Piano at Eastern gate !

I've known only two things in life that are free flowing with absolute surety. One is the Courtallam water falls under whose feet I grow up. Second is Ilaiyaraaja's songs for the way it runs from start to finish without any iota of hesitation at any moment...
I've always highlighted areas that differentiate this man from other composers, and this is yet another. Of all the 4000+ songs he has composed, you will not see any tentativeness in any of his songs whatsoever. The song is so sure, where its headed.. The pallavi, the interludes, the charanam its all a graceful relay. This post's theme is one such song where this is easily on display.

The song is a quintessential Mohanam, that pentatonic scale which has captured the imagination of almost all earthen civilizations. Pandits may point out this song doesn't keep coming back to Gandharam as a Mohanam song must, but what they don't have an answer for is the wholesale free traversal of Mohanam's scale upwards and downwards throughout this song. This is unlike any of the traditional Mohanam songs I am exposed to. Try doing this on your own and either it sounds like a beginner's lesson on Mohanam or an overzealous attempt where one can make out that you are trying too much. This song has neither of those problems. Its perfectly camouflaged between sounding simple and yet humbling you if you attempt it. The melody of such high quality that I've not seen many "super-singer" contestant nowadays who could pick this song up and perform at ease. I wonder if anyone else other than Chitra could have managed this.

It's not just the melody that is challenging but also the preludes and interludes. The situation of the song demands that heroine celebrates her new found freedom. A new lease of life the hero offers her and relieves from the clutches of tight spot that she found herself. And liberation is all this song emanates, especially the preludes and the interludes. Its all 8 beat notes in the string ensemble which throws that momentum at you and gives you the feel of freedom and happiness at once. The Stanza arrangement is such that, its a Voice and Tabla show with innovative beat patterns unique to Raaja.

Its all plain Sa Ri Ga Pa Dha Sa-s. But when it comes from his Harmonium it has a different color. Have a look !

With Love