Bridging streams of music

Shaan sings in Malayalam for Sreevalsan J. Menon’s comoposition in London Bridge. The Carnatic musician is also composing the music for Swapaanam

Published - July 11, 2013 05:54 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Carnatic singer Sreevalsan J. Menon  Photo : Thulasi Kakkat

Carnatic singer Sreevalsan J. Menon Photo : Thulasi Kakkat

‘Dubbed a Beautiful Malayalam song for Sreevalsan Menon for 'London Bridge'.. Took a while but worth the effort:)’, tweeted Shaan.

Carnatic vocalist and music director Sreevalsan J. Menon is also thrilled about the song that Shaan has sung. “He is such a good singer and so dedicated. It did take him a while to get used to the Malayalam pronunciation but he took so much effort to get it right. He says he has sung for a Malayalam film before this but both of us can’t recall which one,” says Sreevalsan. So, this is likely to be the first Malayalam song of Shaan’s to be aired.

Sreevalsan has tuned two of the compositions in the film that stars Prithviraj in the lead.

The rest of the songs and the background score are being composed by Rahul Raj. “The film director was very keen on getting Shaan to sing the song and we succeeded in it. For me, it was a chance to work with a versatile singer,” says the musician.

For some time now Sreevalsan, whose debut work for films was Laptop , has been bridging different kinds of music for two very different films that are in the pipeline – Shaji N. Karun’s Swapaanam and London Bridge .

He has been tuned in to Kerala’s own rhythms and rhymes and has incorporated the feel and the music in many of his recitals and compositions.

Now he has tapped into that experience while composing the songs for Swapaanam . The Jayaram-starrer that is being shot in and around Palakkad is a musical that showcases Kerala’s percussion tradition and rhythms through the lives of a chenda player and a Mohiniyattam dancer.

Sreevalsan’s brief was to create a work of art that combined the beats of percussion with the graceful melody of Mohiniyattam’s music. “The nine songs in the movie and the background score have been composed on those lines. Each song has a different melam. I have the made the most of the slow, measured and majestic pace of our music. In sync with the director’s instruction to merge the masculine beats of percussion with the feminine elegance of Mohiniyattam, the music has been inspired by Kathakali music and our padams,” explains Sreevalsan. Shaji had explored the melody and rhythm of Kathakali music for his award-winning movie Vanaprastham too.

“Of the nine compositions, one is extracted from Banayudham Kathakali and one is a Swati padam. The others have been written by Manoj Kuroor,” says the composer.

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