Keyboard Player Viji Manuel No Morekollywood

August 17, 2015 18:51

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The keyboard player Viji Manuel (64) who was part of music maestro Ilayaraja’s troupe for four decades is no more. Viji Manuel was son of late Handel Manuel, pianist. Handel was instrumental in popularizing classical music in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

A.R. Rahman, music director who had played alongside Vjii for Ilayaraja, said, “The keyboard solos and sounds he played for Maestro Illayaraja is a part of South Indian people’s soundtrack. His dad Handel Manuel and he will never be forgotten.”

Pianist Anil Srinivasan explained Viji’s contribution to Tamil film music work by saying that global touch was infused by Viji in terms of elements and style.

“Musically he is more informal than formal. He can play any complicated music effortlessly and also without referring to the notations. In hundreds of songs of Ilayaraja, you can listen to his contribution,” said Mr Srinivasan.

Before switching over to keyboard, Viji, who was a self-taught musician, was a bass guitarist and drummer. In 1971, Viji won the best drummer award at an all-India contest.

A self-taught man when it came to music, Viji was a bass guitarist and drummer before switching over to keyboard. In 1971, he won the best drummer award at an all-India contest. Viji, who worked with M.S. Viswanthan and K.V. Mahadevan, was introduced to Ilayaraja, when he joined music director G.K. Venkatesh.


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