Few personalities have really defined how blissful it is to be associated with music. Maestro ilayaraja is, without doubt, one amongst them when it comes to the Indian Film Fraternity. Over 30 years of filmdom, he has endeavored fetching great honors for Indian film music.
Yesterday(June), this wizard celebrated his 67th birthday and it"s really worthwhile to know things about him that come down the memory lane. He who had brought a new whiff of air was gifted with magic that could soothe one"s ear. This unique person is an amalgamation of folk, carnatic and Western Music. He is a gold medalist from the Trinity College of Music, London. He has composed music for more than 4500 songs. ilayaraja came at a time where there was heavy stagnation in the Tamil film industry. He entered the scenario in mid 70s and his compositions gave a fresh lease of air. The first film for which he composed the music was for the film was Annakilli and the sing was Annakilli Unnai Thedudhe. The authentically folk song was soon heard in every nook and corner in Tamil Nadu. Even today, this song is refreshing and nostalgic. He stabilized himself as a music composer through the film Kavi Kuyil(1977).
ilayaraja has three rudiments in him. , the first is the folk music of the Tamils, such as the labors and March songs. The second is Carnatic music and the third European classical music. There was folk music earlier but ilayaraja brought it in with its soul, with its earthy, rooty characteristics. He used authentic instruments like tharai and thappattai (drums). In many films he has demonstrated his skill over Carnatic music, handling some difficult ragas.He started learning western classical music very speedily when he came to Chennai is search of his bread. ilayaraja in hid first audition in 1968 played the piece Laura's theme from the film Dr. Zhivago on his harmonium. , in 1989 after dominating the film music scene for a decade, he brought out his first independent album "How To Name It" in which he established his mastery in fusion music. In cinema, a good music composer is not necessarily a good music director. ilayaraja's knowledge of cinema is obvious in his background scores, which add a new dimension to it. He pays closer concentration to this characteristic as few have done before. He watches the film fully, grasps the basic thrust of the film and adds appropriate musical score in the soundtrack.