Baul ‘n Beyond A trance inducing concert | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 23, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 23, 2010

Baul ‘n Beyond A trance inducing concert

Anusheh Anadil (centre) with Baul singers during a group rendition. Pandit Tanmoy Bose (left) immersed in a Lalon song. Photo: Mumit M.

Featuring superb improvisations by master percussionist Pandit Tanmoy Bose with soulful renditions of Lalon songs by Bauls from Kushtia -- the musical ensemble "Baul 'n Beyond" turned into a mega affair on February 21. The event was held at the Hall of Fame, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. Shadhona (Centre for Advancement of South Asian Dance and Music) along with event management group Carnival arranged the concert.
The aim of the show was to understand and appreciate the universal appeal of music, which transcends borders and is able to break the barrier of languages. There was another attempt -- to regenerate interest in the humble world of Bauls, their songs and philosophy at a time when urban music and entertainment go hand-in-hand with glitz and pomp.
The ensemble featured over 20 accomplished musicians -- proficient in different genres such as folk, classical, jazz and contemporary -- from Bangladesh, India and the United States. It was a journey into the world of mysticism through verses and tunes of Lalon.
Bauls from Kushtia, including Rob Fakir, Baul Shafi Mondol, Baul Alauddin Biswas and Fakir Bajlu Shah along with Kangalini Sufia and members of the bands Bangla (Bangladesh), Taal Tantra (India) and Jazmin (USA) were on the stage together.
Tanmoy Bose, who is the leader of Taal Tantra, conducted the ensemble. His vibrant approach made each performance admirable.
Coincidentally, it was the day to pay tribute to our Language Movement martyrs and the artistes did not overlook that. The first song of the evening was “Amar Bhai-er Roktey Rangano”. After that chorus, the rest of the concert featured only Lalon songs.
The concert featured 15 Lalon numbers embodying different tatwa (philosophy). Rob Fakir started with “Jagat Muktitey Bholalen Shai”. He also sang “Shabder Gharey Ni-shabdo Kori”. Shafi Mondol rendered “Helaye Helaye Din Boye Jai” and “Khepa-rey Karey Boley Jeeb'er Atma”.
Throughout the concert, only the local artistes were on vocals. Anusheh Anadil (of Bangla) sang three songs -- “Emon Manob Janam Kobey Go Srijon Hobey”, “Jaat Gelo Jaat Gelo Boley” and “Allah Bolo Monrey Amar, Mawla Bolo”.
Kangalini Sufia's stirring renditions included “E Boro Ajab Kudrati”. Alauddin Biswas and Bajlu Shah sang “Din Duniya-e Ajib Manush” and “Shob Lokey Koy Lalon Fakir Hindu Ki Jobon” respectively.
Rahul Anand (of Prachyanat) hosted the event through enactment and narrating core aspects of Lalon's philosophy.
The renditions followed two styles. Some performances featured traditional instruments and the akhra (as sung at Lalon's den in Kushtia) style. Others were improvisations. During the improvisations, all performers took part to demonstrate their expertise.
Apart from the traditional instruments ektara, dotara, dhol, mandira and banshi, the ensemble also featured guitars (three lead and three bass), saxophone, sarod, drums, keyboard, percussions as well as few lesser-known instruments such as cajón (an Afro-Peruvian instrument).
The concert was vibrant, soulful and appealed to youngsters. At the concert, Bose was of the view -- “music has no boundaries”. His view echoed in Seth Blumberg's (lead guitarist of the US band Jazmin) ardent playing with Anusheh's rendition of “Jaat Gelo Jaat Gelo Boley” and Leo Dombecki's (saxophonist of Jazmin) interlude with Shafi Mondol's rendition of “Khepa-rey Karey Boley Jeeb'er Atma”.

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