@icarusprakash @nom_d_plum @sagittarian82 @balakarthik78 IR on Masters and Masters on him.
IR speaks highly about Master Dhanraj (MD) and says only MD can understand his own research. MD researched the musical aspects of Silappadhigaaram and would swear that Kovalan sang this song in this chapter in this raaga and had researched stuff to prove himself. IR says MD made him teach the students when IR was quite new to Dhanraj's class and IR learnt from what he taught students. Normally MD takes classes 1 hr classes 2 days a week for one student. idhu maari neraya students in different stages of music (theory, instrumentation practicals) come to him to face exams, become better musicians all the week. IR asked if he could come everyday. MD agreed and taught IR for free and IR says MD brought Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky every day to the room. Very early in his tutelage, MD asks him to play on the piano and gives him training to differentiate a piano from a harmonium. IR plays an MSV song before scores of students. MD is impressed with the composition and says (I quote from the book here): "See the first phrase! - This is a Question. See the answer! Yes second phrase. It is perfect form of music" என்று theoretical ஆக விளக்கினார். The song is Enna Enna VaarthaigaLO from Vennira Aadai. IR says his respect for MSV went up several notches.
But otherwise, MD was very critical on film composers and would abuse them to heart's content. MSV, KVM, GK Venkatesh, no one escaped his anger. IR says he fell for it briefly but as he was assisting GKV, he got a chance to play for MSV one day and seeing MSV teach every instrumentalist (IR played combo organ for Malar enna en kangal dhaan from Sridhar's Avalukkendru Oru Manam) the notes for their portion and saw that he taught every musician by playing the music from his mouth in 45 minutes. His respect for MSV went up several notches there and he says he felt ashamed that he rated him low with MD's words. MD has the right for he understands Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and compares the film musicians with them and abuses them. But what right do I have, wonders Raaja, who from then on started to revere MSV, who was already a favorite of his. MD also despised IR for entering films and when IR missed a class due to a recording with GKV, MD abused him and refused to teach him for his exam in Trinity College of Music, London, which held its exams in Chennai. IR's self pride hurt after a point of abuse, challenged MD that he'd score 85% (honors) and will only then meet MD. He taught himself to play the instruments and was ready. Theory was a problem since IR hardly knew any English then. Yet, he says the music taught through English made itself clear and he somehow educated himself. And he scored 85%, went with that certificate to MD who eventually exclaimed, "Raaja, you are really great da!"
IR's anecdotes on Naushad, John and Laszlo Kovach are impressive too. Will quote their praises from IR's pen and say what IR thinks of self praise.
IR says he likes CR Subburaman and MSV the most among all old Tamil composers though he respects all. He learns CRS's composition style is based on Naushad's and that increases his respect for Naushad. But also adds CRS did not lose his individuality. Says Naushad, Khmechandra Prakash and Hanslal Bhagatram (under whom Naushad played piano) were the trio that laid the foundations of IFM. Also rates C Ramachandra (SD Burman's mentor, composer of Aye Mere Watan Ke which is unfortunately known as a Lata Mangeshkar song today), Madan Mohan, Roshan, Shankar Jaikishen, OP Nayyar, SDB, Vasant Desai and RDB very highly and each has their own signatures according to IR, something that is missing today, he feels. Goes on to his interactions with Naushad and him sharing his How To Name It with Naushad and inviting him to preside over the launch of Nothing But Wind. Naushad speaks, MSV, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Uttam Singh are on stage. PB Srinivas translates Naushad's Hindi into Tamil for the audience. At one stage, PBS stops, shocked and refuses to translate what Naushad says since he cannot accept Naushad's words. On to Raaja now:
நௌஷாத் அவர்களோ PB ஸ்ரீனிவாஸ் அவர்களை விடவில்லை!
This is my true feeling!
You are a translator!
Please do your duty - என்றார்.
PBS மிகவும் தயக்கத்துடன் இழுத்துப்பேச ஆரம்பித்தார்.
