We have been listening to ѐminence grise, a.r.rahman's distinguished and remarkable compositions almost every minute, if not an exaggeration! He keeps us enticing every precious minute we spend on hearing his compositions. This has been spanning for more than a decade now yet one can see the same Rahman, although in different musical avatars, enthralling the music listeners all the time by keeping with the pace of the generations.
Multi Lingual Compositions! >
From his very first filmy album Roja till the recent Jodhaa Akbar, many of his films were also dubbed and even some of his original films were remade in various other languages. Its redundant to say that Rahman has used the same tunes that he composed for the original versions for such films. He also re-used some of his master pieces like Baba Kichu Tha(Dekho Na), Yeh Rishta(Naan Epothu), etc for some of the other films as insisted by the directors and producers of the respective films.
Some listeners liked the songs of the original version whereas some liked the songs of the dubbed version although the tunes are one and the same. The basic reason for this being the variation and the sort of multiplicity, rahman brings in into his compositions of the same tune by making a subtle change in either the sound, arrangements, mixing, etc...Mostly he uses different vocals for the same song which gives the song altogether a new feel!
For instance, Endhan Uyiril from Monalisa was sung by Unnikrishnan and the same song, Tum Ho Meri Nigahon was sung by Hariharan in Hindi....Both songs are par excellence yet so enchanting, be it in variations of the vocals or the sound arrangements. Add to that, one has to agree for whatever reasons, that Baba Kichu Tha sounds more captivating with Sadhana Sargam's vocals in telugu as and when compared to Reena Bharadwaj's and Alka Yagnik's versions of tamil and hindi respectively.
Rahman has carved a niche for himself in using his own songs by employing an astute technique which is still a mystery to his co-composers. He says that learning music is a cognitive process and indeed he is bang on, for, the age old theory reaffirms the same. Music always makes an individual a constant learner and makes him/her exposed to the different realms of this exquisite art. Thus, in the process, it becomes more of being eclectic in nature. On hearing these multi lingual compositions, one only gets dazed (almost always) as to whether this is the same tune (we) have listened to earlier! As said by himself, he doesn't like to use the same tunes but it is upon the requests by the directors and producers that he uses the tunes and sometimes to compensate for the time constraint!
The song Paighaam sung by Shaan sounds as mellifluously as sung by Unnikrishnan(Katre En Vasal) in Tamil. Likewise, Etho Etho Ondru(YedhoYedho), Kannamochi(Dobuchulatelaraa), Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera (Unthan Desathin), Jashn-E-Bahara(Aamani Ruthuve), Sakhiyaa(Pachai Nirame) etc…are magnificently accepted well in either of the languages.
At the same time, some of his compositions like in the case of Mr.Romeo, Love Birds, Parasuram, etc drew flak when dubbed in the other languages. The reason as to why the music has not reached the larger sections of people can be attributed primarily to the shoddy scripts of the films which turned those into being damp squibs! With that, also fades the music irrespective of its charisma! There are few forgotten master-pieces from the maestro for this very same reason. Such things pain him, acknowledges rahman, for, the song has not received the right kind of appreciation for the kind of effort he has put in into the song. Ah Aah, Marudhaani, Aazadi, Do Kadam, etc…just stand as big statues for such inadvertent reasons. Now, will the thought of Rahman re-using those songs in other languages label him as an aficionado, for, who knows, if dubbed in other languages, might just do the trick!
One needs to focus on the lyrical aspect in these multi lingual compositions. There are few lyricists who just translate the originally penned song into the local language turning it a mere verbatim. They will not concentrate on the meaning of the lyric which makes the song gruesome to listen that a listener tends to forget his/her mother tongue after listening to it. But, few lyricists namely Veturi Sundararamamoorthy, Sirivennela Seetharamasastry have given a new dimension to these genre of songs in which their aim was to primarily give richness to the song by adding emollient lyrics. Thoda Thoda song from Indira was done in three languages, tamil, telugu and hindi. The essence of the original song was not lost by even an inch in either telugu or hindi, the original one being the tamil version. Such songs are perfect examples for this lyrical beauty which makes a song soothing to hear in as many languages as one desires to.
‘A fallacy’ can just take the shape of a potent weapon yet invulnerable in the armor of every music lover to battle out with the odds in this unprecedented world of music. It always caters to create a void in one's wallet. One doesn’t need to think twice before saying that Music has got the sufficient and ethereal power to fill that void and its only a small stir away from one's vein before opening up that it is a.r.rahman's music....With that, I leave you (un)fazed (?) and create a space for you to galore your implausible thoughts and set them in tone for the upcoming 2009!
Thanks for your time spent in going through this piece.