Tuesday, February 07, 2006

rithigowla handled by IR, ARR, VS

IR (Ilayaraja) in 70-80's had given a couple of excellent songs in rithigowla. "thalayai kuniyum thamaraye" from "oru oadai nadhi agirathu" and the classic "chinna kannan azhaikkiran" from "kavikuyil". The former one sung by SPB (S. P. Balasubramaniyam) andUma Ramanan; and the later by BMK (Bala Murali Krishna). Good show by the vocalists. Raja has kept it simple with not much variation, just confirming to textbook standards of the raagam.

20 yrs later Raaja comes back with an amazing number in the same raagam, with a complex rhythm pattern, kanda chappu thalam cycle, with a mind blowing orchestration, "meetadha oru veenai" from "poonthottam". It is very unfortunate that this is one of those songs which goes into the dark annals, unnoticed. Sigh!!!

ARR (A.R. Rehman), with his “azhagana rakshasiye” from “mudhalvan”, poses a stiff competition to IR, in showing their mastery over the raagam. The song is well supported with the visual support by Shanker and team. Simple orchestration, good chord progression and stunning vocals by SPB and Harini.

VS (Vidhyasagar), comes up with “Sudum Nilavu” from “thambi” sung by Unnikrishnan and Harini. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with VS after listening to the song. It reminds me of “meetadha oru veenai” a lot. Except for the rhythm pattern, much simplified from the sound-alike by IR, the chord progression and the melody resembles the song from “poonthottam” quite a lot.

Rithigowla is the child raagam from karaharapriya. I should say it is complex inheritance from KHP, “vakra janyam”. Some of the carnatic songs in the raagam;

Chera ravathe

Guruvayur appane

Janani ninnuvina

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Sahana, I have not met a person yet who has not fallen in love with this raagam. KB has used this raagam a lot in his serials and movies, indha veenaikku theriyadhu is a classic from rayil sneham.

I was listening to giripai nelakonna rendered by M.D.Ramanathan. The song apparently is just 4 lines long. However, the version I was listening to spans 38 mins. Can you imagine somebody singing 4 lines for 38 mins. Of course I have the song with a raaga alapanai (the artiste tries to build on the raagam with his creativity and brings out the nuances in the raagam), and kalpana swarams (same explanation as kalpana swaram, just that this is done using the swaras and has to be in-bounds with the thalam or the metering) M.D.R made this song so famous that it became synonymous to the vocal guru in the days to follow.

Apparently, this is the last song composed by the saint composer, Thyagaraja. The song is about how the saint is levitating in Ecstasy after the dharshan of the Lord (Rama) and boon that he would to take the saint with him in 5 days. He composes this song on the Shankaranthi day (Pongal day) and on the day of the bahula panchami, 5 days later; he attains Mukthi which is observed as the Aradhana today.


giripai nelakonna rAmuni guri tappaka kanTi


parivArulu virisuraTulachEbaDi visaruchu gosaruchu sEvimpaga


pulakAnkituDai AnandASruvula nimpuchu mATalADavalenani
kalavarinchagani padi pUTalapai gAchedananu tyAgarAja vinutuni

Unerringly I saw Sri Rama installed on the hill. Thrilled with ecstasy, with tears of joy, I tried to speak. He promised to bless me in five days.