விஷயம் இது தான்:
"இளையராஜாவிடம் நெறைய விஷயங்கள் இருக்கின்றன. எனக்கு உடல் நிலை சரியாக இருந்து, நேரமும் இருக்குமானால், இந்த இளைஞனிடம் உட்கார்ந்து கற்று கொள்வதற்கு நான் தயங்க மாட்டேன்." என்றார்.
மற்றவர்கள் என்ன நினைக்கிறார்களோ அறியேன்! இசையென்றால் என்னவென்று அறியாத இந்த பட்டிக்காட்டானிடம், இசை கற்றுக் கொள்ளலாம் என்று கூறிய என் முன்னோடிகளில் முக்கியமானவரான திரு. நௌஷாத் அவர்களின் பாராட்டுக்கள் என்னை மேலும் உற்சாகத்தில் ஆழ்த்துவதற்கு பதிலாக சிறிய புழுவாக்கி விட்டது!
Speaks highly of Naushad, C Ramachandra in other chapters too. He then goes on to talk in detail about Hey Ram which was the first time he went to Budapest to record (Guru la he brought a few Budapest Symphony orchestra people to Chennai to record). He thanks Kamal for arranging it and says it was entirely Kamal's endeavor. Speaks about L Subrahmanyam-Kamal's difference and him doing the film. All this we know. But Kamal and Sarika wanted to share this composition with LS and IR's over the film as a video with the public but IR refuses. He doesn't mind him being praised but doesn't want people to think low of L Subramaniam. Adds he suggested Isaiyil Thodangudhamma as that was not in the screenplay before and Kamal agreed saying the song was hidden in the screenplay and it was the screenplay's magic there that brought this song from IR. Chandrahassan weeps listening to it.
Fast forward to Laszlo Kovach. He calls Laszlo to Chennai to read the symphony score for Hey Ram's BGM and to suggest any possible corrections and Laszlo comes with his wife, Monika. Laszlo reads the score, says it's very good and suggests some very minor corrections which IR changes and writes right there. IR takes Laszlo, tells him the film's tale (LS to IR) and plays LS's version of Nee Paartha Paarvaikki. Laszlo enjoys it and immensely appreciates LS. IR then plays his version over the video. Laszlo goes silent. And leaves. On to IR: "You didn't tell me anything about my song? It is not good? I want to know your true opinion about my composition. Even if you don't like it!" என்று எனக்குத் தெரிந்த ஆங்கிலத்தில் கேட்டேன்.
நடந்துக்கொண்டிருந்த அவர் நின்றுவிட்டார். சிறிது யோசித்து (அவருடைய ஆங்கிலத்தில் அப்படியே எழுதுகிறேன்)
No it's not like that. சிறிய இடைவெளி. பின் தொடர்ந்தார்,
Anyone can write music for the same situation, and even I can also write!
But not this music!... Not this!!!
I have travelled all over the world, and I have studied, and conducted the great Master's compositions in various concerts. I could find through your music, that "you have not struggled for ideas... The Music is coming to you and it flows without effort." I am sure you are a "very special composer" in the Music world - that is all I can say - என்றார்.
IR adds these people know their music and do not appreciate a composer to satisfy him. If they don't like it, they would say it's ok... and then drag with words like but and so on. So he considers it special praise.
As they were recording Hey Ram in Budapest, he says Laszlo can imagine the overall music with every instrument sound in his head by reading the score on paper. IR writes a score where there is a lengthy pause on a single note for a sustained duration to create a certain impact in the viewer's mind. But for the musicians playing, they'd get bored. IR hence writes it as chords (musicians will play different notes but the overall sound of the music THEY ALL PLAY will sound like a single continuous note). Laszlo says, "It is a good style of writing." IR: "But I am not formally trained to write." Laszlo: "That is the real greatness." The musicians while playing looked at each other in amazement because they were able to realize immediately that though were playing different notes, the FINAL sound was one continuous note. IR then asks Monika her account. Monika says Laszlo did not let her sleep the night they met IR and was raving about IR all night and he has done that to anyone else.
