Adhek Ghume: Arnob rediscovers Tagore's romance with the piano
Jyotirindranath Tagore, Rabindranath's elder brother, encouraged young Rabindranath to write songs. Jyotirindranath was uber-talented and could play several instruments -- piano being one of his favourites. Rabindranath's journals explain how Jyoti dada would come up with piano structures or patterns based on a fusion of Indian and Western scales.
Popular singer-composer-musician Shayan Chowdhury Arnob -- known for his re-imagining of traditional songs and giving them a fresh sound -- has included the above-mentioned lines as part of his message on the cover of his latest solo album “Adhek Ghume”. This is the fifth album by Arnob, but first complete album of Rabindra Sangeet [featuring himself as the vocalist].
With great accompaniment of piano compositions by Eivind Lodemel, Arnob has tried to demonstrate Tagore's keen interest in the Western instrument through the album.
Arnob also takes upon the challenge of giving a contemporary feel to the Rabindra Sangeet through rearrangement.
A keen enthusiast of Eastern music, likely because of his learning years at Shantiniketan, Arnob can deftly incorporate Western musical elements as well. He is successful, in a sense, in blending these two forms of music, as apparent in his previous works. Arnob, however, admitted that he has particularly learned Western notation over the last two years -- only to understand the basic characteristics of the piano.
Special thanks should go to Eivind Lodemel, the pianist, for giving each song a new dimension. Arnob and Lodemel sang and played piano respectively in a fitting mood.
The title song “Adhek Ghume”, “Arnob's lullaby” [as he said so at the album launch], starts with soft piano notes. Rest of the songs feature more than one instrument, but “Adhek Ghume” only features the piano. And this gives the song a unique feel. It is one of the first Tagore songs that Arnob learned to play with piano during his years at Shantiniketan.
In case of “Purano Shei Din-er Kotha”, Arnob starts with Haye arektibar aaire shokha instead of the intro and follows Lodemel's piano notes. The sound of bagpipe [or synthesiser] mingles with piano notes to refer to the tune's Scottish roots. In the song “Rakho Rakho Rey”, the dominating piano notes juxtapose with traditional percussions such as tabla and mandira. In this track, one may find Arnob as a polished Rabindra Sangeet singer rather than an indie vocalist.
Track number three, “Shawana Gaganey”, is seemingly an odd inclusion. While rest of the songs are mellow and romantic, this particular track is a total experiment -- giving a Rabindra Sangeet a rock makeover. It starts with tanpura and esraj, moves to keys, and then finally drumbeats take centre stage and continue till the end. There's of course techno sounds and high tempo [than usual] singing by Srabonti Ali.
“Prochondo Garjaney” is similarly uplifting, but the song gets a more acoustic approach.
The album features 13 tracks including lesser-known songs such as “Robir Gaan”, “Phagun Hawaye Hawaye”, “Kotha Hotey Baaje”, “Dhonilo Ahban” and “Amar Din Phuralo”. It also features familiar numbers like “Ami Kaan Pete Roi” and “Megh Bolechhe”.
Swarup Hossain played tabla and khol while Buno played guitar solo in track nine.
“Adhek Ghume” is the first production of Adhkhana Muzik.