Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Song Review: Mathey - Morning Raga

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Music is panacea, believe many. If not that, this song can at least catapult your moods from any depths of sorrow to zeniths of joy. Beautifully rendered by Sudha Raghunathan, Mathey, set to the raagam Kamas, starts with a music that infuses in you the same euphoria as do the first rays of the sun rising from a peacock-blue ocean. The song is accompanied by a perfect sprinkle of drums, mrindangam, ghatam, violin, dhandia, salangai(ghungroo), guitar and bass guitar that neither steals the song's carnatic origins nor cloys it with western influence.

Mani Sharma's minnalai pidithu from ShahJahan was an example of his potential to stretch the boundaries of music. Morning Raga's sound track is, in addition, his display of daring talent to experiment with carnatic fusion, which is as risky a proposition as William Tell's aiming at the apple - either he gets it right or he kills himself and his baby. Mani Sharma and Amit Heri split the apple, just with this one bolt, Mathey, from their quiver. Though purists may scoff at the idea of Westernising Carnatic music, the composers have not only created sensational music, but also ensured that the masses who don't have access to carnatic music are exposed to the art-form.

The initial brief Alapana gives the song a very colourful beginning. Kamas is fundamentally a happy raagam with Shadjam (Sa), Chatusruti Rishabham (Ri2), Antara Gandharam (Ga2), Shudhdha Madhyamam (Ma1), Panchamam (Pa), Chatusruti Dhaivatham (Dha1) and Kaisiki Nishadham (Ni1) and Sudha exploits the raagam and her vocal brilliance to infuse the listener with elation. The synthesised sounds add additional beauty and texture. The percussional confluence of Ghatam, drums and mridangam, all set to adi taalam, maintains an overtly subtle rhythm throughout the song. Guitars - both the classical and the bass - can be noticed only by straining the ears, but even to those ears that cannot pick these up explicitly, their presence adds an ineffable dimension. The violin that runs alongside Sudha's rendering of the chittaiswaram is a creative improvisation.

On top of the multifarious instruments, the punctuated laughter by a girl provides a context to imagine the song's setting in the movie. Unbeknownst of anything about the movie, when I listen to this song, I imagine a Kerala-ic dawn in lush green fields studded with coconut trees, and a girl of 20 wearing paavadai-dhavaNi singing, while her little sister prances around the field laughing.

This varNam song composed by
Harikesa Nallor & Muthayya Bhagavathar in Kannada and Sanskrit, is widely used in dance renditions and requires technique and good facial expressions. Sudha's jadhi-swarams during the second half have a fluid choreographic eloquence to them. The following is the song's lyrics and translation.

Mathe Malaya dhwaja pandya samjathe mathanga vadana guha
Sakodari sankari Chamundeswari chandrakaladari thaye gouri
da da ni da da ni da da ni da da ni pa ma
da da ni ri sa ni sa da ni sa da pa pa ma
da da ni ga ri ni ri sa ni da pa ni da ma
da da ma ga ma pa ma pa da da ni ni da ma
da da ri sa ni da ni da da ma da ni ma ni
da da sa sa pa da ni da da ma ga ri sa ni
da da pa da da ni da da sa da ni da
ma ga ri sa ni da ni sa ni ni da da pa ma
(Ist speed & second speed)
Data sakala kala nipuna chathura
Data vividha matha samaya samarasa
Data sulabha hrudaya madhura vachana
Data sarasa ruchira tara swaralaya
Geetha sukada nija bhava rasikavara dhata
Mahisha suranada nalmadi srikrishna rajendra nadaya
Sada pore mahitha harikesa manohare sadaya
(Ist speed & second speed)
Mathe Malaya dhwaja pandya samjathe mathanga vadana guha (11/2)
Shyame sakala bhuvana sarva bhoume sasi mandala madhyaga (5)
1.MA,MA, pani dada papa magamapa MA,MA, nida MAsani dapadada(2)
Shyame sakala bhuvana sarva bhoume sasi mandala madhyaga
2.nidanida dapapama PAPA nidapama gamaPA nidaMA sanidapa MAnida(2)
Shyame sakala bhuvana sarva bhoume sasi mandala madhyaga
3.saSAsa nidanisa niDApa magamapa maMAma samagama pasanida NI;(7)
nidani padani mapadani gamapadani samagama padani samagari sasanida pada
Shyame sakala bhuvana sarva bhoume sasi mandala madhyaga

O Mother! You are the daughter of the Pandya king Malayadhwaja
You are the lady with the face glowing green
O Mother! You have the beauty of the moon
You have the great expertise in all the arts
You allow equal rights to all the creeds
You are soft and sweet spoken
You express affection in music and rhythm
You inspire us with your beautiful and expressive song
You have gained fame for killing the demon, Mahishasura
You protect and care for Sri Krishna Rajendra, the Maharaja of Mysore
Ever pray to Siva and the mother, Parvati
Mother! You glow with the blue color
You care for the whole world
You glow like a full moon


RustyNeurons said...

hello, I dont know if you get to know how much I appreciated you providing those lyrics for this amazing song...
I was listening to this song on youtube and I suddenly wanted to sing along (now that part should not be taken seriously at all)and by way lyrics I found your blog.
I am extremely ignorant when it comes to classical music, but this song is like babel fish - one suddenly seems to understand love the music because of this song.

thank you.

swetha said...

believe me!! this is smthng tht i am not used to at all(commenting)...bt 4 d 1st time i honestly feel like doin.....thank you soooo much


Hershal said...

I dont know what to comment as rustyneurons has already said a lot I would have liked to.

Its an amazing song. I feel attracted to carnataci music after listening to morning raga.

moo said...

Maathey is a wonderful song, but what makes it special in this case is the unique concordance of Khamas and Godavari, the majestic mother of rivers who is ever-present-but-invisible in the visuals and the storyline of the movie. Khamas is a soothing raga with a unique grandeur, and so is Godavari.

Although I'm not a Telugu, Godavari-darshan to me is very special. Morning Raga, and Maathey in particular, is therefore a moving experience for me.



usha said...



Anonymous said...

i want complete lyrics or thaye yashoda with ragass like da da ri ri.
i would be very thankful if u provide those lyrics

Anonymous said...

thank u so much 4 giving the lyrics of such a wonderful song
thanks a lot.......
cheers nandu

shivam shekhawat said...

i searched and searched for someone to tell me the meaning of this song for three years, listening to it again and again to get a clue, m from north india so the language is problem with me, huge fan of carnatic classical music (that i wish i was born in south), and M.S Subbalaxmi and songs sung for god, thank you so much for the translation. god bless you.

Arjun M said...

Excellent write up, considering how hard it is to capture the essence of the song in words.

Thanks a Million for the lyrics and meaning.

And i hadnt really noticed the Guitars till you pointed it out and it adds to the experience!

You're awesome :)

chaitra said...

thank you so much..words cant express how i feel..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lyrics. Been hearing this song so often without understanding the meaning. Now i could enjoy it more. singing along with the lyrics is so fulfilling!!!

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Shea Kang said...

Difficult roads often leads to beautiful destinations. :)

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