Thursday, December 11, 2008

BlogSwara 5 released!!

BlogSwara has released its fifth volume online!!
This time, I had the fortune of singing two songs:

azhaiththadhu yaaro: Thanks to Vijay S, got to sing a classical based melody again, after kaaththirundhen last year. Raga based songs always hold a special place for me and I so totally enjoyed singing this beautiful number, azhaiththadhu. Thank you, thank you, Vijay S!
Its not too often that you come across people with good orchestration skills plus a good understanding of ragas. Vijay Narayanan has been really supportive in these respects!
I don't have to say much about Jo- a voice that can make almost anything sound good!
Thank you, team- it was great working with you guys!
Here's a small fun video made by Vijay Narayanan - on his experience with the orchestration.

Listen to the song here!

khoye khoye: My first venture into such a genre and it was truly very exciting! Thank you Anup, for trusting I could pull it off! Used to singing classical/ melody based songs usually, this was a very refreshing change for me indeed!
Ajay Chandran's lyrics were what added life to this song- thank you, Ajay!
Many thanks to Nandu and Sam who have been extremely supportive and worked tirelessly to bring the right sound.

Listen to the song here!

I hope you enjoy listening to all songs of BlogSwara V5 as much as we enjoyed making them!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cheeni Kum

Yet another song where Shreya is at her best. Although I prefer the Tamil original mandram vandha thendralukku from Mouna Ragam any day, I can keep listening to this song just for Shreya's voice! And that is the power of Raja's music- more than 20 years and the tune is still fresh.

Recorded this quite a few months back...
So here goes my version :)

Song: Cheeni Kum
Movie: Cheeni Kum
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Lyrics: Sameer-Manoj Tapadia
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal

Hope you like this. Do drop your comments.

And oh, 5 days to go for BlogSwara-V5!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

BlogSwara V5 - Coming Soon!

The fifth version of BlogSwara is on its way!! Check out the song teasers below!

BlogSwara V5 releases Dec 12th 2008!

I've sung two songs this time - a Tamil duet with Joseph Thomas, "azhaiththadhu yaaro" and a Hindi solo, "khoye khoye".

All of us at BlogSwara are very excited and look forward to your support! We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making our songs!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Akkam Pakkam

After quite a long break, here's a song again...
Akkam pakkam is a beautiful, soothing melody. G.V.Prakash, despite the 'Rahmanic' influences seems to be doing doing a great job. And Sadhana's thamizh is truly commendable in this one!
Here's my version. Do drop in your comments.
Thanks to Rosh for the karaoke track!

Song: Akkam Pakkam
Movie: Kreedam
Music: G.V.Prakash
Singer: Sadhana Sargam
Lyrics: N.Muthuthukumar

Download here.

By the way, get ready for Blogswara 5- soon to be released!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

After about eight years or more, I finally got to sing with my sister here in Seattle. And the feeling is just awesome :) We decided to sing this beautiful classical based song from Hum Dile De Chuke Sanam- Albela Sajan.
We started recording and it just went on and on and on and into the dead of the night! Nevertheless, it was an absolute fun experience. Love ya, Sumi :)

Here's the song, up for you.

Song: Albela Sajan
Music: Ismail Darbaar
Lyrics: Mehboob
Singers: Ustaad Sultan Khan, Kavitha Krishnamurthy, Shankar Mahadevan.
Movie: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Download here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A departure of sorts...

The last one year has been quite fulfilling, musically- two live shows; Blogswara V4; recording/ blogging of course; the senior grade exam in Carnatic music; some gyan in Musicology; attending concerts; some interesting interactions with Jessica Keyes for her MA thesis on Indian Audioblogging; and most importantly, I had the good fortune of receiving tutelage from the renowned violinist Smt Lalgudi Rajalakshmi, sister of the legendary Padmabhushan Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman.
As things turn out, it is at this juncture that I have to leave India to pursue my academic interests. I hope to take with me all these years of formal music training and continue to make the best of it. After all, its this training that's been pivotal to most of my musical endeavors.
Music has been the second tongue at home and I am so grateful to my parents for that. Many thanks to my sister too, who's been quite a big influence.

