh priya priya'. The best song of the album was definitely 'Ohm Namaha' tuned in ragam Hamsanaadam. The songs 'Oh paapa laali' and 'Aamani Paadave' all haunted the then youth very much.. This movie came in Tamil and Malayalam and was a superhit also.. The song 'Oh priya Priya' became the anthem for tragic lovers..

I was a 10 year old kid when the movie got released and i remember i used to wait long before the radio to get these songs recorded..

Now coming to the BGMs, i will boldly say that it was nothing but the music that helped this movie to become a super hit.. Start from the tiltle cards - a chorus humming 'I love you' and then to a modulated tune of 'Oh priya priya'.. Then the next part of the title cards is IR's usual combo of Guitar+piano+Violin..

Whenever the feeling of love was evoked in the screen, IR was there with the tune of 'Oh Priya Priya' either in humming or in flute.. Im sure a lot would have felt the pain of love just because of this music.. Move forward, there is a scene were the hero searches for the heroine.. Comeon, who can produce such violins???

The Railway station scene, after the departure of the Hero's mother, after the fight between Hero and Herione, the flute pops up with 'Oh priya priya' again. If that doesnt move you, then nothing can, i bet.. To me, it appeared more haunting than the tune itself..

This movie caused a rise among lovers in the colleges of Andhra those days.. It gave a break to Nagarjuna along with another IR movie 'Shiva'..

This is one of the most selling music albums in Telugu, even after its release before 16 years.. It surely deserved a national level recognition for the tunes were so fresh, so haunting and what else.. But finally it endedup in the tune of 'Oh Priya riya' being copied by Anand-Milind for their 'Dil'.

One of the best musical treats from Mani-IR combo..

IR fans, please chip in with your memories..

Thanking everyone,

6th April 2005, 02:49 PM
>>>Move forward, there is a scene were the hero searches for the heroine.. Comeon, who can produce such violins???<<<

This piece is from nothing but wind...Mozart I love you (?)

The title score (when nagarjuna is taken in a stretcher....oprn...etc, till Aruna walks in to the room Nag is admitted it), is just brilliant...a violin couple start, with a cello portraying the grim situation starts the title...and at the end, when aruna comes in and nag asks,"doctor, enna kalyANam paNNikereengaLa" (or sthg), Raja plays a bit of "vidiya vidiya nadanam" !!!

7th April 2005, 10:34 PM
i dont know if you noticed but the title theme of geetanjali is actually a variation/extension of the "jagada jagada" song...

8th April 2005, 04:52 PM
Some more points to add on..

Somebody earlier mentioned about a piece from 'Nothing But Wind'. It was the scene when Nagarjuna was shown as simply wandering through the woods..

BGM - In more than one places Mani shows the gradual arrival of mist through the door, to make us feel the chillness of love embracing the lovers... Note the violin usage at this particular point. You actually wonder whether the mist will have a sound like that or what..

Climax - Herione was taken to the railway station.. The whole station scene with heavy wind, PC. Srirams' Camera-Lighting.. The mood is set and the happy ending is marked by Chithra coming back with the humming of 'Oh Priya Priya'...

I really wonder how the movie would have looked like without the presence of IR..

'Oh Priya Priya' should be considered as one of the most acute love songs - It generates some sort of pian in your heart, of love..

'Aamani Paadave' was a just perfect for evoking the felings of a dying patient..

Even the 'Jaallantha Kavvintha' (Aathadi yammaadi) was a class orchestration - The usage of pianos in the backdrop is very hard to grasp. Is this a 'Waltz'? Experts pls confirm...Sax+Piano+2-3 sets of Violins..

Its very difficult to classify the genre of songs in Geethanjali. Can you put it under Western Classical? To an extend, the BGMs are nothing but mini-symphonies from the Maestro.. The songs had a Carnatic touch - 'Oh Priya Priya' had Sivaranjini, 'Oh Paapalali' was Keeravani, 'Ohm Namaha' was a wonderful Hamsanaadam (IR really likes this scale). The dance number 'Jagada Jagada' had a slight flavor of Sindhu Bhairavi..

Excellent .. One of the rare soundtracks in the history of Telugu/tamil/Malayalam film Music, where the beauty of Film Light Music was glorified by the master mixes of the elements of Western Classical Music and Carnatic Classical Music.

