Thursday, September 28

Clasical Raaga's with a touch of Mozart

Finalllllly! Herez my 150th post *phew*. Ooh yess, I wan'd to make it a musical one given this blog started on a musical note :). This post has waited for almost a month now :D.

This is the 2nd project by Tamil Maiyam; their 1st being Thiruvasagam in Symphony composed and orchestrated by Ilayaraaja. As they put it, their objective is to take Indian music to a cross-over global audience. I have some reservations about that, but I do agree with the fact that it takes courage to present traditional music in a palatable manner for a global audience. Definitely unlikely to be endorsed by many but at the end of the day music that is appealing to the ears and heart are the one's that last. Besides people only go for a product based on its packaging at first, only to realize later that there is more to the inside that what was evident :).

There are plenty of articles on the web; just search for 'Mozart Meets India'. So I'll be limiting this as to what appealed to me in this album.

adieu autumn - as much as I felt it was a bit too loud for a starter, it did catch on to me. The soft "s r g m p d p m g , r s , r , s r g m p d p m g , r s , g , , , g m d n s , s s s , r s , , , g m d n s , s s g , , , r s" after the 5th minute and esp at the 9th minute was the most apealing part of the track. The western classical side of it didn't appeal to me as much, and to me seemed to have a different motif from the carnatic classical part.

mozart meets india - speckless rendition as ever by Embar Kannan; his speciality and reputation :). The transitions here seemed more cogent and in flux. Based on the sankarabharanam or the western C-Major if am not mistaken. The blend and interweaving of indian and western classical reminded me of "How to name it?". It was almost perfect to my taste, but for the climax when it seemed to divulge. Quite a anticlimax to such a scintillaing piece. I am drooling over this song now-a-days. Absolutely in lurve with it :x. Oh yes, violin galore. The fading and transitions possible in a string instrument are only limited to the artists imagination.

mystic meanderings - I normally don't trip on songs by O.S.Arun probably given to my preconceived notion that his singing is more ghazal / hindustani type. Though the starting was not all that impressive, it caught on withing a few hearings. The songs quite easy on the listener. The m p m p g m g m m n r n r m , , g , , r , , , s sounds soo divine. p d n s , , n r s n d p m g m d sequence is equally blissful.

smile of the lotus - definitely bears the aura of the tracks title, and yet not all too unfamiliar. With a few hearings I guess most people can find what this is just from the initial raagam, given the popularity of the song. "Enna thavan seidhanai yeshodha" with its twists and turns, *phew* glad it didn't become all too meaningless. It has left a smile on most people I'v known. Really lovely piece on the veenai. Classy track on the string's again.

hymn of silence - this was the track that least appealed to me :(, oh yeah it was the hindustani type. Its a nice piece just but not my kind. Feels like being a in durbar everytime I listen to such.

yAthum oore - this is the most peppy track in the album, in most likelihood to be well received by a wide audience. Oh yes :), you can't resist from dancing once the music starts, he he. A blissful beginning quite common from fimly music, yet leaves you tranquil. Don't let Kadri Ji's mellow start make you judge all too soon, wait till the heat builds on. Seemed somewhat familiar at first, aaaahmmmm :-? like something were changed from the famous swarajathi - rAra vEnugOpa baala. Afterall its the same raagam \:D/. The violin interlude (6:20-7:00) in all western style was galore. The vibrato / tremelo which I always enjoy was done in style. As my aunt used to say, at the high octave it does sound like a cat ;)).

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Sunday, September 24

The RebelZ are here with their Parody ... watch out

Well yes! The folks are finally comming out with their first production - Phantom Parody.

A brief note of introduction on Team RebelZ- these are a bunch of software profession who wanted to get more out of life than just their pay package and have all the fun doing it.

Few of these guys are my best pals and the rest by virtue of our hang-outs. The happy go lucky guyz have it all - an amazing composer, a poet who writes lyrics for music composed who happens to be directing this play, a script writer who has scrapped so many ideas (even more than that 1st perfect love letter ... he he), happy go lucky guyz working out on the roles. There is a lot going on.

