SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Strumming (1980s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
  Strumming is a staple technique with guitar and several Raja compositions use this technique. However, there is one song, where Raja uses this technique along with SJ’s voice instead of a guitar. It is true that Raja also used MV’s voice also in the same mode in this song. The track is from the prelude of the song, ‘Paruvakaalagalil’ from ‘Moodu Pani’ (Tamil 1980). This is a rare 13 second clip, where he uses SJ’s voice in this mode backed by the bass and lead guitar. He uses her voice in this mode to convey the sense of the liberated young celebrating it. It begins as a simple melody a ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - PolyCaRe (1990s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
 PolyCaRe is a Raja specialty, and we covered this in a number of posts a few years ago. This is basically a Call and Response arrangement within a polyphonic arrangement. In other words, it has a background melody and a foreground melody like every polyphonic composition, but the foreground itself has two or more melodies operating in a C&R format.  You can see more on the definition and the exploration of PolyCaRe here… PolyCaRe Introduction Though I did cover SJ being used in a PolyCaRe orchestration by Raja on a few occasion in this analysis  1. Pagalile Oru Nilavinai (N ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Counterpoints (1990s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
The use of SJ in Raja’s counterpoint compositions continued into the 1990s also.  The first track is the prelude from the song, ‘Ponnil Vaanam Poothadhu’  from ‘Villu Paatukaaraen’ (1992 Tamil). The track begins with a simple melody played on a synthesizer – this is typical way of Raja preparing the listener that ‘more sophistication is on the way’. This melody is played twice. The parallel counterpoint , which is the central part of this composition is beautifully packaged with two melodies. Let’s call this the top cover melody. The next thing that Raja has designed is to introduce ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Counterpoints (1980s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
Readers regularly reading this blog will be familiar with counterpoints and their usage by Raja. There were several posts dedicated to Raja’s counterpoints from 2008 onwards. Here is some basic information on musical counterpoints.  In these posts, we will explore how Raja used SJ as one of the counterpoint instrument. This obviously requires two melodies that need to be playing simultaneously. Sometimes, there are several melodies in Raja’s work and SJ is one of the melodies. Let’s begin our analysis with the tunes of the 1980s.  Let’s begin with the prelude of the song, ‘Ennathai ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Harmony (1990s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
 The technique was not used by Raja is a big way in the 90s with SJ’s voice. However, I found one example of him continuing this in the 90s too. The track we will hear is from the song,’ ‘Thanneer Kudam’ from the film ‘Sarkarai Devan’ (1993 Tamil). The harmony is buried inside the charanam and it is used in both the charanams in the same format. The harmony is between the synthesizer, flute, bass guitar and SJ and it is a three part harmony.  Focus on the parts that SJ hums along with these instruments. Let’s hear, ‘thanneer kudam’, harmony with SJ’s orchestral vocal instrument ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Harmony (1980s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
 In the 80s, Raja expanded the use of SJ in several of his harmonies. There are several dozens of examples and I have chosen a few to analyze how he integrated her into his harmonies in this decade.  The first track we will hear is ‘Azhagu Aayiram’ from ‘Ullasa Paravaigal’ (1980 Tamil). This is such a beautiful use of her voice inside a harmony that it requires elaboration a little before and after her harmony parts. The first few seconds is a harmony that is arranged between the synthesizer, flute and the bass guitar. This follows a long harmony part between the electric guitar, SJ ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Harmony (1970s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
 Harmony is an integral part of Raja’s work from the get go in 1976. It continues to this date on every possible genre he touches. It somehow is a non-issue for him to bring it into any type of music he composes. While the technical definition of harmony is multiple voices sounding simultaneously, we are going to see how a ‘human voice (SJ)’ did become part of a Raja composed harmony in the next three posts, one per decade. The first track we will hear is from the song, ‘Aagaaya Gangai’ from ‘Dharma Yudham’ (1979 Tamil). The way Raja structured the second interlude is nothing short of a h ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Call and Response (1990s)
Raja, the genius
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1y ago
 The C&R journey from the 90s continued into the 90s as well. However, the pace of SJ being used in this orchestral format came down significantly during this decade. We will see a few examples from the 1990s. The first track is from the song, ‘Maniye Manikuyile’ from ‘Nadodi Thendral’ (1992 Tamil). This is a PolyCaRe clip with the santoor playing the background melody throughout the clip. The call by SJ is responded by the flute and while the flute responds, the santoor continues in the background with its simple melody. Let’s hear, ‘Maniye manikuyile’, C&R with SJ’s orchestral v ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument - Call and Response (1980s)
Raja, the genius
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2y ago
 While discussing ‘unusual conversations’, I had indicated that Raja used the C&R technique extensively in the 70s, 80s and 90s. As SJ sang for him during just three decades, Raja has used SJ’s voice as part of several Call and response arrangements. In fact, SJ as an orchestral instrument, has been most used in the C&R format than others. Within the decades, in the 80s, Raja used her voice in this orchestration technique the most. We will see several examples in this post. They are simply in the alphabetical order.  Let’s begin our journey with the prelude of the song, ‘Endh ..read more
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SJ – Orchestral vocal instrument orchestration types
Raja, the genius
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2y ago
 Let’s get into the methods Raja has employed in using SJ as an orchestral instrument in his compositions. Most of the techniques must be familiar to this blog’s readers as these are staple Raja techniques. What is unique is the use of the female voice within that orchestral structure. My research revealed at least 40 compositions where there is a conscious deployment of the female voice into an orchestral structure. However, I could have missed a few and readers are welcome to bring them up as they see fit. Call and Response As we saw in the ‘Unusual conversations’ set of posts, this t ..read more
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