IR fans - Please chip in with your nostalgias/experiences with 'Geethanjali'

8th April 2005, 07:39 PM
Nice pick...Geethanjali (idhayaththai thirudAdhE in Thamizh) is definitely a landmark album for Raja. If the Mano songs sound so good in IT, I'm sure it should be much better in Telugu with SPB.

-vidiya vidiya nadanam (my pick, as the orchestration for this song is awesome by any standards, very youthful -makes you jump & dance...)
-Oh pApA lAlee (takes me to 1990, instantly, the last year of my bachelordom)
-AthAdi ammAdi (picturised beautifully in the movie, with the actress in slow motion but background in regular speed, was it PC Sriram?)
-O priya priya (saraNam 100 times better than the pallavi)
-Om namahA (beautiful song but stupid picturisation, IMHO, how long can you watch nagarjuna with girija close-up)
-kAttukkuLLe...(only song I dislike...crazy)

All these songs had some `different' feel from his TFM stuff, which is identifiable to long-term IR listeners...though difficult to pin point...for e.g...may be the song O Priya had a `hindi-song-like' feel:-) I love the percussion in the saraNam of that song...(compare that with the dumb-routine-dull-dolak sound A-M has used in the copied Hindi version...since the melody is superb even such a distorted version is listenable / enjoyable...OTOH, it was a hit in Hindi, probably because of the distortions only...If IR repeated his version exactly, it probably wouldn't have appealed beyond the Vindhyas:-))

I think IT was a 100% KSC album (someone correct me if that's not so)...which was really good, though personally I would have loved to have a Janaki number...Probably MR thought it wouldn't be appropriate for the youthful film (though SJ did wonders to his another youthful film, agni*, with `oru poongAvanam' and `rOjAppoo Adi vandhadhu') Just curious, who sang in Telugu? Was it KSC 100%?

8th April 2005, 08:14 PM
I think IT was a 100% KSC album (someone correct me if that's not so)...which was really good, though personally I would have loved to have a Janaki number...Probably MR thought it wouldn't be appropriate for the youthful film (though SJ did wonders to his another youthful film, agni*, with `oru poongAvanam' and `rOjAppoo Adi vandhadhu') Just curious, who sang in Telugu? Was it KSC 100%?

It isn't a single card album for KSC in Telugu. "Om Namaha" is by S.Janaki.

8th April 2005, 09:10 PM
teja, you're right...I stand corrected, since the Thamizh version of Om namaha too had SJ...

8th April 2005, 09:12 PM
Why nobody has anyword about Mudhal Mariyadhai so far? I think it is a land mark album for IR in many ways.

"Andha Nilava Thaan" was very popular in TN. It was even "dubbed" in Hindi. (I have heard it many times in Vivida Bharathi)

"Vetti Veru Vaasam".... VM got national award for this song...

"Rasave Unnai Nambi..." a haunting song for ever.

9th April 2005, 12:08 AM
"Andha Nilava Thaan" was very popular in TN. It was even "dubbed" in Hindi. (I have heard it many times in Vivida Bharathi)

That's "Mujhe baahon mein bhar ke dekh le, kahi(?) meri jawani" by Anuradha Poudwal and SPB from the film MahaDev.

IR modified the interludes... they are just brilliant.
Thanks for reminding that song. Gotta listen to it today.

13th April 2005, 05:30 PM

Another landmark entry of IR, this time in Malayalam.

Ilayaraja was spotted as early as in 1978, by a malayalam director K.G.George, for his movie 'Vyamoham'. I dont remember the details of this one. There is a nice duet by IR in this movie - 'Poovadikalil Alayum Thenilam Kaatte' sung by K.J.Yesudas and S.Janaki. In 1980, another movie, 'Dooramarike' came with IR music.

But it was Balu Mahendra's 'Olangal' (1982) which gave Ilayaraja a big break in Malayalam. All the 3 songs tuned for this movie went on to become a big hit. The movie was a remake (?) of the famous 'Masoom' (Hindi). The malayalam version had Amol Palekar, Poornima Bhagyaraj, Jagathy Sreekumar and Baby Anju.

1. Thumbee Vaa Thumbakkudathin - Tremendous song of the era. Music loving Keralites, who has grown through the 80s will definitely have this song in their hearts. As one among them, for myself, this song is an everlasting Nostalgia.. One can only wonder how effectively Ilayaraja has used S.Janaki. The bass patterns in this song are simply superb.. There is a definite Ilayaraja stamp all over this song, but still it sounded like a Malayalam Song.

