Friday, November 18, 2011

Concert at Shri Mandir, San Diego

Alapanais need to be more crisp and "tighter"; neraval less restrained, swaras more free flowing... I could go on. Heck, anyway- here are some videos from a concert I did at Shri Mandir, San Diego last month with Radhakrishnan on the flute and Sanath Kumar on the mridangam. Feedback would be much appreciated.

Santhana Gopala: Khamas

Sriramachandro: Sriranjani

Dayarani: Mohanam and Sarideno: Vidapi

Thillana: Rageshri

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Kannodu Kaanbadhellam: Revisiting after a decade

Kannodu Kaanbadhellaam was the first film song I covered. Ever. On a casette, with the help of the "karaoke" button on the music system that would suppress the original voice (the casette was then supposed to go to ARR - but ah, well that's another story). That was ten years ago, but the memories are still fresh. "Jeans" had released a couple of years ago and although a ludicrous movie for the most part, it was a laugh riot in our family and we all loved it. In fact if I remember right, we watched it multiple times in the theatre. I was at the peak of my ARR craze then and every time I would see his name appear in the credits on the screen, with the ni-sa-ri-sa track playing in the background, I would melt. We loved the songs so much and I almost damaged the casette by playing it too many times. And my uncle would joke that his car just wouldn't move if he didn't play Jeans songs =) Ah, those were the days...

This song, kannodu, surprisingly wasn't a favorite at first. It was Nithyasree's first film song and I found it.. er.. funny - for lack of a better word. The visuals were hilarious and that added to the comic factor. But it slowly grew on me and as the influence of the movie waned, I started seeing the classical richness of the song. And then in 2001, something came over me suddenly and I wanted to explore that "karaoke" button on our music system (although we'd had the system for a while before that) and kannodu was the first that came to mind. Everything was simpler back then - from the process of recording to my process of thinking. It was a more naive, carefree mind, not super intent on self-nitpicking. And I surprise myself every time I think of how I recorded back then: the whole song done at a stretch (coz you see, I couldn't cut-copy-paste on a casette).

Fast forward to 2011. The spontaneity, the unbridled enthusiasm, the uninhibited singing - all muted. I like to call it maturity - to keep my sanity. But there's also one other huge difference now: "cooler" gadgets and recording softwares that seem to mock you and exaggerate the smallest flaw. And these things only make it that much harder to achieve complacency.

Anyway... I've had this karoake track for quite sometime now and I somehow never wanted to try recording it- I just wanted to be content with my decade-old recording and not venture into it again. But venture I did, and here's the result. I wanted to sing some actual "kalpana" swarams at the end but the karaoke track had an annoying loud flute sound playing the original swarams, so I couldn't sing anything else there, hmph.

So here goes...

Song: Kannodu kaanbadhellaam
Film: Jeans
Music: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuththu
Singer: Nithyasree Mahadevan

And here's the old one (which I'd posted here some years ago) again, for the record (I think the tempo got increased somehow as a result of which my voice is kinda distorted, but anyway)