Oct 27, 2006

Exploring the music of Iruvar :: Prologue


Anonymous said...

Now, what "authentic period music" really is depends on what the listener thinks the music of that period was. In many cases, it is merely the avoidance of certain kinds of instruments (no electric guitars or drums for songs of the past!) or presence of certain genres (classical or jazz is often used to convey a period mood).

Interesting you mention this, because Ennio Morricone used an electric guitar in his score for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, which is set in the 1800s. They didn't have electric guitars back then, of course, but that twangy sound has become part of the accepted grammar of "cowboy music." The theme song for the TV show Bonanza uses electric guitar as well.

Most of the songs in Iruvar sound pretty close to the music of the era (Mr. Ethirkatchi sounds a little too modern IMO). But ARR does give some flourishes, like the sarod in Narumugiye or the clapping in Kannai Katti Kolathey, so in a way he's also creating an alternate period sound with his own touches. He mostly also chose singers that were appropriate for the sound. Asha Bhosle herself is from the 50s and 60s and thus immediately evokes the era, and Mano sounds uncannily like TMS in Aayirathil Naan Oruvan.

The "Buck Buck Buck" song in the film Parthiban Kanavu (2003) tributes Tamil film music from the 1950s onwards. And a snippet I've heard from Imsai Arasan 23rd Pulikesi indicates that it too goes for a period sound.

Ajay said...

Excellent post. Keep 'em coming.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment Ravi - will be getting to the individual songs soon and yes, the choice of singers was quite crucial in establishing the "feel". I haven't heard the parthiban kanavu songs, so didn't know about the tfm tributes in it. Will try and check it out.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind my comment about Sarod in Narumugiye, it was my faulty memory at play.