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FOLK is his FORTE

An outstanding quality in all that Gangai Amaran does is the folksy flavour he imparts, writes M.R. ARAVINDAN.


HE IS a lyricist, a musician, story, screenplay and dialogue writer, a director...a multifaceted personality in true sense.

An outstanding quality in all that he does is the folksy flavour he imparts.

Right from his maiden film `Kozhi Koovuthu', he has stuck to his typical traits. In `Enga Ooru Pattukaran' he showed his best. His `Karagattakaran', smashed all previous records at the box office. In most theatres across the State, the latter completed a golden-jubilee run. Even today, it is considered to be a good example of a movie with rural subject.

Having given several superhit films and popular numbers filled with rustic essence, Gangai Amaran has earned an unchallenged name in the tinselworld for producing rural theme-based movies.

This `all-rolled-into-one' persona was on a visit to the city recently and chose to speak about the transformation and growth of film music rather than about his growth.

Victims of compulsion

Given his popularity for fast numbers, Gangai even opened his remarks with a bang: "Current day producers and directors are like a flock of sheep. If one song becomes a hit, they go on asking for similar tunes till the audience reject them. But this does not mean musicians are merely copycats. They are victims of compulsion," he clarifies.

"During our times, films used to have one fast and four slow songs. Today, majority of them are fast and rarely melody sneaks in."

But Gangai Amaran was all praise for A.R. Rehman.

"In his troupe it is mostly one-man (Rahman) show. Of course, he makes optimum use of technology."

"Any development is a welcome sign. For the music field too, it is a positive improvement," he adds.

Computer music

But what he finds missing in such computer composed music notes is the "bhava".

The musician puts his soul completely into the notes to extract the best modulations for the song.

The computer compositions cannot do this since they are pre-programmed, he explains.

From bhava, Gangai shifts to his association with folk. "Every stage of my life has had some contact with folk life till I moved to Madras."

"When I stand on a mound and watch my native village Pannaipuram in Theni district, along with green memories, I experience a shock too. I am unable to believe that we started our life from this place and went on to play in world renowned auditoriums in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and other places," he says choked with emotions.

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