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Kaithapram Viswanathan making foray into Kannada films

Last updated: 09 May, 2010
Thiruvananthapuram, May 9 (PTI) 12:46 IST

After producing a string of melodious scores in Malayalam films, Kaithapram Viswanathan is now entering Kannada cinema as a music director with the film 'Vismayapranaya'.

Viswanathan, whose work has brought several state awards to singers including K J Yesudas, will be doing five songs for the film which revolves around a woman of split personality.

The younger brother of famed lyricist Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri, Viswanathan believes that music has no language barriers."So far, my songs have been received well by Malayali audience. I am sure I will be accepted in Kannada or any other language," Viswanathan told PTI.

An alumnus of Thiruvananthapuram Music College, Viswanathan made his debut with 'Kaliyattam' directed by national award-winning director Jayaraj.Earlier, he had handled the orchestra for the songs of his brother in Jayaraj's 'Desatanam', a moving story of a boy being forced into spiritual life by his parents.

Since then he has done music for about 20 films, many of which were directed by Jayaraj including 'Kannaki' and 'Thilakkam'.Besides Yesudas, his scores had been rendered by top singers like P Jayachandran, K S Chithra and G Venugopal, who got the state award for best singer for the film 'Ullam'. Viswanathan feels that for a music director there is no point in confining himself to films in one's own language.

"This is especially so in Malayalam, where number of songs in a movie is less compared to the past. In contrast to Tamil and Hindi, Malayalam filmdom is a small industry with limited market. Songs were still important in Tamil where the audience were ardent fans of music of all types--classical, folk and pop," he said.However, none could deny the fact that musicians and composers from Kerala were not behind any greats from other parts of the country in talent or innovation.

The contributions made by veteran music directors G Devarajan, K Raghavan, Dakshinamoorthy, M S Baburaj and M S Viswanathan would remain in the memory of music lovers for ever, Viswanathan said.Born in Kannadi Illam in a village near Payyanur in north Kerala, Viswanathan had his early lessons in music from his father Kesavan Namboodiri, who was known as 'Kannadi Bhagavathar'.

He was fortunate to have an elder brother Damodaran Namboodiri who groomed him into music and written lyrics for most of his works."Though I have tried my hand in all sorts of songs including rhythm-based numbers which normally thrills youth, my forte is melody," Viswanathan said.

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