Saturday, June 4, 2011

Having Kapi with ilaiyaraja :-)

Having Kapi with ilaiyaraja :-)

This write-up is for all beginners who are interested in figuring out carnatic ragams used in IR's songs...How about a small trip on kapi raga usage by IR, over a cup of kapi (sorry coffee).

Kapi, as a raga, has a distinct flavour, that is very tough to miss. Forget the swarams used, all you need is a pair of willing ears. Just stay with me, as we take some beautiful numbers by IR in kapi. Lets will start with an obscure song from an even more obscure film. It is sung by TMS and starts something like this - "Sirithal Sirippen Aval Oru Rajakumari" from film Mariamman Thiruvizha. Pick the lines next two lines after these first two lines. Thats your first taste of kapi :-)

Then take the song "Thayum Naane Thanga Ila Maane" from the film Engeyo Kaeta Kural. The pallavi is pukka kapi flavour. Ok, now pick up specifically the pallavi line "thalaatu paadum...vanna poondhene"...That is the maestro's kapi touch for u. Same with "Sangathil Paadatha Kavigal" from Auto Raja...the pallavi is a good tutorial on kapi flavour. To quote another example, take another obscure song titled "Sugamo Aayiram" from film Thunaiyiruppal Meenakshi. The last line of the charanams...adhai gettiya pudichikunga...

Now that you have made ur mind curious about kapi, slowly move on to more heavy ones...Repeatedly hear the following songs...Ada Maapila Summa Moraikkadha - siva, Vizhiyile Mani Vizhiyil Mouna Mozhi - Nooraavadhu Naal (kapi or no kapi, this song is a masterpiece), Hey Paadal Onru – Priya, Thanni Thotti from Sindhu Bhairavi...[in charanams,"oru raja dhesa maari yesa paaduraan..." and subsequent lines remaining in the charanams are the very essence of kapi...oh my, how very beautifull...]

Then move on to more subtle ones...inge kapi konjam light'aa irukkum ;-)...Based on my opinion, songs in this category would be....Chembaruthi Poovu - Chembaruthi, Sami Kitte Solli Vachu - Aavaaram Poo, Chinna Chinna Malar Ondru - Kavalai Padathe Sagodhara, Kanne Kalaimaane - Moondram Pirai, Oranjaram Usharaiyya - Kakai Chiraginile (pallavi mattum...charanam'la IR mixes "Desh" )...

Ivlo dhaan sir kaapi :-)

All said and done, "Ada mapila summa muraikaadha" will remain etched in my heart for the stunning tune and baffling way in which SPB has rendered it..We didnt have a more versatile & rocking usage of kapi before this song, and probably we may not have such a vibrant usage of kapi in any song in future...

A small point here...there is a portion in the song where SPB sings the "mangalyam thandhunaanena" manthiram..First & Second line: Mangalyam thanthunaanena Mama Jeevana Hethuna (not much kapi taste)...but in the third line - Kanthe badhnami subhage - ilaiyaraja brings out the nuance of kapi stunningly..

Kelunga...Rasichu kelunga ...IR's Kapi is sure to delight you..

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