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Musical tribute by Mani Ratnam to Jayamohan’s epic work “Venmurasu”

It is composed by Rajan Somasundaram and sung by Kamal Haasan, Sriram Parthasarathy and Saindhavi Prakash, with a German brass orchestra and strings of the North Carolina Symphony.

Mani Ratnam to release music album in tribute to Jeyamohan’s “Venmurasu”

In “Venmurasu”, a modern re-narration of the Mahabharata in Tamil, by the famous bilingual novelist Jeyamohan, the epic spans 26,000 pages in 26 novels. Jeyamohan completed this task over a period of seven years, writing one chapter per day since 2014. When the 26th and final chapter was released in 2020, the Vishnupuram Literary Circle in the United States made a documentary titled “Venmurasu – A Tribute “to praise it. success. The documentary includes a musical tribute to “Venmurasu” – composed by Rajan Somasundaram and sung by Kamal Haasan, Sriram Parthasarathy and Saindhavi Prakash, featuring a German brass orchestra and strings from the North Carolina Symphony. Some lines from the lyrical novel “Neelam” (one of the books in the “Venmurasu” series) have also been set to music. The album, “A Musical Tribute to Venmurasu”, will be released by acclaimed filmmaker Mani Ratnam at a virtual event at 5:30 pm (IST) on October 9.

The musical tribute to “Venmurasu” is composed by Rajan Somasundaram and sung by Kamal Haasan, Sriram Parthasarathy and Saindhavi Prakash.

“Venmurasu” covers topics such as philosophy, art, culture, traditions and political systems during the Mahabharata period, action and adventure, weapons of war, cuisines, culinary traditions and the way of life of early tribal societies, each presented with fascinating detail. Rajan Somasundaram, who composed the music, says it was difficult. “It’s the experience of a lifetime when a magnum opus unfolds before your eyes, one episode a day. The scale of this canvas is breathtaking and so intriguing. I mean, how do you do musically justice to a 26,000 page piece filled with adventure, philosophy, history, culture and all the possible emotions you can think of? It’s a huge challenge and an opportunity for any composer, ”says Rajan Somasundaram, a New York-based composer.

Documentary “Venmurasu – A Tribute” Includes Musical Tribute to “Venmurasu”

However, when Rajan Somasundaram read “Neelam” in the “Venmurasu” series, everything changed. Neelam is so poetic and addicting that I can’t help but think about bringing it to fruition. Again, you can choose any expression of “Neelam” – it could be lust, it could be devotion, it could be the pain of rejection, or it could be an exaltation of love. I could choose any of these emotions in ‘Neelam’ and make music. I chose the spiritual bliss I got from ‘Neelam.’ This is how “Shades of Blue: A Musical Tribute to Venmurasu” was born, lasting 12 minutes, ”he says.

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Rajan Somasundaram says that the composition of “Shades of Blue” gave him the courage to compose great themed music to show the greatness of the whole “Venmurasu” series. “The challenge was to reflect layers and layers of complex stories, interspersed with cultural references and details. You’ll hear layers and layers of music, brass, strings and percussion, all merged into one great epic storytelling, ”he says.

“I have been fortunate to have some of the best musicians and singers of our time, including the most versatile and legendary Kamal Haasan himself. It was heartwarming to see the love and respect they had for Venmurasu, ”said Rajan Somasundaram, who is known for making the very first Sangam poetry music album in association with Durham Symphony in 2020.

Jeyamohan has worked on “Venmurasu” for over seven years.

The 90-minute documentary “Venmurasu – A Tribute” has screened in major cities across the United States and Canada, and will soon hit screens in India as well. “All 26 novels in the Venmurasu series were released in 2020. But we are unable to screen the documentary due to the lockdown. It generated a huge response when it was screened in the United States and Canada. As a first step, we will be showing the music album on October 9, ”says Rajagopalan J, a member of the Vishnupuram Literary Association, an organization formed by the readers of the writer Jeyamohan in the name of his famous novel Vishnupuram.

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“Jeyamohan, along with writers A Muttulingam, Nanjil Nadan and Ravi Subramaniyam, singer Saindhavi Prakash, director-editor Appu Bhattathiri, sitarist Rishabh Sharma and composer Rajan Somasundaram will participate in the event,” he added. .

“Venmurasu is not a reinterpretation or justification of any particular character of the Mahabharata. I did not change the stories of the epic, because I kept the original characters as they are. I even gave importance to the sub-stories and put them all in one frame, ”says Jeyamohan. It documents the divide between ancient India based on Veda and emerging India based on Vedanta. “Venmurasu has many stories across various ‘countries’ in India. It is the triumph of Vedanta, ”he said. The Vedas are the first sacred literature of India. Considered the last literary work of the Vedic period, the word Vedanta literally means the culmination of the Vedas, which referred to the Upanishads.

The documentary is an introduction to the “Venmurasu” series, which includes 26 novels. “Music takes an important part in the documentary. The fourth book (Neelam) tells the story of Radha and Krishna. The romantic story was told in a poetic way. The documentary will be released in India after the launch of this musical album, ”said Rajagopalan J.


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