Wednesday February 8, 2017

Aby (Music review), Malayalam – Bijibal, Jaison J. Nair

Posted by Karthik

Onnurangi‘s frothy melody is Bijibal’s trademark, particularly that complex anupallavi, and of course, the interludes and backgrounds. Lovely listen, thanks also to Vineeth Srinivasan’s fantastic singing. The sweeping melody extends to Paripparakkum kili too, with a thoroughly enjoyable waltz’y backdrop and especially fantastic interludes, besides brilliant vocals by Sangeetha Sreekanth. Bijibal produces a funky kuthu in Leysa aleysa backed by Niranj Suresh’s cool singing, while Puthen sooryan‘s grand symphonic sound and tune—sung by Arun Elat—is mighty impressive. Jaison J. Nair’s lone composition, the deeply melodic and Christian Parudeesayile is singer Soumya’s show! Bijibal starts the year on a great note!

Keywords: Aby, Bijibal, Jaison J. Nair

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 7.33.52 PM



  • Kishore Prakash Menon

    Bijibal is a very talented composer.

    But in this review Karthik, it is very shocking that you used the word ‘symphonic’ for Puthen Suriyan! Using a horn punctuation here and there would not make a song ‘symphonic’. It’s a very STRONG word. What’s even more shocking is, you call it ‘grand’ symphonic. Kindly refrain from such meaningless superlatives. Even John Williams’ music was called ‘grand symphonic’ for the first time when the main theme of ‘Star Wars’ released, though his previous score for even though his previous smash hit score for Jaws had cues with rich symphonic base.

    A grand symphonic sound is a result of a meticulously constructed harmonic texture. Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘Devasangeetham’ and ‘Arunakirana Deepam’ from ‘Guru’ can be called ‘symphonic’. Also the ‘Sundari Kannaal’ ..(first interlude).
    Rahman’s ‘Rana’s Dream’ from Kochadaiyaan can be called symphonic. The last 3-4 minutes of Rahman’s ‘Tu Koi Aur Hai’ (Tamasha) is ‘philharmonic’.

    Kindly take this as a suggestion. I do not mean any offense. Just didn’t want the common man to be misled by the wrong usage of these terms. Your blog has phenomenal following. There are even people who simply try to ape your style in their own blogs or on FB.

    • milliblog

      Why would you say the orchestral sound in the song is not (a) grand and (b) symphonic? Comparing it to other ‘symphonic’ sounds is beside the point, because at the very basic, it is about harmonic complexity. Now, if you are going to argue that complexity is always only about having 10 different instruments, I’d need to disagree.

      I definitely note that the song’s orchestration gets progressively complex and hits a high towards the end, particularly starting 2:30.

      • Kishore Prakash Menon

        Well, quite obstinate you are here. I intend no argument here. I was only disagreeing with the usage of the words ‘grand’ and ‘symphonic’. If you had used ‘orchestral’ instead, it would have been better. And it’s not at all about complexity. It’s about harmony. And NO, it’s not about using 10 instruments or having a 100 piece orchestra. It’s all about how these 10 (or even 2) instruments create a symphonic harmony.

        Take the 4th movement of Mahler’s 5th symphony for example. It’s not about the number of instruments at all. It’s about how each instrument complements the other. The same melody appears as a counterpoint in a different instrument, when the melody in the first instrument progresses to a different note. Rahman had brilliantly employed the same technique in his masterpiece, ‘Rana’s Dream’ from Kochadaiyaan. He had employed counterpoint using the same main melody.

        Ok, let us take Rana’s Dream as an example. The theme uses the melody of the song ‘Enge Pogudho Vaanam’.

        I don’t know notations as I am no musician. So kindly allow me to split ‘Enge Pogudhu Vaanam..Ange Pogirom Naamum’ into notes:

        ‘en’, ‘ge’, ‘po’, ‘gu’, ‘dho’, ‘vaa’, ‘nam’


        ‘AN’, ‘GE’ (In uppercase to denote that it is different from the above ‘ge’), ‘PO’, ‘GI’, ‘ROM’, ‘NAA’, ‘MUM’

        It goes roughly in this fashion. That is suppose the main melody is on the Cellos and reaches the note ‘dho’, the Horns join in and start playing from the note ‘en’. Again when the melody on the horns reaches the note ‘NAA’, the cello simultaneously starts playing from ‘en’ and so on. This is just a rough explanation. The complexity of counterpoint is much more as the track progresses, with the horns, strings and woodwinds continuously countering each other, and sometimes (rather many times) counters happening within the horn section itself.
        The harmony is a bit more dense than Mahler’s, which is intentional. Mahler probably wanted to keep it minimal for two reasons, 1- The rest of the symphony is quite complex in its harmonic structure 2-to project the technique he used in this movement.

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