I would like to introduce a great music composer of India, Ilaiyaraaja (2nd June 1943 -). He composed more than 6,000 songs and musical scores. He started his career in early 70s and still contributing to Indian film music without lack of creativity. He composed more than 6000 songs and musical score till to date. The TasteOfCinema listed him at 9th place in their post about 20 greatest film composers (http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-25-greatest-film-composers-in-cinema-history/). However, he is not just a composer but he is the arranger and producer for all his music, which I feel none of the hollywood composers can do these kind of multi tasks on their works. Almost all popular South Indian contemporary composers (including Academy Award Winner, AR Rahman) and singers are worked with him, studied, inspired and even duplicating his songs till today (including the Bollywood composers). But this genius is still continue traveling in his own musical path with 1000 of new tunes even at the age of 71.
Anyway, I won’t talk here about his achievements, awards and his biography. I just want to share the compilation of his songs which were remastered and release through Agi Music (www.agimusic.com) and excited to write about those on Music Day, 2014.
1. Best Of Raaja
I feel this compilation is very special as all the compositions in these compilation giving different identity to Ilaiyaraaja beyond his film music career. He did lot of experiment in each and every tracks in this compilation including tracks he released since 1980 till 2011. You can feel the distinctive in each tracks and nothing sound the same. These are very much proofing that even though in his 4 decades career, his compositions are still sound fresh, creative and his mind are capable of producing fresh tunes everyday.
2. Thiruvasakam: Symphonic Poems
It is again another album which lift him to an International contemporary classical composer. It was first released in 2006 as Thiruvasakam: Oratorio. It was perfectly mastered to give the devotional feeling to those who love the poems of Saint Manickavagar (6th Century). However I felt there are many hidden orchestral pieces which can lift us to high spiritual stage even without the lyrics of Saint Manickavasagar. So I decided to release the remastered version by giving high priority to the orchestration sound rather than vocal. And I renamed it as Symphonic Poems. It was recorded with Budapest Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Lazlo Kovacs.
3. Enga Raasaiya Vol 1, Vol 2 & Vol 3
Same like all of his die hard fans, I always feel he should get an international recognition like many other Classical Composers and Hollywood Composer. For that reason, we always try to compare and sharing his compositions which has similarity of western classical music, Punk, Boogie, Jazz and many. But the only music can be too much addictive to me is, his native sound compositions. International audience or even Bollywood audience cannot digest or taste his Tamil Nadu contemporary folk type music. But that is the only genre which makes me feel special, melt, energise, love and many other blessed feelings and emotions.
“Enga Raasaiya” is a Tamil word means a very special person in our life. The songs in these compilation are from period of 80s – 90s. All the songs in these 3 compilations are definitely will be a great companion to every fans of Tamil songs in coming decades. (Of course it already been their favorite since past 3 decades). Our Deezer statistic showing that the most who listening to his songs are at the age of 18 – 34. So, I believe his songs can travel through many listeners in coming decades like Mozart’s or Beatles.
4. Classic Raaja
This is one of my most favorite compilation of his 70s tracks. It sound little Carnatic and leaving lot of nostalgic feeling. Of course I am not that old :-). These songs are creating a nostalgic mood in me but not bringing any nostalgic memories because I don’t have any in 70s. :-). The most favorite of mine in this album is Track “Kaadhal Oviyam Kanden, Kanava Ninaiva”. It is pure classic (has a touch of Ghazal) and masterpiece.
5. Sri Ramana Maharishi
This is my night time companion and relief whenever I am in depression. Personally, i don’t like any devotional albums in all language because there are lack of spirituality. All the devotional albums in the market are just to meet the demand of the devotees and their worldly wishes. My friend Mathialagan told me once that people buying devotional albums just to make it play on prayer time because they believing it is for Gods and not for us :-).
Sri Ramana Maharishi compilation are purely packed with spiritual sounds and frequencies. This is the only album which can give me the peace of mind and soul. Killer of all desires, Purifying me with love, departing me from modern technologies. Only those who really understand the teaching of Ramana can compose this kind of melodies. I believed Ilaiyaraaja absorbed entirely the spirituality of Ramana, otherwise this melodies are not possible.
Ilaiyaraaja never earned any single cent from any of the albums he composed on Ramana. He spent entirely for the recording and production (As far as i knew) and donated the albums to Ramana Ashram in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, so the Ashram can collect donation for their activities from the sales of the albums. Its proofing that he left the worldly desire when composing melody for Ramana Maharishi and later transforming the same frequencies to the listener as well. All his fans praising him as music genius for many reasons but to me these are the only compositions which makes me feel that he his a music genius because anyone can achieve or already achieved whatever his fans are claiming that not possible by any other composers other than Ilaiyaraaja. But for me this is his real achievement (Compositions in Sri Ramana Maharishi compilation) as I didn’t found so far any composers who achieved this.
All these albums are available in iTunes, Deezer, Amazon, Nokia’s Mix Radio, Raaga.com and many other digital stores all over the world. Lets celebrate this Music Day with Ilaiyaraaja @ Raaja (The King).