This tune later came in Tamil (Auto Raja), Telugu (Nireekshana) and then in Hindi (Aur Ek Prem Kahani), all by Ilayaraja himself. The first version, in Malayalam, was a big hit and still keralites remember this song with the same freshness.

2. Vezhambal Kezhum - A pathos song by K.J.Yesudas. Heroine wandering around with the paining memories of her clourful past.. Good lyrics.. The S.Janaki humming is something that can take you by sruprise. Again very very Nostalgic. Though people may not remember that this is by Ilayaraja, definitely, a Malayalai music lover WILL remember this song.

3. Kuliraadunnu Maanathu - To me, easily the best song in the album. This song is picturized to show a hidden past of the hero.. Nothing but sheer genius in the Guitar chords will take you for a ride. The entire song is backed up beautifully with Guitar chords, that time, relatively new to Malayalam Film Music. Though this song didnt gain the popularity as the other two, this is an excellent piece, which is a delight for IR fans. I once had an oppurtunity to hear a guitarist render the complete chord progression of this song, at one stretch and then i could appreciate the song much better!!!

This movie made Ilayaraja popular in Malayalam. As a result he got 3 movies in Malayalam next year, each of them providing atleast one soul-stirring songs.

'OLANGAL' was definitly a landmark in IR's career.

IR fans, Pleas have a nice discussion..

Thanking you,

19th April 2005, 11:22 AM
1. Thumbee Vaa Thumbakkudathin - Tremendous song of the era......This tune later came in Tamil (Auto Raja), Telugu (Nireekshana) and then in Hindi (Aur Ek Prem Kahani), all by Ilayaraja himself.

In addition to these songs, the same tune was used by IR himself, once again in thamizh, as background score with voice as instrument (the voice was IR's), in the movie moonRaampiRai. The scene is when Kamal goes to brothel with YGM(?) and meets Sridevi there for the first time.

I guess this tune was one of IR's pet tunes of those times.

And...yes, I have mentioned this repeatedly in this forum perhaps more times than IR himself has rehashed this tune :)

20th April 2005, 03:06 PM
Kuliraadunnu Maanathu -

This one awesome song from the album...I had forgotten the song completely...thanks for reminding me !!

The bass guitar in the whole album and specifically this song is in a league of its own ! If you notice the lines,
"...oru ponpakshi pol, ini enganame.." sounds very much like a salil chowdhry style of ending a pallavi/anu pallavi ! Not sure if Raja did it intentionally to sound like salilda.

20th April 2005, 07:59 PM

Nice recap by Sivaji...two noteworthy points:

1. There had been debates earlier in the DF as to why Sivaji told VM, KD'ai minji vittAr endRu...this article explains that

2. His specific reference to the music of mudhal mariyAdhai & Raja...Without doubt a landmark film for BR, IR, VM and Sivaji...vetti vEru vAsam & poongAtRu thirumbumA are real classics...(How come vetti vEru's tabla sound is so bassy / kicking...this was definitely missed in his later albums)...

20th April 2005, 08:01 PM
i think "sangathil paadatha kavithai" from auto raja came before olangal...Raaja reorchestrated this song as recently as last year for the concert in Italy...

21st April 2005, 05:15 PM
"How come vetti vEru's tabla sound is so bassy / kicking...this was definitely missed in his later albums)...:

The bass pattern for the song was composed exactly suiting to the tabla beat "nadai" ..

22nd April 2005, 11:04 PM
I remember reading this article long back in India (hard copy)...happened to see the link:

Neat analysis!

22nd April 2005, 11:09 PM
Has Bharathi been discussed as a landmark album yet? `ninnai charaN adaindhEn', `niRpadhuvE', `kELada mAnidanE' and `nalladhOr veeNai seidhe' are excellent renderings of Bharathiyar songs in a filmy format by IR, with excellent orchestration. Though `agni kunjondRu kaNdEn' and `vandhE mAdharam' are good too, I find those two slightly inferior to the other four.

`edhilum ingu' by Pulamaipithan and `mayil pOla poNNu onnu' by Mu Mehta probably gave more freedom to Raja and he excelled in melody & orchestration in those songs...His daughter even won a natl award (singing well suited for a young girl)...

23rd April 2005, 08:23 AM
yes, eden. Bharathi already covered by Manisekaran.

3rd May 2005, 11:20 PM
moga mull????????????????????????????????

