The audio launch of Gautham Menon's 'Neethaane En Ponvasantham' was marked by a visual tribute to Isaignani Ilayaraja, by musicians who work with him.
There was a live performance of maestro's songs from NEP and his earlier hits conducted by a 90-member Budapest Orchestra headed by Nick Newman.
Later, veteran film directors spoke felicitating Ilayaraja on his four decades of work, which, they said, marked him out as a composer far excellence.
The event was not only grand but also nostalgic with the directors recalling their association with the maestro.
Director K. Balachander released the audio CD and actor Suriya received it.
Ilayaraja, reciprocating the sentiments expressed by the speakers, narrated how the harmonium box, which he has, came to him. His elder brother Pavalar Varadarajan bought it for Rs.85 in Coimbatore. Ilayaraja was a small boy then and his brother would not allow him even to touch the instrument. If at all Ilayaraja managed to touch it, his brother would take out a can and punish him. Like lovers meet secretly, Ilayaraja would take out the harmonium box at night when his brother was asleep and do practice on it.
"That harmonium box is not made of a mere wood. It has life and it talks to me. The instrument has a good understanding of me," Ilayaraja said.
He said he made it his policy that one song should not be like another.
Each song should be unique. "I won't listen to my songs a second time. I want every one of my songs to reach the last person .In the hope that they would certainly reach the people, I move on to the next song without looking back. That which does not reach the people is not an art. Some directors would come to me and ask for songs like those he has already scored. But I won't pay heed to them," he said.
Produced by Elred Kumar, Jayaram, Venkat Somasundaram and Reshma Gatala for RS Infotainment and Photan Kathaas Productions, the film features Jiiva, Samantha and Santhanam.