So today, I'm posting for the first time, a full classical piece- an aalaapana, krithi and kalpana swaram in Raagam Simhendramadhyamam- one of my favourites; dedicated first to my guru due to whom this was possible; and to all those who have helped me shape my Classical music skills over the years- my family and all my other gurus so far- Smt. Bhagyalakshmi, Smt. Ranganayaki Sridharan, Smt. Lakshmi Raghavan. I owe it all to them and I still have miles to go!

Song: Ninne Nammithi
Composer: Mysore Vasudevachar
Ragam: Simhendramadhyamam
Thalam: Mishra Chaapu

Download here.

Do drop in your comments on this one. The discerning ear will find some off notes, pitching lapses and so on- but I hope those are excusable in the larger picture :P

Its quite hard to believe that Octaves has nearly completed two years. Seems like I started blogging yesterday! It could be a while before I blog again and I sincerely thank the ones who pushed me to start a blog (Pradipji/Meera/Murali), and everyone who's kept this blog going so far- fellow bloggers, friends, well-wishers and visitors for the constant encouragement and support. I've totally enjoyed and learned a whole lot of things from the blogging experience! Hope to be back in sometime with more music!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ooradangum saamaththile

This rustic Ilaiyaraja number seems to have been quite an obscure one. A seemingly simple song, it has the beautiful voices of Swarnalatha and Uma Ramanan, filled with expressiveness and vocal nuances.
Murali created a karaoke track for this and suggested that Meera and I do it. Meera, an ardent Swarnalatha fan has taken on her parts and I have sung Uma's parts :)
It has been quite interesting to adapt to the song and imbibe both their renditional subtleties.

Working on a song with Meera for the first time (female duets don't happen very often!) and its been a really nice experience indeed. It was also great to finally meet her in person last month! :)

Do let us know how you think we have fared in this one...

Song: Ooradangum saamaththile
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Singers: Swarnalatha, Uma Ramanan
Movie: Pudhupatti ponnuthaayi

(Can someone help with info on the lyricist?)

Download here.


Also do check out Jo's version of Main agar kahoon from Om Shanti Om on his blog, in which I've sung Shreya's lines :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kadhal Oviyam

Got to know this absolutely lovely, relatively less known number from folks at years ago. The amazing thing is, Sujata sang this when she was barely 10 or 12 years old!! Such brilliance and maturity at that age!
I'm providing a link to the original since it isn't a very famous song:

And here's my version. (It isn't a karaoke though)

Murali, thanks for the idea of recording this!

Song: Kadhal Oviyam
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Lyrics: Panju Arunachalam
Singer: Sujata
Movie: Kavikkuyil

Download here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Koi raaz-e-dil: taking off from 'Etho rathri'!

Here's an Urdu version of the Malayalam song "Etho rathri" written by Ajay Chandran in my voice. Writing alternate lyrics wouldn't be so easy I suppose- I think what Ajay has done is commendable!
Your feedback'd be much appreciated. Thanks!

Song: Koii raaz-e-dil
Music: M. Jayachandran
Lyrics: Ajay Chandran
Singer: Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam

And here are the lyrics:

koii raaz-e-dil bol gayi aankhen
saare ashq mujhe deke gayi aankhen
yoon hii sochti hoon pass ho wo aankhen
jaane kis jahaan ko choD gayi aankhen
mere sannaaton ko, dil ke andheron ko, dekhe na haaye wo aankhen
teri aankhen

koii raaz-e-dil bol gayi aankhen
saare ashq mujhe deke gayi aankhen

wo tere saath ke chaar din kya
umr se baDke wo lahma lamhaa
dil ke paas the, dil kii manzilen
aankhon mein sapnon ke saaye
har lamhaa

koii raaz-e-dil bol gayi aankhen
saare ashq mujhe deke gayi aankhen
yoon hii sochtii hoon pass ho wo aankhen
jaane kis jahaan ko choD gayi aankhen

bekhayaalii mein yoon saans loongii
zindagii kii sazaa kaaT loongii
merii hasraten, terii aahaTen
yaadon mein Dhal gaye saare
tere saaye

koii raaz-e-dil bol gayi aankhen
saare ashq mujhe deke gayi aankhen
yoon hii sochtii hoon pass ho wo aankhen
jaane kis jahaan ko choD gayi aankhen
mere sannaaton ko, dil ke andheron ko, dekhe na haaye wo aankhen
teri aankhen

