"Shayaner Gaan": A breakthrough album | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 24, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 24, 2008

"Shayaner Gaan": A breakthrough album


Shayan during a performance

Every artiste has (or should have) a unique style of presentation. Listening to the album, Shayaner Gaan -- the artiste with her powerful voice, uttering the edgy words with so much ease and emotions -- almost makes you feel as if she is singing to you, for you, narrating your personal stories.
And that is what makes Shayan's songs so endearing.
Added to this is her voice with its deep timbre. The lyrics -- emanating razor sharp wit and utmost sensitivity -- are complemented by her distinct melody. The songs will make you want to put everything on hold and listen to her. She pleads, ignites senses and flirts with her vocals. The accompaniment -- though meticulously played out -- often becomes almost irrelevant as her voice has that enchanting quality to possess the listener's senses and transport him/her to a different place and time.
For a few moments you might think you have been transported to a different era, a golden period when instruments didn't have to the carry the weight of a song. Shayan's voice is her signature as much as her words are.
Her full name is Farzana Wahid. She has never received institutional training in music, but was encouraged to sing. Her family appreciates music and has always encouraged Shayan to sing at family gatherings.
As a young girl Shayan would watch in awe as her mother took music lessons. She picked up as she watched her mother.
It is necessary to listen to an array of songs to appreciate music. Since childhood, Shayan has been immersed in good music that developed her senses and creativity. As she grew older, Shayan started writing and composing songs. She wanted to reach out to people with her songs and that's how the idea of an album came up.
Like Nachiketa, Sumon or Moushumi Bhowmik, Shayan's music is lyric-centric, which is a rarity these days.
All songs in her debut album, aptly titled Shayaner Gaan, have been written by her. The subjects and very relevant, topical and at times politically conscious. She sings about people, dreams, homes, the country, personal and public struggles, narrow-mindedness, music piracy and human endurance.
There are interesting stories behind most of the songs. She got inspired to write the song Ami tajjob boney jai when one night she watched a man sleeping on the street across her house. She wondered at his homelessness and simultaneously marvelled at a little bird, which had built its own nest at a corner of her home. The song beautifully articulates the disparity.
Du'chokh diyei dekho talks about the futile debate of the pundits on who is greater -- Tagore or Nazrul -- and the consequences of it on our arts.
Ekhanei shukh chhilo ekdin is a touching song on separation/ divorce. The artiste goes over the inanimate objects that evoke bittersweet memories of better days when love lived in the nest.
Janatar Beyadabi goes over the politics that victimises the common man.
Other songs included in the album are: Shopner doinnyo, Ami'i Bangladesh and Gaan-paapi.
This album is certainly something to remember.
Shayaner Gaan has been produced by Gaan Poka.
The writer is a sub-editor, The Daily Star

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