Vicky's Virtual Playlists

Assorting Ilaiyaraaja's albums and making customized playlists has been my hobby for over past 18 years. Listening to a movie album from end to end has never been my cup of tea... (Ultimately cine music is situational and not all situations in a movie is worth remembering unless its a Bharathiraaja or Maniratnam film..) So when I was 12 years old, I already started grouping songs in my mind that I would like to listen (I used to carry a small notepad where I keep entering songs under specific categories so that I don't forget them...). Years later, when I joined College I started recording them to audio cassettes. Although my custom collection of about 100 cassettes is nothing to boast off, it did cultivate in me a deep sense of selective and resonant listening to songs. Thinking about similar songs and grouping them became my favorite background process - whenever I went on a long journey, whenever I don't fall asleep in bed (which is almost never..), whenever I am attending boring meetings !!!

I used to follow a few protocols while compiling my lists. Since the origin of my collection dates back to the cassette age, I used to always record the songs on "60 Minutes" cassette. Hence usually I have 12 to 13 songs per playlist. I found this number very suitable because, the attention span is usually undivided during the first hour and I listen to the last song with the same level of intensity as the first one. Any playlist more than 1 hour is usually not doing justice to all the songs as you would be disturbed one way or the other. Besides 1 hour is a good time to take a break and come back to the next playlist if you are still game. Therefore all my playlists are catered for approximately an hour of listening.

My playlists are based on Musical genres, Singers, Moods, Peculiar traits and most of the times a combination of few of these factors.. But primarily its my amateurish musical orientation that leads in making the final judgment if a song makes its cut to the final 12 of the given category.. I also used to have some substitute numbers to makeup the list in case the recording center didn't have a particular track.

In the pre mp3 civilization when sharing music was such an impossible task, I had a second serious pass time which I necessarily didn't enjoy. And that is to run behind my kith and kin to whom I had lend my precious Ilaiyaraaja cassettes which never came back in time. At that time, making selective choices of songs and recording the cassettes is what everyone wanted but never had the time nor the expertise to do it. Hence I was the one-eyed king among the land of blinds. I even enjoyed a good reputation with the cassette recording centers of my neighborhood since I promoted their business as my friends went to them with my collection.

Since I bought one, The playlist feature of the iPod has been a natural fit to my passion (Disclaimer: I don't work for Apple..) I have spent a fair deal of my free time converting my collections in to digital format as well as making a whole new set of playlists. Thats when it also occurred to me to share my perspective with fellow "Raaja yogis" on web. So one of the regular features of this blog is an online expo of my playlists. Through this the readers can have an opportunity to derive your own playlist if my taste for Raaja's music resonates with yours.

One cannot download/ listen to these these songs here (yet!), but just get a textual version of song list and appreciate them if you have them. The purpose is to give the readers a different perspective of listening to Raaja’s music... A shortcut to make your own playlists.. I plan to publish them as frequent as I can...

So keep watching this space. Here comes an ascii toast (!!) for genuine Raaja fans who want some pointers to make their lifetime Ilaiyaraaja collections....