It was an evocative musical evening for this correspondent to be at a soiree at Chhayanaut on Thursday. Bangladeshi troupe Shrutinandan together with Melbourne -based Australian organisation Gharana Musical Circle arranged the event that featured performances of diverse Bengali songs by renowned Bangladeshi singer Sumon Chowdhury and an expatriate Bangladeshi couple, Aminul Haque and Nasreen Rahman Nilo, who are long-time residents of Melbourne.
Sumon Chowdhury set off the soiree with a devotional Tagore song, “Eki Koruna Korunamoy”. The baitalik number coupled with the mellifluous esraj recital by Asit Biswas had a soothing effect on the audience. Aminul Haque rendered several songs, including “Heriya Shyamal Ghono Nil Gaganey”, “Sur-e O Banir Mala Diye Tumi”, “Borosha Oi Elo Borosha” and “Tumi Jotoi Dohona Dukher Onoley” at the soiree.
The entire family of Aminul, an alumnus of Chhayanaut, has been diffusing the magnanimity of Bangla music in Australia through his organisation. His wife Nasreen Rahman Nilo also performed Nazrul Sangeet like “Amaye Nohe Go Bhalobasho” and “Harano Hiyar”. Aminul's rendition of a Nazrul Sangeet “Tumi Jotoi Dohona Dukher Onoley” was immaculate. The couple's daughter duo -- Sohini Surat and Mohini Murat -- presented two dances at the event.
The highlight of the soiree was the melodic garland woven by Sumon Chowdhury. “We find the unique theme of 'Proloy Sundar' (destructive beauty) in Nazrul's songs and poems,” said Sumon prior to his performance, and went on to demonstrate it with enthralling performance of the Nazrul songs “Abar Ki Elorey Badal”, “Dwip Nibhiachhey Jhor-e”, “Jhor Jhor Jhor-e Shawon Dhara” and “Sajher Pakhira Phirilo Kulaye”.
Sumon conjured up the apt essence of raga Ramdasi Malhar through his performance, “Jhor Jhor Jhor-e Shawon Dhara”.
“Sajher Pakhira Phirilo Kulaye”, on Raga Yaman, reminded us of the mysticism of nature and its elements. Sumon's weaving of melody, vocal delivery and outstanding expertise in expressing the true essence of the song was akin to that of a Pandit. The artiste also performed several songs of the golden era recorded by legends like Manna Dey, Manabendra, Janendra Prasad Goswami and Sachin Dev Burman.