A connoisseur’s delight
A six-CD pack of Tamil songs sung mainly by Vani Jairam traverses many musical genres.
LAUDABLE EFFORT:M. Sakthinathan with Vani Jairam
An engineer from Sathyamangalam now settled in the U.S., who is an ardent fan of Vani Jairam, wants to produce a music album as a tribute to her. Surfing the Internet, he searches for a music director. After watching A.V. Ramanan’s TV show ‘Saptaswarangal’ that has wind instrument exponent M. Sakthinathan as the judge, the engineer takes the next flight to Chennai and meets Sakthinathan to tell him that he would wield the baton for his production. Sakthinathan is awe struck, for the technocrat is none other than his bosom school friend and neighbour in Sathyamangalam, Neelamyle V. Dhandapani.
It sounded like a fairy tale cinema script when Sakthinathan spoke about how he got the break. “Neelamyle was very particular about the lyrics being in pure Tamil set to some unique music, never heard before. The most important thing was that he was all for using acoustic instruments than sampled sounds”.
“My friend had already decided about various situations and he sat with me only for the first song. He left for the U.S. the next day and the rest of the songs were all approved only over the phone.” The poets (the numbers within brackets indicating the number of songs penned by each of them) Andal Priyadarshini (1), Gangai Amaran (2), Kadhalmadhi (2), Kalyankumar (1), Kamakotiyan (8), Krithiya (6), Muthulingam (7), Neelamyle (5), Piraisoodan (6), Sakthinathan (1), Thenmozhi (3) and Tholkappiyan (8) have let their imagination run wild and coaxed pure Tamil from their pens, to depict various moods. That they have hit the bull’s eye is not be an exaggeration.
The orchestra size is something unheard of, even for a mega budget film song or re-recording, leave alone a private album. “I have used all the musicians available in Chennai. I can never forget their co-operation and the passion with which they played.”
Sakthinathan has had no formal training in music. His first brush with music was when he tried to play film songs with a flute he got from a friend, when he was bedridden for a year after an injury during a game of football. When he was fit enough to play again, Sakthi dropped football and joined the Angingu orchestra at Dindigul where he learnt notations. Having acquired the skills to play reed instruments such as the saxophone and clarinet, Sakthinathan moved to Chennai. He has since then been part of film and other recordings, playing for MSV, Deva, Harris Jeyaraj and many others. However, he does remember with reverence, the Sabesh-Murali duo, who provided him with food and shelter till he became self reliant.
Each song in the discs titled ‘Puzhudhi Kattray’, ‘Thathai Nenjam’, ‘Virali’, ‘Vellaithalilay’, ‘Netrichutti’ and ‘Mazhaikala Paravaigal’ has Sakthi going atonal, which is something unique. Just when you settle down on the pattern of a song, it takes a roller coaster dive to meander into another scale, and smoothly traverses back by the end to the original scale. He has used heavy orchestra, but never once do they dominate the songs. Sakthi says the rhythms conceived by him were all played live.
Did Vani Jairam find it difficult to croon his songs, what with so many twists and turns. “No, she was at ease and it was a full song take only,” reaffirms Sakthi.
Vani Jairam recalls her experience, first by singing at least a dozen of the songs over the phone, “I have to thank Neelamyle for having thought of me for the albums. It was a great experience working on the compositions of Sakthinathan with myriad scale changes. His music covers all genres such as jazz, jazz blues, oriental, flamenco, classical western, country, pop and our folk too in an authentic way.” TMS, SPB, Jayachandran, S. N. Surendar, Uma Ramanan, Deepan Chakravarthy, Krishnaraj, Srinivas, Balaram, Karthik, Harish Raghavendar, Haricharan, Harini, and Saraswathi have also lent their voices, adding variety to the fare. Vincent Raj, the sound engineer, has done a wonderful job, to make the listening a pleasant experience. Vijayarangan joins him on three albums.
An aural experience of a different kind, this collection is for connoisseurs of true music.
Produced by: STONEWALL CREATIONS, USA, Marketed by: NEW MUSIC, INDIA,
PRICE of each CD: Rs.100.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu