Music

Rithu Vysakh’s one man string quartet cover goes viral

Rithu Vysakh in the video

Rithu Vysakh in the video   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The violinist has brought out a cover version of the song from ‘Vada Chennai’

The social media is flooded with cover versions and it calls for something special for a work to stand out. Young musician Rithu Vysakh has managed to do that. He has brought out a “one man string quartet” cover version of the song, ‘Ennadi Maayavi’, composed by Santosh Narayanan and sung by Sid Sriram in the Dhanush-starrer, Vada Chennai. In the video Rithu plays two violins, a viola and a cello. Not just that, he has also sung the track.

“Using cloning technique in music videos is not a new trend. But often you see these videos in split frames/screens. But we have done it in a single frame,” says Rithu. And what has made him ecstatic is that within a few hours of posting the video, Santosh Narayanan himself tweeted on his page about the work. “It was one big, precious moment of my life. I chose this track because I felt it suited my voice texture,” he says.

Explaining the laborious process involved in making the video, Rithu points out that he has been working on it for over a month. “The videos had to be shot separately against the same background; the positioning of the camera is important… You have to look into several details before the whole thing comes out as a single frame,” Rithu explains.

The video was shot at Varkey’s Station, the studio of his close friend and musician, Arun Varghese (Varkey) in the city. Arun’s brother, Ajay Varghese, an actor and dancer, is the director. “Finny Kurian, the recording engineer, came up with the characteristic string quartet sound by incorporating efficient stereo miking techniques. It took four days for us to record and mix the track,” Rithu says.

Trained voice

A native of the city, Rithu has been trained in classical music from his childhood. He learnt Carnatic vocal from Thiruvattar Ravindran and has been taking lessons in the violin from Eswara Varma for the last 16 years.

Rithu Vysakh

Rithu Vysakh   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“After my schooling, I went to Chennai to study Visual Communication and Sound Engineering. I was introduced to Western classical violin while in Chennai. French musician Bernard Wacheux guided me and I have completed my Grade 8 in violin from Trinity College of Music, London,” says Rithu.

The 25-year-old has been working as a “recording engineer and string arranger” in Chennai for sometime now. He has worked for composers from the South Indian film industry. His works in Malayalam include Eeda, Kuttanpillayude Sivarathri, and the upcoming release, Vijay Superum Pournamiyum.

Rithu makes special note of Sleeplessly Yours, which was screened at this year’s International Film Festival of Kerala. “The film was made by my friends. Music is by Varkey and I have played the violin solos and string section and was one of the sound designers,” he says. Among his other independent works on the violin are cover version of ‘Dil diya gallan’ from Tiger Zinda Hain and an original composition, ‘Emilia’s Theme’.

Meanwhile, he plans to experiment further in music, especially with string quartets, provided he gets a good team of musicians.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 9:53:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/rithu-vysakhs-one-man-string-quartet-cover/article25742882.ece

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