Composer Thaman on what keeps his music alive

The drummer boy of Boys has blossomed, and how! The puppy fat is gone, and Thaman S has evolved into a full-fledged music director, with eight films to his credit.

From the superhit Telugu film Kick, to the Tamil Sindhanai Sei to S. Pictures’ Eeram, which releases today, Thaman has found a firm footing.

Music first

Why didn’t he veer towards acting, post Boys’ success? “I’ve always been a musician at heart. It runs in the blood, I suppose, with my father being a popular drummer. I have played in Venkat Prabhu’s band ‘Next Generation’ along with S P Charan and Yugendran. And, when my father died, I had a family to look after; I started playing with music directors such as Mani Sharma and Gangai Amaran,” says Thaman, comfortably seated amid a wide array of electronic gizmos and recording equipment in his Saligramam studio.

These days, Thaman shuttles between this nerve centre and his other set-up in Hyderabad, where he works on his Telugu assignments. “Besides the three films mentioned, I have Moscovin Kaveri and Aridu Aridu in Tamil, and Shankam and Brindavanam in Telugu. I’ve also signed up Thenappan’s Ayyanar,” says Thaman, basically a strong programmer.

“It is important to be strong in this area to become a good music composer. Look at Rahman, Harris Jayaraj and Mani Sharma. They are all experts in programming; it provides the skeleton for the music,” explains Thaman.

So, which language does he prefer scoring music for? “Music is universal and it is very difficult to prefer one language over another,” says Thaman.

And, what are his influences? “Rhythm is a great influence, even in melody.”

Any favourites in Eeram? “I like the way all the four songs have come out. Maybe, ‘Mazhaye Mazhaye’ has an edge over the others. And, Suchitra’s ‘Tharai Erangiya’ has great melody. I must mention that ‘Mazhaye Mazhaye’ was composed and constructed using Apple Loops; the application is an absolute delight to use,” says Thaman, who incorporates a lot of technology in his compositions.

What kind of education does this young composer have in music? “Playing live for orchestras is a great educator. Playing for established music directors is like going to college. I have learned a lot while playing in kutcheris, where you can immediately sense the audience reception to the songs performed. All these have helped me better my compositions.”