(Listen to the original Malayalam version (in the movie Bus Conductor) sung by Chitra here.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bahon ke darmiyan

Khamoshi- The Musical was a poignant film that was critically much acclaimed. It was well supported by music composed by Jatin-Lalit who are best known for their melodies. Although simple in tune and structure and use of instruments, many of their songs have left their mark- Pehla nasha for starters!
My favourites in Khamoshi were Mausam ke sargam ko sun and Aaj main upar (but for Kumar Sanu's voice!). Bahon ke darmiyan too, was nevertheless a sweet, romantic melody to which I think Hariharan and Alka Yagnik had done complete justice. The slowness of the song and the feel it gives of a soft, continuous flow are what make it linger on..
So when Murali suggested we do this song, I readily agreed. Here we have our version of Baahon ke darmiyaan, up for you.

Song: Baahon ke darmiyaan
Movie: Khamoshi
Music: Jatin-Lalit
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Singers: Hariharan, Alka Yagnik

Download here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Piya tose naina laage re

It's been a while since I did a Hindi cover. Here's one- from the 1965 classic Guide: Piya tose, a scintillating melody...*Bows* to Lataji!
Here's my version for you to appraise :)

Song: piya tose naina laage re
Movie: Guide
Music: S.D.Burman
Lyrics: Shailendra
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kannathil Muththamittaal

This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Such a beautifully made movie with such remarkable performances... The music too was hugely supportive. Although veLLai pookkaL and Sundari stuck on to me instantly, oru dheivam thandha poove and vidai kodu engaL naade took some time to grow on me. (Now of course I'm in love with these songs too!)

Oru dheivam.... started beautifully and had lovely lyrics but I somehow wasn't able to digest the musical 'digressions' in the charanams. (It amazes me how Rahman can do that though!) But as with many a Rahman song, on repeated listening I started to immensely enjoy it.
Chinmayee, needless to say, had done a fantastic job...and here is my version. I can say this has been one of the most difficult songs I've attempted. (Even thaththithOm in one stretch was easier!!) This song needed great levels of breath control and I've tried my best.
Thanks to Jo for lending his voice for this song. Please also listen to his version of the same song! (with my supporting vocals) .

Song: oru dheivam thandha poove
Movie: kannaththil muththamittaal
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuththu
Singers: Chinamyee, Jayachandran

Thanks in advance for ur feedback :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Elangaathu veesudhey with Jo

Elangaathu veesudhey was a very different kind of melody- a haunting tune. One of my favourites in recent times.
I consider myself to be "lyrically challenged" - when I listen to a song the tune sits in my brain bang on, but the lyrics just refuse to! It takes some extra effort for me to absorb the meaning of songs. Blame it on my incompetence in Tamil/ Hindi (the two languages most familiar to me and in which I most frequently sing)or my subconscious resistance to take in the lyrics. I don't know. But somehow, one particular line in this song caught my attention and I found to be really beautiful- and it felt so good to be able to appreciate it:
"vaLaiyaadha moongilil rAgam vaLanchi Odudhae"
-translates to: (how is it that) music meanders through the flute that is rigid/ linear...
I remember when I said this to a friend, in response she said something like "logic is so far removed from poetry and it is precisely this that makes poetry beautiful!". Reminds me of "kavidhaikku poi azhagu" :)
Joseph Thomas needs no introduction in the audiobloggers' circuit here. Its been a long pending idea to do a duet with him and here it is, finally. Was a pleasure singing this with the very talented Jo. Hope you all enjoy this!
Again recorded this with a not-so-good mic. How I miss my Shure SM 57!! :( (Some software issues are preventing me from using it) But thanks to Jo for his efforts in mixing.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Song: elangaathu veesudhey
Film: Pithamagan
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Lyrics: Pazhani Bharati
Singers: Sriram Parthasarathy and Shreya Ghoshal

