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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ennodu Paattu Paadungal - Episode dated 12.05.2007

Dear SPB Fans,

I am glad to bring to you all one of the previous pending episodes (Episode No.17)-EPP-12.05.07 (courtesy : Covai Ravee for the audio file links).

This episode started off with a fresh set of 6 contestants who will continue in the next episode also.

Our SPB welcomed the contestants, the audience and the chief judge. He thanked all for their encouragement and support in making this program grow in stature week after week.

Details of this episode as follows :

Kural for the Episode :

(KuraL no.100)

இனிய உளவாக இன்னாத கூறல்
கனிஇருப்பக் காய்கவர்ந் தற்று.

Leaving ripe fruits the raw he eats
Who speaks harsh words when sweet word suits

Our SPB explains this as follows "we would have seen children playing on the roadside. Whenever they start fighting, they part with a symbolic "kaaiy" (meaning raw) and then when they unite again they do so with a "pazham" (ripe). "ka" means negative aspect and "pazham" means positive aspect. This is what ThiruvaLLuvar explains as "kaaiy" meaning bad words and "pazham" as good words. When good words are available to speak should we use bad words. So let us use only good words and keep the bad words to a bare minimum and live happily. If so, others will talk about us as honourable persons or artists.

Introduction of the Chief Guest / Judge by SPB:
Our SPB said "In the previous weeks we had popular music directors and musicians as chief guests. This time there is a small difference. We have a sound engineer with us now, who had worked with the musicians. He is not only a sound recordist. He is a music scholar and a music researchist as well. Starting from the old times till the present Unnikrishnan, he has recorded the voices of hundreds of singers. In particular he has the distinction of having recorded the devotional songs of former Chief Minister Jayalalitha. He was the first sound recordist from India to have been selected by the Japanese Government with a scholarship to learn about multi-track systems. As an artist what has he achieved? There are many. He has recorded hundreds of albums. He has introduced some rare raagas in Tamil music. For example, through the song "thavam irundhaalum..." composed by him and rendered by Susheelamma, he had introduced to all of us the dhushavanti raaga. He has scored music for the Tamil Film Kanchi Kamatchi and Kannada film vijay mahaan thesa. Over and above this, he has been preserving and maintaining the music treasures of the past 50 years and more. His family is a music family. Late Sangeetha Kalanidhi Ramanathan Iyer is his Father-in-Law. His wife Suganya is a veena exponent. Writer Geetha Bennet is his sister-in-law. South India's best recordist Guru is his son. He has named his daughters as Sujapriya, Rasikapriya and Sindhubhairavi - the names of raagas and has been living as an embodiment of music. He is HMV Raghunathan".

SPB welcomes Mr.Raghu on to the dias amidst applause and some divine instrumental music played by the orchestra.

First Round of the Contest (melody songs as per the contestant's choice": The list of songs of this contest were,
1) nila kaigirathu...... from indhra (Harini)
The contestant was Sharanya Easwaran. SPB said that it was difficult to sing such songs since unlike other songs, it does not have any instrumental music for relief. Even the starting humming bit sung with sustained breath is a big thing, he said. He said that all parameters were fine except that there was a small flatening at higher pitch which he demonstrated himself. He then asked Raghu his comments about this composition. Raghu said that it was a very good A.R.Rehman composition. He said that this song was an example for range & sustained notes. He also appreciated the contestant and asked her to take care of sruthi at higher notes. he said she had the parameters of a promising singer. He wished her all the best.

2) en uyir thozhi.... from karnan (P.Susheela)
Megha rendered this song. Our SPB's immediate comments were about breath control. He said that if it was due to fear it was OK and could be set right but if it was a normal occurence for her then lot of thought has to be given to it. He pointed out that she was splitting words for want of breath. He agreed that breath management was a tricky job. He demonstrated the way Susheelamma had sung it and where she had taken breath and he also imitated the contestant's way of taking frequent breaths in order to explain to her. This he said would be very difficult at the time of recording and that it should not be like that. This would hamper flow of singing, he said. He recommended open throated singing and wondered why the contestant had practised singing the other way. Let it be raaga or a song, it would be heard clearly only if sung openly, he said. Sometimes, we tend to blame the sound recordist for lack of clarity in a song. Only if the frequency given by the singer is correct, it will get registered properly. Equalisation parameters can only aid to an extent, many think that modern recording equipments can bring in a lot into the voice but that is not possible. Voice, timber & acoustics are the most important, he said. He once again advised on open throated singing and also pointed out that some of the words were not clear and had to be referred to the document to understand what it is. He then talked about the technicalities of the song. He said it was a Kavali style of song which Viswanathan Sir had composed, he felt maybe he had drawn some inspiration from an old Hindi number which was made by Roshan, grandfather of actor Rhithik Roshan. He also sang out a few lines of the Hindi number which is a Rafi song as highlighted by the chief guest Raghu. He was not sure which had come first but felt that great people think alike. SPB once again advised the contestant to develop open throated singing and also breath management. These may require some energy to be pumped in, maybe intake of vitamins or whatever is, to the thought of by the contestant, he said. He felt these are the qualifications attached to a song. He then asked Raghu for his comments. Raghu said that the contestant had sung well. Raghu also said that his guru used to explain to him the importance of swaragnanam during his younger days at All-India Radio days through an analogy which goes like this "Literature even if born before grammar, only after literature grammar is born. The flesh of a human anatomy will tend to fall down as a mass if not supported by the bone structure". He said ,similarly, swaragnanam is very much required. He also mentioned that he used to teach his students about swaragnanam through special notes. He dwelled in length on this saying that this song was in Amir Kalyani raagam which is treasure from the North and then explained its structure. He also sang out the swaras in the song and said that it could come out better if one learnt the grammar of music properly. That was how he had been taught by his gurus, he said. He also talked in length about the importance of understanding the grammar and writing down as notations so that one could easily present what one wanted. This he said had earned him appreciation from one of the foreign musicians who had visited India. He then appreciated the contestant for her range of voice and said that he found it promising and could improve with practice. Regarding breath management, he felt that the method of writing down notes may come up to which our SPB immediately replied that he was already practising this and that all his song books had notes indicating where to take breath by indicating as "br". This, he said, facilitated him to go back from the microphone, take in enough breath and then continue without any problem.

