Sydhwaney Exclusive – Interview with Star of Margazhi Raagam TM Krishna
The internet is a dynamic place. Unimaginable it may seem in years bygone but as a new medium of communication the possibilities are endless however there are also seeming pitfalls in the abyss of which many fall only to realize extraordinary lengths of wasted time either caused by distracting elements or replying to anonymous mud slinging comments by undesirables.
Honesty is all important while communicating says TM Krishna in Krishna Uvacha on his website. Drawn by the outspoken extroverted approach of this upcoming musician cum singer turned Star of the movie Margazhi Raagam, I shooted off an email to him and with in a day got a reply. The email was ofcourse about yet another emerging medium of communication The Music at the Movies and ofcourse we are talking about ‘Margazhi Raagam’. Sydhwaney took the opportunity to ask the man himself what he thought and experienced in the making of the music in Margazhi Raagam.
Sydhwaney asked :
What motivated you to sing in Jayendra’s movie? How did it feel ? or was it more like a sit down lets sing today with Bombay Jayasree. ?
TMK answers: In the beginning we had no idea what Jayendra had in mind. Only when we first saw the trailer did we understand the vision and magnitude of what he had planned and executed. For us it was to sing and enjoy music as we usually do.
Sydhwaney asked :
How is it singing a duet with BJ, how did you sort out the Sruthi difference ? Did you enjoy it ?
TMK answers Jayashri and I have known each other for a long time and share a very good rapport so it was a pleasure to work together again. We did make adjustments in our sruthi to sing together.
I asked this question of Jayendra and I ask you now while making the movie did you feel at any time that this was a real circus and not about making music ?
TMK answers No to the contrary, it was a fabulous atmosphere to work in. Even though there were 100 technical people around , lights etc. there was perfect silence and I felt as comfortable as I would in any stage and may be even more as there was so much peace and silence. I just sat there and had fun with music with all the other musicians on stage.
I have not seen the movie yet. Some one said to me “I would see the movie but really I would like to listen to serious music? Any response ?”
TMK answers Yes!! Never comment on anything you have not experienced. You may have to eat your words. I know it has happened to me too!! On a serious note I have met many people who were as skeptical until they went and saw it. Musically it contains as serious music as you can expect in a concert any where in the world. It is given in a platform and with a visual and audio experience you have never had before. My advice just go and enjoy yourself. Dont compare this with a live a concert. They are different things and never are we trying to replace one with the other.
INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR, JAYENDRA
“While today’s contemporary Jazz Musicians work with beams, lights and other visually engaging methods to make Jazz appealing, I thought why not give Carnatic Music a treatment that befits it in quality that is truly deserving” says Jayendra Panchapakesan in an interview with Sumi Krishnan
“Margazhi” pronounced “Mar-ga-ee” is a month of celebration when Chennai, the mecca of South Indian Classical music reverberates with concerts and festivals, starting in the middle of December and lasting a month. For artists and for connoisseurs it is a month of music. Margazhi Raagam is a movie that showcases the best in classical music today with artists TM Krishna and Bombay Jayasree, in concert. The movie has been made with uncompromising attention to the quality of audio visual detail that ensures that viewers experience Carnatic Music like never before. “Breaking it from its realms of existence into new boundaries to reach new audiences world over” says Jayendra Panchapakesan.
Q: Did you ever have any doubts about the success of this movie while making of it ?
A: My background and experience in film making made it easy for me to make the movie. I was never in doubt that the movie would work and have never looked back since. Bombay Jayasree and TM Krishna were my first choice of course. We got the best talent in the country to become a part of this dynamic team. The best quality in sound recording through Red 4K digital media digital cinema camera and a six track sound track. It frames the magnificence of the music and its musicality sound engineered by none other than Sridhar a childhood friend and Award winning Audio Engineer, a favourite of AR Rahman, with Cinematographer Sreeram as we could not have asked for more.
Q: What was the major challenge that you faced while making the movie ?
A: The music and quality in sound was the most important aspect of the movie and is central to the making of it. The visual appeal of the scenes had to be maintained for which camera positioning and lighting have been adjusted. We could not have water flasks, glasses and mics around the artists. The dress and costumes of the musicians were meticulously hand picked. During the duet we had to ensure that we had a left handed mridangist to play for TM Krishna so that it was aesthetically and visually right.
A: Actually while shooting we made sure that all artists were comfortable and shot it like one would a live concert without multiple takes and interruptions. Ofcourse the entire crew had to be in on what was happening when the camera had to stay on the mridangist when it provided a close up of the artists to depict the dynamics of the performance like it would be in a soiree” says Jayendra.
Q: Are there segments in the movie, artists performing individually or is it a duet ? How did they work out the difference in Sruti between the male and female voices ?
A: The movie has several segments to it. Viewer’s will see and hear each vocalist and their accompanying artists perform separately and then together. In some segments viewers will hear the songs rendered without the mridangam. The artists worked out the Sruthi or scale differences when they sang together. I left it all mostly to them to design what items they sang and how they wished to present the information musically.
Q: Your message to Sydney is ?
A: “My message to Sydney siders is any one who loves Music should see this movie backed by 8 cameras and sound engineered by none other than the best it adds an astounding audio visual quality and immeasurable sophistication to Carnatic Music like never before.”
Sydney is the first city where the movie was released internationally at the Greater Union Cinemas in George Street on the 15 of March 2009. The Chamber Style feel of a Classical Kind at the Cinemas in the City of Sydney, was a moment to be captured for keeps. Nalini Sankar the sole distributor of the movie says “It is a privilege for me to bring “Margazhi Raagam” to Sydney and be a part of history in the making with the help of Greater Union Cinemas. We have got a fantastic response so far and tickets are selling fast. I would urge people not to loose the opportunity to watch the movie which is going to run across three more weekends”.
The remaining shows of Margazhi Raagam are to be held at Greater Union Castle Hill at 4.00pm on 22 March and 29 March 2009 and Greater Union at Campbelltown on 4 April 2009 at 6.30pm. Visit www.margazhiraagam.com to see a trailer of the movie and more.