Realism vs Romance | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 04, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 04, 2011

Realism vs Romance

In conversation with Tanzir Tuhin


Photo: Mumit M.

While many find academic studies getting the priority to be a restriction in pursuing artistic/cultural practices, Tanzir Tuhin -- lead vocalist and songwriter of the band Shironamhin -- considers his major, architecture, as an inspiration to his passion for music. Tuhin finds some links between architecture and music as well. “I think both [architecture and music] significantly deal with space and time. While, architecture can be explained with inches and feet, music articulates uncountable emotions,” said Tuhin, one of the leading contemporary rockers.
“The art that is music requires one to frame ideas in time and space. On the other hand, architecture denotes proportion that involves space and time,” added Tuhin.
Tuhin's initiation in music happened at a very early age. The introduction was quite conventional. He had the opportunity to train under some respected and renowned gurus. Tuhin considers his 'taalim' to be the foundation of his career in music; he also thanks his mother for providing encouragement and support.
“My mother had me enrolled at the music school,” said Tuhin.
The rocker learned Nazrul Sangeet and classical music at Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) for several years. His gurus include Ustad Akhtar Sadmani, Kiran Chandra Roy, Niaz Mohammad Chowdhury and Ustad Narayan Chandra Basak.
Considering his gurus, many may wonder why rock and not classical music? Tuhin's response: “I just followed my heart. Most of my gurus taught me to strengthen my individuality and unless you do what you're passionate about, your uniqueness doesn't flourish.”
In Bangladeshi contemporary music scene, the first decade of the 21st century heard the emergence of progressive rock. Tuhin's band Shironamhin, along with a few others, had their respective breakthroughs during the period. Up until then, the music arena was being dominated by mellow and romantic songs. Shironamhin's approach to music and lyrics is postmodern, according to Tuhin.
“Our songs mostly delve into urban middle-class issues, rather than undiluted romance. When it comes to the subjects of our songs, romance usually doesn't get the priority. We want to address contemporary issues, need to have the basic requirements met. If we can ensure a better society, romance will blossom effortlessly. That's why one of our songs go 'Ichchey holey bhalobashish / Na hoy thakish, jemon thakey snigdho gangchil',” said Tuhin.
“Shurjo”, “Porichoy”, “Barsha” [along with Farhan], “Nodi” and “Hoy Na” are some of the songs that Tuhin has penned for his band.
Tuhin's lyrics feature slices of life, sprinkled with hopes and dreams as well as political awareness.
He met Zia [bassist, composer and main songwriter of Shironamhin] when they were second year students at BUET. Zia approached Tuhin to join Shironamhin. The chemistry this duo shares has been instrumental behind Shironamhin's success.

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