3) raadhaiyin nenjamE...... from kanimuthu pappaa (P.Susheela)
Charumathi from Malaysia rendered this song. While introducing she said that she had done an one year course in Malaysia in voice grooming. SPB pointed out to the contestant that she had missed singing a sangadhi which was there in the original. He said he was not well to sing and demonstrate it. He then mentioned that this was a lifted tune (maybe due to pressure from director or music director's influence, he said) from the earlier popular Hindi number "Khil tere..." tuned by S.D.Burman and sung as solos by both Lata Mangeshkar and also Kishore Kumar. It was a very popular song those days, he said. He finally appreciated the contestant saying that sangadhis came out well in her voice and everything was good except a small aberration which he sang and demonstrated. He also asked the contestant to sing out the particular phrase which she sang correctly this time which SPB said that she had become conscious now and had sung correctly. He concluded saying that only if one makes a mistake, it can be corrected. He then asked Raghu his comments. Raghu said she had sung well. He also expressed his opinion that one need not learn Carnatic music (our SPB face had a surprised look on hearing this comment from Raghu) for it could change the natural jasmine tone in the voice for it involved higher pressures on notes while singing. He asked her to maintain as it is and also opined that Carnatic music should be learnt to the extent as to understand its grammar and apply it for film songs. He also praised our Balu saying that he was the only one who could improvise a song to the requirement of a music director. This comment received good round of applause. He once again stressed on the importance on learning the grammar of music to sing as per the composer's requirement. He also said that he had been watching this program without missing not only for the sake of Balu but also as an opportunity to learn from it. He praised SPB saying that he expressed whatever very clearly like a mirror keeping diplomacy to a minimum. He felt SPB was saying it for the betterment of society. He then advised the contestant not to tune her voice with an auto-tuner which is a new trend. He advised her that her voice was really good and not to have it spoilt using modern equipments. South Indian music required voices which match with the tambura range and not the western keyboard. He finally concluded by appreciating the contestant for her beautiful voice and advised her to learn the grammar of music.

4) unnai kaanaadha kannum.... from (P Susheela)
Vandhana sang this song. He called for more involvement on the part of the contestant in order to express the emotions in the lyrics better. The dynamics were missing, he said. Inspite of his voice not cooperating today due to health problem, our SPB tried to demonstrate by singing & humming a few lines of the song. He also emphasised that all sangadhis should be sung distinctly and not hazily. This is possible only through the voice and that is the very reason why lyrics were written and singers were asked to sing so that the emotions are better expressed, he said.

5) aalanguyil .... from parthiban kanavu (Harini)

Bhavatharani Ram sang this song. Our SPB mentioned that this song was in Kapi raaga and felt like having drunk Kumbakonam degree coffee. He told the contestant that she had a unique voice. All voices nowadays are not distinct as 99.9% of the present day singers are singing in same frequencies as well as in false voice. He mentioned specially about Susheelamma's voice and the reason for it being unique even to this day. Give her any low quality mic and even then her voice would come out distinctly and clearly, he said. Raghu also acknowledged this view saying that even in Turner mics (i presume it was some mic of old technology) her voice sounded good and clear. Voice and timber is God given and coupled with practice and singing in an open voice will make it perfect, he said. He appreciated the contestant for having ensured these points in her singing. He once again praised her for her good voice and except for very minor mistakes which he said was normal she was fine. It was difficult song to sing and he felt the original singer Harini herslef would have recorded it with lot of takes.

6) mayangugiraaL oru........ from paasa malar (P Susheela)
Amrita from Bangalore sang this song. Our SPB said that this song by MSV could have been from inpiration from a Hindi number composed by S.D.Burman and he sang out a few lines of the Hindi number. He said the contestant had a unique voice and a bit of more involvement would make the presentation better.

The contestants part being completed, our SPB came on to the dias and said that with this, the episode came to an end and would continue next week also with the same set of contestants and then the winner would be declared. He then went on to deliver his usual weekly message

Message from our SPB :
"It is common to see people from all walks of life, right from the common man to the top politician passing off comments and criticism on others. Talking about the recent World Cup, we find that all are criticising the cricketers for their bad performance and passing degrading comments. People have even come up with songs insulting the cricketers. TV shows, Cartoons and wordings are floating around insulting them. Some of the cricketers houses and their families were targetted. People forget that even South Africa had lost to Bangladesh and that the result is based on a given day's peformance. He requested all to treat others with understanding. No one is perfect for that matter. Are we not making mistakes and performing badly in our roles ourselves? Take my own case when I was ruling the singing medium for 20 years or so. People used to ask "is there no other singer around ?". They even used to comment if All-India Radio was Balu-India radio due to the majority of my songs played then on Radio. Now, the same persons ask why I am not singing much. Regarding the cricketers appearing in advertisements, people think that the cricketers spend lot of time shooting for advertisements. They hardly spend a day for it. By seeinbg the advertisements repeatedly people think otherwise. One should also note that since they were playing well they have been called for advertisements. So, I request all to appreciate other people's sentiments and feelings and behave accordingly"

SPB song :
Our SPB concluded the episode by singing one of his own compositions "idhO idhO en pallavi.." from the Tamil film "sigaram"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very detailed report of the EPP program. keep it up