Looking back at Tagore's music

soulful Musicians performing during the event. dh photo

“There have been a lot of events around Tagore and we will keep on doing it. We, Tagore aficionados, believe that he is yet to reach people as he should,” said Ranjon Ghoshal, the host for the evening.

The performances were preceded by a discussion on Tagore’s music and his influences on the world of music. The question whether Rabindra Sangeet should change with times was also taken up since Tagore himself took liberties with ragas and from the bandish of the classical music. Another important aspect that came forward was that Hindi film songs had often lifted tunes from Tagore’s songs. Tagore was both a lyricist as well as a composer and had mentioned that sometimes the lyrics becomes subordinate to music, sometimes music becomes subordinate to lyrics as far as his songs are concerned.

This point came about as a result of the comparison to the Hindi film music where music is composed first. “After having had the influence of his music in a secondary form for so long, it is time we go back to the roots,” said Chiranjiv Singh, the president of Alliance Francaise.

The event had Sudeshna Rudra Sanyal and Biswaroop Rudra singing some of Tagore’s songs.

Each song was in Bengali and thus was translated in English and shown on the screen for the audience. The singers were accompanied by a band of musicians from Kolkata. The first song of the evening was Aamaar Mukti Aaloye Aaloye which meant, ‘My freedom is in the light of the day’. Sung by both Sudeshna and Biswaroop, it was a beautiful beginning to the programme. Sudeshna’s rendition of Epare Mukhor Holo, a song about a peacock getting ready to dance during monsoon was full of freshness.

Next was a song about the monsoon, with lyrics as beautiful as the music itself. Pagla Haowaar Badol Diney spoke about the insane wind on a rain-filled day. Prano Bhoriye, Trisha Horiye spoke about enlightenment and was performed well by Biswaroop. Some of the other songs which were performed during the evening were Aro, Aro Prabhu, Madhu Gawndhe Bhora, O Je Mane Na Mana, Tumi Shondhyar Meghmala and a few songs from the dance drama Valmiki Pratibha. These included Purano Janiya Cheyo Na, Jay Raatay Mowr Duwaarguli and Shonar Horin.    

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