And guyz practicing and reworking on their flaws everyday after long hours of coding, I think its beginning to pay up :).

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be at their practice session for evaluating it. And boy did I get engrossed into the story. Its pure drama. I don't trip on theater shows often but if it ain't good, I definitely doze off. Okie okie, enough ado.

About the play

The best part of the play is the fact that the plot is all too simple depicting the happenings in our daily lives. I you'v read this forward about a guy describing about his trip to USA and enjoyed reading it, there is every chance you'll probably like this too.

My favourite part of the play was that it brings out some subtle facets of life that many of us deliberately deny just to make ourselves look/feel better at the outside. It exposes the sham that many people put on. And then the events that drive a unexpected change.

The Story

The story is about a Rendezvous between two pals – Sam, a Non Reliable Indian in the US of A for the past 6 years and Sri, his school time chum who has just arrived in the land of the free. What starts off as a normal Sunday morning meet up turns into an emotional roller coaster for Sri and Sam in particular.

The show is happening here in Chennai on the saturday and sunday evenings of the weekend ahead, so go grab your tickets at your nearest landmark outlet / odessey adayar! Come over to see what these software guyz can churn when creative. And who knows? they might turn into a full-time theater group in the years to come.

Ohh yes! I'll be there :) but part of the off-stage logistics and stuff.

Herez SamY wishing the very best for the RebelZ Team. Hats off guyz! It takes a lot of courage to get going this way. And hoping to see some of you guyz turning up for the show :).


Thursday, September 21

Thin Fine Line

There is only a fine line of difference between the two terms - to reject and to not accept.

The former is well understood. There is no ambiguity. It is a strict statement of declination.

But more often than not the latter is misunderstood. The negative 'not' gives us the impression that to not accept is to reject: its antonym. That seem to me widely accepted given how many ghadhaas (donkeys) in this world are into software, where it is so predominantly.

Ask a mathematician and he would think differently. In reality to not accept is indecision (I HATE indecision X-( grrrrr). So the terms accept and reject are qualified as decidable whilst not accept is qualified as being in an infinite hope that it would tend to one of the above. Gosh! there is so much use of intricate language in mathematics #-o.

But I wonder why the terminology 'not accept' is more prefered than 'not reject'. He he, I'll cut this here before you assimilate an angry mob to throw stones at me :p for screwing your weekend mood. Though I do not reject the possiblility of such happening :D.

Friday, September 15

Dedicated to late M.S.Subbulakshmi Amma

Today, 16th September is the Birth Anniversary of The Nightingale of Carnatic Music. Time wouldn't suffice for people to express what she means to us. This post was queued to be my 150th post but this occasion called for something special so here it goes.

Thanks to Archana hosting Love Beat @ (Enjoi pannelam everyday, namda city namba life) Radio City 107.8FM, for the information. Also got to know that the diva married the man she loved ;), now how many knew that?

Origin of Maithreem Bhajatha from VVS

This blog started off with a musical note and so did this year, me listening and having got blessings from Lalgudi Ji performing with his son & daughter (guess that is the last of the concert of his I'd get to attend :(). In fact it has been a musically sound year for me :). So after a long while here is a resurrection of my musically inclined posts.

VVS under the aegis of Paramacharya Posted by Picasa

Today (Jul 29) it was Kutchery by Violin Maestro Sri V.V.Subramaniam as part of the Anusham Chamber Concerts at a marriage hall within two minutes walking distance from home. This can happen in no other place on this planet but chennai - the world capital for Carnatic Music.

VVS in all his majesty Posted by Picasa

Upon request for an anecdote, Sri VVS choose to tell about his experience with Paramacharya and the origin of the this song. Most people would be aware that Paramacharya (more prevalently quoted as Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi) had composed this song. But here is the context in which it happened as Sri VVS narated it.

