Nostalgic Tamil Song 101: Ponnoviyam Kandenamma by Illaiyaraaja 1981

Kazhugu Illayaraaja Tamil Music

Kazhugu is a Tamil movie that came out in 1981 starring Rajinikanth and was directed by S. P. Muthuraman with music scored by maestro Illayaraaja. It will be 40 years since this movie first came out and yet the songs from that era are still fresh and can still engage any generation of music lovers like it was yesterday. Image source: Rajinifans

One of the best songs from the Tamil movie is this one titled “Ponnoviyam Kandenamma” which was sung by Maestro Illayaraaja himself and S Janaki with lyrics written by Panju Arunachalam (the man who gave Illayaraaja his first big break in the Tamil cinema). I picked the version done by Lydian Nadhaswaram as it shows the different instruments and his father; Varshan actually sung it brilliantly in Maestro Ilaiyaraaja’s actual voice.

It is also one of those few Illayaraaja’s Tamil songs that do not have any flutes or trumpets or violin but made of purely guitar, piano, drums and human hummings. Lydian Nadhaswaram handles the music instruments and some of the hummings whilst his elder sister Amirtha Varshini and his father, Sathish Varshan who is a Chennai based musician and music director handles hummings and the main vocals.

For those who are not familiar with Lydian Nadhaswaram, he was the winner of CBS talent show titled The World’s Best which bagged him USD1 million. This video is not only well made with reproducing the original composition to the letter but I was really impressed with the editing of the video as most of playing and singing needed to be recorded separately and then combined into one seamless composition.

The background sound of the bongo and the drum sets the constant trend whilst the rest, the guitar and the vocals does an amazing dance in the compositions.

The original video, however, does not do just for this Tamil song and the quality is quite bad to decipher the great things about the composition. I suggest that one just sticks to the newer version done by Lydian Nadhaswaram.

Check their other videos – they have done brilliantly a few re-recording sessions of Maestro Illayaraaja’s old but golden Tamil compositions.

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