IR then speaks about the BGM score of Lajja. He again goes to Budapest to record it with the symphony. In Chennai, same formality with Laszlo. Superlatives from Laszlo and at the title score, he feels it will be fun playing it with the orchestra. IR then writes another melody. Over to IR:
Laszlo: 'This is something wonderful! - more personal and emotional unfulfilled longing is there.'
அந்த melody-ஐ வாங்கி, முதலில் எழுதிய Title Musicஐ cancel செய்து விட்டு (90 பேருக்கு எழுதிய orchestra அது). மறுபடியும் புதிய melodyக்கு அரை மணி நேரத்தில் எழுதி கொடுத்துவிட்டேன். ஆச்சர்யப்பட்டு போனார்.
Fast forward to Budapest. Symphony orchestra plays the film's full score, are very appreciative and finally come to the title score. As they finish playing, they are amazed at the depth of the score for mere arial shots of New York night's skyline. The orchestra then applaud and present him with a book titled 'Opera' as a token of their appreciation. Raaja's words:
அவர்களுக்கு நன்றி சொல்லி நான் பேசும்பொழுது, நீங்கள் வாசித்த அத்தனை இசையும் பத்தே நாட்களில் எழுதப்பட்டது என்றேன். அனைவரும் 90 விதமான உணர்வுகளை வெளிப்படுத்தினார்கள். ஒரு பெண் தன் வயலினைக் கீழே விட்டுவிட்டாள். இன்னொரு Lady, Oh! My God... என்று கத்தினார். இன்னுமொருவர் This is not humanly possible என்று கைகளை ஆட்டினார். பலர் வாதியங்களாலே கை தட்டினார்கள்.
Laszlo: yes it's true! I was personally there. He is a very fast and qualified composer.
But I am an illiterate... உங்களைப்போல் நான் எந்த இசை பயிற்சியும் இல்லாதவன், ஒரு பட்டிக்காட்டான் என்றேன்.
இன்னும் ஆச்சர்யத்தின் உச்சிக்கே சென்றுவிட்டார்கள்.
Laszlo, privately later: Raaja, what we recorded in these 5 days. It is really Hollywood standard of Music. But it's too much for your Bollywood என்றார்.
இதைப்போல் தன்னைப் பற்றி தானே பீத்திக் கொள்வதைத் தடுப்பதற்காகத்தான் பத்திரிகைப் பேட்டி, TV interviewக்களை தவிர்த்து வந்தேன் (wrote this in 2001, hence very true for that time).
நமது பழந்தமிழ் நூல்களில் கூரப்பட்ட ஒருசெய்தி நினைவுக்கு வந்தது. இறைவன் தன்னைப் பற்றி தன் அடியார்களுக்கு அவனே தெரிவிக்கவில்லை என்றால் அடியார்களுக்கு அவனை பற்றி அறிய வாய்ப்பே இல்லாது போய்விடும்; அதனால் இறைவன் தன் அருமை பெருமைகளை தானே சொல்வதுப்போல், கல்வியில் புலமைமிக்கவர், கல்வி அறிவில்லாதவர்கள் மத்தியில், தங்கள் கல்வி புலமையை தாங்களே அறிவிப்பதில் தவறே இல்லை. அப்பிடி அறிவிக்காவிட்டால் ஒன்றும் அறியாதவர்களுக்கு கல்வியின் அருமைகள் எப்படித் தெரியும்? என்று குறிப்பிட்டு உ.வே.சா. ஐயர் எழுதியதை நான் படிக்க நேர்ந்ததால், நானும் என்னைப் பற்றி சொல்லிவிட்டால், உங்களுக்கும் உலகிற்கும் தெரியாது போய் விடுமே என்ற காரணத்தால் மேற்கண்ட செய்தி குப்பைகளை உங்கள் மேல் கொட்ட வேண்டியதாயிற்று.
பிழை இருப்பின் மன்னிக்க!
பிழை இருப்பின் என்ன?