Saturday, July 18, 2009

Music & Murakami

Sometime back, when I was reading Haruki Murakami's "Norwegian Wood", I could not bear the thought that I had never heard a lot of the music mentioned in the book. I did make a note of them but never got around to listening to the pieces.

Now, having just finished reading his book, "South of the Border, West of the Sun", I thought there would be somebody out there who has already listed out the URL's. Since nothing has turned up on Google, here is my bit for those who seek Murakami's music -

South of the Border
As Time Goes By

Nat King Cole
Pretend (Song)
Pretend - Lyrics
Embracable You (Song)
Embracable You - Lyrics

Schubert - Winterreise
Winterreise - 1. Gute Nacht - Quasthoff, Barenboim
(Translation of the German lyrics)

Piano Trio
Song (Sarah Vaughan)

William Tell Overture (Note: the book does not mention any overture)

Peer Gynt Suite
Grieg 'Peer Gynt' Suite No. 1, Op. 46 - 'Morning'
More info on Wiki

Star Crossed Lovers (Ellington)
The Star-Crossed Lovers" - adapted from Billy Strayhorn's ballad "Pretty Girl." There seem to be multiple versions going around - here are a couple of them.
Instrumental - New York Trio
Lyrics - (Romeo & Juliet)

Talking Heads - Bringing Down the House (or is it Burning Down the House?)

Handel - Organ Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9; Handel: Organ Concerto ( 1 hour 26 mts!)


Rossini - Theiving Magpie
variations by Claudio Abbodio ('youthful, fluid, contemporary') and Toscanini ('blood curdling intensity')

Tara's Theme (From 'Gone With the Wind')

Herb Alpert
A Summer Palace

Andy Williams
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Canadian Sunset

J.S. Bach
Musical Offering (2-7)

Sergio Mendez
Bert Kaemfert
101 Strings Orchestra

Hard Driving Jazz
Albert Ayler
Don Cherry
Cecil Taylor

Johnny Angel
Water Springs at Kawai, Hawai

Robert Maxwell
Ebb Tide - On the piano (instead of Harp)

Eight Days A Week

Serenade for Strings

Forest Scenes

Birds as Prophet

Keith Jarret- piano solo's

Magic Flute

Concerto Grosso

Bari Manilow

Air Supply

Waterloo Bridge in the mist, Auld Lang Syne, Robert Taylor, Vivien Leigh

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Few Tanka Verses

Some interesting Tanka verses from the book, A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (Hyaku nin ishiu - translated by William Porter)

1. The first one to catch my attention was a verse written more than a thousand years ago about the beauty of Mt. Tsukuba and its surrounding areas. It was composed by the retired Emperor, Yozei In (AD 877-884).

Tsukuba ne no
Mine yori otsuru

Mina no gawa

Koi zo tsumoirite

Fuchi to nari nuru

The Mina stream comes tumbling down
From Mount Tsukuba's height;
Strong as my love, it leaps into
A pool as black as night
With overwhelming might


The mountain village solitude
In winter time I dread;
It seems as if, when friends are gone,
And trees their leaves have shed,
All men and plants are dead.

- The Minister, Muneyuki Minamoto

Poet was grandson of Emperor Kwoko and a part of the Minamoto family which ruled Japan between 856-877, and produced many famous men including Yorimoto, the great founder of the Shogunate.

The Taira famly and the Minamotos were the Yorks and Lancasters of medieval Japan. After Yorimoto defeated the Tairas at the battle of Dan-no-ura, in the straits of Shimonoseki, the entire Taira family was exterminated, including women and children.The Manamoto's themselves became extinct in 1219, when Sanetomo was murdered at Kamakura.


Ariake no
Tsurenaku mieshi

Wakare yori

Akatsuki bakari

Uki-mono was nashi

I hate the cold unfriendly moon,
That shines at early morn;
And nothing seems so sad and grey,
When I am left forlorn,
As day's returning dawn.

-Mibu no Tadamine (AD 900)


Hito wa iza
Kokoro mo shirazu
Furu sato wa
Hana so mukashi no
Ka ni nioi keru.

The village of my youth is gone,
New faces meet my gaze;
But still the blossoms at thy gate,
Whose perfume scents the ways,
Recall my childhood days.

- Ki no Tsurayuki

Shira tsuyu ni
Kaze no fukishiku

Aki no no wa


Tama zo chiri keru

This lovely morn the dewdrops flash
Like diamonds on the grass -
A blaze of sparkling jewels! But
The autumn wind, alas!
Scatters them as I pass.


Morotomo ni
Aware to omoe
Yama zakura
Hana yori hoka ni
Shiruu hito mo nashi.

In solitude i dwell,
No human faces I see;
And so we two must sympathise,
Oh mountain cherry tree;
I have no friend but thee.

This was composed by Daisojo Gyoson aka Archbishop Gyoson , who died in AD 890, at the age of 70, from being buried, at his own wish, in a small tomb covered with soil, with only a small pipe leading from his mouth to the open air; he remained thus, until hunger and exhaustion put and end to his life.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

English Words in Conversational Malayalam

This is related to a previous post `Malayalam Words of Foreign Origin`.

Over here I'm just trying to list Mallu-English words, without which it would be nearly impossible to follow a conversation (or movie dialogues), in Kerala today -

* "Felt" - used to describe the impact of a perceived slight. Eg. അവന്‍ ഒത്തിരി ഫെല്റ്റ് അടിച്ചു! - Avan otthiri "felt" adicchu - (He felt really bad..)

* "Sugar" - Used as an adjective, a substitute for the word "Diabetic". Eg. ചായക്ക് മതിരം വേണ്ട...അവനു  ഷുഗര്‍ ആ...- Chaayakku mathiram venda - avanu sugar'aa - (Don't sweeten his tea - he's diabetic)

* "Get-up" - to describe aesthetics of a building / home. Eg. പെയിന്റിംഗ് കഴിജപ്പം വീടിനു നല്ല ഗെട്ടുപു ആ.. - Painting kazhinjappam veedinu nalla gettupp'aai -  (The house looks chic after it got painted)

* `Over` - anything excessive, especially when a person is too confident/smart/arrogant/drunk/indulgent; pronounced `wouver`. Eg. അവന്‍ കൊറച്ചു ഓവര്‍ ആഇടുന്ദെ - Avan koracchu wouver aaitunde -  (for somebody who may have exceeded his brief)

* `Shine` -  reserved for disparaging somebody who is trying to stand out from the crowd; or trying to get fresh. Eg. കൂടുതല്‍ ഷൈന്‍ ചെയ്യല്ലേ! - Kooduthal shine cheiyelle!  - (don`t act too smart!)

Suggestions & contributions are most welcome!     8-)