12:00 AM, January 24, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 24, 2013

Album Review

Songs of Tareque Masud: The other identity of the filmmaker

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Jamil Mahmud

Tareque Masud is one of those talents who took Bangladeshi cinema to the global stage. Most of us are familiar with his cinematic approach but few know of his song-writing ability. Masud wrote songs for his films and cherished it as a pure form of art.
When writing songs, he followed the traditional Baul form. He also wrote some patriotic songs as well as others bearing social messages.
Laser Vision has recently released a double-disc album featuring 20 songs written by Masud. The album -- “Songs of Tareque Masud” -- is a tribute to the late filmmaker.
The two discs are separated from each other based on the corresponding genres. The second disc features a total of nine songs belonging to the Baul genre; mostly written for the films “Matir Moina”, “Ontorjatra” and “Runway”. The first disc features 11 songs highlighting patriotic and social awareness. These songs are from the films “Muktir Kotha” and “Muktir Gaan”, as well as from smaller promotional works “Narir Kotha” and “Onno Shoishob”.
Artistes, including Momtaz, Shah Alam Dewan, Ibrahim Boyati, Anusheh Anadil, Kanonbala Sarkar, Swani Zubayeer, Halim Khatun and Sudipta Chatterjee have recorded the numbers.
Masud used to write songs under the pseudonym, A.T. Masud.
The songs -- “Pakhita Bondi Achhe”, “Radha Jemon Shada” and “Jodi Beheste Jaitey Chao”-- demonstrate a deep understanding of the filmmaker's interest in the Baul genre. Although the lyrics are highly emotive and original, in most cases, Masud borrowed traditional melodies when composing the songs.
It is clear that his Baul songs are more popular than the patriotic and other songs. “Pakhita Bondi Achhe” is one of the hugely popular songs. The song's popularity among the masses also owes to the fact that the uncrowned queen of folk music, Momtaz, breathed life into the words.
Catherine Masud wrote a note for the album, describing the backgrounds of the songs.
She mentioned that the first song Masud wrote for a film was “Sham Chacha Gelo Kothaye” [for the documentary “Muktir Gaan”]. The song is allegorical -- a political satire of the Pakistan army.
Among 20 songs, two in particular deserve special note, as they were not directly penned by Masud. One is “Jessore Road” -- an adaptation of Allen Ginsberg's poem “September on Jessore Road” [used in the film “Muktir Kotha”].
The song was written, composed and performed by Indian artiste Moushumi Bhowmik, while the concept behind the song came from Masud.
Another song, “Narir Kotha”, was written primarily by Shah Alam Dewan, a Baul singer. Dewan had a great influence on Masud's song-writing.
For the album, a couple of songs have been freshly recorded. One of them is “Radha Jemon Shada”, sung by Anusheh Anadil. “Projonmo '71”, “Mon Diya Por Ashol Madrassa” and “Baul Bolte Bujhay Karey” are the other songs that have been re-recorded for the album.

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