Music beyond the maestro

Posted on December 21, 2017

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-music-beyond-the-maestro

Is older music (other than that composed by Ilayaraja) gradually being phased out of common cultural memory?

The opening ceremony of the 15th Chennai International Film Festival began with a spectacular performance by Anuradha Sriram, who led the audience through eight decades of Tamil cinema with a medley of songs – with a line or two from each. She began with the MK Thyagaraja Bhagavathar era, went on to the fifties, sixties, and then, she reached the Ilayaraja era. That’s when the applause began, that’s when the whistles began to pierce the air.

I was stunned for a couple of reasons. One, I thought the audience would be – given the occasion – a little more decorous, and it was wonderful to be proved wrong. If this is how we express our enjoyment, there’s no reason it should be otherwise at a festival showcasing the best of world cinema. The other reason for my surprise was that the audience chose to express themselves this way only during the Ilayaraja section. There’s no denying our love for the maestro’s music, and no accolade is really enough – my surprise was more about why there wasn’t any love expressed for, say, Nilave ennidam nerungathey, the MS Viswanathan/PB Srinivas jewel from Ramu.

Continued at the link above.

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