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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sharath - The Musical Enigma - Part 3

Idol 7 - Sharath - The Musical Enigma - Part 3

Impressions of an Amateur Musician
- Murali Venkatraman (

4. Other Melodies

So, is sharath all about composing extremely tough songs which are singer's nightmares or is there a composer in him who can also create hummable beautiful melodies which even a layman can appreciate ? This is an important question because all said and done, it is finally the layman who decides the sale of music which promotes the sustainability of the composer. While people are generally aware of raavil veeNa nadham from sindoora rekha (in which song too he displays some eccentric swara placements like the first rishbham in the last line of pallavi giving a flavour of kanakana ruchira - the rest of the song is smooth sailing though), they are less aware of the beautiful "ende sindhoora rekha" which is a delightful concoction of Chitra’s and Yesudas voices interleaved with voice-overs as the melody strides sonorously.

Listen to Sindoora Rekha (Youtube link)

Another melody and probably the best song of Sharath in my opinion, which wonderfully showcases Sharath's ability to create melodies with a teaspoon of "vidwat" sprinkled elegantly over it is "Yamuna nadhi ozugum" from Devadasy. The beauty of this song is that it reveals its ragam only slowly although the melody is wonderfully preserved in those lines which confuse the listener. Now that, I call, is the stamp of a real master. It tells the listener “please sit back and enjoy my melody, but do not get overly zealous about creating one since it is not easy”. This kind of teasing is great. It is primarily based on ragam Mohanam but the way it starts gives a tinge of "madhyamavathy" feel. It would not be wrong to say that the first line especially has the ghost of madhyamavathy residing in the body of mohanam. (This twist inspired me to an alternate idea of supporting one raga’s chords with the other and I tried my hand doing this in the song “azagaay poosum manjaL”. In this song’s first interlude, raga hamsadhwani is played by the violin and the backing chords were that of mohanam).

One may write pages and empty all the adjectives in the thesaurus to describe Chitra's voice, but he would still be left with a feeling of insufficiency. Well this is a song in which the Singing Angel of South India rules supreme and brings tears to the eyes of a listener.

Listen to yamuna nadhi ozugum

5. Tamil

So much for Malayalam. What about Tamil ? The film June R had the song "mazhaiye mazhaiye" which saw the confluence of two genius singers - Sharath and Hariharan to produce a song which stands out in every aspect of composing. First the lyrics - they need a mention.

mazaiye mazaiyE
neerin thiraiyE
vaanam theLikkum
kavidhai thuLiye
Megaththin sirippoliye
neela vaaname
oru thaRi illaamal
neerin noolil mazaiyenum sElai neydhadhe

Oh my.. what beautiful lyrics ! It reminds me of Udhaya's style - who in every poem of his brings an unprecedented set of metaphors and I stand awestruck every time ! And after all his complex tunes, Sharath chooses to make this song an unhindered melody but decides to weave an orchestration that only a person with superior musical acumen can construct. The bass line, the thunder and the rain drop sounds all melt in a wonderful musical cocktail which the listener could savor as he admires the acoustic portrait of the natural splendour painted by Hariharan’s immaculate voice. In this song, the notes are definitely Sharath’s, but “maNNukkum vaasam thondrum” line makes one wonder how seamlessly Hariharan blends a western style of singing momentarily with the gamakams of the east. It is this composition of Sharath which I had no complaints about. A flawless masterpiece !

Listen to mazaiye mazaiye

Part 1 :
Part 2 :
Part 3 :
Part 4 :