4th May 2005, 02:54 AM
wht about Chinnathambi and devarmagan?!!

4th May 2005, 10:47 PM
HEY RAM???????????? RaajaPaarvai???????????????? SIraiChalai(Kaalapani)

4th May 2005, 10:49 PM
Arivu Jeevighaley Please discuss on these movies Pls

5th May 2005, 04:45 AM
rajaparvai song azhage azhagu is an all time classic of ir.kjy has sung it very well.after the initial humming there is a beautiful note on the vibrophone played with a soothing feel.the bgms are really wrote in an artistic way and all the 3 bgms are totally diff thus proving the impeccable versatality of ir.the chromatic notes in the charam line ''oru angam kaigal ariyathathu''[an example of kannadasan's kurumbu]shows the creative genius of ir.friends listen to this song now and enjoy.i will write something more about this song in two days.

6th May 2005, 03:58 PM

Pls note:

Please be informed that my consent is not needed for posting the landmark songs. The only caution is- do not go for popular songs or your favourites. They must be landmark songs for some valid reasons.

Thank you.


1st July 2005, 08:44 AM
[tscii:4ef4c3b1f7]Dear Friends,

I was overseas for some time and upon return had much work. This thread had been lying dormant. So starting off again for all of you to keep this going.


ALAIKAL OIVATHILLAI shall ever remain one of the best of the Ilayaraja – Bharathiraja combinations. This is Ilayaraja’s own film that came under the banner of Paavalar Creations. The movie is rather a very rare teat in many ways. It has a good combination of western tunes, folk tunes, carnatic tunes. With the story line portrayinh a love affair with a Christian girl, Ilayaraja beautifully brings in Christian tunes as welll. This is a rare treat from Raja. This is yet one more of the films where all the songs are great. Any average fan of Ilayaraja would find it difficult to choose the best song, as all are good.

Here Ilayaraja sings more songs, as compared to his past films. It is quite clear that Raja has used his full freedom to explore the parameters. The popular songs are:

1. Aayiram Thamarai Mottukkale
2. Darisanam Kidaikatha
3. Darisanam Kidaikatha
4. Kathal Oviyam
5. Lambodhara Lakumikara
6. Putham Pudu Kalai
7. Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa
8. Thothiram Padiye
9. Vadi En Kappa Kelange
10. Vazhvellam Anandame
11. Vizhiyil Vizhundu

Ilayaraja has lifted an earlier song sung by his mother Chinnathaayi. His mother used to sing at village temple, along with other girls. Kummi paattu were famous at temple festivals. The song that Ilayaraja’s mother sang along with other girls was:

Yaanai Varuvatha paarungadi- Yaanai
Saainthu Varuvathai paarungadi.

Ilayaraja was very impressed with this song. When he took his own movie, he brought in this “kummi paattu” that was sang by his mother in Pannaipuram, and gave it a love touch. He made SP Bala and S. Janaki, sing the song :

aayiram thaamarai mottukkalae vandhu
aanandhak kummigal kottungalae
ingirandu jaadhi malligai
thottukkollum kaaman pandigai
koavilil kaadhal thozhugai


oaoaoaoa koththumalarae amudham kottum malarae
ingu thaenai ootru idhu theeyin ootru
pulveliyin meedhu rendu poomaalai
onraiyonru soodum idhu pon vaelai
kal vadiyum pookkal thangal kaambai marakkum

However, the song that I wish to highlight is Kathal oviyam, and all time favourite of my own selection. Here we see a different voice of Raja. Please allow me to go back in history to tocuh on what is called “voice range” When a singer comes for voice test, he is tested for his range. Once his range is known, the MDs would then decide which song should be sung by which singer. In many cases the MDs also make adjustments, especially when they have to match two voices together in duets.
M.K. Thiagaraja Bagaathar is known for his high pitch. Just think of the song “Swappana Vaazhvil Magizhnthu” in Siva kavi. This is a very high pitched song that only he could sing. Then comes “Yaanai Thantham Pole Pirai Nila” in Amarakavi, and all lime lowest pitch of MKT. This is his range.

