(Tamizh) film music is often maligned by people interested in serious / art / classical / Carnatic music. But sometimes, they contain within themselves, germs of ideas far more valuable than those explored in the most serious kutcheris and lecture demonstrations of classical music. So many examples abound.

In the following song (Guruvayurappa) I am amazed at the ease with which Chitra and SP Balasubramanyam seem to sing, especially the Anu Pallavi, without the “heaviness” inherent in a Carnatic classical presentation, almost like a little bird flying: quietly and beautifully. Maybe I am an ignoramus or being incredibly naive here but in most Carnatic songs, the composer seems to take a bit of a break in the middle: the Pallavi or opening line is very beautifully structured and sometimes the Anu Pallavi seems to fall short in comparison. The Anu Pallavi of this song is lovely :). So are the rhythmic interludes in between the Pallavi / Anu Pallavi and Anu Pallavi / Charanam. Or watch at 1:50 or so, when the two dancers display a deep and intuitive understanding of the rhythmic structure of the song (i.e., layam in Carnatic terms). At a stretch it seems like (of course this is a huge and idiotic oversimplification) elements of ¬†Carnatic music and Jazz give you film music. What is not to celebrate about this :)?

Also, there was this lovely song, Omana Penne, where the lilting exhuberance of Bilahari (on the Naadaswaram too) was combined in a most lovely way with hip hop dance that it was, extremely aesthetically elegant and pleasing to both hear and watch, the aesthetic sensibility matching, dare I say it, the delicate finery of a Ramnad Krishnan kutcheri :).

On a tangent how lovely must it be to listen to a full and unrestrained (by time and space) outdoor Naadaswaram kutcheri where he amply explores a Bilahari, (Najivadhara is of course so exhuberant that the story goes that it brought a dead man back alive :)).

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