Sunday, 13 January 2008

Mozical Journey 2

2. Anbendra
This hymnal is set in the reverent tones of C# minor, a key treated with respect in both Carnatic (commonly the Sa in Sa ri ga) and Western classical music (Bach’s (greek Chi) sign of the cross in his C# minor fugue in the first volume of the Well-tempered Klavier) (refer to angeldoc’s posting). The song takes us back to Priya’s past as she grows and matures into the young woman about to face the world: thoughts that are passing through her mind as she sings the hymn. Later on, Prabhudeva (whose purpose is to distract Priya from becoming a nun) sings Strawberry kannae in E major as he describes his view into the window of Priya’s heart. The funny thing is that E major is the complimentary major to C# minor (they share the same key signature). Mischievously, ARR is already match-making in his own musical version of the plot while also revealing the state of minds of the characters. (Thomas has his own motif when he expresses love towards Priya but that theme is never developed. Interestingly, it’s similar to the motif in Alaipayuthey). But enough jumping ahead – back to the song at hand.

The sparse orchestration, with only two timbres heard for most of the song, with a resounding bass note, puts us in the midst of an empty cathedral where Priya sings the song, (a metophor of the emptyness within her calling her to the holy life). I feel that the visuals could have enhanced the feeling of the vast empty space in the cathedral by using very high camera shots. I wish I knew more Tamil so I could give greater appreciation to the lyrics. From what little words and phrases I can make out by their relation to Malayalam, I can sense its poignance.

Sorry about the overenthusiastic titling last time.. I cringe like eating bittergourd with vinegar witih the the sourest green mango while watching parents attempt to dance to a song amidst a sizeable crowd, urging and pointing at me to join in....

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