The Maestro Magic..
YIt was on a cold 2014 November Night and I was busy watching something while YouTube suggested me yet another video. I am in general not a big follower of YouTube suggestions but that day I decided to have a look. It was a musical piece whose name as I vividly remember was “Do Anything” from an album called “How to name it?”. Never in my life had I heard something similar, something that took me into its grasp. I quickly looked for the composer’s name expecting a Beethoven, Mozart or Vivaldi but the name was a familiar one, “Ilaiyaraaja” the name read. From that day a person for whom the word music just meant a form of miniscule entertainment became a habit. I read a quote on the internet which went like
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
Today as I write this article I just want to make a small addition to that quote up there.
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. For me music began with Ilaiyaraaja.”
The Raaja effect that people call is not something that is just a mere result of extraordinary music genius, phenomenal orchestration, unbelievable grasp of rhythmic structures and patterns or like his Wikipedia page reads
“According to musicologist P. Greene, Ilaiyaraaja’s “deep understanding of so many different styles of music allowed him to create syncretic pieces of music combining very different musical idioms in unified, coherent musical statements”
It can’t be just that can it? Can a person compose like him (Just 5 minutes per song that too of such outstanding quality) just by having these gifts? (By the way only few in eternity will have all these gifts bundled into one.) If somebody says Yes, I will certainly disagree with him/her. Raaja sir has all this but apart from this he has an element of divinity something that I find only in history’s greatest music legends like Mozart or say Thayagaraja seem to possess. His music is something that people of both Tamil and Non-Tamil origin across the globe want to immerse themselves into, something that feeds their very soul.
From his first movie “Annakilli” in 1975 to his 1000th in 2016 i.e “Tharai Thappatai” Raaja sir has done everything a music fan can imagine. From stimulating a Bach-Thayagaraja conversation in an album (How to name it?) to composing a song with just 3 notes Raaja sir has achieved it all and yet the man doesn’t seem to stop and is still composing in full flow giving outstandting music.
There were times when people thought that the likes of Rahman would replace the old Raaja but as the Shishya Rahman himself says “Raaja sir can never be replaced”.
Apart from doing all these great things I thank Raaja sir for one more thing. He taught me to appreciate music of all kinds. Today if I can appreciate someone like Naushad ji , A.R Rahman sir, Lalgudi Jayaraman aiyaa and Ravi Shankar with equal ease it is all due to Raaja sir.
As the Time magazine wrote for the cricketing maestro Sachin Tendulkar “We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will”. The same goes for Raaja sir too.
Today I feel blessed to have lived in the era of Ilaiyaraaja as I proudly say “Raja Kaiya Vecha Adu Wronga Ponadu Illa” (Nothing Can Go Wrong in the hands of Raja Sir). Thank You for the amazing moments sir keep composing.