Monday, March 17, 2008

Meeting Murali at Melbourne

It was mid 2000- when me, the kid just out of high school was beginning to explore the internet more vigourously than before, especially for music related stuff. The most fortunate discovery was - where, in addition to a lot of informative articles, there were discussion forums galore. The one that instantly caught my attention was "Raga of Songs" (fondly dubbed "ROS"). Little did I know then that that was going to be like home for me for the next few years. There I came across some really intellectually stimulating discussions on ragas in film music and it looked like it had a lot of interesting people. There were the bosses, there were amateurs. Overall it looked like a lot of fun! By early 2001 I started posting there too and getting involved in the discussions. And that proved to be the beginning of my association with some of the best musical friends I have today - "MS" or Murali Sankar Venkatraman being one of them.

Murali has been a great friend, inspiration and a mentor for me ever since. A keen critic of my singing, he has helped me fine tune my skills over the years. I finally got to see him in flesh and blood a few days back at Melbourne while I was there on a vacation with my parents :) Unfortunately, time was short and it could not be a musical rendezvous. Nevertheless, we had a good time.
Its such an irony that all these years, we could never meet- neither when I was in US some years back on a visit, nor when he was in India last year, and finally to meet in the Land Down Under!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saavan rut aayi

Piya Basanti was a non filmi album by Ustad Sultan Khan and Chitra that released some years back. The title track became quite a hit and as far as I know, was the only song that was shown on TV. (Probably the other songs didn't even get filmed) Curious, I bought the album only to discover that the title track was nothing at all- compared to this other song called Saavan rut aayi. An outstanding composition in my opinion and amazingly rendered by Chitra. Beautiful use of instruments, lovely imagery through the lyrics and last but not the least, wonderful choice of raga (Shuddha Saarang, sorta equivalent to Hamsanadam in the Carnatic school).
This album was a dedication by the composer Sandesh Shandilya to his guru Ustad Sultan Khan. In addition to vocals, Sultan Khan has of course played the Saarangi in most of the songs.
A song that won my heart on the very first listening. Here's my attempt. Unfortunately, could not find a karaoke track.

Song: Saavan rut aayi
Album: Piya Basanti
Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Singers: K.S.Chitra, Ustad Sultan Khan
Lyrics: Rakesh Nirala

Download here.

Thanks in advance for leaving your comments!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Engey enadhu kavidhai

Another soulful, melancholic melody from Rahman and Chitra.
I've given it a shot.

Song: engey endadhu kavidhai
Movie: Kandukondaen Kandukondaen
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuththu
Singer: Chitra.K.S, Srinivas and chorus.

Your feedback please...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Isaiyil Thodangudhamma...

No words can do justice to describe the beauty and richness of this song...
It is amazing how the maestro treats the Hamsanadam family in such varied ways! Each of Sorgame enralum, Thenral vandhu ennai thodum, Om namaha and Isaiyil thodangudhamma (and more if I've missed out) stands out uniquely although in nearly the same raga...
(Isayil and Thenral though, are in "Vivahapriya", which closely resembles Hamsanadam)
Recently someone (by name Divya if I remember right) sang this SO beautifully in the Vijay TV show, "Paadum Office"- it was from there that I got inspired to record this.
I've used a bad mic, so bear with the slight hiss :(

Here's my attempt. Beg Pt.Ajoy Chakraborthy's pardon!!

Song: Isaiyil thodangudhamma
Movie: Hey Ram
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Lyrics: Ilaiyaraja
Singer: Ajoy Chakraborthy

Your feedback'd be appreciated. Thanks.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Rahman!

May the world be blessed with more and more of your music.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Beaming Bhaktha!

Nothing excites Mr.Bhakthavatsalam more than Carnatic Music.
He was bubbling with a childlike excitement on having felicitated Vidushi S.Sowmya at a recent concert (which I believe was extraordinary) :)
Here's the moment frozen in time

Congratulations, Mr.Bhakthavatsalam! :)