I have been long thinking about this. Blogs about Ilayaraja. I get immense pleasure in just listening to his songs – so would anyone who has grown up hearing his music. Even today, across generations, his songs are the ones that people jump on to when you are in love, when your love broke, a lullaby for your toddler, on that long drive, on that lonely night when your mind is on random thoughts. So much that his songs are an essential part of your life. And so much has been already written, discussed and debated about this genius. Beyond songs, one of the other important things that people relate to him is the background scores that he has composed for his films. I could be biased, but till date no one has come even close to Ilayaraja’s background scores. A very simple scene gets elevated to a powerful one because of his background scores and he is highly rated for these scores.

One of the lesser appreciated things about Ilayaraja is the interludes in his songs. While most people appreciate the songs for the overall composition (tune) and the background score in movies, not a lot of people appreciate these interludes – the music that’s between the stanza’s of a song – the ones that come between Pallavi and Charanam. And also the preludes – the music at the beginning of the song, before the Pallavi starts. Often I have found that these interludes and preludes are as awesome as the background scores that people appreciate Ilayaraja for. There is so depth in these interludes and preludes, so much orchestration (generally violins) that you can enjoy them independently of the song.

This blogpost series is going to be an attempt in collating all such magical interludes and preludes that he has created for all those 1000s of songs. Those interludes and preludes that elevate the songs to a different level. Sometimes, the song by itself may not have been a huge hit and would have gone unnoticed by many but the interludes of those lesser known songs would have been a masterpiece by itself. Couple of callouts though:

  • I have no vested interest in making money out of these blogposts. The reason why I am saying this is, the songs that I have collected (from which I would clip out specific preludes and interludes) are from internet sources. I definitely do not own the copyright for those and there is no intention to violate copyright here
  • I do have a vested interest. To centrally collate such interludes and preludes and tag them. So that, I can revisit them anytime and start listening to those magical creations. Because he has potentially created 1000’s of such interludes and preludes, it is hard for me to remember all of them in my memory (which is anyway starting to fade away with age). So, I wanted to have a digital memory which I can access anytime. Hence this attempt – one that has been long pending
  • Those who stumble upon these posts, I would encourage you to listen to these interludes and preludes through an earphone or a headphone. You would appreciate the sheer genius in these interludes only when you listen through an earphone or a headphone – a good one would be preferred. As such, most of his compositions are available in mono (not even stereo) that the depth is lost. You would definitely not appreciate these if you hear through a laptop speaker or a cheap earphone
With that, off I go. Let me start working on the first one and come back soon on the first post in this series. And hopefully, I am able to continue this series in a sustained manner to create that digital memory that I have been wanting to create for a while.