Bangladesh takes pride in her exquisite and resource of folk music, and Kiran Chandra Roy can be termed a repository of it. Roy's renditions contain many esoteric elements that he offers while performing on stage. Sometimes, with an ektara in one hand and a baya fixed around his waist, the artiste in gerua (ochre) attire mesmerises the audience as he dances with his melodic live performances.
Roy recently spoke on folk music and its heritage of Pahela Boishakh. Excerpts:
“Pahela Boishakh is a unique festival for Bengalis across the world. The important festival mirrors our secular spirit. Amongst the folk instruments, ektara, dhak-dhol and shankh come first. The single string of ektara signifies one path -- monotheism. The bauls follow the sahajia religion whose ultimate destination is monotheism. They control themselves and their soul through meditation and perseverance.
“Bengalis are very conscious of their cultural roots. Boishakh reminds us of our heritage and culture. I have already set a single tune on my ektara and that is the melody of embracing just one path towards Bangalee culture marking this Boishakh.
“The motto of music is to create multitude of rasa in the hearts of the audience. The inspiration behind are the blessings of my guru of 14 years, Khandakar Nurul Alam. He is unequivocally revered in our country. His knowledge of music cannot be described in words. Whatever I have learnt from him constitutes my entire achievement of music.
“Artistic attachment is a prerequisite to creating rasa in the hearts of the audience. If an artiste cannot delve deep into his thoughts, he cannot create any artistic appeal. To express that art properly, one has to have proper taleem (training) from the true preceptor.
“When I perform baul songs, my soul subconsciously turns baul, when I perform bhatiali, I instinctively become a boatman, again when I present a bichhedi (melancholic) song, I am transported to solitude. This is my way of presenting folk songs of various genres; I become one with my music. After all, I think myself an actor alongside a
singer while I perform,” concludes Roy.