Chennai

Lesser-known Ilayaraja number at Olympics opener

Music composer Ilayaraja’s song from the 80s is part of the 90-track playlist for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics Photo: By Arrangement.

Music composer Ilayaraja’s song from the 80s is part of the 90-track playlist for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics Photo: By Arrangement.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Who would have ever thought the London Olympics, hardly six weeks away, would have a strong Chennai connection? But thanks to music composer Ilayaraja, it will. A Tamil film song composed by him in the early 1980s has made it to the playlist of the grand opening ceremony.

Sources close to the composer confirmed that the song will be part of the medley of music tracks to be used in the inaugural programme. However, it is unclear if Raja himself will travel to London for the show. The song, according to reports in the British media, is ‘Naanthaan ungappanda’, sung by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam for the Kamal Haasan-starrer ‘Ram Lakshman’ (1981).

“It is a matter of surprise that this song, among his lesser-known compositions, should be chosen,” said an associate of Ilayaraja.

According to reports, Danny Boyle of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame has conceptualised the opening ceremony, said to be produced at a cost of £27 million.

Another song by M.I.A. (Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam), a British recording artist and song writer of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, is also on the playlist of nearly 90 tracks. She is the daughter of A.R. Arulpragasam, also known as ‘Arular’, one of the founding members of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) in 1975 in England.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 8:29:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/lesserknown-ilayaraja-number-at-olympics-opener/article3547902.ece

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