ILAYARAAJA THE GREAT–Ranked 9globally
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The Great Ilayaraaja
Ilaiyaraaja (Tamil:
) is a critically
acclaimed Indian film composer,
singer, and lyricist and the fi...
BEGINNING 1970
Ilaiyaraaja is a prominent composer of film
music in South Indian cinema from the late
1970s till date. His...
EARLY LIFE
Ilaiyaraaja was born into a poor rural Dalit family in
Pannaipuram, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India, as the t...
MUSIC COURSE
In 1968, Ilaiyaraaja began a
music course with Professor
Dhanraj in Madras (now
Chennai), which included an
o...
A.R.REHMAN JOINED ILAYARAAJA
Session musician and film orchestrator In the 1970s in Chennai,
Ilaiyaraaja played guitar in ...
Something Special
Ilaiyaraaja would hire
instruments from
composer R. K. Shekhar,
father of composer A. R.
Rahman who woul...
MUSIC STYLE
• In 1976, film producer Panchu Arunachalam commissioned him to
compose the songs and film score for a Tamil-l...
MUSIC STYLE
According to musicologist P. Greene,
Ilaiyaraaja's "deep understanding
of so many different styles of
music al...
NICHE IN NOTES
"Ilayaraja (sic) would look
at the scene once, and
immediately start giving
notes to his assistants, as
a b...
MUSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
Ilaiyaraaja's music is characterised
by the use of an orchestration
technique that is a synthesis ...
He uses catchy melodies fleshed
out with a variety of chord
progressions, beats and timbres.
Ilaiyaraaja's songs typically...
M.G.R. AND ILAYARAAJA
The bass lines in his songs tend to be (melodically)
dynamic, rising and falling in a dramatic fashi...
RAJINI – ILAYARAAJA - KAMALAHASAN
ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER -
arisedreams.com
NON CINEMATIC OUTPUT
Ilaiyaraaja's first two non-film albums were explorations in
the fusion of Indian and Western classic...
INSPIRED BY RAMANA THE MAHARISHI
He has composed a set of Carnatic kritis that was recorded by
electric mandolinist U. Sri...
NOTABLE WORKS
Ilaiyaraaja's composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu from the
movie Thalapathi (1991) was amongst the songs listed...
AWARDS & HONOURS
Ilaiyaraaja has won the National Film Award for Best
Music Direction for the films Saagara Sangamam
(1984...
AWARDS & HONOURS
He was conferred the title Isaignani ('savant of
music') in 1988 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.
Karunani...
AWARDS & HONOURS
He was awarded honorary doctorates by Annamalai
University, Tamil Nadu, India (Degree of Doctor of Letter...
PHOTOBIOGRAPHY
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Ilayaraaja the great–ranked 9globally

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The south Indian Musician who conquered the minds of the globe with composing music in 3 notes
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Ilayaraaja the great–ranked 9globally

  1. 1. ILAYARAAJA THE GREAT–Ranked 9globally ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  2. 2. The Great Ilayaraaja Ilaiyaraaja (Tamil: ) is a critically acclaimed Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist and the first Asian Composer to score a Symphony. He is a gold medalist from Trinity College of Music, London has composed over 4,500 songs and provided film scores for more than 900 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years. He is based in Chennai, the fourth largest city in India ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  3. 3. BEGINNING 1970 Ilaiyaraaja is a prominent composer of film music in South Indian cinema from the late 1970s till date. His work integrated Tamil folk lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. He has thrice won the Indian National Film Award for best film scoring. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  4. 4. EARLY LIFE Ilaiyaraaja was born into a poor rural Dalit family in Pannaipuram, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India, as the third son of Daniel Ramaswamy and Chinnathayammal. Growing up in a rural area, Ilaiyaraaja was exposed to a range of Tamil folk music. At the age of 14, he joined a travelling musical troupe headed by his elder step-brother, Pavalar Varadarajan, and spent the next decade performing throughout South India. While working with the troupe, he penned his first composition, a musical setting of an elegy written by the Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan for Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  5. 5. MUSIC COURSE In 1968, Ilaiyaraaja began a music course with Professor Dhanraj in Madras (now Chennai), which included an overview of Western classical music, compositional training in techniques such as counterpoint, and study in instrumental performance. Ilaiyaraaja specialized in classical guitar and had done a course in it with the Trinity College of Music, London. