Tuesday, August 5, 2008



Song: Pudhu Vellai Mazhai
Movie: Roja (1993)
Singers: Unni Menon, Sujatha
Music: A.R.Rahman

This is the first song that made me to sit and observe its sound design in minute detail. So I thought of writing about this song, which made to sit up and listen with sheer curiosity. I could very well remember the day when the audio was released and I was doing my 5th standard to be precise.

Those days we had a small Panasonic Hi-Fi System. We used to listen to the songs everyday. That was when this happened. I was returning from the school when I heard a completely new sound. I went to my home and heard the song. I asked my father about the song and my father replied it was someone called Rahman who has struck tamil music like a storm. That was the day when I became a hardcore fan of Rahman. Now Rahman is an internationally acclaimed musician and is truly Chennai’s pride.

“Pudhu Vellai Mazhai” starts with an amazing prelude of bass guitar well coerced with cute piano rolls and some synthesized glass-breaking sounds. The song had everything new written about it. The sound, the song structure and more over the choice of singers were all innovative. The interludes with female chorus accompanied by electronic piano and bass guitar is truly amazing. For the Indian audience the sound was entirely new and the beats added energy to the song.

Unni Menon made a re entry into Tamil film music( Earlier he sang “Pon Maane” from “Oru Kaidhiyin Diary” in the name of Vijay) and so did Sujatha. “Pudhu Vellai Mazhai” is a semi classical song and has strains of the 22nd Melakarta raga Kanada.

Rahman is known for blending classical and western music thereby creating his unique sound. Just close your eyes and listen to this song switching off the lights. The sounds resonate throughout the room and it clearly depicts some cool hilly regions. The sounds also suit to the ever-beautiful hilly Kashmir region with voices reverberating throughout the valley.

Rahman has brilliantly used his synthesizer and brought together effects of jazz guitar, cello, mandolin and flutes. Wow.. What an amazing mix. Interestingly this song has a Yanni connection. People who had listened to Yanni-Quiet Man will understand what I meant to say. Thaiyanban who composed for the tele serial “En Iniya Iyandra”( Serial that was telecasted in DD in 1994-but he actually used the haunting BGM from the movie "THE BOUNTY-Vangelis" is another story) came close to Rahman’s track. That was another haunting score.

Yanni and Rahman have mutual admiration for each other that Rahman used Yanni’s orchestra in one of his live shows. To sum it up this is one such amazing song that was in the Yanni-Petshop Boys mould. ARR is an amazing composer and he set a new trend in tamil film music.
Even today if I get a chance to meet Rahman I would request him to dust up his old synthesizer and roll his fingers over it. Such is the magic these songs have spun over us for the past 15 years. Simple music yet more melodious and it has that cute little surprise element in it.

pudhu vellai mazhai ingu pozhiginradhuindhak kollai nilaa udal nanaiginradhuingu sollaadha idam koodak kulirginradhumanam soodaana idham thaedi alaiginradhu
nadhiyae neeyaanaal kadal naanaesiru paravai neeyaanaal un vaanam naanae
(pudhu vellai...)
nee annaikkinra vaelaiyil uyirp poo vedukkenru malarumnee parugaadha poadhilae uyirp poo sarugaaga ularumun pudavai mundhaanai saaindhadhil indha bhoomi pooppooththadhuidhu kamban paadaadha sindhanai un kaadhoadu yaar sonnadhu
(pudhu vellai...)
pen illaadha oorilae adi aan pookaetpadhillaipen illaadha oorilae kodidhaan pooppooppadhillaiiru kaigal theendaadha penmaiyai un kangal pandhaadudhoamalar manjam kaanaadha pennilaa en maarboadu vandhaadudhoa
(pudhu vellai...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

brilliant report