One singer, 10 hours of Ilaiyaraja songs

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Playback singer Anoop Sankar’s tribute to maestro draws crowds

Imagine someone singing non-stop for 10 hours, belting out 100 songs. That is rare. When all those songs are tuned by one composer, the event becomes even rarer. Playback singer Anoop Sankar’s tribute to Ilaiyaraja at the Tagore Centenary Hall here on Sunday proved a most melodious one, too. A diehard fan of the composer, the Thrissur-based singer had been planning a show like this for quite some time.

He felt Kozhikode, a city known for its love for music, was the ideal venue. And it was for the 10th year in a row that he was performing in the city for Calicut Music Circle, a group of music lovers.

“I do not think there has ever been a 10-hour programme featuring only one composer,” he said shortly before he began his marathon show. “But my intention is not to set any record.”

Anoop is not new to records, however. In 2002, he was part of the Sangamam band that performed for 40 hours continuously in Chennai and broke the Guinness World Records.

Details and anecdotes

He sings from memory and spices up his performances with details and anecdotes about the songs. That makes his shows more enjoyable.

An appreciative audience cheered when he narrated how the lyrics, the music, and the picturisation all gelled wonderfully in the song ‘Senthaazham poovil…’ (Mullum Malarum).

He began the show with ‘Janani janani…’ (Thai Moogambigai) and then moved on to the immensely popular Yesudas song, ‘Amma endrazhaikkaatha…’ (Mannan). Anoop did a good job in selection from among the thousands of Ilaiyaraja compositions.

Many of the maestro’s finest songs, such as ‘Thooliyile aada vantha…’ (Chinna Thambi), ‘Sundari kannaal oru seithi…’ (Thalapathi), ‘Kanne kalaimaane…’ (Moondram Pirai), ‘Kalyana then nilaa…’ (Mounam Sammadham) and ‘Antha nilava than naan…’ (Muthal Mariyathai) were rendered.

The show that started at 11.20 a.m. went on till 10.45 p.m. Anoop drank water and glucose, taking about a minute each for those breaks.

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