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Catalog ID: IDA021
Squidco Product Code: 4900
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live at the Teatro Comunale di Modena, Italy May 14, 2004
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"Calling himself 'Maestro Ilaiyaraaja', Ilaiyaraaja Raaja is something of a legend in his native India having composed more than 5,000 songs and scored over 800 Bollywood movies in various Indian languages. that may sound conceited, but let's face it - he is number 48 in the world's top-selling artists (behind celebrities like Elvis, The, Beatles and Led Zeppelin.) Ilaiyaraaja's Music Journey was recorded live at the "14th annual Angelica, Festival Internatzionale di Musica & l'Altro Suono" in Modena, Italy, in 2004. It's a sort of 'unplugged with a live orchestra' performance, and it's interesting to hear the artist's lighthearted interaction with the audience in English while an interpreter translates into Italian. The title track starts off with a sort of lullaby, then we're taken on a fascinating 10-minute walk through cultural Indian songs and traditions - with verbal descriptions and brief excerpts of the songs that convey the message musically. On many tracks Ilaiyaraaja is backed up by very pretty high-pitched female vocals - sung in the same Indian style, of course - and "Ilankathu" is a duet that sounds like a love song with 2 people singing to each other - and is a standout track (at least - from this ignorant Westerner's point of view). "Three In One" is a fun piece, introduced as a composition with just 3 notes. He actually cheats and uses a half-note here and there, and he goes up an octave as well - which robs the original idea of a song in three notes. Still, it's an interesting idea showing that that melody has as much to do with rhythm and cadence as with a selection of notes. The song selection cover various sub-genres including carnatic, hindustani, devotional, and others that will challenge your spell-checker. Besides being proficient in a variety of Indian instruments Ilayaraja is well trained in classical guitar, and judging by the performance on this record, he has a good grasp of how to sway a western audience. So considering the genre,there's a surprising variety of sounds from track to track. This record is different, fun, and as the title suggests, a real musical journey."-seaoftranquility.com
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