Make Tagore’s music ready for Western audiences: Debojyoti Mishra
Tagore’s songs and Bengali films have been a perfect pair since time immemorial. However, a two-day master-class with ace music composer and violinist Debojyoti Mishra in the city gave aficionados a slew of ideas on how Tagore’s music can be utilised better in the world of cinema and beyond.
In order to bridge the differences between language and culture, Mishra is putting together complete staff notations of Tagore’s songs, which can be used by Western music composers and relished by audiences all over the world.
“For Bach and Beethoven, the notations are readily available, which makes them popular among composers all over the world. We need to put time, signature, tempo, and scale. For Tagore, the notations available are in Bengali (Swaralipi) and therefore not convenient for Western musicians”, said Mishra, who’s volume of Tagore’s music will be launched next year.
With time, the way of presenting Tagore’s songs have changed – be it instrumental or vocal – and Mishra’s stimulating workshop covered the topic rather well. “Tagore’s tunes have the power to move people, but the language can be a barrier sometimes,” said Mishra, who feels that Peter Brook’s 1989 film The Mahabharata used Tagore’s songs rather effectively.
“It is about the way I used Tagore’s tunes in my films and beyond. It showcased how the next generation listeners would like to listen to the poet’s creations”, he added. So, how would the next-generation like to hear Tagore? How can his music spread among the not-so-educated audiences? These were among the other questions that the young musicians came up with at the workshop.
Mishra also praised the use of Tagore’s songs in legendary auteur Satyajit Ray’s films like Charulata, Ghare Baire and his documentary on Rabindranath Tagore. Mishra will again use Tagore’s songs in his next film project, Raktakarabi, directed by Amit Bhattacharya.