Ilayaraja, the man behind 5,000 songs from over 950 films in various languages, has added another feather to his cap by being chosen for the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
The Akademi generally takes pride in honouring practising artists in fine arts. Ilayaraja has been chosen for the award this year for his contribution to creative and experimental music. Known for commanding equal respect from Carnatic giants as well as those in the film industry (who rarely see eye-to-eye), the honour for him has brought joy and cheers among all.
'Ilayaraja was one of the earliest music composers to use Western classical music harmony and string arrangements in film music. This allowed him to craft a rich tapestry of sounds for films, and his themes and background score gained notice and appreciation among film audiences, says music critic Dakshi.
He said, 'Ilayaraja through his music managed to appeal the rural masses with his rhythmic folk qualities, the classical music enthusiast with the employment of Carnatic raagas and the urbanite for its modern, Western-music sound.'