The Daily Star-Bengal Arts Precinct, a sanctuary for nurturing artistic talent that opened to the public on May 24 with a display of selected artworks by maestro SM Sultan -- titled “Poradrishti” (“Second Sight”), hosted its inaugural cultural event, on June 7. Noted flautist M. Moniruzzaman performed a solo flute recital at the Precinct, as part of the series of programmes surrounding the exhibit.
Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, popularly known as SM Sultan, is perhaps the only mystic or spiritualist artist of this subcontinent. His deep passion for Indian classical music was a great inspiration for his paintings. Sultan himself was an accomplished flautist. He felt an intimate bond with nature and humankind and their symbiotic relationship reflected in his works that highlight the Creator's blessings on humankind.
The performance was held in the gallery amidst the evocative ambience of paintings and drawings of SM Sultan. Deputy Director of Bengal Foundation Sadia Rahman delivered the welcome address at the event.
Moniruzzaman started off his recital with an alap and jor alap (on ektaal) performance set on a romantic Raga Madhuvanti. The artiste presented an illusion of melodic game covering three scales of the flute. Moniruzzaman's recital had many reminiscent features including, wonderful bistar, bahelawa, murki, fantastic meend and generation of sweet tehai every now and then. The audience was held in thrall by the melodious pukar that the artiste produced amid the madhyalaya and drut teentaal performance. Once in the performance, the magical melody of flute mingled with the torrents of a tabla lahora by Iftekhar Alam Prodhan and created a musical high. Later, the artiste presented a kajri dhun on kaharba. Razia Sultana Mishi on tanpura accompanied the flautist.
Moniruzzaman is a preeminent flautist of the country. He has acquired mastery over several wind instruments including, banshi, silver flute, saxophone, supra-saxophone and Chinese flute. The passion for flute is a family tradition of the artiste whose father Ustad Abdur Rahman was a renowned flautist.
At the conclusion of the recital, director general of Bengal Foundation Luva Nahid Choudhury gave a rundown of forthcoming programmes to be organised by the Daily Star-Bengal Arts Precinct: A conversation on “S.M. Sultan's Philosophy and Artistry” by Enam Ahmed Chaudhury [Private Collector]; Mahbub Jamil Shamim [of Charupeet, Jessore] and Jeevan Mozai Safori [an artist of Jessore] --who knew the artist well, to be held at 6pm on June 17 at the same venue. Renowned vocalist Khairul Anam Shakil will perform kheyal at 6pm on June 20 while noted litterateur-poet Syed Shamsul Haq will recite modern poetry at 6pm on June 24. Another conversation by three well known theorists titled “Prakriti and Purusha”, representing women and men in Sultan's work, will be held at 3:30pm on July 1. And last but not the least, screening of a video-interview with filmmaker Tareque Masud, on the making of “Adam Surat” and his relationship with SM Sultan (2011) will be held at 3:30pm on July 12. Catherine Masud will introduce the film to the audience.