It was when MS Amma (that is how our late 'nightingale' voice was addressed by musicians and all) along with Sri VSS and kuzhuvinar were stationed at Kaalahasthi for their concert performance. Coincidentally Maha-Periyeva was there one his tour and happened to listen to it as he went around the place in circles. After fulfilling the sages request for a piece in shankaraabharaNam, they were called upon into a small cave like place. The acharya addressed to MS Amma the following message - "You will be performing at the UN which is a world organization for peace. I shall give you the saahityam (verses) for a song I would like you to sing there". And the great sage had sung this song for this group for them to write it down and render it to the world. This is the greatest blessing any person could get in life. I wonder how it must have felt :-?, like god himself making his request probably :).

This is how the song was born whose title bears the meaning - "O World! Cultivate peace" (more on its meaning here).

You might be perplexed having read some of my previous post as to my reverence for paramacharya. To me he is the epitome of godliness in human form and a personal incident of our family as well. My folks are ardent devotees of the Kanchi Mutt and an annual visit or more was customary. Way before I was born my grandfather had our ancestral house at perumthottam. Our family had sold it and moved to the city when my grandfather got employed. On a later visit the reticent sage who rarely speaks out questioned my grandpa - "did you sell your house to in a moody tone?". Startled my grandpa explaind that it was not direct but eventually it had landed in his hands. And NO, this was not like the 60% match that happens when you go for some form of horoscope. He was spot on and he turned away to his business.

The reason for my reverence is for the purity and exemplarary example he set for millions of his followers. A highly knowledgeable person in scriptures and otherwise, he was known to be a voracious reader too. I have no clue as to why, but everytime I see his real life photo I keep staring at it oblivious to the world around me. No words to explain the feeling, no words to quantify the acharya. I would like to believe that he was god personified in this era.

Needless to say the concert was fantastic though short. Only three of those songs Sri. VVS rendered were ones I knew, though I couldn't recollect the names right away.

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Tuesday, September 12

Sweet Memories : KVR

KVR Bakery adjacent to the mosque at 4th Avenue Ashok Nagar, within two minutes walk from my school (Jawahar Vidyalaya) was my evening snack destination for today (12th). Actually I got bored of popular eating spots in and around, so I needed something of reminiscence :). Having studies at the same school all thought, there are no shortage of memories.

KVR Bakery (and mayura likewise), my favourite spot since school days is enroute to home from school. Be it just for time pass, tiredness after some extra evening sports, student politics talk, bird watching, at every excuse we used to make it here. They catered junk food (tho we never ever fell sick) at very affordable rates for students. It became so much popular that since 10th std most guyz got a gate pass (intended for ppl wanting to go home for food if within reach) and used to flit to the spot after a quick lunch and plenty of corridor games. Running and catching, down the corridors and up n down the 3 floors, leg break for a more involving action, chalk-piece wars with teams / rather gans.

Today I made it to the place and to my sweet surprise there was my music teacher, who we used to make such mockery of when in school :">. To my pleasure she promptly recognized me as I doned a faint smile and she said - "unne thereeyamela, nee rOmba nalla paduveeye pa school'le" (how can I forget you given how well you used to sing then). Yeah Yeah!!! I used to sing with the school choir during assembly and in competitions. And I was always picked where there was something to do with singing #-o. Don't worry I didn't do solo much ;)). Soo much has changed since, I can't even sing all that well if I want to now :(. She also enlightened me to the fact that Embar Kannan (him in concert) also studied in here :-o, tho he was known to bunk school quite often. Given that I am quite a fan of his, the fact was music to my ears :-".

Now to the crux - foooooood. KVR Bakery, a very small shop that doesn't boast of any fancy items. Simple cakes, puffs, samosas and a variety of items you wouldn't find in the big places. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! The feeling is tantamount to how a sumptuous meal or your favourite item prepared by mom / grandma. Having grown savouring that, even the grandest of food never come any close. The familiar faces, the smell, the taste, the locale and being there at pretty much the same time I used to. For 10 bucks you get a yummy chocolate cake and a veg-puff :), dirt cheap I say.

