Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Songs of a Lifetime - # 1

Song : Andhi Mazhai Pozhigiradhu

Film : Raja Paarvai

Lyrics : Vairamuthu

Singers : SPB, S.Janaki, TVG ( Alaap)

MD : Illayaraja

" Andhi Mazhai" is a gem that still intrigues and fascinates listeners with its amazing blend of Western Classical orchestration with Indian classical music.

IR has used the vocals splendidly to embellish the beauty of the Song. Apart from flawless rendering from the lead vocalists - SPB ( Who is also featured in the sing for a few seconds) & Janaki, Illayara roped in T.V.Gopalakrishnan for the hindustani alaap that features in the interludes and during the Charanam. TVG , a highly talented musician in both Carnatic & Hindustani realms, elevates the song with a strong Indian classical flavour. The chorus vocals have also been very effectively used to create the mood.

Classical background : The Song is set in the raga " Vasantha". Vasantha is an evening raga and may be that prompted Vairamuthu to start the song as " Andhi(denoting dusk)".

Lyrics : The lyrical beauty of the Song cannot be ignored with lines such as " Thanimayile verumayile ethanai nAladi ila mayile Kettana iravugal suttana kanavugal imaigalil sumaiyadi ila mayile".

Trivia :

1. This movie was the 100th movie of Kamal Haasan and his first movie as a producer.

2. Though critically acclaimed, the movie was a flop.

3. TVG is Illayaraja's Guru ( IR learnt carnatic music from him) and thus IR made his Guru sing for him.

Musical musings

Music has become an integral part of my life, definitely more so in the last few years. The more I traveled , the more I was exposed to the different forms of music and this has definitely expanded my horizons beyond the realm of Carnatic and Indian film music that I was very familiar with during my youth.

Though the blunt truth is that I still know only a little bit of a few things in music, I have come a long way from my parochial teenage days in understanding and appreciating various realms of world music such as Western Classical, Ghazals, Qawwalis and the Indian classical & film music scene.

Over the years, I have also been learning music ( quite irregularly due to my travel related to work) to enable me to appreciate both the aesthetics and intelligence behind the compositions.

For someone who listens to a lot of music, I hardly blog about it. I intend to change that in the next few weeks and this post can be a treated as a "disclaimer
" for that. I am still an amateur but hopefully my posts would kindle some fire amongst other amateurs and like-minded people


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Zimbabwe & Inflation

Do you know how much is a trillion? Earlier this month, Zimbabwe introduced a Z$100 trillion note ( which is equivalent to just US$ 30 !). The inflation ( price rise) stands at 231 million % in the country. Due to poor economic management and heavy trade sanctions , the unemployment rate stands at 80% in the country.

It is a shame that in the 21st century, we are mute witness to one of the worst humanitarian and economic crisis in the world. With no job, imagine having to pay Z$ 1.6 trillion for a loaf of bread.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chennai Trivia

How good is your Chennai Trivia? Test it out here.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Rescuing cultures

For a country that prides itself on its vast history and culture, we have done very little to preserve it. Here is a noble effort to preserve and chronicle India's varied languages, cuisines, and other elements of rural life.

Kudos to the founders of the Adivasi academy for preserving these " smaller beauties" of life.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Calvin & Hobbes - Economic Subsidy

Calvin & Hobbes is timeless.

Looking at the clamor for Govt subsidies,
this comic strip is apt & relevant even today. Watterson is a genius !

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Wikipedia raises money in no time

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge" .

With such a noble goal, Wikipedia has become the largest and most authoritative encyclopedia in the world today. On Christmas, Wikipedia posted a donation link on its website to keep it running in 2008-09. Wikians have responded overwhelmingly to that request and Wikipedia managed to raise $2.3 million in a week. It also achieved its goal of raising $6m for 2008-09.

The verdict is loud & clear - the customers love the product. It would have been a shame to see Wikipedia going down.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Photo of the Week - Sunrise at the Singapore south coast

I took this photo early morning when traveling from Singapore to Indonesia in a ferry. The dawn was just breaking. To quote the book of genesis in the Bible - " Fiat lux - Let there be light".
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