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  6. 6. A.R.REHMAN JOINED ILAYARAAJA Session musician and film orchestrator In the 1970s in Chennai, Ilaiyaraaja played guitar in a band-for-hire, and worked as a session guitarist, keyboardist, organist for film music composers and directors such as Salil Chowdhury from West Bengal. After his hiring as the musical assistant to Kannada film composer G. K. Venkatesh, he worked on 200 film projects, mostly in the Kannada language. As G. K. Venkatesh's assistant, Ilaiyaraaja would orchestrate the melodic outlines developed by Venkatesh. During this period, Ilaiyaraaja also began writing his own scores. To hear his compositions, he would persuade Venkatesh's session musicians to play excerpts from his scores during their break times. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  7. 7. Something Special Ilaiyaraaja would hire instruments from composer R. K. Shekhar, father of composer A. R. Rahman who would later join Ilaiyaraaja's orchestra as a keyboardist. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  8. 8. MUSIC STYLE • In 1976, film producer Panchu Arunachalam commissioned him to compose the songs and film score for a Tamil-language film called Annakkili ('The Parrot'). For the soundtrack, Ilaiyaraaja applied the techniques of modern popular film music orchestration to Tamil folk poetry and folk song melodies, which created a fusion of Western and Tamil idioms. Ilaiyaraaja's use of Tamil music in his film scores injected new influence into the Indian film score milieu. By the mid- 1980s Ilaiyaraaja was gaining increasing stature as a film composer and music director in the South Indian film industry. Besides Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films, he has scored music for Hindi (or Bollywood) film productions such as Sadma (1983), Mahadev (1989), Lajja (2001) and Cheeni Kum (2007). He has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Gulzar, Kannadasan, Vairamuthu and T.S. Rangarajan (Vaali), and film directors such as K. Balachander, K. Vishwanath, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, Balu Mahendra and Mani Ratnam. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  9. 9. MUSIC STYLE According to musicologist P. Greene, Ilaiyaraaja's "deep understanding of so many different styles of music allowed him to create syncretic pieces of music combining very different musical idioms in unified, coherent musical statements". Ilaiyaraaja has composed Indian film songs that amalgamated elements of genres such as pop, acoustic guitar-propelled Western folk, jazz, rock and roll, dance music (e.g., disco), psychedelia, funk, doo-wop, march, bossa nova, flamenco, pathos, Indian folk/traditional, Afro-tribal, and Indian classical. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  10. 10. NICHE IN NOTES "Ilayaraja (sic) would look at the scene once, and immediately start giving notes to his assistants, as a bunch of musicians, hovering around him, would collect the notes and go to their places... A director can be taken by surprise at the speed of events." ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  11. 11. MUSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Ilaiyaraaja's music is characterised by the use of an orchestration technique that is a synthesis of Western and Indian instruments and musical modes. He used electronic music technology that integrated synthesisers, electric guitars and keyboards, drum machines, rhythm boxes and MIDI with large orchestras that feature traditional instruments such as the veena, venu, nadaswaram, dholak, mridangam and tabla as well as Western lead instruments such as saxophones and flutes. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  12. 12. He uses catchy melodies fleshed out with a variety of chord progressions, beats and timbres. Ilaiyaraaja's songs typically have a musical form where vocal stanzas and choruses are interspersed with orchestral preludes and interludes. They often contain polyphonic melodies, where the lead vocals are interwoven with supporting melody lines sung by another voice or played by instruments. MUSICAL CHARACTERISTICS ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  13. 13. M.G.R. AND ILAYARAAJA The bass lines in his songs tend to be (melodically) dynamic, rising and falling in a dramatic fashion. Polyrhythms are also apparent, particularly in songs with Indian folk or Carnatic influences. The melodic structure of his songs demand considerable vocal virtuosity, and have found expressive platform amongst some of India's respected vocalists and playback singers, such as K.J. Yesudas, S.P. Balasubramaniam, S. Janaki, Sujatha, P. Susheela, K.S. Chithra, Malaysia Vasudevan, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. Ilaiyaraaja has sung over 400 of his own compositions for films, and is recognisable by his stark, nasal voice. He has penned the lyrics for some of his songs in Tamil and other languages. Ilaiyaraaja's film scores are known both for the dramatic and evocative melodies, and for the more subtle background music that he uses to provide texture or mood for scenes in films such as Mouna Raagam (1986) and Geethanjali (1989). ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  14. 14. RAJINI – ILAYARAAJA - KAMALAHASAN ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  15. 15. NON CINEMATIC OUTPUT Ilaiyaraaja's first two non-film albums were explorations in the fusion of Indian and Western classical music. The first, How To Name It? (1986), is dedicated to the Carnatic master Tyāgarāja and to J. S. Bach. It features a fusion of the Carnatic form and ragas with Bach partitas, fugues and Baroque musical textures. The second, Nothing But Wind (1988), was performed by flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and a 50-piece orchestra and takes the conceptual approach suggested in the title — that music is a natural phenomenon akin to various forms of air currents (e.g., the wind, breeze, tempest etc.). ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  16. 16. INSPIRED BY RAMANA THE MAHARISHI He has composed a set of Carnatic kritis that was recorded by electric mandolinist U. Srinivas for the album Ilayaraaja's Classicals on the Mandolin (1994). Ilaiyaraaja has also composed albums of religious/devotional songs. His Guru Ramana Geetam (2004) is a cycle of prayer songs inspired by the Hindu mystic Ramana Maharishi, and his Thiruvasakam in Symphony (2005) is an oratorio of ancient Tamil poems transcribed partially in English by American lyricist Stephen Schwartz and performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. Ilaiyaraaja's most recent release is a world music- oriented album called The Music Messiah (2006). Its musical concept is based against a mythological narrative. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  17. 17. NOTABLE WORKS Ilaiyaraaja's composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu from the movie Thalapathi (1991) was amongst the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll. He composed the music for Nayakan (1987), an Indian film ranked by TIME Magazine as one of the all-time 100 best movies, a number of India's official entries to the Oscars, such as Anjali (1990) and Hey Ram (2000), and for Indian art films such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan's FIPRESCI Prize-winning Nizhalkkuthu ('The Dance of Shadows') (2002) ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  18. 18. AWARDS & HONOURS Ilaiyaraaja has won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the films Saagara Sangamam (1984), Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and Rudraveena (1989).He also won the National Film Award for Best Background Score for Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja (2010). He won the Gold Remi Award for Best Music Score jointly with film composer M. S. Viswanathan at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival for the film Vishwa Thulasi (2005). ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  19. 19. AWARDS & HONOURS He was conferred the title Isaignani ('savant of music') in 1988 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and received the Kalaimamani Award, an annual award for excellence in the field of arts from the Government of the State of Tamil Nadu, India. He also received State Government Awards from the governments of Kerala (1995), Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (The Lata Mangeshkar Award) (1998) for excellence in music. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  20. 20. AWARDS & HONOURS He was awarded honorary doctorates by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India (Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa)) (March, 1994), the World university Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A. (Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music) (April, 1994), and Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu (Degree of Doctor of Letters) (1996). He received an Award of Appreciation from the Foundation and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (1994), and later that year was presented with an honorary citizenship and key to the Teaneck township by Mr. John Abraham, Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.A. ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
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  26. 26. arisedreams Presents ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
  27. 27. Thank You ARISE TRAINING & RESEARCH CENTER - arisedreams.com
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