T.R. Mahalingam is known for high pitch. There are numerous songs of that kind. In Manimegalai there is a song “Aandavan Padaippinile Naan Kanda Atputha Pen Vadive.” In the same movie he had to sing with a low pitched singer banumathy, and G ramanathan had to adjust the tune to suit TR Mahalingam. That song where TRM was made to sing in a lower pitch was “kangalin Vennilavo” But TRM requested MSV-TKR to compose a song for him to sing in the lowest pitch possible to demystify the notion that he could only sing high pitched songs. So they made him sing his lowest pitched song in his career. The song was “Naananri yaar Varovar” sand with AP Komala in Malayitta Mangai. That was his range.
Next comes TMS who sings “Ongkaramai Vilangum Naatham’ a high pitched song in Vanangamudi. In the same movie he gives a diameterically lowest pitched song sung with P Suseela. The song is “Mohana Punnagai Seithidum Nilave”
Seergazhi Govindarajan sings “Sarasa Mohana” a high pitched song in Kokilavani. In the same film he sings “Azhagodayil neenthum Ila Annam” a low pitched song with Jikki.
There are singers who cannot go for high pitched songs, such as PB seenivas and AM Raja.
Briefly that is the story.
However a good singer is not only versatile, but ought also to be singing in high pitch and low pitch to bring to surface the best of his talents. This is where Ilayaraja has done a wonderful job. He is highly talented in singing with both hight picth and low pitch. Solam Vethaikayile in 16 vayathinile is of high pitch. Contrast to that is Kathal Oviyam sung not only in low pitch, but with full of feelings and emotions.

Just before I go deeper into this song, I wish to say in brevity that almost all MDs had at some point in their career used songs suiting Christian themes. The use of church bells had spellbound effects on the listerners. When Gnanasoundari was released, with Jikki singing for the first time, the Chirsitan community in Madras was so impressed by the tune of the song “Arul Thaarum Deva mathave, Aaviye Inba jothi.” That community invited SV Vengatramand and gave special dinner to honour him. The Movie Genoa again had Christian subject. S Rajeswara Rao used Christian tune for the song “Enai Aalum Mary Maatha” fantastically sung by P. Leela. KVM has compsed “YEsu Naathar PEsinaal” in Thaye unakkaka. MSV has composed “Devane Ennai Paarungal” in Gnana Oli. So the tradition had continued well. Coming to our own time, Ilayaraja seem to have capped it well- very well with this melodious song from Alaikal Oivathillai.
The song scene starts off in a church setting, and slowly moves into the woods. Listening to the song simply uplifts one’s spirits. An awe striking feature of this song is that Raja has very beautifully brought in Christian tune for a love based theme. We have listened to many songs with Christian themes, but in my humble mind, this song is certainly mind boggling. I consider this song a rare treat in the musical career of IR.

F : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
thEn sindhum poonchOlai nam rAjjiyam
engum Anantham pErinbam theiveegam o...
M : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
thEn sindhum poonchOlai nam rAjjiyam
engum Anantham pErinbam theiveegam o...
F : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
M : thEdinEn o.. en jeevanE
thendralilE mithanthu varum thEnmalarE ..
F : neeyum nAyagan kAthal pAdakan
anbil Odi inbam kOdi endrum kAnalAm
M : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
F : thEn sindhum poonchOlai nam rAjjiyam
M : engum Anantham pErinbam theiveegam o...
F : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
F : thAngumO .. en dheHame
manmathanin malarkaNaikal thOLkalilE
M : mOham theeravE vA en arugilE
uLLam kOyil kaNgal theivam poojai kAnalAm ..
F : kAdhal Oviyam pAdum kAviyam
M : thEn sindhum poonchOlai nam rAjjiyam
F : engum Anantham pErinbam theiveegam
M : o...
M & F : la la laa lala la la laa lala mmmmmmm ...

Please continue the discussions.

Listen: http://www.tamilsongs.net/page/build/moviedisplay/Alaigal_Oyvathillai/

1st July 2005, 09:14 PM
Nice time to remember this masterpiece by Raja, when TN is applauding Raja for the Thiruvasagam in oratorio format, with most of the singing done by him...

`kAdhal ovium' had excellent elements in addition to a catchy tune - the choir like chorus, splendid veeNai interludes, soft drum orchestration and soulful singing by Raja...

4th July 2005, 12:19 AM
Dear Mani Sir,
Thanks for ur nice article.An excellent analysis!!! I was
impressed by these views.
In starting(Kadhal oviyam song)Punidha manthara oliyum holy church chorus um blend aradhu dhan, indha songin special enru ninaikiraen.
Innoru IR song ninaivuku varugiradhu.
Song : "Devanin kovilil"
Film : Aruvadai naal
One more song in western background
Film : Guna
Song : Kanmani
IN film "vellai Roja", one song "Devanin kovililae" is used to tell about the mercy of Jesus.
These are some gems in IR composings.
With Love,
Usha Sankar.

