Aasai Neelaavey

Aasai Neelaavey
(2008) excerpt
Oren Fader, Guitar, Christopher Creviston, Saxophone

“Aasai Neelaavey” travelled a long road before assuming its present form. While living in Chennai (a.k.a. Madras) India in 1999, I decided to try my hand at setting some Tamil lyrics to music. The original poem was by Mr. S. Vaidheewaran who I met through Dr. K.S. Subramanian and mournfully ponders a lost love. I “tuned” the poem with a couple of South Indian classical (Karnatik) singers in mind and thus the melody has a firm tonal center and a near-modal quality. The rest of the ensemble used a simple rock band format with drums keyboard, bass, and guitar, but the project was never completed. After returning to the U.S. I was unsuccessful in attempts to find a Karnatik singer who could sing the melody and read Western notation. A few years passed but the melody stayed with me. I revised and rewrote the song for alto saxophone and guitar for Christopher Creviston, Noa Even, and Oren Fader. Not surprisingly, the piece retains its songlike character. The rhythms of Tamil, however, give the melodic line a quality it would not have otherwise. In any event “Aasai Neelaavey” means “lovely moon.”


Download Score Sample