Music reviews

Sweet music of devotion

The bhakti movement between the 14th and 17 century marked the beginning of devotional singing at a mass level in India. Regional music became accessible to all when great saints began to use simple prose to express the theme of complete and total devotion to god. This album puts together some of the compositions of the great saints of the period.

Some of the greatest works of this era are epic verses of The Nirguna (believers of a single god with no shape or form) and the Saguna (believers of god with various forms, mainly Rama and Krishna, the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) written in simple language using local dialects like Awadhi and Brajbhasha.

The album contains a selection of some inspiring poetry by noted saints of that period. Anup Jalota sings tu sacha saheb mera of Dadu Dayal  (1544–1603), a sant from Gujarat. He also sings the popular Tulsidas bhajan, ram japu Ram japu. Sabson unchi prem sasgaai is a popular bhajan by Surdas — the blind saint and composer from Braj near Mathura. The composition of mysterious Malookdas (circa 1640-1700 (about whom very little is known), main tera deedar deewana is sung by Dinesh Kumar Dube, who incidentally has also directed the music for the album. Chintoo Singh sings a Guru Nanak composition, hon kurbaane jau. Another lesser known bhakti saint from Bihar is represented by his composition, aadi anth hai mera ram sung by Sadhana Sargam.

Meera, was a mystical singer and devotee of Krishna from Rajasthan. Her composition pyaare darshan di jo aaya is sung by Sanghamitra Bharali. She also sings the composition, saawariya mann bhaye re by the lesser known mystic saint Yakrang. Chintoo Singh sings maati khudi karendi yaar, the composition of the Punjabi Sufi saint Bulleh Shah.

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