4th July 2005, 06:47 AM
Dear Sahodari Usha,

Your observation has been very keen. In fact Ilayaraja had composed a song in Avar Enakke Sontham- Devanin Thiruchabai Malarkale. Then comes the song Kathal Oviyam from Alaikal Oivathillai. Aruvadai Naal song is a later composition. All these are great in their won ways. However, I find that the song Kathal Oviyam stands taller than the others as IR himself sings with full passion for love. His voice and the presentation of the feelings are simmply at his best.

Thank you for the participation
Sahodaran Manisekaran

7th July 2005, 11:42 PM

After a long time this thread is revived and active. thanks for coming in again.
BTW when i listened to TIS i was reminded of AO in some way, where in IR has blended Christian and hindu musical elements into one song. another song i was reminded of was from 'Vetrivizha' the starting of song 'marugo marugo' ..........
did yo listen to TIS neway??

8th July 2005, 12:17 PM
Dear Rajasaranam,

I am sorry. What is TIS. AO is Alaikal Oivathillai I suppose.


8th July 2005, 01:02 PM
I am sorry. What is TIS.Thiruvasagam In Symphony.
I am sure that Agilan has invited you to the launching of this masterpiece at NUPW Hall next Sunday, where guests include Kartik Raja and Bavadharani.
They will also be showing The Making of TIS.
Entrance is free.

8th July 2005, 07:44 PM

Thank you so much. Akilan has been enthusaistically sendng me sms and emails. I am also notifying my friends to attend. I am hearing many good things about TIS from various sources. Raja still reigns. RAJANNA RAJAATHAAN!


10th July 2005, 05:51 PM
NOV, A new and frightening development. Akilan just phoned me and requested me to speak for 20 minutes on the musical achievements of Ilayaraja at the launching of TIS. I need all your prayers in abundance for the success of the event and for a good presentation from this humble servant.
Karthik Raja would be there.

Thank you.
Yours sincerely


11th July 2005, 06:22 AM
Why frightening? :D

There cant be a more qualified person to speak at the event. With all your experience at live concerts, stage shows and tv shows, this should be - in the words of super star - jujubee, for you. :lol:

Best of luck and hope to be there.

11th July 2005, 10:41 AM
Mani Sir... eppidi irukkenga? romba naalaachu :-)

ungaLukku frightening-aa? Summa dhool keLappunga. Of course, share with us about speech and response from the audience.

Good luck Sir!

12th July 2005, 08:58 AM

Yetho Irukkiren, Vandi Odukirathu. Medai Payam Kidayave Kidayaathu. Eduthukkonda Topic appadi aatti vaikkirathu.

Private message anuppiyullen. Padikkavum.


12th July 2005, 09:33 AM
Ahbulla sagodharar Mani ku,
Ennai sagodhariyaga azhaithadharku ennudaiya sandhoshathai mudhalil therivithu kolgiraen.
Indha maanida ulagil,edhai yar seidhal sirappaka irukum enru iraivan ninaithu nadathi vaikiran.Appadi ninaithu dhan Ilaiya Raajavai TIS seiya vaitharo enru ninaithu kolgiraen.
Andha vagaiyil, indha vizhavuku Ungaluraiya urai sirappaga irukum enru kadavul ninaiathu vttar.Ungalidam indha porupai koduthu vittar.Adhanal neengalum sirappaga than seiveergal.
Ungaludaiya anubhavam patri ezhudhungalaen. Ungaludaiya write up nalaeyae vishayangal ellam interestaga irukiradhu.
I am your fan to your writings.
With Love,
Usha Sankar.

17th July 2005, 06:59 PM
Dear Mr.manisekaran,i gues you are the same person who spoke durng the TIS malaysia launching this morning,I was there.In fact I
ve attended the launching evet in Chennai,where IR and Kamal and Rajine were present.
I was invited by father Jegath,who's the main organiser of TIS.If you dont mind plz give me ur phone number,I could call you and and tell more about it,as I understand you 'are into compiling IR stuff.

Micron Precision Technologies,Malaysia

18th July 2005, 02:41 PM
Dear Sivakumaran

I am the one. Please call me at 013-3892716

Thank you.


