I was a huge admirer of ILaiyaraaja initially for his peculiar and unique style of music in Telugu songs, but later when I happened to hear his background scores because of some loyal ILaiyaraaja fans (more loyal than me……I am sure!!) I could not stop myself appreciating his work. His background score is unparalleled to any of the composers of his time not only in India, but even in international arena. He has got his own style of bringing up the emotions of the charecters in a particular movie. And needless to say his work along with directors like Mani Rathnam. It is such a unique combination, which cannot be beaten by any other.
My all time favorite soundtracks of ILaiyaraaja include the one and only Geethanjali for its sensitive style of background score, Aditya 369 for its adventure and novelity in trying new genres in music like jazz, rock and roll etc.,. which are relevant to different ages, as the movie is related to time travel.
I feel that apart from songs, ILaiyaraja’s background scores are worth making an album and get released as motion picture soundtracks……..because they are really worth it!!
ILaiyaraja leaves a different mark in music with every director he works with. If we observe his work along with Mani Rathnam, his music tries to bring out the complete emotions of the characters involved in the movie. In fact, the music speaks for itself, instead of heavy-hearted dialogues which we see these days, which still leave a less mark when compared to ILaiyaraaja’s attempt. When it comes to ILaiyaraaja’s work with Vamsi, the feel is completely different. The songs as well as background scores are more relaxed, and too quick to understand. Some of the appropriate examples will be Detective Narada, Anweshana, Sithara, April 1st Vidudhala and many others. When it comes to Vishwanath, Ilaiyaraja’s work is more classical and dance related as his movies concentrate on Indian fine arts such as Music and dance. The best examples would be the legendary Sagara Sangamam, and Swarna Kamalam.
Hats-off to such a fantastic composer, and we all should be really thankful to him who has given us such a great music which we cherish even now.
More to come about ILaiyaraaja’s Background scores, not only with Mani Ratnam but also from many other extraordinary rare albums!!