Category Archives: Music

Nino Rota’s 8½ & The Godfather

Biography for Nino Rota

The recurring theme in Federico Fellini’s 8½ contains a fragment which, strangely enough, just over 8½ years later would form the crux of the haunting theme in The Godfather. I started watching 8½ without really knowing who the composer was, and the theme got me curious and led me to Nino Rota. Isn’t it nice that it worked this way? The composer guiding me through his creations.
Speaking of Nino Rota, his background score in Lost in Translation was actually borrowed from La Dolce Vita, one of the earlier Fellini movies. You see, Nino Rota died in 1979. Probably Sofia Coppola’s tribute to the man who breathed life into her father’s creations.
And on another note, Anu Malik shamelessly plagiarised the Godfather theme for his song Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya from the movie by the same name. My heart bleeds for you Nino!

Prem Joshua demystified

Tales of a Dancing River-Prem Joshua

Life is just a river, a long river-Each River, small or big, dissloves into the ocean.

I hope to God Prem Joshua didn’t come up with that description, cos’ really, its the most retarded thing I’ve ever read.
So who is Prem Joshua? Apparently, an exponent of Indian Fusion, who’s had atleast three albums to his credit. So, I decided to check out his debut album – Tales of a Dancing River. His debut album…should be good right? Not. Let me sum up the music as succintly as I can. If you have seen atleast five FIilms Division documentaries on an exotic place (for some reason, Ladakh comes to mind), then you’ve already heard his music. First of all, the album is not even remotely fusion, but just santoors, flutes, sitars in random disarray. Oh yeah, and special effects like sounds of thunder cos’ The Rains have come (Track #2). Oooooh!
But not all is bad, Track #3, Land of the Buddhas, showed some promise, until I realized the beautiful intro that had me hooked in the beginning was the actual song. The entire song comprises of the same intro looped a million times. And by minute 4:41, I had tired of it.

to be continued…

Vidyasagar’s Ji

JI–> Starring: Ajit, Trisha   Director:Lingusaamy
Listen to Ji @ Raaga

Ding Dong Kovil Mani – Madhu Balakrishnan, Madhusree

While songs of yore like Aalaiyamaniyin Osaiyai or Kovil Mani Osai made vague references to the Kovil Mani, no lyricist until now has ventured to offer clarification on what it actually sounded like. Enter Pa.Vijay who breaks new ground in Tanglish Onomatopoeia thus answering the question once and for all. It goes Ding Dong people…Ding Dong.
Madhu Balakrishnan seems to be the singer of choice for Vidyasagar’s recent classier compositions like Vizhiyum Vizhiyum (Sadhurangam) or Kanaa Kandaenadi (Parthiban Kanavu). Right from his debut effort in Edhilum Ingu (Bharathi), Madhu B. has done justice to all his songs, both in style & pronunciation. But the same cannot be said of his co-singer, Madhushree, the AR Rahman discovery from Aytha Ezhuthu. Thanks to Maniratnam and/or Vairamuthu, her singing in Sanda Kozhi had less Hindi and more Tamizh. But in Ding Dong, she massacres the song, esp. in the saranam where she seems to challenge us Chris Tucker-like, “Do you understand the words comin’ outta my mouth?”. And what is with Tamizh composers not caring about the words coming out of their singers’ mouths?
The song is by itself a decent composition with subtle beats and neat orchestration. The chendai in the first interlude is a first in Vidyasagar songs that transitions into neat flutes complimented by the veena. The chord shift from sattru munbu nilavaram to endhan nenjil kalavaram is very pretty. The second interlude is nothing much to write about but doesn’t hinder the song’s safe passage into the final minutes. {6/10}

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