29th August 2005, 07:43 PM
Dear Sahodari Usha,

Your observation has been very keen. In fact Ilayaraja had composed a song in Avar Enakke Sontham- Devanin Thiruchabai Malarkale. Then comes the song Kathal Oviyam from Alaikal Oivathillai. Aruvadai Naal song is a later composition. All these are great in their won ways. However, I find that the song Kathal Oviyam stands taller than the others as IR himself sings with full passion for love. His voice and the presentation of the feelings are simmply at his best.

Thank you for the participation
Sahodaran Manisekaran

Mr. Manisekaran,

I also recollect ... Maadhaa un kovilil mani deepam yetrinen...

SJ sang that song... Nice composition from IR...

but another song which comes immediately to my memory is... Mani osai kettu ezundhu ... from Payanangal mudivathillai...

Both seem similar....

29th August 2005, 07:51 PM
[tscii:be6a295515]Mr. Manisekaran,

When you mentioned about Devan thiruchabai malargalay… great song with amazing violin and flute interludes and also accordion…….IR will take us to a different direction in that.. The song will also end with violin play of the start of the song…
That’s his third movie …Avar enakay sondham… For Jayshankar…

I think this song was a different one compared to his first 2 movies…. Annakili and Badrakali….

Also the song… Naan pesa vandhen solla than vaarthai illai…

From Palootee valartha kili…. For Vijayakumar and Sripriya…. SPB with SJ….

Probably it was a challenge for IR to prove his successful run…..and he did it well….

Such a melody is gone totally now a days………..


17th September 2005, 07:06 PM
Dear Brothers,
Thank you so much for your kind words. I admit in all humility that I pick up information here and there and that is how I post. You may not know how much I benefitted from the thread.

Of late I had become very busy. I spoke to Rajaram over the phone for quite some time and expressed my inability to continue anymore on any topic for the following reasons:

1) My duty requires me to travel overseas to give talks at international forums. Just returned today from New Delhi and am packing for another destination.

2) I am preparing some 16 papers to be presented at international forums

3) I had been busy preparing programs and hosting programs over the ASTRO private pay TV. Recently I interviewed Snehan, Kamakkodiyan, Muthulingam and Piraisoodan. Spoke at length with Pulamaipithan and Gangai Amaran at the same show on Tamil Thirai Isai Payanam. Met many artistes. The interviews may be out on Deepavali day.

4) Right now preparing another program on Novels that were made into movies. Vairamuthu, Prabanjan, Sivasankari and Dhilip Kumar are among those who are coming down for this great event.

5) Many other personal and offical work pressure.

As for Ilayaraja, now I feel I could have done better, as after the above interviews they privately spoke of IR as I led them into the matter. Muthulingam said IR is the best MD of India, as he corrects lyrics, writes lyrics and sings with clarity of pronunciation. Some one had asked me what was the first song of IR. It was in Ponnukku Thanga Manasu, by Muthulingam. This is news to all of us. New matters were also unearthed.

If it is possible- with Iraivan Chiththam I shall post the gist of the interviews on this page.

I hope someone would come forward and fine tune this series on IR so that the flow is there.

One day I may come back and continue with more of his gems.

Before I forget, on the day of the launching of Thriuvasagam in Symphony in Malaysia in a crowd of 1,200 fans, I was asked to talk on the musical achivements of IR. Karthik Raja was moved to tears and he openly said that Malaysians had known of his dad better. I my private dinner with him Karthi shared many intimate matters with us.

Happy I was able to have some time today to speak with all of you.
With best regards,

18th September 2005, 01:04 AM
Mani Sir

Nice to see your letter..

Ana Kuzhuppureengale!

'Tanjavoru Seemayile' from Ponnukku Thanga Manasu is known as Muthulingam's First film song. Or we saying that was also IR's first tamil song?

Can anyone who has better understood what Mani Sir has written please clarify?


18th September 2005, 09:28 AM

That was a teaser. Wait for the gist of interviews, you'll know all the details.

18th September 2005, 05:55 PM
Thanks RR, can't wait!

Mani Sir, our best wishes on your endeavor..


19th September 2005, 10:37 AM
I have heard from many people that the first song composed by Raja is "thEn sindhudhE vAnam..." from poNNukku thanga manasu...May be Mr. Manisekaran can clarify.

19th September 2005, 10:50 AM
I have heard from many people that the first song composed by Raja is "thEn sindhudhE vAnam..." from poNNukku thanga manasu...May be Mr. Manisekaran can clarify.

