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Eagerly awaiting Ilayaraja's `Thiruvasagam'

K. Manikandan

Fans say the composition will help Westerners understand South Indian culture through music The performers at the Budapest Orchestra had little trouble playing the South Indian classical score conceived by Ilayaraja

TAMBARAM: Fans of maestro Ilayaraja are looking forward to the release of "Thiruvasagam in Symphony" on June 30.

At a meeting of the Ilaiyaraaja Yahoo Group at the Santhome Communication Centre, Mylapore, on Saturday, the fans said the album would go a long way in helping Westerners understand the South Indian culture through music.

The group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ilaiyaraaja) has been in existence since 1999 and has more than 1,300 members around the world. The group meets regularly in the South Indian cities to talk about the nuances of the maestro's compositions.

On Saturday evening, the discussions were mostly centred around the launch of the Thiruvasagam album.

The group that went on a drive to collect pre-release orders, mopped up nearly Rs. 2.5 lakhs. The orders were for cassettes and CDs as well as a collector's edition that includes an audio CD of Thiruvasagam symphony, a 25-minute DVD about the making of the project and verses from the Tamil epic.

The amount was handed over by Vijay Venkatram, founder and moderator of the group, to Reverend Father Jegath Gaspar of Tamil Maiyam that has produced this project.

Father Jegath Gaspar said western musicians and the performers at the Budapest Symphony Orchestra were baffled at the simplicity of the score written by Ilayaraja for such a complex project.

According to him, `Thiruvasagam...' was the perfect blend of classical music forms of the East and the West.

The performers at the Budapest Orchestra had little trouble playing the South Indian classical score conceived by Ilayaraja.

Preventing piracy

The fans said an important task ahead was to take this epic project to the youth and to prevent piracy.

One of the most important objectives of the group is to listen to Ilayaraja's compositions only through genuine cassettes and CDs.

Listening to his music through pirated CDs and MP3 is a strict `No' among the group's members.

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