Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Music and blogs

There is nothing more thrilling, more laden with suspense than when a singer hums and modulates her voice before she embarks on the song itself. For that initial 2-5 seconds, it could be anything, absolutely anything that could come out and mesmerise you, and the suspense (in case the singer doesn't provide the details apriori) is what adds an extra zing to the rendition.

I have admired a few blogs for their literary content. Most of them can be found on the left pane on my blog. But there blogs which shine not purely for their literary content but they are art nonetheless. Dheepak Ra's blog (sudasudacoffee in the left pane) had commanded a mention a while ago for the sheer beauty he combined (on a regular basis) using photographs, quotes and some personal reflections. An amazingly wonderful blog.

Recently a dear friend of mine sent me an MP3 of her friend's singing. I downloaded it and was about to head for my breakfast when the piece (after downloading) started playing. This lady with the gift of the finest divine spirits, started with a level humming and I stopped in my tracks (why do people tantalise me thus :-( ). Then she started snaring me in the immense beauty of her voice.

Before I forget: Nearly nothing, NOTHING, makes me give up my food unless I decide to fast. So expect the world of rudeness if you ever interrupt me while I eat!! ;-p

Her voice held me securely in my chair and I kept listening to it over and over again. Is her voice control the best; not entirely. Would I laud her as the best singer; too early. But she is deep and spiritually intense in what she renders. Such secure lodging in the other-world made me forget my breakfast and I put my ear close to the speakers to listen to the various flows of her voice. The song (which is something of a bhajan/abhanga composed by, if I recall correct, by Sri Adi Shankaracharya) was well rendered and made the emotion clear and beautiful.

I am not sure how many believe (or have ever thought in these terms) that a song must be filled the emotion due to it. When a song of plea makes the listeners heart beg, then it is well rendered. When a song of love makes love blossom in your breast then the song has been rendered in all truth. Hence, it is essential to understand the lyrics and the context of the composition. Many wonderful singers don't know what they are singing or why/when/how the composition came to be born (I refer primarily to classical Indian music with a bias towards Carnatic) and it is very unfortunate when they seem to apply a standard template manner of singing every song.

Another very important aspect of singing is mouthing each word correctly. I think the dear reader might be interested in this post that Padma put up on her blog where another Aacharya (I bow to him) explains the silly manner in which lyrics are messed up (because Indian languages with their rules of sanddhi can create funny partitions!). Some singers stress so much on semantics that they forget to do justice to the raga/tune (I am illiterate as far as ragas are concerned).

This young lady had rendered the bhajan beautifully and hadn't messed up the lyrics. The recording was crystal clear and replete. I fell in love with the voice and it occupied most of my waking day. Another song from her (proxied by my dear friend) sealed my decision to write about her voice (I know nothing about her). I listen to her wonderful voice as it sings a song titled "Pani Thirai". I have heard this at least 10-20 times since I woke up and I listen to it while I type this out.

I later got to know that this wonderful singer has two blogs to her credit. For those who enjoy good music sans language, please do visit her Music Blog and those who wished to interact with her through her writings on matters spiritual (and such matters cannot be judged as good, bad, beautiful or contorted), she has another blog.

I wish the Goddess continues to be pleased with her and nourishes her voice like Her very own child.


  1. I am absolutely overwhelmed...
    I dont know what to say, but i will try...For the first time, I have been appreciated thus..Its as if you have understood the full essence of the situation when I sang, as if you were there with me when I was looking at the photo of Lord Ganesha while singing, so as to feel the full bhakthi...
    Its not empty praise where you have overlooked my flaws, but wholesome and I feel as if I just ate a wonderful "saddhi chappadu"..
    Definitely the best review I have ever got in my life...
    Thanks Eroteme and thank you, dear Parvati for introducing me to one whose blog i have been silently reading since the first time you introduced him to me thro yours...
    I was just too awestruck to comment, coz no words could do justice to his writing..

  2. Dear P,
    So am I.

    Dear R,
    What is "saddhi chappadu"? Glad you liked this post. It had very little to do with me. It was entirely driven by your music. So, I think you have yourself to thank. If you were too awestruck to comment earlier, does it mean that this post wasn't good enough!!?? ;-p

  3. If you were too awestruck to comment earlier, does it mean that this post wasn't good enough!!??

    You got me there, Eroteme. I was awestruck, overwhelmed and what not, then and now, except that your beautiful words about the "divine spirit in my voice" made me respond helplessly.. Coincidentally, I was almost on the verge of commenting about your previous post about God, Devil and Love which moved me, but backed off again...And here I am led to do just that by Lady Providence aka Parvati, herself...
    I promise to be less awestruck and wordless next time...
    "Saddhi chappadu" means wedding feast