Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Madras Week: A poignant moment as Oxygen sings the Chennai anthem





It was a special moment that evening during Madras Day, when music band Oxygen sang the Chennai anthem. Members of the group were friends of young Vikram who had composed the song’s music. There was a hushed silence as the opening lines of the song, Vandanam, vandanam, Chennaikku vandanam, vandarai vazhavaikkum, panbukku vandanam, rent the air. And rousing applause as Vikram’s picture was projected at the end of the song.

A road accident had claimed Vikram’s life, but his contribution will be always remembered and we hope that his dreams of a better and greener Chennai will be realised some day soon. Vikram had composed the original music for the song. He was passionate about the city and its people and was keen on pursuing the technical line in films and music.

The song (lyrics by C. R. Anandan, in Tamil) talks about the Fort St. George, the city slum dwellers, the Marina Beach, the Covelong Beach, and the Cooum and Adyar Rivers. The song urges Chennaites to preserve nature’s gifts. Listen to it and see the wonderful Chennai sights at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeGwv640tKo

Earlier, Oxygen began with Nagumomu, a Carnatic track of saint Thyagaraja. The band gave it a special flavour by creating a subtle Western mood to the song. The krithi was played in the traditional format by the violin, with the melodion adding a unique flavour to the melody.

Owing to a sound system problem, the band missed playing Vandemataram, which talks about youth empowerment. It is one of the songs in the album ‘Ooh la la la’ that was released by A. R. Rahman recently.

Picture shows Anandan providing the background to the event; Oxygen - Harish (melodion), Karthick Iyer (violin), Vijaykrishnan (keyboard) Ethiraj (mridangam) and Subu (vocal) - playing Nagumomu; Harish and Vijaykrishnan; and the group with another member, Vijay Narain, coming together to sing the Chennai anthem.

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