And We Had A Talk.....

Raaja: Vanakkam Thiru Bach
: Freut Mich Herr Ilaiyaraaja
Raaja: I am honored to have you here. I never imagined this meeting would take place. No words can express my joy.
Bach: The pleasure is mine.. I felt very much the same way when you took particular interest to visit me in Leipzig.
Raaja: Yes, your music has been a great source of inspiration to me from the early days when I started learning Western Classical Music under my Master, one Mr. Dhanraj.
Bach: I have listened to some of your works too. Especially the tracks like the Background score of the movie Johny. Its hard for me to believe why such quality music is not known to many outside your home state.
Raaja: Yes. Probably because here in India, Doing music in Cinema is considered the ultimate, and given that my movies are mainly regional, the scope is limited.
Bach: I see.. You mean, the only opportunity that exist for you to express your musical views is through the small window of Cinema...?
Raaja: Yes.. But I take that more as a challenge than a constraint. For me everything is music. There is only so much that I could spin and yet I have to produce a sugar candy that looks exciting to people every time. That's a real challenge.
Bach: Yes. I see your point. For me too, music needs no foundation and has no barriers. Irrespective of its form or cause, there must be an end purpose. The Life, The Feel and The Emotion that the notes evoke on a listener shouldn't be a passing cloud. It should stay at the hearts of the people for ever.
Raaja: Yes. I could feel that passion in all your compositions and that's the benchmark I strive to achieve in all my songs too..

: OK.. As and when I was coming to meet you, I wrote this Prelude for violin.. Its the 3rd Partita that I've written in as many days.. This is how it goes...

Partita III Preludio

Raaja: (Speechless).. What can I say. This is master class. E Major, isin't ?
Bach: That's correct. Now I would like to understand your music too. Can you explain it to me.
Raaja: I am too small to explain music to a man like you.
Bach: Come on. I have traveled so far to meet you and you plan to send me back empty handed !
Raaja: Now you are putting me in a fix. Let me see.. Ok I will take the same piece that you played me now and try to explain the Raaga based system of Indian Classical music.
Bach: Exciting.. I am waiting..
Raaja: hmm... Sa.. Pa.. Sa... (Hums the beginning of violin Prelude that Bach played..) hmmm... Sa ni sa pa.. ga pa.. sa ri sa ni sa pa ga pa...
You See.. that captures the Bhavam of a Raaga called 'Hamsadhwani'..
And then the place where you switched the melody to Harmonic minor, I see a natural blend of our 'Keeravani'.. Midway through you eased out the grip for a brief time, right? I see a place for 'Bageshwari' there.. And then we can go back to Keeravani and Finally the place where you close with E Major, I can bring back the original flavor of Hamsadhwani too.
Bach: Fascinating.. So shall we blend both of it together..? Why don't you bring out the essence of Hamsadhwani with my melody as a base and demonstrate it...
Raaja: Excellent idea.. I can also show you the other Raagas I mentioned by super imposing vocals mid way through the passage. Here is what we can do. I will start with a rendition of Hamsadhwani; Then you can join me with the prelude..
Bach: Lets start...

I Met Bach In My House

(After the composition finishes, Bach leaps to Raaja and gives him a gentle Hug..)
Bach: Brilliant.. Brilliant...
Raaja: Only because of the base you provided me.. I am having Goose bumps... You see ..
Bach: Yes.. Yes.. As I said, Music has no barriers. Indian classical Music is amazing.. The Raagas really bring out various colors and follows such great patterns so religiously. I am also totally floored by your innovation to reduce the tempo of my piece.. you started slowly.. and then you built it up..
Raaja: Yes, we call it the Aalapana or Aalap in Hindustani music...Thats usually the way to start.. Then the normal song is in a more followable and soothing tempo, although in certain compositions like Varnams and Bhajans, during the later half of the song, we will normally speed up the tempo and sing in what we call "Moonam kaalam"
Bach: Yes.. Its conceptually the same as what we call movements although the execution is different.. We do have slow, Moderate and Fast movements.. we call it Adagio, Andante and Allegro..
Raaja: That was a great experiement..
Bach: Come on, Lets do it again. Which one shall we take this time?
Raaja: Your Bourree in E Minor has been one of my favorites. Shall we take that ..?
Bach: You mean the one that I wrote for Lute ..?
Raaja: Yes.. the same one.. Can you please play it for me? Then I will try to mix it up with an Indian melody.
Bach: So here you go..

Bourree in E Minor

Raaja: This is one of a life time composition from you. There is one and only Bach. Someone is yet to be born to compose like this..
Bach: (with a wink) May be he has... Ok.. Come on.. now its your turn..
Raaja: hmm... eh... ok..
Bach: What is it..? what is bothering you...
Raaja: Nothing serious... its that again this is a bit faster for the Indian style..
Bach: yes.. thats because its a Bourree.. Its composed for Dance..
Raaja: But I see a brilliant contrapuntal melody if we can play it a bit slowly.
Bach: What are you waiting for..? Go ahead..
Raaja: Ok... (Hums) Hmmm... Pa Dha.. Pa ma ga ri sa.. This time you start.. I will catch up..

And We Had A Talk

Bach: (With tears in eyes..) Scintillating...
Raaja: I was a bit nervous because I positioned your track in the background. Probably the violin was a bit loud ...?
Bach: No .. No.. Its unbelievable how a Western Dance solo track can evoke such a sentimental feeling with an Indian Melody on top. This is brilliant. I liked your simplicity of merging just a solo violin together with the Bass track.
: The cue of Bourree and the path that it paved for me is indispensable.. and yet you are complimenting me ..? We have a saying in my mother tongue Tamil, "A pot that's brimming with water never spills and makes a splash".. You are such a perfect example of that..
Bach: No No.. When Music takes center stage, everything else is irrelevant. I am not alone.. There are thousands of great composers all over the world and one life is not enough to enjoy all the musics in the world.

(Now Vicky is disturbing you.. The background setting is changing... Both Bach and Raaja are walking along a long winding road.. Imagine a audio/ visual fade out in your mind... and we are zooming out as the blog approaches its end.. !!!)

Raaja: Its the same philosophy echoed by our saint Thyagaraja, who lived around the same time as you.. He said "Endaro Mahanubhavulu.. Andariki Vandanamulu"

(Zoom out.. And they become a shriking silhoute from the back.. )

Bach: Yes.. a very noble thought indeed...
(Zoom out....)

And the walk continues ....

With Love

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