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Stringing together success

The Tyagaraja Aradhana scene in "Anniyan" reinforced Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's skill at innovation

Even in the sophisticated Anniyan, the timeless music of Tyagaraja floated through the audience in a two-minute scene that brought the grand spectacle of the `Tyagaraja Aradhana' to life on the big screen. The scene was conceived of by violin maestro Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, a familiar face at the actual event every year. The sequence has become one of the most talked about in the film.

Says Kunnakudi: "The sets were realistic. And the participation of leading musicians in the sequence added a further touch of authenticity to it."

Producer Oscar Ravichandran says the picturisation of the `Thyagaraja Aradhana' scene was done in painstaking detail.

First Tamil pop song

Music has always been close to Kunnakudi's heart. "About 30 films for which I scored the music were diamond jubilee hits. I love to experiment," he says. Taking credit for the first pop song in Tamil films, he says, "Usha Uthup sang `Love is beautiful' in `Mel Naatu Marumagal'." Kunnakudi also scored the music for the first Tamil cinemascope film "Raja Raja Chozan". He bagged the State award for best music director for "Thirumalai Thenkumari".

Music heals

Music has healing powers. "Research on this is being done at the Raga Research Centre. We find that the Ananda Bhairavi raga gives relief to those with hypertension and Sankarabharanam is good for those suffering from mental illness."

S. SHIVAKUMAR

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