Then sindhudhey vaanam MD was GK Venkatesh and IR worked with him for sometime.. Coud be possible that IR might have composed for this song... The style resembles IR's

19th September 2005, 01:31 PM
It wasn't just Raja...GKV had another great assistant with him..the underrated L Vaidyanathan.

19th September 2005, 07:31 PM
IR didnt compose then sidhudhey. This was clarified long time back here in DF. GKV was the tune composer for this song in Kannada which was used in Tamil too. PBS had confirmed it. IR might have just played the guitar bits in the song. I listened to an audio clip of IR's speech from some function where he explains this tune, how the pallavi was tuned uncharacteristically long by GKV.

19th September 2005, 10:09 PM
I could recognise IR distinctly in this song then sindhidhey vaanam... by the interludes and the style.... I still feel that IR must have composed this number....

19th September 2005, 11:16 PM
IR-ae sonna kooda illa maattEnnu adam pidikkareenga.

Enough number of people who were associated with the song have clarified that it is GKV's child. Paavam sir oru great MD-kku avarOda 'due recognition'-a kudunga. ungaLukku punniyamaa pOgum.

When I say this I want to clarify one thing. I too was thinking that it was IR's creation and even posted the same here in this forum.

May be IR learnt this kind of song making from GKV because he was GKV's assistant, who knows.

20th September 2005, 11:17 AM
Sorry, I was not aware that IR himself had admitted the fact...

Now I stand corrected...

7th November 2005, 07:42 AM
Manisegaran saar!
I watched your Deepavali programme - Karuvarai Mudhal Kallarai Varai on Astro Vanavil. What a wonderful repertoire of Kannadhasan's gems. (Except for the poor renditions. :()

Dare we hope for another mega serial here at the Hub? :D

19th November 2005, 11:50 AM
Dear Mr. Mani segaran....

Can we expect articles from you soon ?

Dear RR....

Pl confirm ....

Looking forward to....

22nd April 2006, 09:40 PM

Did Mani Sir come back to you on starting a new write up?

Please advise.

Ready to wait, but please do not say NO


23rd April 2006, 01:59 PM

I did manage to get in touch him, but he still seems busy. :( Till he gets back we can discuss IR's landmark songs not covered yet. In fact he encourages this.

27th April 2006, 03:20 PM
Dear Friends,
Sorry. Extremely busy with work pressure. Please continue. I am visiting this site after months.

RR did speak to me. NOV and I finally met at my house at a dinner party.
Shall join all of you some day.



27th April 2006, 03:24 PM
Dear Mr. Manisegaran

Thrilled to see your post after a long time....

Pl dont wait for any auspicious day...

This TFM thread anxiously awaits your GRAND COME BACK


27th April 2006, 03:25 PM
Are you aware Mr. Manisegaran, there was an IR show on 23.4. in Chennai, attended by around 15000.
it was an one man show !

6th September 2007, 12:41 PM
i watched it again last week.. must say 'Naan Thedum Sevvanthi Poovithu" Song was fabulous that even made crowd screaming oncemore

6th September 2007, 01:11 PM
i watched it again last week.. must say 'Naan Thedum Sevvanthi Poovithu" Song was fabulous that even made crowd screaming oncemore

hi, it is "Anrum Inrum Enrum" show. One man show is different

2nd October 2007, 02:36 AM
Dear Mani Sir,

Thanks for your nice hear felt views on IR and Idhayam Oru Kovil Song. I very strongly agree with all your views as its one of my favourite IR's compositions.

Couple of quick comments:

1) On the following line, don't you think there was a little mistake on the way it was rendered (both SPB and IR); causing confusion to listeners and not conveying the intended meaning? May be I am missing something or interpretting it wrong; correct me.

enadhu paadhai vaeru unadhu paadhai vaerammaa

Its sung like this:
enadhu paadhai; vaeru unadhu; paadhai vaerammaa;

Don't you think it should have been sung like this:
enadhu paadhai vaeru; unadhu paadhai vaerammaa'

May be he could not accomodate this way with the sandham and is forced to do it the other way (I mean the way its in the recorded version).

2) Is there a line like : Vazhum Thayagarajaree (impling that he is the living Thayagarajar) on the IR version. I defintely remember hearing something like this. Or it it from a different song?

P.S. IMHO, he is one of the closest to Thayagarajar. No offense meant.