Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where is Music?


This article is about criticism of music in Tamil cinema and may explore some reasons behind that. You may think who is this guy to criticize the works of music directors who proved themselves on the silver screen or the music taste of others. Well, every dog has its own day and every man has his own say. If you are a “normal” person who feel offence with criticism, then stop reading this article now.

Trends That are Sick

Re-mix, rap, kuthu and plagiarism are the latest trends in Tamil cinema. I feel so sad to see a music director winning awards for a film in which, all the songs are plagiarized. Some argued with me that if the songs are nice to hear, what is your problem. The problem is like winning a painting competition with a digital photography. Why these people carry titles like “music director”, “composer” etc? The only sane title will be “plagiarist”. There may be influences from existing music but not to the extent that one may end in confusing the real song and the copied one.

Techniques or Technology

Now-a-days techniques are traded for technology. Music directors synthesize some instruments and sequence them without any musician really playing anything. In some cases this goes to the extent that the sequencing is done in ways that cannot be played in the original instruments itself. It may be cool when done occasionally. But it has become chore in Tamil cinema. Yesterday I happened to hear “Vinnai thaandi varuvaya” movie songs while on cab. Believe me, that is the first time I heard the songs loud and clear apart from the faint sounds heard from mobile phones. Just one word “nothing”. Phaser, synthesizer, regular chord formulas and other such not so great things is all what I heard. Some may like the song. Liking is different, quality is different. In terms of quality, technologically advanced and “technically challenged” songs are bullshit. But this is the country where cow dung is worthier than human blood.

Choice of People

I have seen people buying MP3 collection disks labeled “Vijay hits”, “Ajith hits” etc. I really wonder. These heros seldom compose music/sing/play instruments/write lyrics. But why people are buying audio tracks where the heros are not involved by any means yet labeled by their names? Favoritism is all they care about. Not the content. For a X's fan, all Y's songs are “waste”. But the same guy will hear the same song thousands of times if his “hero” had acted in that. The other thing is people like “kuthu” songs. These were good when we heard them less frequently in Deva's music. I am a big fan to some of the songs. But where is the difference? Where is the lyrics? Where is the stuff? When we board buses for long journeys, we have to bear these headaches for hours in a stretch.


Tamil cinema industry value worthless noise over music. To play a riff with 16th notes at 144 bpm is a tough job for an instrumentalist but not for computers with GigaHetzs of clock speeds. If “pleasant to hear” is all we need, then we are not far away from days where we can imagine our own music. There will be some future technology enabling people to record music directly from mind. Whom you will value? A person who climbed on Everest or another one who produces his photo on Mars with Gimp? Choice is yours. But now you know who I like, right?

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