Sunday, September 10

Sillenru Oru Kaadhal Movie

2nd movie in a row #-o. My 1st regional movie on the 1st day :D. Anywayz this was a planned one so kept on with it. Very disappointing movies. Its probably been made just for Surya & Jyothika. The movie IMHO didn't sport much towards a good entertainer.

There is plenty of love, romanctic flings, the fondling around and all. So if if you are a love buff maybe it might interest you a bit. For a change now-a-days jo actually does look quite good; NO, cute and wee bit plump. In fact she even did a good job crying in this movie, which she is usually horrible at. Surya seems to have got a very good physique for this movie. I personally favour Bhoomika :x of the lot. She was absolutely faaaaaabulous in the baby pink dress for the song - "munbe vaa anbe vaa", picturization comparable with "sutrum vizhi sudare" from ghajini. She didn't look all that great in the reunion part tho :(.

The best part of the movie was definitely the song "New York Nagaram", simply bindaas!!! The Lyrics, ARR voice so befitting and the mellow feeling that it casts were so perfect. But for Jo's coiffure and that purple buggy like shades which surya wore were a turn off. For once a song that you can enjoy by itself and perfectly making sense in the movies context. Picturization was also fun, but not original.

Personally I couldn't stand this movie much. For fans of the cast its worth a watch. Definitely the pair going "yo yo" kept the crowd silent after the initial raucous. Couple of good songs, crappy stunts n muscular fight sequence, romance and love all along #-o. But I got to agree that the story was a bit practical, esp for the tragic side of it ;)).

Our protagonist not setting a good e.g. for the youth - getting into a college by paying donation, being the college pista #-o flaunting in his bike, falling in love, run away marriage, recuperation, marries a lovely girl n then lives in a fantastic appartment in mumbai sporting all the niceties being a mechanic @ maruthi udhyog factory. Why wouldn't the youth think life is that easy n meant to be enjoyed that way.

Its a home production for the duo. So unless ur a fan of the pair which is a huge crowd, your unlikely to enjoy it a bit.

On another note; Satyam cinemas has now become like ranganathan street >:P. I used to like the place since it would be quite comfy hosting a not too much of a crowd. Now hardly enough space for people to stand before you get in. Probably enough good movies to catch up with :-?.

Am gonna need a short break ... esp. from anything requiring much thinking ... adios


Thursday, September 7

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

An unplanned flick for the night show, after so much uncertainity. A movie you can walk out with a smile, or atleast with composure.

Unlike Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. this movie was a lot more mushy; pretty much all along. Almost the entire 1st half will leave you laughing off. The latter was way too mushy but did have a message and occasional humor. A movie without a message is one that I wudn't appreciate.

The movie goes bit along the lines of "A Beautiful Mind" and few sequences based on it. The romance was really really weak one. Guess you can't cover more in a 3 hour movie. Vidhya Balan's smiles and expression did their job. Not much of acting there, but she does have a magnetic charm. Remember seeing her in some ad too :-/, dun quite remember :-??. As much the oldies in the movies didn't have much role either. The movie has plenty of impractical stuff going on which has become a part and parcel of india cinema. Somehow I felt it got too mushy :(. Fortunately it was based on social message than family sentiments and such.

Circuit (Arshad Warsi) was explosive :)). The way he delivers the colloquial dialogues and their timely essence were hilarious. Sanjay was just fine, whilst 'Lucky Singh' character was brilliant esp when he gets hysterical.

Plenty of message in the movie. Enough to laugh, cry (if ur the emotional kind), enjoy and even some food for thought. Overall its a good entertainer, so grab your tickets.


Saturday, September 2

CARVA 2006 - A Snapshot

Group I Posted by Picasa

Group II Posted by Picasa

Group III Posted by Picasa

Group IV Posted by Picasa

Group V Posted by Picasa

Final Ensemble Posted by Picasa

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