Star Melodies, a regular initiative of The Daily Star, has been presenting gifts of superb Bangla songs rendered by leading and promising artistes to audiences. Such a boithoki (interactive) musical soiree was held at AS Mahmud Seminar Hall of The Daily Star Centre on August 31, marking the 39th death anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
The trend of adhunik Bangla songs that emerged with the sublime touch of Tagore near the end of the 19th century got a colourful and vivacious boost with four poet-musicians -- Kazi Nazul Islam, DL Roy, Atul Prasad and Rajanikanta Sen in the 20th century. Nazrul beckoned a new melodic horizon in the realm of Bangla songs, be it raga-based classics, melodious kavyageeti, ghazal, thumri, shyama sangeet, kirttan, Islamic songs, Hamd, Naat, palligeeti or patriotic songs.
Eminent Nazrul Exponent Sadya Afreen Mallick, also Star Arts and Entertainment Editor, welcomed the gathering to the event. She also elaborated on the rich musical creations of Nazrul while hosting and directing the programme.
The featured singers at the event were Sumon Chowdhury, Salahuddin Ahmed, Anindita Chowdhury, Nishat Ahmed Zishan and Putul Rani Das. Noted elocutionist Rupa Chakrabarty recited a Nazrul poem at the event. The soiree held a welcome surprise for the audience: an impromptu performance by eminent Nazrul Sangeet artiste Shabnam Mushtari.
Anindita Chowdhury set off the event with an immaculate Mishra Behag number “Porodeshi Megh”. Anindita's presentation of two other songs “Tumi Jadi Radha Hotey Shyam” and “Riniki Jhiniki Jhinirini” were melodious also.
As the special programme was titled “Poobali Poboney Banshi Bajey”, the songs focused on melodies that evoke the connotations of monsoon and flute. Nishat Ahmed Zishan was next to take the stage with monsoon melodies “Megh Medur Gagon Kandey” and “Jhoro Jhoro Jhorey Shawon Dhara”. The singer generated nostalgic melancholia thorough his other song “”Phiria Esho, Esho Hey Phirey”.
Promising artiste Putul Das beautifully performed two songs -- “Bedona Bihobol” and the highly acclaimed “Ashiley E Bhanga Ghor-e”.
Elocutionist Rupa Chakrabarty, also the departmental head of Bengali Language of Institute of Modern Language, University of Dhaka, soulfully presented a Nazrul Poem “Gaan-er Aral” at the event. With apt intonation and artistic gesture, Rupa made the performance memorable.
The audience enthusiastically interacted with Sumon Chowdhury and Salahuddin Ahmed, as they took the stage. The renowned artiste duo enthralled Nazrul enthusiasts, performing eight songs in turn. Sumon Chowdhury marvelously performed the songs “Ajhor Dharaye Borsha Jhor-e”, “Megh-e Megh-e Ondho Akash”, “Keno Korun Sur-e” and “Duronto Bayu Puroboiya”. Prior to performing the song “Duronto Bayu Puroboiya”, Sumon Chowdhury reminisced on a performance of the song by Sadya Afreen Mallick.
Singer, teacher and organiser Salahuddin Ahmed, with his sombre voice, captivated the audience with his repertoire -- monsoon melodies “Jhoro Jhoro Bari Jhore” and “Shawon Ashilo Phire”, a kajri “Sakhi Bandhlo Bandhlo Jhulonia” and a ghazal “Modir Ankhir Sudhai Saki”. The artiste elaborated the melodic and lyrical diversity of Nazrul Sangeet interspersed with his performances.
A number of music connoisseurs, including thespian Tabibul Islam, columnist Abdul Matin and veteran singer Shelu Barua took part in discussions with the artistes.
The presence of Shabnam Mushtari along with her performance at the soiree was a pleasant surprise for the audience.
The eminent singer rendered three songs, including, “Sedin Jodi Porey Amaye Mon-e” and her monumental hit “Laili Tomar Eshechhe Phiria”.
Three renowned instrumental artistes -- Pallab Sanyal on tabla, Rooptanu Das Sharma on keyboard and Md. Moniruzzaman on flute embellished the entire performance with solo, duet and group recitals.
Theatre and cultural personality Selim SH Chowdhury was the artistic director of the programme, in association with Eastern Bank Limited and Simantic Creative Concern.