New album of folk songs by cult composers of Bengal on cards
Folk Studio is a treasure-house of 10 songs fetched up from the rich stream of folk music of Bengal and Bangladesh. In this collection, the audience will be taken through mesmerising folk songs penned by cult composers like Lalan Fakir and Hason Raja and Radharaman Dutta. Arranged by ace music composer Debojyoti Mishra, this album is a kaleidoscope of diverse folk songs of different genres ranging from Jhumur to Bhatiyali. Folk Studio is the first folk album designed by Mishra. “Folk music has always drawn me. My grandmother used to sing Kirtans. Nowadays, a lot of fusion elements are creeping into folk music.
However, I’m trying to preserve the original tenor of folk songs from Bengal through my work”, Mishra told Millennium Post. For a long time, Mishra had been showing his interest in making a full-fledged folk album. The uniqueness of this album is that he has fused the essence of musical instruments like Santhali madol with Western drums, flute with saxophone and guitar with mandolin. The singer, Mithu Monfokira has lent her voice for the songs of Folk Studio. She is a familiar name in the world of folk singing both here and in Bangladesh. She is also the lead vocalist of the folk fusion band Monfokira of which she is also a founder-member. She is also the lead vocalist of the well-known Bangladeshi folk band Sohojiya.
Interstingly, one of her musical motifs is to archive and re-create the long-lost folk songs which she has found in remote regions of two Bengals. In this album, she has been supported by her husband Dr Bhaskar Chaudhuri who is also a professor of Bengali literature and the co-founder and vocalist of Monfokira. Mithu’s voice can be heard in Kamaleshwar Mukherjee’s films like Kshoto and Mukhomukhi.
Mithu has also performed at a number of concerts with Debajyoti Mishra. Mishra’s favourite song in this album though is ‘Nisha laagilo re’. In this song, Hason Raja has tried to arrest the melancholia of love. Hason has romanticized his own imaginary death in the darkness of Piyari’s(his beloved’s) eyes. The album aims at rendering folk music with a rare sophistication which will appeal to global audience as well as the Indian audiences. An international musician, Maarten Visser (saxophone) has worked alongside Indian musicians. As for Mishra, one has tasted the unique flavour of his music in critically acclaimed Bengali films like Chokher Bali, Meghe Dhaka Tara and Arshinagar. The album will be launched on January 19 at a bookstore in the city.